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Wrong Rank and Wrong Advancement

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I could use some help here. My son is a ten year old Webelos. We recruited one of his ten year old friends also a fifth grader. At our court of honor, my son received his Arrow of Light and Advancement to Boy Scouts. His friend, however, was awarded Tenderfoot. The friend by the way is really tall over 5 feet. I am really confused. I asked why my son did not receive Tenderfoot and it was explained to me that he could not since he was a Webelos. The scoutmaster read me a list of those scouts that received Tenderfoot and my son's friend was on it. I think the Scoutmaster and others are under the impression that this friend is older. He is only ten, has been in the Troop since September and is still in fifth grade. What should I do? Is is ok to have a ten year old, fifth grader that did not receive AOL earn Tenderfoot? I believe they made a legitimate mistake?

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The age / grade without AOL seems wrong.. But the question is did BSA register him as a boyscout with this?

 

Does not really matter, though.. Now that your son is moving on to boy scouts you as a parent must start to learn to back off and let your son run his own path. You can be proud of his accomplishments, and be a big cheerleader but:

 

A. If your son has not done all the requirements to earn Tenderfoot, then he does not deserve it yet regardless of who else got what else..

B. Do not compare your son's progress with that of another scout, your son will excel in places and lag in others.. He may become a scout who prefers having fun over advancing and then you must be happy that he is enjoying what "HE" chooses to get out of scouts.. Others may then jump ranks alot quicker then your son..

 

Guess what, not your call.. Akala is no more, Do you best (even if it is nothing) and get the award is no more.. Now it is the call of the Patrol leaders and the Adult leaders weather your son has proven he KNOW the ins and outs of a skill.. Not attended something and was a face in the crowd "watching" someone else..

 

If you go in as a new parent advocating your son gets what someone else gets just for being present, don't be surprised if the Scout leaders put you in "time-out" until you learn the difference between the Boy Scout program vs the Cub Scout program.

 

Now it is all about getting your son to be self sufficient, confident and knowledgable on his own without Mom or Dad as his advocate. To do that you must step away and enjoy from the side-lines the magic happen.

 

A mistaken rank will never be taken away once awarded, but can be rectified over time (ie. the SM may upon finding the error, make sure after the fact the scout learns the skills)..

 

Scout parents have more of a learning curve then scouts when moving from cubs to boy scout.. Take the time to learn the new program.

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When your son recruited his friend, where did the friend end up, in the Webelos Den or in the Troop?

 

If the new lad is 10, is still in 5th Grade, and has NOT earned the AOL, he is not eligible to be a Boy Scout. He is only eligible to be a Cub Scout, and Cub Scout's can not earn Boy Scout ranks like Tenderfoot.

 

So now what?

 

Well, first is to make sure your son's friend really is 10. Are you 100% sure about that? Could he have been held back a grade, or started school later, and he is really 11? If he is really 11, then if he was assigned to the Troop, that is the reason why, because you are eligible to be a Boy Scout at age 11, regardless of what grade you are in.

 

If, however, the lad really is 10 and a mistake really was made in assigning him to the Troop, it would be a smart idea for the Scoutmaster and Advancement Chair to contact the Unit Commissioner for help in figuring out what to do next. If the lad turns out to be Eagle-bound, it's going to be much better to fix and correct now than wait until his Eagle Application goes in and it's discovered he was awarded Tenderfoot when he wasn't eligible to be a Boy Scout. It might not end the process, but it sure would put a big monkey wrench into it. Better to solve now.

 

I'm curious. Is the Pack and the Troop so closely related that they share a Court of Honor? Cub Scout Packs generally don't have a Court of Honor since advancements are usually acknowledged at every Pack meeting. The closest thing Cubs have to a Court of Honor is the Blue and Gold which really isn't a Court of Honor but a birthday party for the Boy Scouts of America. If not, why would the AOL be awarded at a Boy Scout Court of Honor - it's a Cub Scout Award and should be recognized at a Pack Meeting.

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- mooswtracker

 

I don't think you'll get much argument with what moosetracker said. I would recommend keeping your ears and eyes open though. Go to roundtable ... just to make friends and gather information about the big wide wourld of Scouting. Many opportunities come up there that will never gain your attention otherwise, because they're lost in the transfer of information. This includes district and council events, advancement opportunities, and trips that the troop may not be interested in, but you and your son might. It's no different than the teacher giving an assignment at school, and it gets lost in the backpack (if it ever even gets into the backpack at all).

