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John-in-KC

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

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There of course might be good reasons why a Lad who wants to remain "Active" might not be attending regular meetings of the Troop.

I''m considered an active member of my parish, even through due to work and Scouting events I might not make it to a church service in that parish for several months.

A couple of years back a Lad in our District was wrongly denied Eagle Scout rank because the BOR deemed he wasn''t active. The Lad had met all the requirements, but when asked he informed the BOR that he hadn''t attended a Troop meeting for several months. They (The Board) used this as a reason to deny his advancement.

The fact was that the Troop meeting fell on the same night as the EMT training course that the Lad was taking.

 

While I''m not a lawyer and know that many in the forum like to look at the wording of polices long and hard!!

I kinda think what is meant by:

"He is engaged by his unit leadership on a regular basis "

Is that there are open lines of communication in place.

I''m sure none of us would say that a Lad who was in hospital for a prolonged stay was not active. But if this hospital stay prevented him from preforming his duties as a youth leader we might feel the need to replace him with someone who was able to do the job.

Back when I was serving as District Commissioner, after the charters were in we called each and every Scout who had been crossed off a charter. We wanted to know if he really wanted to no longer be part of the program?

If so why?

We invited him to return either to his old unit or to join another.

We of course contacted the unit and talked to the leaders.

If there were problems we did what we could to help iron them out.

Rules and regulations that try and make "One size fits all" don''t work when it comes to what we are trying to do.

Of course some might say that some kids are a lost cause! But if we don''t try and work with them and for them, they will remain lost.

Eamonn.

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>>What about an SE who requires his DEs to call every scout who is "lined thru" on the recharter roster. If the parent says, "yes we still want to belong", he is added back to the roster and the unit sent a bill for the fee. It doesn''''t matter if the scout hasn''''t been seen in a year. <<

     Not only would we not pay the "bill" I would have my COR contact the SE and DE directly and REMIND them that the CO must approve the chartering of every person on the roster. If that roster and subsequent charter was altered after I and the CO signed the document it is FRAUD on the part of the SE and DE.

LongHaul

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The way someone recently explained this to me, I am ashamed to say, is that "active" is a designation needed to justify funding requests based on enrollment. The designation has everything with numbers and not much with actually being active. This piece of news has greatly dimmed my outlook in scouting. I knew this stuff was going on elsewhere but I naively thought this area was better than that.

I mentioned to the fellow that what he described amounted to ''cooking the books'' - a lie - and he responded that it was business as usual...and has been for a while. I am very, very unhappy to have heard this. And sorry I hadn''t heard it sooner. It makes me ashamed and I''m thinking I may have to respond in some way. I''m thinking things over.

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This definition of active does nothing to promote personal responsibility or accountability of the Scout.

 

 

Then again, if we as adults start making the calls, and Scotty Scout keeps saying he''ll be at the next meeting, but also keeps no-showing, then he isn''t living up to his word. Seems to me that''s no longer Trustworthy, and not exhibiting Scout Spirit.

 

 

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This definition of active does nothing to promote personal responsibility or accountability of the Scout.

 

 

Then again, if we as adults start making the calls, and Scotty Scout keeps saying he''''ll be at the next meeting, but also keeps no-showing, then he isn''''t living up to his word. Seems to me that''''s no longer Trustworthy, and not exhibiting Scout Spirit.

 

Exactly! And it sure doesn''t help them make ethical choices!

 

Ed Mori

1 Peter 4:10

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It seems to me that those who are concerned about this should just forget about whether a scout is "active" for purposes of advancement, and focus instead on the POR. Don''t let a scout who doesn''t show up have a POR, and if a scout stops showing up, remove him from the POR. The unit has that power. Aside from advancement, I personally have no problem with a scout who only shows up occasionally--he may still get something out of it.

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Hunt''s last comment brings up something I wonder sometimes about because we''ve got a couple of boys in the troop who show up very occasionally and I''m always surprised when they do. We have one who has been with the troop for about 3 years. He hardly ever camps, comes to weekly meetings about a third to half the time, and seems to be having a good time when he''s there, but I can''t figure out why he is in scouting. I''ve not yet met a boy who joins or stays in order to go to the weekly meetings! It isn''t about advancement, as this young man is a tenderfoot (and that, only because his patrol grabbed him by the ear and walked him through it at some point last year) and doesn''t seem to be interested in advancement or earning merit badges either. I just don''t get it? But he''s a really nice kid and people are always happy to see him when he''s there.

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Lisa,

 

If I know you at all from these Forums (and after 3 years I hope I''m learning a little of how your Scouting mind works), this young man is getting periodic adult association through Scoutmaster conferences and "not for advancement" boards of review.

