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That is complete bull. A board can not make any changed or require additional things beyond what it states in the requirement. I suggest reading the Guide to Advancement, it is extremely enlightening.

I suspect that the BOR members are adding requirements for the Life rank - which would be a violation of policy.   What requirement did the boy not complete?   The Scoutmaster already signed of

Maybe the BOR should have conviened long before everyone thought the requirements were done. There's nothing wrong with conviening the BOR half way through the rank (yes, even before the SMC) and then recess until the boy has finished up. The BOR that jumps in at the last minute and then strikes a pass/fail pose isn't doing their job. Just because the BOR is the last requirement doesn't mean it is advantageous to be the last step before advancement. The requirement states: Complete a BOR. It doesn't mandate that this is a one-time deal with a pass/fail result. I have one BOR in recess at the present time and will complete their work when the boy is ready for his rank advancement. Until then it is a work-in-progress.



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Unfortunately there are times when a scout will ignore the counseling of leaders and push on with a BOR. if that happens, the the BOR has no other choice than to deny advancement.


I almost had that same situation happen. One of the scouts in my troop was a fast mover, really blowing advancement requirements like MBs and service hours out of the water. BUT he was having a very difficult time in his leadership role as PL. SPL and older scouts counseled, no dice. SM and ASMs counseled, still no dice. Finally it came down to the time where he would be ready for a Star BOR. SM and CC had a meeting of all the leaders to work out the chalenge, b/c the Scout was not going to be recommended by the SM for a BOR, and the BOR members were not going to pass him, but he was bound and determined to have his BOR. Long story short, a plan was developed to work with the young mann and was relayed to him no no uncertain terms. He followed through, leanre alot of things, and eventuially passed his Star BOR and got Eagle.

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jblake47, I disagree with you on this one:


"The BOR that jumps in at the last minute and then strikes a pass/fail pose isn't doing their job"


That's like saying one can never pull the emergency brake. The BOR pass/fail or approval authority within the BOR is in fact a policy tool used to maintain BSA & Charter Organization standards for rank awards. If the BOR is simply a rubber stamp then do away with it.


I bet a Board made up of senior youth scouts would have also kicked this scout back.


Show compassion, be specific and get this scout and the program back on the right track.





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"I bet a Board made up of senior youth scouts would have also kicked this scout back. "


I'm sure they would have too. They just wouldn't have waited six months to tell the kid he was messing up. In re-reading the original post, the problem seems to be that the boy received no interim feedback or evaluation. He was on the wrong trail, and no-one said a word.



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Reading through this again, one thought keeps coming to mind...


Who was watching this kid, week in, week out ... and not having a quiet word with him about his POR?


Ed's right... A SM can call a SM conference anytime for any reason. The Committee, equally, can convene a BOR anytime to look into a youths' growth and development.


Right about now, I'm thinking the best thing for this Troop is to invite its UC and the District Advancement Chair in for a couple of all-adult training evenings, to talk about leadership and advancement. They'll have a lot better feel for the ground than we do here...

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When the boy asked for the POR he was informed by me (SM) what the job would entail. He was asked numerous times throughout the 6 month time how's it going, he more often than not would say okay without any other comments. Eventually he informed me he had recruited one other person to take APL, his buddy from another patrol. When the Webelos crossed over no one came into the troop. I asked him if he had gotten the names of the Webelos at the Blue Gold, he said no. I suggested he contact the den leader to get those names. I gave him the name and phone number. He never made the call. At the second cross-over he repeated the same process of not getting names and didn't to do any follow-up calls. There were 37 boys in these two Webelos dens and he recruited none of them. Then he hung around until his time as PL was up and called for a SMC. He was advised that there might be a problem with the results of his inactivity. He went to the BOR anyway. When they asked him about his POR he had nothing to say and the BOR recessed until he was able to answer the question. The suggested he try a different POR and that maybe the SM could offer up something he would be more inclined to accomplish. After the Board recesssed he had a half hour to come and talk with me. He chose not to. Hopefully he'll say something next week.


