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Everything posted by acco40

  1. Summary of comments Troopmaster ≡ Scoutmaster (correct term). The Scoutmaster is in charge of Advancement in the troop. FYI, Troopmaster is a software program. Merit Badge Counselors are not allowed to have one-on-one contact with Scouts (unless they are the legal guardian of that Scout) therefore the "at least two Scouts" rule which you may have conflated with "two merit badges." One does not need two adults to counsel merit badges. There does need to be two-deep leadership for outings. So if an outing is used to meet a merit badge requirement, two-deep leadership is required.
  2. acco40

    Decorum And Acting Scoutlike

    A few decades ago the "Issues & Politics" thread was created for the specific purpose to house many of the controversial areas of Scouting. Therefore, as a moderator, it was my belief to be slightly more tolerant of behavior that I thought was questionable - that is, something I may take an issue with in "Advancement" would get more of a pass in "Issues & Politics." But just like I tried to discuss in a Scout like manner on this forum why I thought the decision to ban avowed homosexuals was incorrect before the policy was changed (we could debate if it really ever was an official policy - IMHO it was not) we should be able to debate the policy now. But we should take great care and err on the side of caution not to disparage youth for their sexual identity regardless of what it is. That really falls out of our purview and should be up to the Scout's family and others. I treat religion in the same way - I've been a member of a Roman Catholic charter organization and an Episcopal charter organization and am a member of neither. I could answer questions about religion wrt the BSA but I made no attempt to "teach" the Scouts about certain denominations. That was a task for others.
  3. acco40

    Archery Lawsuit Against BSA

    Scouting events shouldn't be used to promote gear. I've taught certain Scout courses, to adults mostly, where we bring samples of what we own and give "pros" and "cons" to certain equipment but we don't have a vested monetary interest in what others will decide to buy. I'm not aware of any vendors at scouting events that I've attended other than those having a general store at summer camp and vending machines with logos. We don't want to go "Mar-a-Lago" like or "Bedmister" like and mix scouting with for personal profit motive in our actions. We already have enough of that in our country today (sorry for getting on my soapbox).
  4. acco40

    Eagle Board of Review (Appeal)

    Who may sit on a BoR (for a troop)? A board of three and no more than six troop committee members, all of whom must be at least 21 years of age. Unit leaders (Scoutmasters for a troop) and assistants shall not serve on a board of review for a Scout in their own unit. Parents, guardians, or relatives shall not serve on a board for their son. The candidate or his parent(s) or guardian(s) shall have no part in selecting any board of review members. For an EBoR (Eagle Board of Review), the Council may make additional rules - via their advancement committee. At the troop level, at least one district or council representative, who is not affiliated with the unit, must serve as a member (kind of a quality control person). The EBoR is unique in that the board members (some) may be non-Scouters. We are all volunteers (we don't get paid). But only some are Scouters (registered in the BSA as adults). Usually, the term "Volunteer" is not used. There are Scouters, non-Scouters and Scouters that are council representatives (silver shoulder loops represent district and council).
  5. acco40

    Eagle Board of Review (Appeal)

    Keep in mind the folks that say you can't "retest" are sometimes misleading. If a Scout rank has a requirement to tie a clove hitch, a BoR can and probably should ask the Scout to tie a clove hitch. That's perfectly allowable. The key is why? They should do it not to test the Scout, he has already demonstrated proficiency to his "leader" if the requirement has been signed off. The purpose is to test the Scoutmaster, who is in charge of the advancement program within the troop and see if he (or she) is doing a good job. Heck, I don't remember if I can still tie a clove hitch knot anymore (it's been a few years) so a single Scout's success or failure to do so should be the end all or be all of the program but if the boys never seem to be able to tie knots or answer first aid questions properly during the BoR - that's a warning sign. Of course, that requiremes BoR members to be knowledgeable about the requirements too - a topic for another thread.
  6. acco40

    Eagle Board of Review (Appeal)