Stay alert. Learn what's going on for yourself.

BDPT00

 

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I agree with Calico here.

 

You say that your son is a 5th grade Webelos who just recently earned his AOL, and crossed from his Cub Scout Pack, to a Boy Scout Troop. Then you state that he recruited a fellow 5th grader who has been in the Boy Scout Troop since September.

 

In order for this boy to be in fifth grade, and also a member of a Boy Scout Troop since September, he must have been 11 years old in September when he registered with the Troop. The boy's date of birth is on his BSA application for membership. The council registrar would not have been able to register him in a Boy Scout Troop if he was only 10, and had not yet earned his AOL.

 

If you are concerned that a mistake has been made you can mention to the Scoutmaster that you believe the boy is only 10 years old, and that you don't want the boy to face problems because of that down the line when he is up for Eagle.

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I don't understand. Does your son's webelos den meet with the Boy Scout troop? Otherwise, this doesn't make much sense.

 

Regardless, and as the others have said, if you are familiar enough with troop operations to know the committee chairman or membership chairman, or the Scoutmaster if not, you may want to mention that since your son recruited the new kid, you know he's not yet 11, hasn't finished the fifth grade and didn't earn the Arrow of Light. Consequently, you're concerened that a mistake was made in his registration. You and your son thought you were recruiting him into Webelos.

 

A friendly hint? Don't mention the advancement at all. I know you're just trying to be helpful, but by bringing up who earned what makes it sound like sour grapes that the new kid got something your son didn't.

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Tenderfoot takes a minimum of 30 days to complete, so if your son and this boy just crossed over than it would be impossible for him to earn Tenderfoot at the crossover. If someone at the troop level does not quickly realize they have a brand new scout that just crossed over as a tenderfoot, you may want to look for another troop. The SM and ASM should know the kids and the rules well enough to immediately correct this mistake. That would be my biggest concern at this point, if all the facts you have stated are correct.

 

Our Troop does a crossover ceremony for incoming Cub Scouts that have earned the AOL. The AOL presentation is the first part and then we have a crossover ceremony to accept them into the troop. As soon as the boys cross the bridge they get their Boy Scout neckerchief and epaulets. They then go off with the older scouts and are taught the scout requirements and are tested on the scout requirements. We then have cobbler and award the boys their Scout badge.

 

Are you sure you are not confusing tenderfoot and scout?

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This is all helpful information. The other boy did not crossover at the Court of Honor. My son did and that was one of the indications that something was not right.

I simply think no one was aware that the new Scout was only ten and not 11. He is over 5 feet tall. I could see someone asking him if he was a Scout and would he would just say yes, how would he know he was a Webelos. Clearly, I am just learning that a Webelos is a cub and not a junior scout. Too bad, I paid the scout dues, and the other kid paid the cub dues. Needless to say, my son is drive to earn Tenderfoot asap.

 

I will happily take a step back and read my paper at the Scout Meetings but I do need to pay some attention.

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lovethescouts, Boy Scout rank has nothing to do with age or height. Tenderfoot has many requirements that need to be satisfied. It is not just handed over to someone because they say they are a scout or have facial hair at 10 years old.

 

As stated previously, it requires at least 30 days but will probably take somewhere around 3 to 4 months for an active scout to achieve. The scout would have to have all these advancements signed off and then have a SM Conference and a Board of Review.

 

I agree with what many on here have said, about you taking a step back and let your son shine. However, this is a case where I would not recommend that. There is obviously a problem with this troop's organization or approach to Boy Scouts. I think you deserve to have those questions answered on how someone achieves tenderfoot without doing anything. You want to make sure your son is part of a program where things are earned, not given.

 

That is only a dis-service to the scout who received a rank he did not earn and I would not want to be part of a troop that hands out rank advancement just for being tall. Especially if my kid was short. :)

 

Please remember that age and height have nothing to do with it. In the last month we have had a 4'8' ten year old earn the rank (He came over at 10 years 6 months after earning his AOL) and a 5'6" 14 year old (He is a very active scout that knows his stuff but rank was not important to him until he realized his younger brother would soon be a tenderfoot) earn the rank.

