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Kansascity53

Advancement and Leadership Requirement

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I have a boy in our troop who is currently Star Scout and is working toward Life. He was Den Cheif as part of his tenure toward Star and is currently Troop Instructor. He was unsuccessful in his BOR for Life because the thinking within the troop and committee is that he did not demonstrate "true' leadership in his role of Instructor (he did what was asked of him by the SPL but did not take any initiative on his own). The BOR members would like to see him in the position of PL before he comes back for another Life BOR. Is this sound thinking by the BOR members or should the scout have been successful in attaining Life Scout based on his tenure in a leadership position even though he did nor doing than leading(he met all other requirements for Life)? Should he be required to be PL to show leadership or should he simply be asked to be more of a leader in his current role? Or is leadership assumed based on him meeting the requirements of his job as Instructor?

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Life Requirement #5:

 

While a Star Scout, serve actively for six months in one or more of the troop positions of responsibility listed in requirement 5 for Star Scout (or carry out a Scoutmaster-assigned leadership project to help the troop).

 

 

This requirement does not require leadership. It requires responsibility. I would not agree with you troop committee. As you describe it they are attempting to add to the requirement and change the requirement by only accepting a certain position.

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Where is the SM in all of this?

Isn't one of the SM's primary responsibilities to Train and guide youth leaders?

 

If the Scout went through the Scoutmaster Conference your SM must have felt that the Scout fulfilled the POR.

If the Scout didn't fulfill his POR the SM should have caught this before having the Scout do his BOR.

 

Perhaps a disscussion between the SM and Committee is needed as they clearly are not on the same page with regards to fulfilling the requirements for a POR.

 

 

 

 

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According to the Advancement Committee Policies and Procedures BSA publication, when a scout does not pass a Board of Review the reason is to be explained to him. The members then specify what must be done to rework the scouts weakness and another Board of Review scheduled for him. A follow-up letter must be sent to the scout confirming the agreements necessary for advancement. If the scout disagrees, the appeals process should be explained to him.

 

Was any of this done? Does the Board of Review know their role in the troop? As pointed out, there is no "leadership" component, only to satisfactory fill a position of responsibility. If the scout was underutilized, what is the Board of Review's plan to deal with the SPL who didnt demamd much or the scoutmaster who let this all happen? I am not saying the scout is blameless, but if he did what he was asked and no one told him his advancement could be withheld based on his behavior, its not fair to drop this on him at the BOR.

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The committee cannot require that a scout serve as PL in order to make Life. PLs are elected, not appointed. As long as he has served in a POR and the SM has signed that the requirement is complete, the BOR should not be second-guessing. If they have an issue with the "quality" of the service, they need to have that chat with the SM, not the scout.

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Thanks for the input. I should have looked at the requirement to see that it says 'responsibility' and not leadership. I am dealing with a troop that "has been doing it this way a long time and it has worked well for us" mentality. When they said the requirement was leadership I assumed it was. Any suggestions on how to change that mentality? I am out numbered on this.

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How strong is the Socut? What is your relationship with the scout? Would he be up to appealing the BOR verdict at the District Level? Maybe a wake-up call is needed. This may be going after a fly with TNT, but its up to you decide how to change things

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Any suggestions on how to change that mentality? I am out numbered on this.

 

Yah, Kansascity, yeh don't tell us what your position in the troop is, eh? In all likelihood, it's not your role or job to be tryin' to "change that mentality" unless you are the COR, or perhaps the Unit Commissioner. Stick to your own job, or you'll like as not do more harm than good. Especially if you're the odd man out tryin' to tell everyone else how they should run their program, eh?

 

If yeh feel really strongly about it, drop a note to or meet respectfully with the SM. It's his job to work with the committee. Keep in mind it may be that the SM did work with the committee and quietly suggest "hey, not yet on this young man; he needs some prompting to take initiative as part of bein' responsible, but he needs to hear it from you not just me."

 

Bein' PL is something out of the boy's control, but what it sounds like here is they want the boy to show initiative and responsibility in a way "typical of a PL" in his position. That's reasonable for a Life Scout, eh? Good growth opportunity, with some coachin' from the SM. Worth supportin'.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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My bad on not including my position in my original posts. I am the new Committee Chairman for the troop. Last year (my first after moving up to the troop from Webelos Den Leader) I was an ASM. New to the position of CC I have been doing a lot of research and asking a lot of questions in order to learn about helping to run a troop. I keep getting conflicting information vs. what the troop has been doing for years. Any further input from the forum is appreciated.