    Folks, go back and see what the responsibilities are of the BoR members. One is to make sure all of the requirements are met. How do they do that? They look to see if the requirements are properly signed off. If the Scoutmaster has signed off on requirement 5 (While a Life Scout, plan, develop, and give leadership to others in a service project helpful to any religious institution, any school, or your community.), then by definition the requirement has been met. Also, before a Life Scout begins his project ... Your Scoutmaster, troop Advancement Chairman, and a representative of your District Advancement Committee, as well as the benefiting organization, must approve your project before you begin carrying it out. So, to then go back at a BoR and say the project or Scout didn't show leadership if unfair. Forget appealing, the adults need an education.
  7. acco40

    Eagle Board of Review (Appeal)

    "We" don't show leadership. The Eagle candidate should show leadership. If the Scoutmaster signed off on his requirements - to the Scoutmaster your son has shown leadership in his POR (Position of Responsibility) and has give leadership to others in a service project according to his Scoutmaster. You may suggest to your son to confer with the BOR and Scoutmaster and see why there appears to be a disagreement on his "leadership." I've seen issues when a Troop Committee has issues with a Scoutmaster and Scouts get caught in the middle. I have no idea if your son's case falls into this category but the remedy is to find a new Scoutmaster or Troop Committee or both, not to have a Scout get stuck in the middle. How old is your Scout? It he has some distance between today and aging out, I'd ask for a little more clarity from the BoR members other than "do another project" about the leadership component. Ask you son if he feels he demonstrated leadership and if he feels he has, articulate how to the BoR. If he feels he did not, investigate further. It sounds to me, from what little I know, the Scoutmaster (who may or may not have been his Eagle advisor) and the BoR team are not on the same page. Sometimes that is an issue. Per chance was the Scoutmaster the father of the Scout? Keep in mind the Scoutmaster is in control of advancement in a Troop. Maybe he (or she) should have a heart to heart with the committee?
  8. acco40

    Scouting ties in the Trump Administration

    I respect Tillerson - who distanced himself from Donnie.
  9. acco40

    Fitness Goals for Scouters

    I think it matters more what the position the Scouter holds than what are the activities of the troop. If a Scouter is the advancement chair and really only interfaces with the boys at BORs and COHs - the level of physical activity is not high. Keep in mind "personal fitness" is what is the priority in Scouts. Physical fitness is just one component of personal fitness.
  10. acco40

    Properly wearing the OA sash on the uniform

    I usually only wore my OA sash at Trooping meetings when the boys voted on new members and during OA events - ordeals for new members. As an adult OA member but not an OA advisor, I really didn't attend more than one or two OA meetings. It was the one "honor" I was glad my older son received before his dad. He still remembers a year later when his dad forgot the OA "password" during his Brotherhood ceremony - okay, I've said too much already.
  11. acco40

    Properly wearing the OA sash on the uniform

    In my council, the youth made fun of OA sash "condoms" "protective plastic sleeves to keep the sash clean while doing service - usually some sort of dirty work". In my council, a clean sash is the sign of an inactive OA member - one who doesn't provide much service. There was usually a clash with mothers (they hated to see the white sash get soiled) but I liked the fact that the kids were proud of their service. A clean sash showed an OA member was a "virgin" wrt service. ;-) FYI, our council (dating myself - about 10 years ago) had probably the best OA lodge in the country.
  12. acco40

    I HATE the new YPT rules

    No, blanket announcements of "I need a volunteer to . . ." don't work very well. Conversely, putting people on the spot is not my favorite technique either. One has to be a little devious but if you know the adults you should have a good idea of who may or may not be a good candidate for the position you are seeking to fill (or task to be accomplished). It takes some skill but get with that person one-on-one, talk sincerely about the need and how you think that person would be a great asset and nine times out of ten you close the deal - no public shaming required.
  13. acco40