 

I would suggest you read your son's scout book to help him along the way and make sure this troop is doing things by the book.

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>>"Clearly, I am just learning that a Webelos is a cub and not a junior scout. Too bad, I paid the scout dues, and the other kid paid the cub dues."

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Well, a bunch of anonymous strangers on the internet won't be able to tell you exactly what happened, since we don't know what happened. But that won't stop this anonymous stranger from offering an opinion, anyway. :)

 

First of all, it's not common, but there's really nothing wrong with awarding the Arrow of Light at a Boy Scout COH or Troop meeting. It's a Cub Scout award, it was ordered by the Cub Scout Pack, and it can't be earned after the boy is officially registered as a Boy Scout. But if a Pack and Troop work closely together, there's really nothing wrong with handing it out a troop meeting, and not a pack meeting.

 

Now, I suspect that the other youth, if he did really earn Tenderfoot, was 11 years and 1 month old at the time it was awarded to him, despite his grade in school. As others have noted, the minimum joining age for someone who has never been in Cub Scouts is 11, and it takes a minimum of one month to complete the requirements.

 

I suspect one of two things: Possibly he started coming to meetings, bought a uniform, etc., before his 11th birthday, and the troop just waited to mail in his registration until he turned 11. I'm not sure if they're really supposed to do this, but if he was just a couple of months short of his birthday and eager to join, it kind of makes sense to just involve him in troop activities from the get-go, rather than place him in the Webelos Den of a Cub Scout Pack for just a few months.

 

If they did this, then I hope they waited at least a month to award his Tenderfoot, since one of the requirements takes that long. I'm not sure if it would go through 1 day after his 11th birthday, but even if it did, it might avoid future problems if they waited. As others have noted, Tenderfoot has certain requirements that the scout has to pass, such as tying knots, packing for a camping trip, etc. It's not awarded based on age or height.

 

The "Scout" rank (which someone will point out isn't really a rank) patch looks similar to Tenderfoot--it's just the outline of the Tenderfoot badge, without the eagle visible, etc. A scout could earn this on the day of his 11th birthday, since it mostly involves filling out the form and a couple of simple requirements, like tying a square knot. Is that possibly what was awarded?

 

As for your son not getting Tenderfoot, as noted above, there are certain requirements. Your son learned most of those in Webelos, but he will still need to demonstrate most of them and have them "signed off". Now, in your son's case, since he was getting his Arrow of Light, it seems very likely that he was still, until that time, officially registered as a Cub Scout. Again, maybe they let him participate in Troop activities. But since he was still finishing the Arrow of Light, he was not yet officially registered in the Troop. In fact, if he was under 11, then he wasn't eligible to join Boy Scouts until he finished Arrow of Light. If that's the case, then he is not eligible for Tenderfoot until 30 days later, because one of the requirements will take 30 days.

 

Again, that's my _possible_ explanation of what _might_ have happened.

 

In about six months, none of this will make any difference, since if the troop is fairly active, both of them should have earned Second Class by about that time. :)

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My son joined Cubs as a Webelos when he was nine. Sometimes we had a leader sometimes we did not. Like I have said, we meet in the same church basement. The little boys, Tiger and bears or whatever, meet on one side the Webelos and Big Scouts, Life's and Eagles, meet on the other. It is an open room. Our cubs do not wear blue.

 

I know I paid the dues for Boy Scouts because I wrote my own check, I know the friend's parent paid the Cub dues because they told me. Our form says if you are a Boy Scout you pay this, if you are a Cub Scout you pay that. I did not know Webelos were Cub's why would I? I am mother, I was Girl Scout not a Boy Scout, I have a business,an elderly mother, etc. I thought the leaders lead and we would follow, so much for that. I am very happy to have found this board.

Since we all meet together in one large space and the 5th grade Webelos were absorbed into the Scout Troop's meeting, I wasn't really concerned about whether my son was a Cub or a Scout just that I could not spend another year doing Arts and Crafts with 7 year olds. I do sense you think I am ignorant for not knowing what a Webelos is, sorry, I know now. I do know that it means We be Loyal Scouts. It does not mean We Be Loyal Cub Scouts. It should, now that you bring it up. On the one hand I am being told to mind my own business and on the other you are incredulous that I don't know simple scout ranks. I am learning, thank you. I am enlightened. My son has got his eyes wide open and so do I.

