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John-in-KC

"ACTIVE" Defined in new printing of Advancement Committee Policies and Procedures BSA 33088

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I had to pick up a copy of PRAY''s God and Church today; my copy was too dog-earred to make another season of counseling confirmands. So, I went to my local BSA Authorized Distributor. She is good people; she is a Scouter herself.

 

She had a copy of the new printing of Advancement Committee Policies and Procedures (BSA Stock # 33088) on hold for another Scouter. I took a look at it.

 

I have been saying in other threads "I will be surprised if this is not in the next printing." I was not, it was.

 

Ladies and Gentlemen, here is the Boy Scouting Advancement definition of ACTIVE; it is in a text box lower left hand corner of page 24 or 26 (I did not look that close):

 

 

For the Star, Life, and Eagle Scout ranks, how is "Be active in your troop and patrol" defined?

 

Answer: A Scout is considered to be active in his unit if:

 

He is registered in his unit (registration fees are current).

He has not been dismissed from his unit for disciplinary reasons.

He is engaged by his unit leadership on a regular basis (Scoutmaster conference, informs the Scout of upcoming unit activities, through personal contact, and so on).

 

 

It is now National Council policy.

 

I think the comments of such folks as Beavah, anarchist, Eamonn, and Gunny have a degree more urgency now. The onus is on the unit-serving leaders to deliver the promise, not necessarily on the Scout. We, working with and through our unit PLCs, have to build a program that youth will want to stay in, advance through, and receive the values we define in the Aims. I certainly think we have to think of ways to empower and account program delivery (especially that keeping the Scout informed) to our youth leaders.

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http://www.freewebs.com/activescout/activescout.htm

 

At least it has finally made it to the printed version. The copy posted above was the heads up to the local troops from our District advancement chair that I kept referring to and everyone wanted to maintain that their X% of meeting attendance was the ultimate standard. Don''t get me wrong I like the boys to come to meetings too but the way to accomplish that is to put the meeting more in their hands and make them fun and exciting. We adults tend to spend a lot of time being boring by the troops definition.

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This is great, but I don''t think this will really change much of anything.

 

This has been on the National Web site for a while now and has been pointed out to those who do their own thing. They still did their own thing.

 

The folks who do their own thing don''t read the Advancement Committee Policies and Procedures, or if they do read it, they don''t really care what it says because they will always find a way (any way) to justify doing things their way.

 

If they don''t use the % attendance thing for active, they will pull it out for Scout Spirit. The folks who do their own thing will continue to do their own thing no matter what BSA National has to say on the subject.

 

However, I for one am glad it has been formally included in the Advancement Procedure Guide. Maybe newbies will read it there and do things the BSA way from the get-go.

 

 

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Scoutnut I agree with you. Those who claimed the web site citation was not actual policy as we didnt know who wrote it will find fault with this as well. The real key I see is that now that it is printed, when decisions based on attendance requirements are struck down on appeal, the source will be immediately available.

 

And with it in print, perhaps new leaders will see it and the "old" way of doing things will eventually slip away, but that is a long and painful process

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Yah, we got word more than a year ago about those (and some other) edits in ACP&P. No surprises, really, either in da poor wording or the intent. Just describes what has been National Advancement''s operatin'' procedures for a few years now: "We''re not interested in upholding standards in the face of a formal contest."

 

So it''s up to the good scouts and scouters and organizations to do their best to use Advancement to build character, without any particular support from the BSA beyond the published materials (which is all they''re really interested in bein'' involved in or providin'').

 

No real change, either in practice or in policy. Yeh have to distinguish between the operating procedures of the National Advancement folks and real policies of the National Council. Those aren''t the same thing, eh? Da operating procedures are just disappointin'' from a program perspective because of the way it will further advance the helicopter parent/grade inflation version of Scouting, and further weaken the movement.

 

Beavah

 

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So, if I read that correctly, if a Scout is not engaged by his unit leadership on a regular basis, he is not considered active?

 

If Scout Johnny Noshow never comes to a meeting, where the leadership informs the Scouts of upcoming events and conducts SM conferences, then he is not considered active?

 

I really don''t see where that puts any additional onus on a leader to get a disinterested boy back involved in Scouting. If 90% of your boys are showing up and participating regularly, I don''t see where the leadership has failed, and must jump through hoops to get boys who would rather be home playing XBox back into Scouting.

If I wanted to use a % of attendance as a check-off for active (which I don''t, at least not right now since we have very high attendance), I could. I would argue I engage the boys, inform them of upcoming events, conduct SM conferences and make contact with them at regular Troop meetings and campouts. If a boy doesn''t show up regularly, he has not been "engaged by his unit leadership on a regular basis" due to actions of his own choosing, and would therefore not be considered active. If a boy was determined to be inactive, his dues would be refunded, pro-rated.