    Patrol Method and new G2SS rules

    G2SS May 2018 All Scouts registered in troops are eligible to participate in troop or patrol overnight campouts, camporees, and resident camps. Patrol Activities—A Scout patrol may participate in patrol activities. Two-deep adult leadership is required. Patrol Leaders Handbook (2010) Most patrol activities take place within the framework of the troop. However, patrols may also set out on day hikes, service projects, and overnighters independent of the troop and free of adult leadership as long as they follow two rules: • The Scoutmaster approves the patrol activity. • The patrol activity does not interfere with any troop function. So yes, the rules have changed (didn't find a 2017 Patrol Leader's Handbook on-line). Now, when I was a Scoutmaster I had the boys ask to do an outing that wasn't necessarily allowed by the G2SS. No, not rob a bank but things like laser tag or paintball. What I told the boys was that those activities were not sanctioned by the BSA but if they wanted to plan it out and even invite me, I'd be game but I made it clearly understood to them and their parents that it wasn't a Scout activity. Would I do that today for an overnight activity? Probably not. But a few years ago, I had one patrol (older boys) do a "patrol outing" of sorts where they camped out of earshot and sight line from the remainder of the troop, we were hosting Webelos Scouts, and the boys absolutely loved it. I made the mile walk around 9:30 PM to see if everything was kosher and then again around 7:30 AM just as a check. It really fostered youth leadership and they talked about that outing for years as one of their favorites. You have to know your boys and I'm a believer that the more you put trust in them, the more they will reward you for that trust. I'm sure it was a liability issue for the BSA but it's sad they took the patrol option away.
  14. acco40

    Qualities of an Eagle

    I'm very direct so . . . The Scoutmaster is in charge of the advancement in a troop. The CO is in charge of selecting/approving a Scoutmaster. So . . . It really is that simple.
  15. acco40

    Qualities of an Eagle

    These type of posts always amuse me. What are the requirements to earn the Eagle rank? What requirement do you feel the Scout has not meant by getting a girlfriend pregnant?
  16. acco40

    Lawnmower Parents

    You must live in a very arid region. My grass never gets dry enough to cut until after 10:00 AM!
  17. acco40

    Lawnmower Parents

    What adult requirements are we (BSA) forcing on children?
  18. acco40

    GoFundMe for Eagle Projects

    What is the purpose of an Eagle Scout Project? What does the Life Scout learn from a GoFundMe page? What does a Scout learn from asking companies to fund or provide raw materials for his project? What does a Scout learn from asking private citizens for donations? These topics should be discussion between the Life Scout and his Eagle Project Adviser.
  19. acco40