Mafaking: if the BOR was conviened 3-4 months earlier they could have been more proactive, but the boy chose to wait until the last minute. However the tradition is to wait until everything in the book is checked off. The PL checked off the POR at the last minute. There is no reason the BOR could not have been conviened before the requirements were finished. In this situation the boy and his PL chose to wait until the last minute, and the BOR put the brakes on.


I'm not so sure a BOR of youth may have come to the same conclusion. He's a nice kid and they might have overlooked his total lack of effort on this issue. After all, he did serve as a PL for 4 months as the requirements stated even if he didn't do anything. They aren't going to be in any hurry to have anyone question their lack of leadership in a POR when their turn comes up for a scout-led board.


Calling in "experts" from district/council isn't going to make one bit of difference. They will recognize immediately that the scout made no effort.


This scout also chose to skip the TLT training offered as well as any other opportunities for training.


He made FC in 7 months and is a smart kid, but is basically lazy.


As for the adult training goes, the SM is WB trained, the CC is WB trained 2 others on the committee are WB trained and the ASM (the boy's father) is planning on WB training next summer but has many years of experience as a SM in his own right and is an Eagle Scout with Palms.


The only decenting voice in the process was the father who said he should have been passed because he held the POR for 4 months like the requirement states and that expecting him to actually do something was expecting more than the requirement states.


"5. While a First Class Scout, serve actively for four months in one or more of the following positions of responsibility (or carry out a Scoutmaster-assigned leadership project to help the troop):

Boy Scout troop. Patrol leader, assistant senior patrol leader, senior patrol leader, troop guide, Order of the Arrow troop representative, den chief, scribe, librarian, historian, quartermaster, bugler, junior assistant Scoutmaster, chaplain aide, or instructor.

Varsity Scout team. Captain, cocaptain, program manager, squad leader, team secretary, Order of the Arrow troop representative, librarian, historian, quartermaster, chaplain aide, instructor, or den chief.

Venturing crew/ship. President, vice president, secretary, treasurer, boatswain, boatswain's mate, yeoman, purser, or storekeeper. "


He wore the patch and showed up for the vast majority of meetings and activities and thus was active. Technically, his dad is correct.




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I love the passion that boyscout volunteers take with their positions, it's evident in these boards.


In our situation, we messed up as a troop. We (all committee and leadership) let this kid down by not making sure he had someone checking up on him. The scoutmaster agrees that he had no definition of what the job should be. We are going back and reviewing this so it can't happen again.

This scout though held up his end of the bargain as far as the standards were (poor as they may have been). He made one or two attempts but not what we would like to see. If we over the last year boys were passed without stricter standards, do we pull the rug out from under this scout, or change the standards, pass him and ask him to redo the position under his new rank. ??

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Why does't someone have a friendly, sincere talk and ask the lad several questions:


Does he feels he did his best as Instructor?

Does he feel he did the job and met the requirement to the best of his ability?

If he could do it over again, how would he do the job differently?

If he had an opportunity for a do-over, does he think he could do a better job?

Would he have a better sense of accomplishment or pride in a job well-done if he could do the job the right way?

Would the other Scouts in the troop would have more respect for him if he served another term and showed everyone what his best looks like?

If he took the time to serve another term as Instructor (or in another position) would an extra 6 month really be a big deal?

If he were offered the chance to serve another term would he take it?


I wonder where that conversation would go?(This message has been edited by twocubdad)

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I like Twocub's advice. We complain a lot about lazy teens looking to cut corners and all, but it should also be recognized that teens typically have very strong senses of fairness and justice, and that they have reasonably well developed abilities to apply reason. Many kids would respond very well to just the sort of questions Twocub listed. (Of course some really are, to borrow a term, lazy little toads, but that doesn't sound like the case in your original post, Wens)


In fact, this boy might end up becoming a ring leader for the type of changes you want to see in your troop. He might agree that PORs haven't been what they should be. He might take up the offer to improve that situation. In doing so, he might inspire others (youth and adult). He certainly gives you an opening to do more on the adult side to mentor, teach, and advise all of the boys in PORs.