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What everyone has been fussing about are the boys on your roster that no one has seen for a couple of years their parents pay their dues to re-up every year but attend no meetings and maybe an occasional campout then appear like mushrooms a month before their 18th birthday and want to know if they can still make Eagle.

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>>If a boy doesn''''t show up regularly, he has not been "engaged by his unit leadership on a regular basis" due to actions of his own choosing, and would therefore not be considered active

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So, if I send Johnny an e-mail once in a while, or "regularly", and he still doesn''t respond or show up, he''s considered "active"? So, it is really just about the numbers. Horsehockey.

 

 

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I guess that depends on your definition of "engage." I think providing a Troop program that meets once a week and camps once a month is engaging. Others may think the SM should drive by the boy''s house, drag him off his sofa, take the video game controller out of his hands and transport him to a Troop meeting. Still others might have an interpretation somewhere in between those two.

 

In our new troop, if a boy is going to miss a meeting, he needs to let his PL know - common courtesy. If he doesn''t, the PL gives him a call to let him know he was missed, and find out why he wasn''t at the meeting. If a Scout misses 4 meetings without a reasonable excuse, he gets a call from the SM to see what''s going on. The SM will probably know if the Scout is going to stay or leave after that conversation. I don''t plan on carrying boys on the charter that aren''t participating. Missing meetings during a sports season due to a meeting time conflict is acceptable - just let the Troop know what''s going on.

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When looking at requirements and sometimes even laws we use the tern "intent". What was National''s intent when they extended the effort of putting a definition of Active in the new Advancement Procedures publication? Why was this definition necessary? If attendance at meetings was intended to be a factor why not state that? Why would National instead word it''s definition so that they call attention to registration, disciplinary expulsion, and unit leader engagement but nothing else? As always we as unit leaders can do just about anything we want in interpreting the requirements without fear of disciplinary expulsion. The unit I''m involved with still has the LC wear dark green shirts and LC patches. When a boy gets out of line he is told to do push ups by one of the LC. Close order drill is still part of the Troop overall program. The adult leadership see these things as definite factors in why we have 8 Senior Patrol scouts that are juniors and seniors. We have senior scouts that are involved with every pack within a mile radius of our unit. Living in Chicago proper that includes about 8 packs. There is always someone to show up when asked to do something extra. Does that make it right? NO, does that make it in compliance with current National policy? No, are we going to change? No, but we are not going to pretend we don''t know we are not in compliance either. LongHaul

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He is engaged by his unit leadership on a regular basis (Scoutmaster conference, informs the Scout of upcoming unit activities, through personal contact, and so on).

 

 

Isn''t the "Leadership" also considered to be the SPL or PL, in addition to the SM?

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--->>>He is engaged by his unit leadership on a regular basis (Scoutmaster conference, informs the Scout of upcoming unit activities, through personal contact, and so on).

 

Isnt the "Leadership" also considered to be the SPL or PL, in addition to the SM?

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OGO wrote in part:

Other than that, it is just BSA "legal-speak"

 

In fact, yes, it is. There is an anecdote floating around, I heard it from my DAC. Seems the National Council and at least one local Council have been sued by parents over denied Eagles. Legal defense costs money. Where does that money come from? Registration and FOS (and some legal defense endowments for other purposes).

 

Additionally, every appeal of an advancement denied spends the time of Scouters above the unit, from the District Advancement Chair and unit Commissioner to the Professional coordinating advancement. If a new EBOR is called, that''s more time spent.

 

A dollar spent here cannot be spent there (Scouting does have fiduciary responsibilities). An hour spent on task A cannot be spent on task B.

 

Understand, I am not saying it is right, but the executive level professionals and volunteers made a decision. The decision seems to be crafted to reduce the number of appeals over "what does IS mean?"

 

We can turn this to good advantage, especially number 3: If a Scout is starting to miss, get the PL involved to make a friendly phone call. That doesn''t work, dial up to a TG. THAT doesn''t work, dial up to the SPL. Then, and only, then, shift to adults.

- Get the problem, as perceived by the wayward Scout. It may be that Monday night is no longer supportable for him. Does another Troop in town meet Tuesdays? It may be his family is falling apart, and he needs Scouting and its stability more than ever.

- Put together some possible answers: Maybe a transfer across town, maybe the SM and his son Don pick up the Scout...

- Implement!

 

- OTOH, maybe the young man is developing interests Scouting won''t support (varsity athletics or band), and is ready to step away.

 

Gee... that''s starting to sound like active listening and problem solving techniques from WB.

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