 

If he is happy, if he is learning, if he''s progressing in school, and if he''s safe for a couple of hours each week, then life is good. I think that last feels a tad important to me; is there something in his family life that you, the CC, and the Scoutmaster should know about? (That is rhetorical and not a call for information btw ;) ).

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So of the 3 tests for activity level (active status) of a Scout, the third is "The Scout meets the unit’s reasonable expectations; or, if not, a lesser level of activity is explained. "  Can anyone share with me your unit's definition of "reasonable expectations"?  Our troop is having the same problem others are having: Scouts who never or almost never attend meetings, outings, etc., and therefore aren't helping the younger boys as they themselves were helped, but they certainly do show up every 6 months to get their BoR or every 3 months thereafter to claim their palms.  We'd like to define active status and reasonable expectations for our boys in order to head this off in the future.

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So of the 3 tests for activity level (active status) of a Scout, the third is "The Scout meets the unit’s reasonable expectations; or, if not, a lesser level of activity is explained. "  Can anyone share with me your unit's definition of "reasonable expectations"?  Our troop is having the same problem others are having: Scouts who never or almost never attend meetings, outings, etc., and therefore aren't helping the younger boys as they themselves were helped, but they certainly do show up every 6 months to get their BoR or every 3 months thereafter to claim their palms.  We'd like to define active status and reasonable expectations for our boys in order to head this off in the future.

So of the 3 tests for activity level (active status) of a Scout, the third is "The Scout meets the unit’s reasonable expectations; or, if not, a lesser level of activity is explained. "  Can anyone share with me your unit's definition of "reasonable expectations"?  Our troop is having the same problem others are having: Scouts who never or almost never attend meetings, outings, etc., and therefore aren't helping the younger boys as they themselves were helped, but they certainly do show up every 6 months to get their BoR or every 3 months thereafter to claim their palms.  We'd like to define active status and reasonable expectations for our boys in order to head this off in the future.

We said 50% of all camping and service projects.

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I guess I don't have this problem in my troops for some reason.  It is always suggested to the PL's that taking care of your boys is not just while they are at scout activities.  If a boy is absent from 2-3 consecutive meeting, the PL knows I will ask him if he knows what's going on.  They also know that the answer "I don't know." doesn't bode well as an explanation for their SM.  :)  I always seem to get a pretty good answer, he's out for sports, his family is on vacation, he's getting behind in his school work and needs to stay home and study, etc.  If absenteeism becomes chronic, the PL's pretty much hound the boy on a regular basis until his registration runs out.  I once had a boy quit and for 4-5 months the PL called him up every week and offered him a ride to scouts until his registration ran out and he refused to re-register.

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We don't make this too complicated. I tell boys if they are active to a particular level, their SMCs and BORs will be scheduled with a similar level of activity.

We give the SM lots of discretion regarding this.

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The Scouting experience is as much about giving back as it is about taking and getting awards.  It your scouts aren't "getting it", then we need to re-examine how we are delivering the program.  I would have no problem in dropping from the rolls or not advancing those scouts who only show up when they want to or for the "fun" activities, but are conspicuously absent from service projects or shun leadership roles (A Scout is Helpful).  Unfortunately, National just wants the numbers and the $$$, but the SM is the gatekeeper for "Scout Spirit".

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Let's keep in mind that the last post in this thread (until yesterday) was in 2007 and the "Advancement Committee Policies and Procedures" is obsolete, having been replaced by the Guide to Advancement around 2011, and the third edition of that one just came out. In other words, the discussion in this thread is out of date along with the publication it is discussing. The current definition of "active" is written somewhat differently than it was back then. The concept of "reasonable expectations" is still in the book, and I think there is still no definition. However, there is an "alternative test" for meeting expectations that did not exist in 2007, which allows for (requires?) consideration of activities outside of Scouting.

 

Our troop committee recently discussed whether to adopt an "attendance requirement." We're still thinking about it.

 

I once had a boy quit and for 4-5 months the PL called him up every week and offered him a ride to scouts until his registration ran out and he refused to re-register.

I have to chuckle at that a little bit. In my area, if a boy said he quit the troop and someone called him up every week about coming to meetings, depending on the family, it might not be long until there were threats of calling the police, restraining orders, etc.

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My PLC recently decided they are going to limit who gets to vote in Troop-wide elections (SPL, OA) to boys they deem active enough to actually know what's going on.  To be honest, when it was mentioned, it did seem a little crazy to me that the vote of a Scout who shows up for one or two campouts a year and Summer Camp has the same weight as a Scout who attends everything.  I'll be interested to see how they define "active enough."

 

Imagine the outrage such a standard applied to American society in general would generate!

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