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I'm going to split a hair here. Regardless of how long a boy has held a title of a POR, it is up to the SM to determine if the requirement was fulfilled or not and whether or not he will sign off just like tying a knot or hiking a specified distance. Holding the title for 6 months and never showing up or doing the job does NOT entitle the boy to an obligatory sign off. Should an SM counsel a boy prior to that? Probably. Should a Life scout know better and know what is required even if the SM didn't say anything? Probably. For gosh sakes, the boy is a Life scout, not a Tenderfoot. He should be holding hands at this stage, not having his held.

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People spend a lot of time frettin' about appeals, eh?


I can't see worryin' about it.


In a troop where the SM is firm and fair and has a good relationship with the boys, it's the Scoutmaster's and Troop's approval and recognition the boy seeks, not some BSA official's. I've hardly ever seen an appeal come out of a healthy program with high expectations. Just doesn't happen except in da rare attack-helicopter parent case.


I think folks get too hung up over the letter of the requirements rather than da spirit. The requirement is to SERVE and do so actively. Dat's where the emphasis should be, not on "6 months." We want to build young men of commitment and character, not young men who quibble over diction lookin' for loopholes to get what they want. We've had enough Enron accountants, eh?




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In my earlier post I assumed you were the Scoutmaster. You make no comment to your position in the Troop.


The Scoutmaster is the gatekeeper here. We spent weeks last year talking about training a young man to do his POR, then setting expectations of performance. If the Troop sets a standard of "time with the patch" counts, you get what you deserve. OTOH, if the Troop sets performance criteria, enforces it with the ASPLs, SPL, ASMs, (overseeing Committee folk), and SM, then there's grounds to say no.


It's the SM's call to decide if standards start with the Scout, or if he/she learns the lesson the hard way and sets/enforces standards for the future. That's a hook or a rub: If units set standards, but do not enforce them, they're worse than useless. If units unevenly enforce standards, they're also worse than useless.


Please understand: If the SM denies the Eagle SM conference or denies sign-off, this is the point in Scouting where the young man (or his parents) have explicitly stated rights. The duty when saying no is also to give the path to access those rights.


I've said my piece, go and Scouter in peace.

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In a good world, I think this could resolve itself ... this'd be month 4 or so of the young man's tenure, and the SM could hold a "coaching" SM conference ... and get the young man onto task. Perhaps, he could even come to a mutual agreement that the initial time was shooting completely off the target, and didn't count.


We're 8 months downrange, in POR service, from that point. We here don't know if the young man has had signoff!!!???!!! If he has, who approved the POR time? We adults need to be consistent and operate off one sheet of music.


I guess that's the lesson I hope gets taken away ... If we grownups want Eagle to be an Honor, we have to provide the training, provide the expectations, and provide the oversight. Hopefully, much of it can be done youth to youth, with the SPL being a gatekeeper, but there are skills that kids haven't learned, that an adult may need to teach.


As far as setting the bar, no time is better than now. The SM concerned just has to understand in setting the bar after the fact, he may have it come back to haunt him, and he will have to deal with that too.

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This comes up from time to time on the Forum. And there is always a disparity with what to do. What happens to this scout is up to the Troop. I am not sure all that much which is said here will keep the troop from doing what it thinks is right, and what it thinks is right is what should be done.


There also should be an effort made by the Troop not to allow this situation to occur in the future. Youth either do their jobs or they do not. They shouldnt find themselves parked in a position for over a year before someone tells them they dont get credit for the position.


Good luck to your Troop and the youth

(This message has been edited by a staff member.)

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I ran into this with one of my Scouts who had held two different PORs while Life. I had personally only observed him for 2 months when I took over as SM.


Everything about his Eagle work looked good, except I had a lot of adults telling me that he accomplished nothing in his POR. I sat down for his SMC and we started talking about his POR. He was having trouble telling me what he did in the position. I asked him to come back next week with a sheet detailing his work and accomplishments. I then talked about how he would do this again and again once he entered the working world, and he would need to do something like this for his college applications. Finally I told him that he needed to be able to answer the same questions in his BORs for Eagle. It was a conference, not an inquisition after all.


He came back 2 weeks later (first time he was still a bit confused on how to write up his accomplishments). He had a sheet listing a LOT of things that he had been able to accomplish in his PORs. I told that he had done a great job, and would now Be Prepared for his BORs as well.


Some PORs like Scribe, Bugler, & Librarian look a little light when compared to Patrol Leader and Senior Patrol Leader. However, the Scouts CAN accomplish a lot in those positions. It is up to us to help the Scouts realize what they need to do to succeed.


Just giving the Boys a position description is a good start. I am developing a log for all PORs to help the boys track their work and accomplishments as well. Again, it is a skill that they will use for the rest of their life.


