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Posts posted by ScouterCa

  1. Thank you all for your replies and suggestions.


    As for my son's friends, many of them know about the issues but are afraid to stand up to the bully scout. They don't want to be an added target. It is easier to just go with the flow than to create a bulls eye on their own head. They don't bully my son, but they don't stand up or stop it either.


    This first troop is obviously not a boy-led troop. Every adult who was attempting to create that atmosphere has been gutted from leadership/committee. It is not even a SM led troop. It is a CC led troop. She is a former Pack CC who refuses to change to Boy Scout leadership ideals. The second troop is wonderfuly boy-led, parents/leaders have their role in the background, the CC rarely comes to actual meetings (although he shows great adult leadership on some outings), just doing his job in the background. Even though it is quite a drive, the change to the second troop will be inevitable. He already registered in the second troop this year as his primary troop; the first troop is his secondary (multiple) registration. Council doesn't care which troop he gets his rank in, he just chose the first because that was where he had gotten his other ranks and wanted to finish to his Eagle there before moving on completely to the other.


    Yes, the parent/CC accompanies already her son to each and every meeting/outing/etc., however due to the fact that she is not by his side the entire time, he is allowed to continue his behavior and is usally skilled enough to not get caught most of the time.


    For the three friends that my son is really close to, he does do things outside of the troop with them. But there are so many kids in the troop who are more than aquaintances but less than close friends. He unfortunately won't be seeing them outside the troop. But really, the decision to move has basically been made by my son. I have been fully supportive of whatever his decision has been, and it's been his to make. It has meant driving to two troop meetings a week, two PLCs a month, numerous outings for one troop or the other. He hasn't had one leg in each troop; he had been fully planted in each troop and doing a surprisingly great job. He started pulling his PORs out of the first troop as a way to spend less time with the scout. Scouting is just his thing, much like other kids fully invest themselves into football or other sports.


    MattR - I'm not sure what you meant about my "son not wanting to confront the problem". He had a few discussions with the scout who said there wasn't a problem and acted innocent. My son went to his SM and an ASM to dicuss it. If you have any other suggestions on what he should do, he'd be more than happy to hear them. (He wasn't about to go to the CC as it would have only invited an adult bullying him. Recently a more senior scout sent an email out to the Troop requesting that the troop start doing more activities/campouts/etc as there hadn't been anything going on that didn't get cancelled for two months. It was a very well worded, repectful request meant to get the attention of the scouts and any adults who would have to volunteer to go with them so that they could discuss it at an upcoming meeting. The CC responded, replied to All, with a scathing email to the senior scout.)


    As for changing troops prior to his BOR, all of his Eagle stuff had been turned in months ago. We didn't know that changing the location of the BOR was even possible. The Eagle BORs are done on the District level. The second troop is in a different district. Is that even a possiblity?


    I guess the biggest question is do we do anything about the harrassment, especially the sexual comment, or does he just move on and let it go?

  2. I am requesting advice regarding how to handle harrassment issues. My son has been the harrassment target of a scout who previously had been a close friend. Once my son started advancing in rank ahead of the other scout (who is extremely competitive but not enough to motivate himself to advance alongside my son), the scout started harrassing my son.


    My son never came to us with these issues, I first became aware because other adults I barely knew were coming to me to alert me. I asked my son about it and he acknowledge that it was continuously happening but didn't know what to do about it. I encouraged him to first have a discussion with the scout, being that they were previously great friends, trying to allow the boys to work it out themselves. Unfortunately, it didn't change anything.


    The scout is a very intelligent young man, knows exactly how to properly and politely conduct himself when adults are around, and how to make extremely rude, snide remarks during times when there won't be witnesses, or only witnesses he has complete control over. He leads a small group of boys who will do anything he says, completely controls the patrol elections having them decided before ever entering the meeting even though two other adults have repeatedly tried to nip it in the bud, etc. Knowing this scout and his family, I have seen him continually talk back rudely to his parents, verbally and physically harrass his younger brother without consequence, and he has repeated harrassed previous friends throughout his life and been defended by his parents. He can do no wrong. He is now the ASPL which has given him a boost to his sense of power.


