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SSF last won the day on December 28 2017

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  1. Do you feel that hiking is a more valuable life skill to have over swimming?
  2. SSF

    Lot's of questions

    Not judging, but it always seems like an automatic response on this site to say "quick, find another troop" when there are advancement issues or a rogue SM. No one ever really talks about the impact of transferring and uprooting a scout from his current troop, and his fellow scouts and friends there, to going to a completely different troop where he knows no one... It's not an easy transition and it's completely unfair to the scout to have to find a new troop because his scoutmaster, and leaders, are not administering the BSA program correctly
  3. SSF

    Lot's of questions

    I've been asking this very same question for the past ten years. I've concluded that in the BSA rules really are made to be broken...or more accurately, ignored. I couldn't agree with you more strongly on this though. There are a lot of good scouts who have suffered because of petty, ego driven Scoutmasters who truly feel that their way is better than the BSA's way.
  4. The CO owns the unit, however, they are still chartered under the BSA and are therefore obligated to run the BSA program as intended. If the CO doesn't want any limitations on what they can or can't do then they should establish themselves as something other than a BSA unit; i,.e. the Charter Org Youth Group or the Dads and Sons Camping Club, rather than a legitimately established BSA unit. Also, the vast majority of CO's tend to be far removed from the operations of their units and take a very hands off approach to how those units are being run. I realize this may not be the case for your CO and unit, but the majority of CO's don't get involved with their units, are not aware or interested in what the units are doing and I think the majority of CO's like it that way. They don't want to get involved and just think of themselves as providing a place for the unit to hold meetings and store equipment.
  5. This is the root of the problem, in that units can choose to completely disregard BSA regulations and policies without any real repercussion. Obviously all units operate a bit differently and there can be some gray areas, in how programs are administered, but conversely, there are also clear, black and white, cases of ethical wrongdoing (perhaps not illegal, but unquestionably unethical) in which the BSA needs to step in, take action, enforce the GTA and GTSS and if necessary remove scout leader(s) and/or unit charters of leaders or units who prove to be detrimental or willful towards the youth that they are supposed to be serving
  6. An effective manager, or leader, in scouting or elsewhere will strive to guide their subordinates rather than dictate to them. Hopefully the subordinate will then be able to realize the impact of their decisions while retaining their autonomy and without feeling as though they are being undermined by their manager; e.g. Instead of a manager saying to his employee: "You're doing that wrong You need to do it this way." The manager could say to the employee: "Why do you think that things aren't working in the way that you would ideally like them to? Are there things that could be done differently? What changes do you think might achieve different results? All of that said, this problem of bad scoutmasters and scout leaders is just far too epidemic, and I have personally encountered more than one scout leader who is completely driven and motivated by ego, power and maintaining control and who are completely unfazed or deterred by knowing that they are violating the GTA or GTSS. My older sons' scoutmaster went as far as to lie - yes, actually lie - with the malicious intent of derailing and undermining my son's advancement towards Eagle. My son was able to prove that the SM had lied and while the SM did a little back pedaling when he got caught, it really didn't change anything. This guy is still a scoutmaster today and still working with the same troop. I also know, personally, of a number of other similar scoutmasters who have operated this way and between this board and Ask Andy, I've read far too many stories of scoutmaster or scout leaders who do what they want to do regardless of BSA policies. The advice in these situations is always the same. "Find a new troop, vote with your feet" but that doesn't address the root of the problem. The BSA needs to maintain greater due diligence in ensuring that BSA programs are being administered properly. Good scouts are suffering and bad scout leaders are continuing to be bad scout leaders.
  7. I'm sorry that your son is in this situation. One of the most unjust and ridiculous aspects of the BSA is the fact that Scoutmasters, and/or units, that choose to violate established BSA policies on advancement, face no real opposition from the BSA. I don't know of a single case of a Scoutmaster ever being removed from his position for adding requirements. While he is clearly in the wrong, this SM can decide to not grant your son his scoutmaster conference for Eagle, not sign his completed Eagle project workbook and/or not sign his completed Eagle application; any one of which would result in your son not being able to earn the rank of Eagle Scout. If you approach the council for assistance, or report the SM for violating the GTA, then they would most likely involve the Unit Commissioner in some way to try to mend things, but even then the SM could still flatly decide that he's just not going to support your son's advancement to Eagle, in which case the only other options would be either transferring to a different troop or requesting an Eagle Board of Review Under Disputed Circumstances. My advice to you, for your son's sake, would be to tread lightly with this Scoutmaster and to encourage your son to see if the beneficiary would allow the project to be done on a different day.
  8. SSF