Depending on how your conversation with this boy goes, you might end up passing him. I could imagine a conversation where you ask the types of questions Twocub posted, and he tells you that he is in no special rush to earn Eagle and leave - that he'd really like to take some time to work on his leadership and develop his POR skills, once he gets through this Life BOR. That, to me, is a boy who is ready to successfully complete the Life BOR.


Just make sure that everybody is on the same page about the next step. If he completes the BOR, make sure he's aware that you'll be looking for more from him as a Life Scout. And follow up on that. If you postpone the BOR's completion, make sure he understands what you want him to do before he is ready for Life rank. And follow up on that, too.



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Maybe it would be helpful if we had an idea of what the BSA says are the responsibilities of the position of Instructor:


Teaches basic Scouting skills in troop and patrols

Sets a good example

Enthusiastically wears the Scout uniform correctly

Lives by the Scout Oath and Law

Shows Scout spirit


That's it - nothing more - that's what the BSA states the position of Instructor does.


Did this lad set a good example? Did he wear his uniform? Does he live by the Scout Oath and Law? Does he show Scout Spirit? Did he teach basic skills during his time as Instructor?


I don't know about anyone else, but I can't find a single thing that says an Instructor must teach at least one class per month, or for that matter, must teach a minimum number of classes. In fact, I believe an Instructor could meet the requirement without "teaching" a single class - there is a lot to be said about being a resource and teaching as the opportunity presents itself. An informal 2 minute review of a taut line hitch would be instruction time.


As far as actively serving goes, if the unit allows a lad to serve a full 6 months in a POR, then the unit is saying he served actively. If he wasn't serving to the unit's satisfaction, the unit has the obligation to remove the lad from the POR before the time in service is up.


I'd suggest that the SM and the CC chat with the Board and ask them what their interpretation of the requirements for Instructor is, and if they are out of line with the requirements, the CC needs to reign in the Board - and if they're reasonable, the SM needs to ensure that future Instructors know what the Board is looking for. In the meantime, on the surface, it appears that the lad has completed the requirements as written, and the Board should pass him through successfully.


In Eamonn's vein of thinking, if I were Scoutmaster, I would tell the Board that the lad completed the POR to my satisfaction, and offer the Scoutmaster patch to any member of the Board or Committee that wanted it - and if my resignation was accepted, trust that I would land at a new Troop and would then begin to poach as many boys as I could from the other units program. Scouts generally have a lot more loyalty to SM's than they do to Committee Members.

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Stosh -


The requirement is to serve actively in the position, not to just be an active member of the troop. I'd look at what he did with his two-person patrol (him and his APL). Did they function as a patrol? Did they have a flag, cheer, yell? Did they camp or hike independently? Have regular patrol meetings? Compete against other patrols?


Twocubdad's questions are spot-on. If the Scout really has nothing to say about his term as PL, there's no way he "serve[d] actively."

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"5. While a First Class Scout, serve actively for four months in one or more of the following positions of responsibility (or carry out a Scoutmaster-assigned leadership project to help the troop)


Serve actively isn't just coming to meetings and wearing a patch! If this Scout's POR was a PL and he had no patrol, there is no possible way he could "serve actively". Dad is completely wrong.

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Yah, I'm with TwoCubDad and LisaBob, eh?


I would add one thing to da conversation. Admit your own fault as adults. That's a good example to the boys, and sets the right tone.


"Yeah, John, we let you down by not really giving you a good job description and the training to do your job well, and by not catchin' it. That's our fault. We think you've got a lot of talent and we really want you to have a chance to do really well in the job of XXX. We think the troop really needs that, and you can be our guy. So we'll do better this time, but we want you to be the lead guy in making Star/Life etc. something really outstanding."


A boy scout troop isn't adult-run, eh? It's a partnership with the boys. Be honest, and be a good partner, and the lads' sense of fairness and adventure will do the rest for yeh.


Unless yeh want to teach 'em that character and citizenship are to follow da "rules" to the minimum possible standard, eh? That's a lesson yeh can also choose to teach.




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