    After dealing with this scout for quite some time, my son finally asked one of the ASMs he trusts to sit with him during a conversation with the SM about it. My son then requested to be moved to another patrol, leaving his other good friends behind, to try to alleviate it. The SM allowed him to move to another patrol, and left it at that. Even though they haven't been in the same patrol, the harrassment has continued.


    My son started seeking out another troop to move to. He found one outside of our town that has a great set of leaders, scouts, and parents. Within 3 weeks of joining he was elected Patrol Leader and was greatly encouraged by all to advance, take on bigger responsibility, etc. However, he still had lots of friends at the first troop and continued to attend there as well finishing out his Scribe duties. He duel registered in both troops and was living and breathing Scouts. He made the decision to finish up his Eagle rank through the first troop since he'd already gotten his other ranks there. He turned his application and project in before Thanksgiving and is only (still) waiting for his Eagle BOR. His PORs are through the second troop with him serving as ASPL presently.


    This past meeting for the first troop was the straw that broke the camel's back, so to speak. As they were playing an outside game after doing an activity with the younger scouts, the scout made disparaging comments to my son, out of earshot of anyone else, but it greatly shook up my son. It was just as they ended the game, and as they all came back to go inside to do the closing, my son walked past me (I was standing outside chatting with another parent), and told me we were immediately leaving. Very unlike my son to not stop to talk to me, especially when asked. I walked to the car where he had gone and he was extremely upset and angrily crying. He told me that he wasn't ever coming back to another meeting there again. I asked what had happend, he told me what the boy said and then replied, "I don't even know what that means!". That last comment was in reference to the last comment the scout said intimating that my son and another scout were having sexual relations. (Yes, my son is almost 14, but the crowd of boys he is friends with are like him, naive, homeschooled, and not yet exposed to the depth of many things that most kids their age are exposed to.) He didn't understand the exact meaning but understood from the tone and other things that were said that it was rude and mean.


    After the meeting I pulled the mother and scout aside and had a discussion (a very calm one, mother is not one to tangle with) to basically let the scout know that words hurt and whatever was going on needed to stop, that it wasn't showing scout spirit. I did not bring up exactly what was said because I wanted to find out more from my son the events that led up to the comments. The mother spent the time deflecting the subject by either stating I shouldn't be talking with the son there, only with her, or that my son was to blame. My son just stood there silently crying with two years of frustration built up. The mother then asked the scout if the SM had ever discussed any of this with him and he said no.


    I should note here that the mother is the CC. The SM is afraid of her because she has made threats of getting him replaced so she can have a person of her choosing in there. He is trying stay SM until his youngest son makes Eagle (which hopefully will be in the coming year). She has already gutted the committee to put in her own choices.


    So,........obviously the idea is to drop the first troop after finally getting the Eagle BOR completed and just sticking with the second troop. Unfortunately my son won't be able to remain with his friends he's had since cubs due to this bully. Should this be reported to the SM? It obviously won't be addressed appropriately so part of me figures why bother? This same CC mother was livid (rightly so) with the SM during summer camp because of he didn't address the issue of another younger scout bullying her younger scout son (they too had been great friends).


    Then again, part of me worries about his next victim. This behavior will not stop unless somone stands up to it and it is dealt with appropriately. The UC is a nice man, but mostly AWOL. I can't see him doing anything about it either.


    Any suggestions?