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What is the level of current training within your troop on the adult side? Has the TC done the Committee Challenge? Has your Advancement Chair attended any specific advancement training at district or council level? I ask these questions because the training could give you a segway into your suggestions. Standing alone when trying to implement change is tough.

Switching hats, is the TC trying to help the scout grow or are they just trying to continue with past practice? Is there a past practice, by that I mean has being a PL been a requirement for Life in the past? As was asked already did the BOR give the Scout a written list of what needed to be corrected? Building the charater of the boy should take precident over advancing the scout. Just my opinion.

LongHaul

 

 

 

LongHaul

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Your the committee chair - do what is right. Reconvene a new board of review (you can chair it, assuming the boy is not related to you) and instruct them on what they can and cannot do (like making up new requirements). You have the authority to end this nonsense and this is the perfect test case for doing that.

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I agree that you should take the lead and change the mentality--you're the CC,and you should lead the committee. However, one small caveat...if the boy in question is your own son, it complicates the situation. If he is, I would suggest that you look beyond the rules, and consider whether maybe he could show more maturity and leadership--especially if he's still young for Life. If you begin a campaign for change based on the impact of the old rules on your own kid, your efforts are likely to be discounted. If it's not your own son--and really, I have no reason to think it is--I agree that the committee should be educated, he should have a new BOR, and he should be passed. He's met the requirement for a POR. As far as I know, the only true leadership requirements for advancement are in the Eagle project and for Eagle palms.

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Becomin' a Committee Chair having never served as a Committee Member? That's not a bright thing for a COR to let happen, eh? Is there a CO intention of tryin' to "shape things up" by your appointment? If so, then go for it, respectfully. Just make sure the COR is willing to back you up by removing committee members who revolt or become passive-aggressive in the face of your actions; and be willing to accept a smaller troop for a couple of years.

 

If the CO backing isn't there for a really disruptive shake-up, then I think yeh need to recognize that a title is not enough to make real change. You don't have any experience on the committee and therefore lack credibility. You have to build up your experience and your "social capital" first, before you start tryin' to move others.

 

So despite my colleague's thoughts, I'd return to my original caution to everyone who is new to a group. Spend a year being quiet and supportive and just learning about the people and how things are working, before you start speakin' up. That shows respect, and won't be as easily perceived as arrogance ("you're all doin' it wrong!").

 

But we're still missin' a bunch of information. What does the SM think of this? If he supports the committee, you support the SM. If he (or she) is furious, you get everybody together for a well-moderated "lively discussion" of values. What does the boy think of this? Does he acknowledge that he really didn't do his best, and can do a lot better? Then you support the committee and the boy. Is the boy just at a loss, and closin' in on 17.5 years old? In that case, I'd move more quickly with a new BOR. Is this your son? In that case, you absolutely must leave this to your Advancement Chair and stay out of it, or you will never be effective as a CC and may do great harm to your boy and his troop. What does your AC think of this (will you need to be recruiting a new advancement chair as the first step in gently making changes?). Is the Instructor position in your troop not "real" or well defined? Then perhaps it should be beefed up, or eliminated (coach the committee that it's not the boy's fault, so pass the boy, but fix the problem).

 

Yah, this scoutin' stuff is hard, eh? It requires that we treat each other, youth and adults, with calm dignity respect. Nobody likes a rule-quoting adversarial lawyer, but we will readily follow a values-based, caring leader.

(This message has been edited by Beavah)

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"Or is leadership assumed based on him meeting the requirements of his job as Instructor?"

 

As others have said, replace "leadership" with "responsibility". Then look at what he did in responsibility, in the context of what the troop committee is trying to achieve with respect to aims of character & citizenship. If SPL asked him to come each week prepared to teach a specific skill, and he did, bringing needed supplies with him, likely he is spot on. If SPL asked him only occasionally to teach something, and he did nothing else on his own, that is the other end of the spectrum. If your troop committee's view of scoutings aims is that "do no more than what you are told, and if you aren't told you aren't expected to do anything" is consistent with character & citizenship, then promote him. If if your TC's view is that taking responsibility implies that he has some personal responsibility to fulfill the duties of his position of his own initiative, whether or not there is someone giving him specific tasks each week, then the BOR does something different. And then the committee can give feedback/initiate a discussion with the SM on what is expected of a scout before approving him for a BOR.

 

I really like how Longhaul sums it up:

"Building the character of the boy should take precident over advancing the scout."

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