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NJ_Bald Eagle

Youth Leadership Accountabilty ?

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You know, I have in my thread:

 

"I know we are talking about serving actively in a position of responsibility, but in the interest of full disclosure I copied the entire answer. It is the last two sentences that is the cruz of the matter I beleive"

 

Of course, now I see it should have been crux, not cruz, but what could I have done to make it more obvious that I was talking about the the last two sentences of the passage?, the part that says:

 

"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."

 

I presented that so NJBaldeagle could see that ASM1 was wrong, that holding a position is more than filling a spot on paper. If indeed we dont hold youth leadership accountable, what are we teaching?

 

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The rank requirement is NOT NOT NOT simply be registered and hold a title.

 

Yah, I agree with you F. Problem is that's not what da PTC and on-the-road sessions NAC has been doin' have been teaching the last couple of years. I think dat's where a lot of the confusion is comin' from.

 

If you look at OGE's statement copied from BSA materials, the requirements for being active are

 

1. Be registered.

2. Not get kicked out for disciplinary reasons (=stay registered).

3. Be "regularly engaged," which is not your responsibility but the Scoutmaster's responsibility.

 

So the requirements for the youth are just to be and stay registered.

 

As BobWhite describes, this is contradicted by the Boy Scout Handbook, but it really is how some appeals have been handled. Hence da confusion.

 

Same with Positions of Responsibility. The TLT materials and the PL and SPL handbooks have some excellent descriptions of job responsibilities and expectations. But NAC has flipped all those youth responsibilities around to relyin' solely on a new Scoutmaster responsibility to "fire" a boy before da time limit.

 

And here we all thought SPL's and PL's were elected, and troop positions were appointed by da SPL! :)

 

I understand why NAC has done what it has, eh? I sympathize with 'em. It's a small staff and a tough job and all they get on some days is helicopter parents and lawsuit threats. Retreatin' to an objective criterion like time-in-office makes their life a lot easier.

 

The rest of us, though, need to do our bit to serve kids and our partners. We don't fire SPLs... that's up to the kids. We do mentor and evaluate. We don't fire QM's, that's up to the SPL. We do mentor and evaluate. I think a good SM and program does some version of what NJ, BobWhite, and OGE have all suggested - they set expectations for positions, train kids, and do their bit to mentor. Then it's up to the boy to take responsibility, to show up for meetings, to not blow things off because soccer is more important or video games are more fun. Based on that, we evaluate. If a lad blew off the first two months promisin' but not deliverin', we work with da SPL to push him harder. Maybe we add extra trainin' or another Scoutmaster conference.

 

But we don't give him credit for active service, eh? That wouldn't be honest, and it wouldn't help the lad. His growth in citizenship and character depends on really serving actively for the full time period.

 

Beavah

(This message has been edited by Beavah)

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"I think a good SM and program does some version of what NJ, BobWhite, and OGE have all suggested - they set expectations for positions, train kids, and do their bit to mentor."

 

Speaking for myself the suggestions is not mine, it is the right way to do it because that is what the methods of the BSA program are, I merely shared them on the thread. Do them because that is the scouting program, not because which poster, or how many of us, shared it.

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"Hence da confusion."

 

NAC hasn't "done" anything, other than to attempt to make it clear that troops may not make up their own rules about blocking a boy's advancement. Its possible that one objective may have been to stop advancement appeals resulting from arbitrary troop advancement roadblocks. If units would simply do their job right the first time and actually train, coach, and mentor boys, they wouldn't be faced with having to kick a boy down and they wouldnt be faced with a helicopter parent pestering the national council to intervene.

 

Nobody expects a SM to "fire" a boy leader. We expect the SM to train the boy to be successful. It may be a tough job, but some kids are tough, so you work a little harder at it. If any mistake was made, it was the national council actually thinking that renegade units would reform. Instead we now have bellyaching and untrue statements that the requirement has been watered down to hold a title and be registered. That aint it.

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Yah, F, I think you're comin' at this with a very negative view of Scouting volunteers - "arbitrary", "roadblocks", "kick a boy down", "renegade", etc. Where's all that comin' from? I don't know why your Scoutin' experience has been so negative, but I can say it's far, far from the norm. Unit volunteers are typically great people, at least well-intentioned if not always experienced. They struggle with how to respond to kid behaviors the way any of us parents struggle to respond to kid behaviors, eh? Needing to ground a lad or take the keys away for a while is not a sign of an arbitrary parent who kicks a child down. It's a sign of a caring parent who takes teachin' responsibility and character seriously. Same for a Scoutmaster who is mentoring and usin' the advancement method as an incentive to encourage achievement.

 

In short, I think they're a lot like da folks NJBaldEagle describes in his unit.

 

I think we'll just have to agree to disagree on da rest, eh?