  3. I am curious to know why it seems difficult to find a troop who actually follows the guidelines set forth by National? Of the troops in our area, one uses the SM conference and BOR to seriously test the scout on their knowledge to the point where some of the scouts won't progress to the next level. Another has a new CC who has basically gutted the committee to put in place only people that he/she can manipulate (which are only a couple at this point), runs the troop like a pack (definitely not boy led), controls everything (which means that things are gong downhill because one person can't do it all) and won't let the SM do his job. These are just a few examples, there are ample. When we go to training, which these troop leaders have also been too, do we just pick and choose what we want to follow and it is ok to make troop policy that blatently goes against National Policy, Advancement Guidelines, etc? I don't want to speak up and create a huge deal, but this kind of thing really confuses me. I guess I look at it like we expect the boys to follow the rules, shouldn't the adults be doing the same?

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  4. Wow,....seriously? Not one adult in our troop has the letters, M.D., D.O., N.D. or the like after their names. I would think that medication would always be a decision between the scout's dr, the parents, and the scout. Seems crazy that something like that would be put into bylaws or policies, let alone be legal or followed.


    Many of these answers are really off question.

  5. No axes being sharpened, no major issues being discussed.....everyone automatically goes to the dark side.....


    MC1 has been in the troop probably a little over a year, done a lot for the troop as far as getting things organized, records updated where there were none being kept, etc.


    CC is not new. He on his way out in the next six months or so on his own accord. He is the type that is amicable yet perhaps a bit controlling, tends to make decisions for the committee and announce that the committee decided xyz, etc. Hence the denial for access, I suppose.


    Bylaws have come up now and again in committee meetings, yet no one who has been in the troop for less than 4 or 5 years, and of those only a slect few has been allowed to seem them. MC1 was only asking to continue the organizing job and go over them before the next committee meeting to have a feel for them and see what could be cut out of them. Wasn't really a big deal. They are still going to be reviewed by the committee.


    I guess my question should have been elaborated as is this normal to deny committee members or anyone access to the bylaws (most organizations publish bylaws for everyone to see). I can see from a lot of the posts that it is normal.


    I too agree that the bylaws should be short and sweet so to speak. I guess I just don't understand the secrecy nor the if you want to see them there must be a problem responses on here unless that is an ongoing theme. I've seen many troops put them on their website, they are short and to the point, easy basic guidelines for the troop.(This message has been edited by ScouterCa)

  6. A committee member (MC1) from our troop asked during a meeting for a copy of the troop bylaws. The CC stated that they were way out of date, over 30 pages long, and needed to be edited down to about 3 pages. MC2 said that he had a copy or access to a copy and would gladly get that to MC1 and no objections were made by the CC. Some time went by and this copy never materialized. When the MC1 emailed a request reminder to the MC2, a reply was sent back stating that the CC did not want any disbursement of the bylaws and that they would be changed at the next committee meeting. Therefore no bylaws would be available for viewing until then.


    Is this normal?

  7. Would this position be a good position for a 12 year old Star scout who has already served as a Den Chief for over a year and recieved many great reviews from the leaders he's served under for that? He's eager to teach new scouts what he's learned. I don't see an age requirement in the discription, just a rank, which he's earned. Just trying to figure out if this is a position usually reserved for older scouts or not.(This message has been edited by ScouterCa)

  8. I was wondering how many of your troops had a scout serving as a Troup Guide. I don't think our troop has ever had one serve as a Troop Guide. If you do, in what capacity does this scout fulfill his position? How does he use his position to serve in his troop? I know what the requirements of position say, I was just wondering how it worked in your troop.

  9. Fred - you basically hit the nail on the head, my question is about boundries and crossing the line.


    The first instance is a non issue because the scouts have, on their own, decided to seek out a different MBC, and the ones who weren't in the class had to anyway. However, I was only curious about the one rule.


    In the second instance, I am not aware of anyone having a problem with it (yet) but just was wondering about the rule that was set up. Since the MBC has all of the blue cards, he has the option of not signing any of the requirements off, even ones he knows were done, if his rule isn't followed. It's really not a "failing" as much as having to start all of the work over again under someone new if the scouts don't meet the MBC's requirement.