    Polar Bear Camping

    When you're underground, the weather is irrelevant. From a temperature perspective - yes. But I'd say that rain is of dire importance if one is underground.
  20. Last week I travelled to West Lafayette to see the Mizzou / Purdue football game. Along for the trip was my family and my brother's family and my sister. Well, during the tailgate I got a kick out of the fact that my boys (ages 27 and 26) used their old Patrol cooler and stove for the tail gate. My oldest was in charge of the grill - burgers for all (he had a steak!) and they cleaned up everything. Their aunts & uncles and cousins were impressed. Their Scout training came in very useful. It brought back a flood of memories of when we were all about 10 years or more younger and the numerous Scouting trips we had - memories that will last a lifetime. I can honestly say the program had a very positive affect on both of my boys - and I think me too!
  21. Positions of Responsibility “Serve actively in your unit for a period of … months in one or more … positions of responsibility” is an accomplishment every candidate for Star, Life, or Eagle must achieve. The following will help to determine whether a Scout has fulfilled the requirement. Positions Must Be Chosen From AmongThose Listed. The position must be listed in the position of responsibility requirement shown in the most current edition of Boy Scout Requirements. Since more than one member may hold some positions—“instructor,” for example—it is expected that even very large units are able to provide sufficient opportunities within the list. The only exception involves Lone Scouts, who may use positions in school, in their religious organization, in a club, or elsewhere in the community. Units do not have authority to require specific positions of responsibility for a rank. For example, they must not require a Scout to be senior patrol leader to obtain the Eagle rank. Service in positions of responsibility in provisional units, such as a jamboree troop or Philmont trek crew, do not count toward this requirement. For Star and Life ranks only, a unit leader may assign, as a substitute for the position of responsibility, a leadership project that helps the unit. If this is done, the unit leader should consult the unit committee and unit advancement coordinator to arrive at suitable standards. The experience should provide lessons similar to those of the listed positions, but it must not be confused with, or compared to, the scope of an Eagle Scout service project. It may be productive in many cases for the Scout to propose a leadership project that is discussed with the unit leader and then “assigned.” Meeting the Time Test May Involve Any Number of Positions. The requirement calls for a period of months. Any number of positions may be held as long as total service time equals at least the number of months required. Holding simultaneous positions does not shorten the required number of months. Positions need not flow from one to the other; there may be gaps between them. This applies to all qualified members including Lone Scouts. When a Scout assumes a position of responsibility, something related to the desired results must happen. 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 Scout’s 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 provided—or when there are no clearly established expectations—then an adult leader or the Scout, or both, should work out the responsibilities to fulfill. In doing so, neither the position’s purpose nor degree of difficulty may be altered significantly or diminished. Consult the current BSA literature published for leaders in Boy Scouting, Varsity Scouting, Venturing, or Sea Scouts for guidelines on the responsibilities that might be fulfilled in the various positions of responsibility. 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 unit leader, members of a board of review, or others involved may want to see, he must not be held to unestablished expectations.
  22. I'm getting to the point where I don't remember much! I used to be very, very active on this site (with the old format) but I've been fairly inactive for almost 10 years. Back then too much posting was about girls and God. ;-)
  23. I'll defer to John-in-KC - I've probably got outdated sources. From John's referenced material: The purpose of Star, Life, and Eagle Scout requirements calling for Scouts to be active for a period of months involves impact. Since we prepare young people to go forth, and essentially, make a positive difference in our American society, we judge that a member is “active” when his level of activity in Scouting, whether high or minimal, has had a sufficiently positive influence toward this end. Use the following three sequential tests to determine whether the requirement has been met. The first and second are required, along with either the third or its alternative. 1. The Scout is registered. The youth is registered in his unit for at least the time period indicated in the requirement, and he has indicated in some way, through word or action, that he considers himself a member. If a boy was supposed to have been registered, but for whatever reason was not, discuss with the local council registrar the possibility of back-registering him. 2. The Scout is in good standing. A Scout is considered in “good standing” with his unit as long as he has not been dismissed for disciplinary reasons. He must also be in good standing with the local council and the Boy Scouts of America. (In the rare case he is not, communications will have been delivered.) 3. The Scout meets the unit’s reasonable expectations; or, if not, a lesser level of activity is explained. If, for the time period required, a Scout or qualifying Venturer or Sea Scout meets those aspects of his unit’s pre-established expectations that refer to a level of activity, then he is considered active and the requirement is met. Time counted as “active” need not be consecutive. A boy may piece together any times he has been active and still qualify. If he does not meet his unit’s reasonable expectations, then he must be offered the alternative that follows. So a discipline issue or not meeting a reasonable expectation could be an issue. Of course, a good Scoutmaster should not put undue burden on a Scout who may be on the football or wrestling team at school, be employed or have other commitments outside of Scouting.
  24. Be active in your troop for at least four months as a First Class Scout. So what exactly does this mean and who determines what this means? Let me start with the "who." The Scoutmaster is in charge of advancement within the troop. BSA sets the requirements for the ranks. As a former Scoutmaster, I knew that "active" meant "registered" - nothing more nothing less. The unit leaders are responsible for maintaining contact with the Scout on a regular basis. The Scout is not required to attend any certain percentage of activities or outings. However, unit leaders must ensure that he is fulfilling the obligations of his assigned leadership position. If he is not, then they should remove the Scout from that position. Now, is it best for the Scout (or his parents) to be confrontational with the Scoutmaster, Patrol Leader, Advancement Chair or whomever? No. I'd suggest talking with your son and asking him to discuss the issue with the Scoutmaster (not sure "is being told" is in reference to). If you feel he has hit a brick wall, I'd suggest a talk with the Scoutmaster (as a last resort) at a time of his (or her) choosing - not during a Scout Meeting or Committee Meeting. Also keep in mind he has to have a POR (Position of Responsibility - Patrol leader, assistant senior patrol leader, senior patrol leader, troop guide, Order of the Arrow troop representative, den chief, scribe, librarian, historian, quartermaster, bugler, junior assistant Scoutmaster, chaplain aide, instructor, webmaster, or outdoor ethics guide) and many, but not all, require him to be present at meetings and many times at other events (outings, etc.).
  25. Eagle Requirement 2: "Demonstrate that you live by the principles of the Scout Oath and Scout Law in your daily life...." Who signs off on that requirement?