 

I think the notion of a SM removing a boy from a POR was a new thing, and inconsistent with all the rest of da BSA materials.

 

I think da stuff OGE quoted, where a boy's only responsibility is to be and stay registered, is a new thing. It too is inconsistent with all da rest of the BSA materials.

 

I think that really is causin' a lot of confusion, eh? But I really do sympathize with da reasons for doin' it. Disagree, but sympathize.

 

Beavah

 

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Both Assistant Scoutmasters are right - you cannot add to the requirements, the BSA is more likely than not to side with a lad if he held a POR for the required time even without "doing anything" in an appeal (and remember, Council and National will only hear appeals of an Eagle rank denial), and every boy should be evaluated on his own strengths, weaknesses, and merits.

 

As has been pointed out, the BSA has some wonderful documents that state just what each Position of Responsibility is and does - stay within those guidelines, and you should be ok (in other words, a Quartermaster does the Quartermaster responsibilities - not the Scribes, too).

 

I took particular interest in the idea the new Scoutmaster has of having the SPL and ASPL ask candidates what they've done as a leader before scheduling them for a Scoutmaster Conference. The way it's written, it sounds like the Scoutmaster intends for the SPL or ASPL to be gatekeepers for Scoutmaster Conferences. Let me just say that this is "wrong, wrong, wrong, wrong, wrong..." Any Scout, at any time, can ask the Scoutmaster (directly) for a Scoutmaster Conference - for rank, or any other purpose. A Scout Troop is not a corporate office, where the "lower ranks" have to go through a chain of command to speak with the "guy at the top" (which, BTW, in a Scout Troop isn't an adult - it's the SPL). The SPL & ASPL shouldn't be put in a position where they are evaluating another Scout for rank advancement (this isn't about signing off on T-SC-FC requirements - that's a whole different ball game). That job falls squarely on the shoulders of the SM and the BOR.

 

Here's the thing that really popped out at me though - both in the original post and in many of the responses. There's a lot of talk about how to evaluate the Scout's "Leadership" roles. Just one little issue with that. The Boy Scouts of America does not require any Scout to hold a Position of Leadership. The only rank in which a Scout is required to show any leadership is for Eagle Scout. Let me repeat that: THE BOY SCOUTS OF AMERICA DOES NOT REQUIRE ANY SCOUT TO HOLD A POSITION OF LEADERSHIP. They require a Scout to hold a Position of Responsibility. Some may think it's splitting hairs and it's the same difference - but it isn't. Some of the POR's have a heavy Leadership component -mainly the positions of SPL, ASPL, PL and JASM. Most of the POR's are a Service position, not a Leadership position - Den Chief, Troop Guide, Instructor, OA Representative, Quartermaster, Historian, Librarian, Scribe, Bugler, Chaplain's Aide - these positions are all about Service - Service to the Troop, to Patrols, to the PLC. There may be some leadership components in them - but that is not the primary purpose of these positions. Ask yourself the question posed by the SM "what have you done as a Leader" and answer it as if your POR was Bugler, or Librarian, or Historian.

 

The BSA has provided everyone, in various publications, what the performance metrics for a POR should be - use them - they've worked for generations. Don't get too hung up on "actively served" - that pretty much means in BSA speak that you don't get the position patch then disappear for the next six months (one would assume that a Troop that didn't have a QM show up for 2 months worth of meetings without talking to anyone would have replaced the QM well before that 6 month time period is up. It does mean that you keep taking an active interest in your Troop (as much as possible - other interests interfere sometimes, and you just have to be flexible and roll with them - and evaluate how the POR was fulfilled (I had a QM miss a number of meetings and campouts when he was chosen for a very prestigious statewide drama team - yet he may have been the best QM we ever had, because he made sure that someone was assigned to take on the nitty-gritty when he couldn't be there, then personally followed up to make sure his designee got everything done right - he ended up training his replacement in the process!).

 

Calico

 

ps. I do have to take exception with one thing in a response post - someone said that Cub Scouts promise to do their best - and Boy Scouts either do or do not. Unless a near 100 year old tradition has changed recently, I believe the (Boy) Scout Oath starts out with "On My Honor, I Will DO MY BEST".

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If a boy gets elected based on popularity and possibilities of leadership that that may imply, I'm a firm believer in an occasional vote of confidence whenever the boys would like it. Sitting around with a PL who doesn't do the work for 6 months waiting for elections is a total waste of time, waste of leadership potential, disruption to the program and frustration to the boys. There is nothing in the BSA literature that states that the POR has to be in the same position, or consecutive months. Either do the job according to the needs of those who voted you in, or be ready to do something different when they vote you out.

 

Leadership is something that needs to be developed for a purpose. If the only purpose is to attain rank advancement, then there's something wrong with the program, but if leadership is there for the betterment of the troop, then the boys deserve the best. They should have the opportunity to decide, by vote, who's best to lead them.