  10. Beavah: Thanks for the imput.


    #1 Yes, he whittled the class size down to 3 instead of the 7 or 8 that would have taken it if it didn't have that requirement. I wouldn't have thought that was too big of a class to learn it. (All three have dropped out because he doesn't meet with them. If they want to get tested on the info, he'll ask questions, then tell them to come back in two weeks if they want him to ask more questions, again and again. But that is a whole other issue..My son was one of the three who was actually in the class who decided to go elsewhere to find better & hands-on education. But that's off topic...) I was more interested where our boundries are as MBCs. I don't want to cross the line. Basically what I am hearing is that it is the MBCs perogative to only teach to a certain age or rank or whatever stipulation if he chooses.


    #2 I was more asking about the fact that the merit badge counselor would "fail" the scout if he missed one of the sessions with him rather than allowing the scout to do it with another scout or adult. I was wondering if this was harsh or normal. I believe that the MBC should be there to teach and guide, but the scouts must do the hard work. It the MBC can't trust a scout to do the work, even for a short time, how can we trust them to do the patrol method, or certain scouts to sign off on lower ranks for scouts. Like I said, just trying to figure out where the line is in setting policy or boundries that aren't specifically written in the requirements.


    Most of the MBCs I know or have observed don't usually have issues such as these. They basically educate the scouts and have the scouts provide proof of meeting the requirements and the proficiency of what they learned. It's up to the scouts to do the work themselves or they won't learn the material. I personally want to make sure they do the work, but I don't think that I have to hold their hand through the whole process, either. But maybe that is me.......(This message has been edited by ScouterCa)

  11. Eagle 92: Thank for the $.02. That's why I posted. I imagine I'll get varied opinions.


    Second Class: Thanks for your imput.


    1. MBC has a grandson who received his First Aide MB as a Scout Rank (but not with him) so was surprised when I learned of that.


    2. MBC has two sons in the troop (a new scout and a 1st Class) and as far as I know hasn't done any MBCing in the past.


    I do have my opinion on things, but am relying on those of you who are more experienced than I to educate me.

  12. I have a question about MBs. As I understand it, whether in rank or MB, no one can add or subtract from the requirements. I have come across two instances recently where people are upset with MB counselors and wonder what the "rules" are concerning these.


    1. A First Aid MB counselor working with the troop restricted the scouts who could work on it to those above 1st Class. Although the requirements say to "Satisfy to the counselor that you have current knowledge of T-2-1 first-aid requirements", it doesn't seem to say that only First Class and above were allowed to earn this MB. This rule did not apply toward my scout as he was above that rank but quite a few scouts were upset by this. Especially when they have those rank items marked off in their books, but just haven't finished the swimming requirements in the middle of winter.


    2. A Personal Fitness MB counselor insists that the scouts meet with him for the requirement 8 testing every two weeks even though the requirements says to record your results, just as in requirement 6 (which he also insists that they only allow him to run the testingz). Nowhere does it say that only the counselor can do the testing. He has repeatedly told them that they can only do the testing every two weeks with him and if they miss it, they will not be able to finish the badge. They are not allowed to do testing on their own, with another scout or adult, but only under his supervision. (I would have thought having the boys take responsibility for getting it done would have been preferred instead of babying them through it, but I suppose that is my opinion.)


    I realize I'm on the outside looking in on these instances (I'm there but I haven't addressed them on this), but are these cases of the MB counselor "adding" to the requirements or is a MB counselor allowed to create "policy"? I have recently signed up to be a MB counselor for a few MBs and believed I could only expect exactly what is written in the requirements, no more, no less.

  13. Yes it is a pain. We invested in the slightly larger Black book cover with the red attached book mark ribbon. It fit better in that, but it still has issues.


    One of the scouts in our troop uses a regular black denim or nylon fabric book cover that zips and has a small fabric handle, like one that you might buy for a bible cover. They had a friend sew a large circular scout emblem on the front of it and presto! The scout book slips into one of the inside pockets on one side and he has a notepad and folded handouts in the other side pocket (the side pockets where the cover of the bible should slip in.)It seems to handle the book a lot better and the pages don't seem to be wearing like the scout made covers.