    Service hours

    There is and was no such requirement in the BSA. It sounds like this was a 'unit requirement'' that your SM or other leaders within your troop had put in place themselves I would have to put this into the adding requirements bucket
  9. SSF

    New Scouts BSA marketing video

    Does it really matter which thread this discussion is included in? If there was no issue when all of the comments towards the video were positive, then there's no issue when some of the comments are critical or negative. It's not reasonable in my opinion to begin moving posts around just because someone offers an opposing view to the original poster. What I'm taken aback by in the video is the rather arrogant smirk that the one girl displays after shooting a bullseye on the target. She is not smiling, she is clearly smirking. I think the director intended for that target to represent the traditional Boy Scouts of America; i.e. 'Scouts BSA' is taking aim at the traditional, and now former, Boy Scouts of America...that's my take on the video.
  10. SSF

    New Scouts BSA marketing video

    This is ultimately an open forum...or at least it's supposed to be.
  11. SSF

    New Scouts BSA marketing video

    We may disagree on things related to Star Wars, but I couldn't agree with you more strongly on this. Very well said.
  12. SSF

    SE Revoking Membership's

    It's my understanding that the BSA has for many, many years embraced the belief that the best way to get rid of criticism (at least from within the BSA) has been to simply get rid of the critic. There is strength in numbers though, so if you can rally and gain the support of others who are willing to stand up to this SE, then that will speak volumes. He will not be able to dismiss that many voices against him.
  13. SSF

    Eagle Project question... help

    It's clear that you're very passionate about this, so I'm sorry to be a naysayer, but I have to agree with your son's advisor. I don't think this is a worthwhile project at all. My advice to your son would be to take a step back from this and consider if he is willing to invest the time and effort into writing up a formal proposal for this, when there is a high degree of rejection. Perhaps talk with the school about some other ideas that might make for a good project. Naturally, it's up to your son as to how he wants to proceed, but there is a high degree that this project will either not be approved or will require so much modification that it's no longer the project that he envisioned.
  14. How old is your son and what prevented him from completing the merit badge at summer camp? In my experience, most scouts, and even their parents, have little concern for whether or not they can actually swim well...they just want the merit badge. I'm a Swimming MB counselor and a dad from my son's troop recently asked me if I would sign off on Swimming MB for his son, who's 12 or 13. I had a few issues with: 1) The fact that the dad and not the scout was approaching me about this 2) That this particular dad seemed to have the expectation that I would automatically sign off on the merit badge for his son, just because I happened to be with the troop (doesn't work that way) 3) Most importantly, I had seen this scout swim during the swim test before summer camp and there was no way I could reasonably sign off on the badge for his son with his strokes looking as bad as they did. It was clear he had never been taught properly. When it comes to BSA swimming, I hardly expect any scout to be the next Michael Phelps, but there has to be at least some semblance (or at least effort) to show proper form and this particular scout needed a lot of work. His conditioning was also terrible. Ultimately my advice to the dad was that his son, and not himself, should be doing the outreach to counselors and to stop rushing this merit badge. Sign his son up for swimming lessons so he can practice and work diligently on his swimming over the next full year so that he would then be fully ready and conditioned to complete the badge at summer camp next year with no problem.