 

Why are the adults involved in this process? If the boys vote out their PL, SPL, etc. why is this even a discussion between SM and parent? If it's boy-led, maybe the boys ought to be leading and deciding who's leading.

 

For those who will challenge me on my appointing of PL's in my NSP's, each of those boys are fully aware of the fact that even if the SM assigned them, it's up to the PL's to keep themselves there.

 

Stosh

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Sorry Calico except for Bugler I would have to disagree that the positions you listed do not employ leadership methods.

 

I do agree that the specific title is "Position of Responsibility"

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For CP...

 

Where in ACP&P #33088 does it say the Council (or echelons above reality up to National) Advancement Committee will not entertain an appeal short of Eagle?

 

As a practical matter I can see that, but I see nothing in the policy saying that...

 

Thanks in advance :)

 

 

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I think we are getting POR's confused with being registered. There is a difference. According to the BSA, being registered = active. Now a POR requires a boy to "serve actively" which is different. To be active in your unit requires you are registered. To successfully complete a POR you must be active & actually do something.

 

Ed Mori

1 Peter 4:10

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Hello,

 

1) I know of people who have appealed to the National Council for ranks other than Eagle Scout. It is rare, but it happens.

2)Words like "arbitrary" and "roadblocks" are, in some cases, accurate and precise. Some units, for example, have a strict percentage attendance requirement for being active and for leadership. In other cases, there may be a formal or informal age requirement for certain ranks. According to the National guidelines, that is not proper.

3) As a practical matter, a unit may use whatever criteria it chooses. All that happens is, if a Scout appeals, the appeal will be upheld. Appeals are rare.

4) The main thing that troubles the National Council in advancement is telling the Scout after the fact that he has failed or that his service was unsatisfactory. If the Scout has not been informed of any deficiency in performance and he believes he has done his best, then the National Council believes he should advance.

5) I believe that part of what the National Council is trying to do is disconnect great performance in leadership and advancement. In other words, being able to advance in rank should not be, in the opinion of National advancement, be the carrot used to encourage good performance as a leader. The SM and Troop can certainly come up with other carrots and sticks to encourage good performance, but not that one.

6) Personally, I don't like the idea of needing to remove a boy from his position of responsibility. For anyone, I believe that risks violating "A Scout is Kind" and "A Scout is Friendly." Doing that to an 11 or 12 year old boy could be very painful for him. And it's one thing if he is showing poor attendance. But if he wants to be a leader and is trying but just isn't very good at it, needing to remove him could do permanent harm. In that case, as Calico Penn has said, the standard is has he done his best. If so, he gets to advance.

7) Part of what this is saying is that the adult leaders cannot be lazy. They need to keep working with youth and not just say, after the fact, "Poor job as a leader, you can't advance."

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The Cub Scout Slogan is:

 

Do Your Best

 

At first I posted only the above and then it hit me, I dont wish to have anybody think I an denigrating the Cub Program. I think what we ask of a 7-10 year old is a heck of a lot different than a 14-18 year old. In the preteens, we ask that a boy give his dead solid best effort and whatever that is, its ok. When they get into the ranks of Star, Life and Eagle, we expect a level of performance, the bar is set at do, not try. Of course to reach that level, it may take the work of the scoutmaster and the youth working together

 

I dont want to leave the impression I was belittling the Cub program, if that is how I came across, I apologize(This message has been edited by OldGreyeagle)

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With respect to OGE, I disagree. The standard is to do one's best and, if so, one has met the standard for being a Scout. To be a Scout, one is not required to succeed.

 

Perhaps it's hair splitting, but that doesn't necessarily mean that doing one's best is sufficient to advance except in the somewhat more subjective areas like Scout Spirit. One is still required to do the days and nights of camping and meet the requirements for personal fitness. But I would say that the same thing is true for Cub Scouting. If the requirement is to do something, the Cub Scout has to do it to advance. He has to do his best.

 

Granted, what "his best" is should likely be dramatically different for a 7-10 year old than for a 14-17 year old. But still, the standard should be, is it his best all factors considered.

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I am not sure about that...

what about the prospective Eagle who's best (or best attempt) falls short of 21 merit badges and a completed Eagle project?

 

He did his best, should he get the Award?

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Hello Gunny,

 

No, but we are, once again, getting paralyzed about Scout advancement.

 

To make Eagle Scout, one must meet the requirements to be an Eagle Scout. That means 21 merit badges and an Eagle project.

 

However, if the Scout does his sincere best and falls short, he has done his duty as a Scout. He has done what is required to be a good Scout. There is no shame in his status, nor should he in any way be made to feel unworthy.

 

This is, in my opinion, a problem with the great hoohoo we do about Eagle Scouts. Yet that is today's society.

 

Advancement is only one of the methods of Scouting and arguably not the most important one.

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