    Hope this helps!!

  14. I thought I read somewhere that a troop can have only 1 of certain PORs and more than 1 of other PORs. I can't seem to find it now. Does someone know the answer to this?


    (For instance, can there be only 1 Quartermaster or more than 1? And the same question to the other positions.)



  15. This problem seems simple to me. The BSA Guide to Advancement 2011(pages 23-24) states the guidelines as:

  Meeting Unit Expectations

    If a unit has established expectations for positions of responsibility, and if, within

    reason (see the note under Rank Requirements Overview,, based on his personal skill set, the Scout meets

    them, he fulfills the requirement. When a Scout assumes

    a position, something related to the desired results must

    happen. It is a disservice to the Scout and to the unit to

    reward work that has not been done. Holding a position

    and doing nothing, producing no results, is unacceptable.

    Some degree of responsibility must be practiced, taken,

    or accepted.

  Meeting the Requirement in the absence of Unit

    Expectations. It is best when a Scouts leaders provide him

    position descriptions, and then direction, coaching, and

    support. Where this occurs, and is done well, the young

    man will likely succeed. When this support, for whatever

    reason, is unavailable or otherwise not providedor

    when there are no clearly established expectationsthen

    an adult leader or the Scout, or both, should work out the

    responsibilities to fulfill. In doing so, neither the positions

    purpose nor degree of difficulty may be altered

    significantly or diminished. BSA literature provides

    the basis for this effort: the Scoutmaster Handbook,

    No. 33009, (The Boy-Led Troop); the Patrol Leader

    Handbook, No. 32502 (Your Patrol and Your Troop);

    the Varsity Scout Guidebook, No. 34827 (in explanations

    of team organization); the Venturing Leader Manual,

    No. 34655 (Leadership in the Crew); and the Sea

    Scout Manual, No. 33239 (Officers Responsibilities).


    Under the above scenario, if it is left to the Scout to

    determine what should be done, and he makes a

    reasonable effort to perform accordingly for the time

    specified, then he fulfills this requirement. Even if his

    results are not necessarily what the Scoutmaster, members

    of a board of review, or others involved may want to see,

    he may not be held to unestablished expectations.

  When Responsibilities Are Not Met. If a unit

    has clearly established expectations for position(s) held,

    thenwithin reasona Scout must meet them through

    the prescribed time. If he is not meeting expectations,

    then this must be communicated early. Unit leadership

    may work toward a constructive result by asking him

    what he thinks he should be accomplishing. What is his

    concept of the position? What does he think his troop

    leadersyouth and adultexpect? What has he done

    well? What needs improvement? Often this questioning

    approach can lead a young man to the decision to

    measure up. He will tell the leaders how much of the

    service time should be recorded.


    If it becomes clear nothing will improve his performance,

    then it is acceptable to remove the Scout from his

    position. Every effort should have been made while he

    was in the position to ensure he understood expectations

    and was regularly supported toward reasonably

    acceptable performance.


    It is unfair and inappropriate

    after six months, for exampleto surprise a boy who

    thinks he has been doing fine, with news that his

    performance is now considered unsatisfactory.

    In this case, he must be given credit for the time.


    Only in rare casesif evershould troop

    leaders inform a Scout that time, once

    served, will not count.


    If a Scout believes he has performed his duties satisfactorily,

    but his leaders disagree, then the possibility that

    expectations are unreasonable should be considered.

    If after discussions between the Scout and his leaders

    and perhaps including his parents or guardianshe

    believes he is being held to unreasonable expectations,

    then upon completing the remaining requirements, he

    must be granted a board of review. If he is an Eagle

    candidate, then he may request a board of review under

    disputed circumstances (see Initiating Eagle Scout Board

    of Review Under Disputed Circumstances, message has been edited by ScouterCa)

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