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Advancement of a boy that never comes to den meetings???

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Thank you all for your replies. First off I am the committee chair, I am also the wolf leader, and the advancement chair, my husband is the cubmaster. I have seen other posts here where someone who hold more than one position gets blasted and told how that is wrong, but let me assure you that our council is well aware of our situation, have been to pack nights, blue and golds and pinewood derbies, along with leader meetings to help us try to pull in more volunteers. Our parents just won't step up. I took over com. chair because the last one had to leave, and I can't get anyone to step up. This is another problem all together.

So with me holding those positions, and my husband being cubmaster you can see how if we really stick to our guns it could look like my husband and I just hold a grudge against him and don't want to award rank to his son. That is not the case at all, I just want the boy attending the den he is supposed to attend instead of this man finding a way to have his sons in the same den. Their are age levels for a reason. I just can't seem to reason with this man. I spoke with our District Commissioner about this and he offered no help, when I asked if council would back me up in standing up to him and saying his son had to go to the appropriate den meeting he told me that the council can't act as a shield for us. So I was curious what other people would do in this case. Next year our two bear dens will be combining and we will tell this man he is going to have to step down as an assistant leader while the other leader (who is completely competant) runs the den as the den leader. Hopefully that will help.

I went this whole year trying to communicate to this man and his exwife about the boy showing up to meetings with no responses until just yesturday when he told me that his son fulfilled all acheivements, plus enough electives to earn a gold arrow and 4 silver and he expects his son to be awarded this on our May pack night on the 21st. It is just very frustrating.

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Let me chime in on a theme that popped up in the thread, while noting first (1) gee whiz Hovering DL Dad, let your son go to Den Meetings, and (2) while yer at it Hovering DL Dad, come on to some more Pack events! And let me note also that, even so, I agree that "it is entirely possible that the boy worked on his Tiger and Wolf requirements with his father AT HOME, or on the side at the den meetings for his older brother".

-- This is especially true for a Den Leader parent, who would have more knowledge of the program.


However, the thing I wanted to comment on is whether "advancement at home" is or will be prohibited under the so-called "new delivery method" set out in the new Den & Pack Meeting Resource Guide. Guess what (this will be a relief to those who are concerned about there being too much shift from family focus to den focus): advancement at home is just as OK under the new delivery method as it is now.


What? Let me explain: while the Guide makes Den Meeting planning for meetings easier by providing advancement centered meeting plans, and therefore makes advancement easier because more can get done in den meetings, it does not also shift all signoffs to ONLY the Den Leader (let's leave out Webelos for this discussion).


Just because more CAN be signed off by Den participation does not mean that home participation is no longer desired or permitted. Home participation is not just limited to what the Guide doles out as home assignments either (nor, for that matter, to when a Scout is absent from a den meeting activity). In the ideal world, there would be plenty of home participation (but the Guide is a reflection that, as many of us have seen, there hasn't been enough home participation for a variety of reasons). Hopefully the new Guide won't cause there to be less parent participation, especially by us leader types saying "you can't do that" at home!


Bert Bender

Pack and District Trainer

South Fulton District, Atlanta Area Council

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Does your unit have an active Charter Org Rep or Unit Commissioner. If you do you could get their opinion, and if they agree with you be your backup on the issue.


Otherwise hold a committee meeting this father is invited to. You can state your side, he can state his. Have the committee decide. If the father does not care to show, that would not be your fault that his side wasn't represented.


If it is a committee decision, it is more then you & your husband.. (You do have the minimum of 3 adults on your committee don't you? Your husband as CM shouldn't be one of them, you may be (don't know you have a voting & non-voting position.) If you have 3 without yourself, step out of the decision vote in order to make it more impartial.

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To those that say that this is a program for the boys just let them have the award I ask then, well what is the point in having the program? If they don't have to actually do the work to receive the rank why is there a book at all with acheivements. If parents can just sign off that a child did something when you know the chances are nil why have the 10 purposes of scouting? If there is no inforcement that the program be run a certain way, why have the program? Why not just have kids show up once a month and just hand them out awards for just showing up once a month? Or just have them show up once a year and hand them an award. Perhaps I am just a stickler to rules, but if a program is set up, shouldn't it be followed and have some kind of enforcement?

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How do you enforce it when the responsibility for signing off requirements starts and ends with the parent?


There will always be parents in this to get their kids a patch without regard for the ultimate meaning behind it. You just have to learn to live with that while helping the rest of the boys the best you can.


And it'd probably best not to bring back the father as a leader next year. Just make sure you have someone who can step into that role.(This message has been edited by nolesrule)

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It seems to me that parental signoff on an Achievement isn't necessarily the same thing as the Scout didn't do it. Sometimes. Not always.