Also, I am well aware that height has nothing to do with rank, but it might explain that someone screwed up and the kid looked the part. His parents showed up and filled out a form. When I recruited him I did not say, Hey come to the Webelos with us. I said, my son is a boy scout come to our Troop, all the way across town. We took in many cubs, webelos at once. Someone balled it up, but they are the best Troop we have here and I am committed as is my son. You have explained some of the ground rules. I am not the rank police nor do I want my son to have anything he did not earn. It has just been confusing.

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First of all, Cub Scout Dens, nor Cub Scout Packs have Courts of Honor. They hold den meetings and pack meetings. Only Boy Scout troops have Courts of Honor.

 

Arrow of Light is a Cub Scout award (the only one that can be worn on a Boy Scout uniform) and thus should be recognized at a Cub Scout event. Can a 10 year old 5th grader earn Tenderfoot? Not without earning the Arrow of Light (AOL) or by completing the 5th grade. A boy would need to be either 11 years old, or have completed the 5th grade, or earned the Arrow of Light Award and be at least 10 years old.

 

Now what should you do if that happened? Your call. I would remain silent or simply ask the the advancement chair or Scoutmaster what the requirements are for the Scout badge (Scout is not a rank).

 

Now, wrt to dues - a Cub Scout, Boy Scout and Scoutmaster for that matter - all pay the same registration fee to the National Council. Units, set their own "dues" amounts. A Cub Scout Pack and a Boy Scout Troop are different units. I've also known of Cub Scout dens and Boys Scout patrols that set their own dues amounts.

 

For your son to earn Tenderfoot, he first needs to earn the Scout badge (should be a piece of cake if he earned AOL in Cub Scouts). The Scout badge is something like the Bobcat badge in Cub Scouts. Next, after earning the Scout badge, follow in his handbook, the requirements for Tenderfoot. You will see a "show improvement after 30 days" so yes, that can take 30 days as a minimum to complete.(This message has been edited by acco40)

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Well ScoutNut, Webelos have the option of CS or BS uniform.. I would assume that is what is meant, not the entire CS wore the BS uniform, just that the Webelos did..

 

But, a mix of BS & Webelos all the time would not make sense.. They have totally different agendas.. BS can go on events the CS can't and should be totally Boy run while CS should be still adult lead with giving the boys some more control.. Webelos still have a set program of what to work on at each Den meeting.. BS do not and should not be following the Webelos program activities year after year after year.. If this troop is running a Webelos program, I would also recommend you find a new troop.. A) it is adult lead. B) the program will be redundant and repetative year after year C) it will soon hold no challenge for your son.

 

Since I was one of the ones telling you to step back, let me explain..

 

You should get involved to understand the program. More so then you have been able to understand the CS program.

 

Definatly you should learn the program. More so then you did the CS program. But this is to learn how and when to help your son.

 

BS is designed to run like a buisness with a chain of command.. You will learn it faster then your son because you will have had experience with this type of setup.. While you can not run through the system on your son's behalf, when he is not with the troop you can guide him with suggestions on what may be a good next move, or ask him pointed questions that will guide him to come up with the answer for himself..

 

You will also not be a parent who will complain when your child comes back from camp telling you his patrol burnt their dinner so while everyone around them feasted, they were given cold poptarts (or something similar).

 

You will not even attempt to call a merit badge counselor on your sons behalf to have him either hang up on you, or tell you when your son calls him on his own accord, then he will speak to him..

 

You will not speak to the Scout Master or Advancement chair about your son's advancement progress..

 

But, you could join the committee to find out quicker how the troop functions and help the boys in the troop get the events and the trips they want to go on a reality. Usually boys who make the Eagle rank have a parent that is involved with the scouting program.. This is because the parent that can advocate for (not just their son, but all the boys) to make sure the troop is running in a way that will challenge them, and because the parents understand why things go wrong, or why the boys are being allowed to mess up, or can help fix a problem in the troop so that things go smoother the next time..

 

Get involved with the troop, but do not focus on your son only.. But every now and them look over and be surprised and proud as he starts showing confidence and leadership and use that knowledge to offer him more trust in making his own decisions at home.

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