Posts posted by mtgavin
Thanks for the welcome, @qwazse!
Thanks for the information re: suspended BoR. I've not had experience with these, but they seem to be a great idea....suspended sounds much better than failed. A quick turn-around time seems like the proper thing to do in these cases. I also believe the adults on the BoR may not have been coached properly on how to elicit responses from unresponsive youth. That should be part of the get-well plan for the Troop going forward.
Related to whether the SM discussed this event with the Scout’s Troop CC, I believe the CC at the time (due to other life issues) was essentially unavailable to complete the duties of the position at that time, so there was a void of leadership in the Troop that led to this event. A new CC has been put in place since then who is trying to work the issues left in the aftermath of the event. The previous CM's that my friend and the SM have some trust issues with, remain active in the Troop, so repairing those relationships will be an important task for the new CC.
Thanks for your responses, especially @fred8033. I believe there were some trust issues between SM and various committee members prior to the failed BoR event, but that event brought distrust up another level. The Scout in question will soon be appearing before his unit Committee, looking for approval on his Eagle Project. It has been requested by my friend, through the SM that certain committee members should not be allowed to participate in this meeting. (For unit Committee approval, this Troop normally has the Eagle Project presented at a regular Committee meeting, which normally has many MC's and parents in attendance). Going down this road (excluding various committee members from BoR's or Eagle project approvals) seems to be a recipe for long term mistrust. I believe the Troop needs to examine the underlying reasons for this event, especially #2 from @fred8033, before the Scout comes before the unit Committee for his project approval, and addresses them prior to that event.
I'd appreciate some insights into this situation, and if anything that occured should have been done differently, or is against BSA policies, ambiguous as they are.
A friend of mine had a Star Scout in my son's Troop, ready for a Board of Review for Life Rank. This Scout was given the BoR by our Troop Committee as requested. I did not participate personally in the BoR, but was told afterwards by multiple BoR participants that the Scout completely clammed up, and couldn't answer any questions unless the response was along the lines of "I don't know". I believe the Scout likely has significant anxiety issues in front of adults (as many do), but there has been no formal diagnosis that special needs exist for this Scout. I don't believe the BoR questions were difficult or combative. This was not a retest. Questions such as "What makes a good leader?". etc.
The BoR declined to advance the (basically unresponsive) Scout to Life rank since it was not possible to determine whether "the Scout has a positive attitude, accepts Scouting’s ideals, and sets and meets good standards in daily life." as indicated in Section 188.8.131.52 of the Guide to Advancement (#33088). No discrepancies were noted related to requirement signoff.
My friend (as well as our local ScoutMaster) was disappointed with the BoR/Committee for failing to advance the Scout. The Scout needed to achieve Life Rank soon in order to partipate in upcoming Summer Camp programs exclusive to Life Scouts. She decided to take the Scout elsewhere for a satisfactory BoR, to another unit in a different Council where she has friends in adult leadership. This other unit provided a new BoR (for this Scout that is not in their Troop) and passed the Scout to Life Rank. The Scout shows up in ScoutBook as a Life Scout in our Troop. The Scout in question never left our Troop and remains a member today (working on his path to Eagle now.) I believe this "alternate BoR" approach was done with the blessing and recommendation of our ScoutMaster.
Looking for your opinions:
1) Was it acceptable and proper for the BoR to decline advancing the Scout to Life Rank since the Scout would not answer standard well-intentioned questions such as those found in the Guide to Advancement (#33088), when given every opportunity to do so? I've read the Guide to Advancement thoroughly and I believe the answer is yes, but it seems murky.
2) Is it BSA policy that a Scout may have a (non-Eagle) Rank BoR provided by adults *completely outside* the unit committee of the Troop? I can't find anything that says this is not permissible, but I suspect it is assumed that the BoR is provided by the Scout's Troop Committee, so this is not even addressed in BSA documents.
Thanks in advance.
Scout non-responsive to Life BoR questions; fails BoR; passes new BoR outside his unit
in Advancement Resources
Understood. Researched this issue on Scouter.com last night and came to the same conclusion. Either way the Troop shouldn't treat this Scout differently than other Scouts in the Troop, unless some type of special needs dianosis is provided, presumably.