Are there parents who "pencil whip" the book? Sure. Might a Den Leader? Yep. Might this one? Yep. But it is more plausible that a Den Leader has the knowledge and ability to (a) cover the achievement separately with his younger son, and/or (b) within the meeting context, supplement the Bear work with corresponding Wolf work (doesn't line up as well as Wolf and Tiger, but it can be done with enough planning, as "mixed" dens find they need to do that).


As to pencil whipping, we had one family do that with my Bear Den years ago (turned in for 111 electives before the last meeting). Now, that meant a couple of things:


(1) Scout got a couple of handfuls of Arrow Points at the last Pack Meeting that year, and


(2) in taking the report from the family I congratulated them on their prodigious achievements, and asked that since they are really good at this, we really want to get you more involved next year with the rest of the Den.


-- Now, I didn't criticize them, or say "oh no he didn't", and there was no Committee ad hoc Court of Inquiry.

-- Though maybe there was some eye contact that said, uh, let's be sure we're doing this right, folks. ;^)

-- But a family is allowed to confirm completion of achievements, and it is possible . . . and it is a family program (putting aside Webelos leaders greater role).


Suggestion for what is in large part a Den Leader issue about playing nice in the Pack: though I see you're currently the Wolf leader and would have to adjust, IF the guy runs good den meetings, is it possible to have him next lead the Den in which his younger son is (or should be) a member, and find someone else for his older son's den?

-- While he might be eager to bring along a younger son to an older son's den meeting, with most ambitious parents the reverse will not be true!

-- 'course, if he doesn't run good den meetings, then . . . move on!

(I note this because I've seen some Den Leaders who are awful at communicating, leader meetings, etc., but they are On Fire when the meeting starts. We just "work around" the flaws by lining up the right assistants to support. Kids love 'em. Parents love and/or tolerate.)


We also instituted our "Every Parent Leads" program around the time of that "pencil whipper", to have parents come in and lead activities at a couple of den meetings in areas of their interest. In part we used it for "relief" for Den Leaders with multiple Cubs, so that they could participate in "their other son's" den meetings on certain days . . .


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It sounds to me like Bert is giving some great advice on this one.


No reason for a Wolf badge to become a committee issue. As far as I can recall, virtually all of the Wolf requirements can be done at home with the parents. As his wolf den leader (whether he comes to meetings or not), you should sit down with parent, cub, and book, and review what he has done. Ultimately, the parent has the right to sign off on requirements, but I think it's not out of line to have a friendly conversation with the family about what activities he enjoyed the most, what new things he tried, etc... Den leader (you) can then report to advancement chair (you) that scout has earned the badge. After all, as advancement chair, you don't normally communicate directly with parents about their scout's activities, right?


Sometimes it's hard to keep the person and the role separate, especially when you need to step and fill multiple pairs of shoes.


Keep dad's performance as DL a separate issue.

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To summarize:


1) Parents sign off on Wolf Achievements and Electives. It has always been this way, and it appears it will always be this way.


2) Wolf Cub did not attend Wolf Den Meetings, but apparently attended Bear Den Meetings. Ok - maybe not age appropriate, but still attending some kind of meeting.


3) Wolf Cub did not have great attendance at Pack meetings.


4) Cub Scout advancement is not based on active attendance at meetings.


5) Wolf Cub's parent has signed off his achievements and electives to get the Wolf badge, one Gold arrow and 4 Silver arrows and has let the advancement chair know. See Summary Statement #1.


So what to do: Give the lad his Wolf Badge, one Gold Arrow and 4 Silver Arrows at your May meeting.


Sure, you could insist on seeing the book - and what do you do if you point out that such-and-such wasn't signed so the Achievement wasn't earned and the parent takes the book, signs it right in front of you, and says it's been earned now? Nothing - the Parent can sign off on the Achievements. Not giving the ranks that the parent has signed off on is also an affront to the program.


There will always be parents that try to game the system. The Cub Scout program provides the most opportunities for that. But that's the way it is - we aren't the program cops - in the grand scheme of things, it's much more important that you remember that you've provided a great program for Cubs and parents that did participate.



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I feel your pain. I'm a stickler for details being done, and done correctly, thank you. In the pack I'm in, I've had to abandon ship. We just had a parent lead the boys in our pack to earn the fishing belt loop. Guess what - He did not cover fishing regulations at all (1 of the 3 requirements), even though someone told him he would need to. And guess what happened at the pack meeting - The boys on the fishing outing received the belt loop. I conclude that the boys did their best to earn it. If I make an issue of it at a pack committee meeting, then he'll get mad at me. IT IS NOT WORTH IT.


Look at it this way. The scout is not the one trying to snow you. The scout did his best to earn the badge. I doubt that any of the boys will know the difference.

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