Isn't that what we are supposed to do as leaders?

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OK. Thanks for all the advice.

Here's is what we are doing.

I have contacted the Scout and asked him to "reflect" on on he performed his duties in his POR. Asked him if he thought he was really active in the Troop and set an example for others to follow. After that he should call and set up a SM conf. Basically told him these things may come up in a BOR and he should be prepared.

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Cheffy, so we are clear, here is what Advancement Committee Policies and Procedures #33088 says:


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).


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.


You must do what is right in your own heart, but remember the other part: If the Scout doesn't budge and says I completed the POR to the standards in our Troop, you have limited options: Among them is to refuse to sign off the SM Conference. If you do that, you're expected to inform the Scout of his rights within the Scouting Advancement system. If he or his parents exercise those rights, expect his advancement to be withdrawn from the unit.


There are two real things you can do:

- Resolve to set and routinely expect standards of performance from your Scouts in their PORs.

- Hope this young man sees it your way.


I wish you well, from where I sit you are in between a rock and a hard place.

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You might be surprised. When asked to judge yourself, you are usually tougher than someone else will be. When my son went to summer camp for the very first time, he and a number of other boys in our troop took the fishing MB. We did not discover until Wed. evening that the counselor was not teaching anything. He basically pointed at the poles and told them to fish if they wanted to and then he played cards with the ones who didn't want to fish. We complained and the boy was replaced. It was too late to c3ch up, but when we got the blue sheets on Sat. morning, every requirement was signed off except for the one to catch a fish. The SM talked to the guys and told them that a scout was trustworthy. He told them he would leave it up to them to determine whether or not they wanted to leave the recod as stated or not. If they chose to keep it, he would honor it as it stood. Each boy said they had not done the requirements and had not earned them and wanted to start over at the beginning at a later date. The most impessive part is that these guys were mostly all new scouts. A Life scout going for Eagle needs to search his heart in this case and determine if he did the right thing or not. He has been a scout long enough to know what the job required and the time committment involved. Hopefully he will consider the spirit of the law over the letter of the law and not accept Eagle on a technicality.

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From the Eagle application: "REQUIREMENT 4. While a Life Scout, serve actively for a period of six months in one or more of the following positions of responsibility."


Cheffy said of the scout: "never really done the job". That is a far cry from "serve actively".


Perhaps a Scoutmaster conference is in order to discuss this. Tell the scout to take the POR seriously and in six months he can have his board of review.

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After everything I've said, allow me to tell you what our troop does concerning POR's. We send out a PDF document by email that lists all POR's, the responsibilities and qualifications. We also send an application where a boy lists three POR's he is interested in, an explanation of why is interested in the POR and a pledge that they will fulfill the attendance, uniform and position requirements. There is also a place for their parent to sign agreeing to support their son. The SM has final approval on all POR's. This has always worked well for us. The boy and his parents know what is expected and it allows the SM to credit a boy with only part of the time if he quits doing the job for any reason.

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I gotta agree with that! Parental buy-in is part of this. Yes, we're talking young men, but they're not even fully independent. I also like that you clearly define expectations.


What your Troop does will help when a SM has to approach a Scout and ask tough questions :)

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"The SM has final approval on all POR's."


One of the primary duties of the senior patrol leader is to appoint Scouts to serve in youth leader positions. How does the SM in your troop interact with the senior patrol leader in advising and counseling the SPL in his role?


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You are correct that the SPL assigns non-elected POR's. The SM and SPL work together to discuss each candidate and where they would fit best. That being said, the SM is responsible for program and is the last word.....if it ever came to that. For instance, we had a young man last year who wanted to be a Troop Guide. We had 24 new scouts. He was one of four TG's. Shortly after asking for the position and getting it, he decided that he really didn't want to be. Now, he expressed this to his fellow TG's and not to the SM or me who was the ASM for the NSP. He found every excuse in the book to miss campouts and meetings. He basically only attended the first two campouts of the NSP. The SM credited him with two months towards the POR because overall, that was about all he had put into it. Next election cycle, he wanted to be an ASPL or he wasn't going to be around much his according to his dad. The SM told him he had not fulfilled his last POR and he was not going to be stepping into a senior leadership roll until he showed enough interest to be active in whatever roll he did fill. He could have been PL of his old patrol if he wanted. He was very popular within his patrol and was PL for three election cycles running before becoming a TG. Ultimately, he didn't want the responsibility of being PL and took APL. Wise move on the SM's part to not allow him to be an ASPL since he is once again shirking responsibility and only showing up when he feels like it.


So, yes this is all done in conjunction with the SPL, but the SM has veto power if it is needed.

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