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SM Approval (and not) for Rank Advancement

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Thanks for your research. What you have found is one of my pet peeves. There are a lot of "grey" areas in the BSA rules and this leaves a lot of room for interpretation. Now, this can be a good thing, too!


What I would do is set up a procedure in your Troop that would prevent a parent of a Scout from signing off any rank requirements. This can accomplish two things.


1)Prevent a parent from "rubber stamping" requirements.


2)Eliminate any problems that might occur if someone decides to check to see who signed the requirement & question this. ( I didn't say this well)


Considering a big part of Scout Spirit is living the Scout Law and from your original post the Scout in question is disobedient (refusing to be quiet when signs are up) I feel, no, I know you did the correct thing.


Guys & Gals,

I feel most of these problems come down to common sense. If we ONLY go "by the book" then we ar doing a diservice to the Scouts & the program.


Ed Mori


Troop 1

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Thanks for your comments.


My last post got so long (yes, I was aware of that ), and I am glad you said what you said, because I needed to add something.


I read the entire manual (at least all of the parts that were either general info or related directly to Troop Advancement). Until then, I did not feel comfortable making any statements about what I felt the Policies said or were supposed to mean.


Yes, it is open to interpretation in (in my opinion) too many areas. However, most everything that is written IS. That's the beauty and the curse of the English language. Yes, I feel I could make suggestions for clearing it up.


But I also got my answers by reading the entire thing. I came away with a much better sense of the intent of the manual, the policies and the procedures. It answered a few other little detail questions that I had not thought of asking yet. It was in relatively plain English, and that's a feat that is infrequently accomplished by procedural documents. In those respects, it fulfilled its intent.


I challenge everyone who is commenting on advancement to read the manual. At least twice. And use a highlighter. THEN let's have a dialog about WHAT it says (there will still be lots of opportunity for that). Unfortunately, a great many of the well-intended comments that have been made here have been from hearsay or tradition, not from direct knowledge.


Bob White stands as a blessing and a crutch to this Forum. He reads the rules and regs, goes to training and then people like me ask him questions. Until I read the manual, I did not feel I had learned my answer. I do now.


This is such an important topic and apparently widely misunderstood, that it behooves everyone to read this document.


I have spent the past 15 years in the computer networking world, and we have a nice little acronym for everything. My most often used is "RTFM", or "Read The Freakin' Manual".


RTFM, everyone.



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I know exactly where you are coming from WBE - I had to stop by our council store week before last because some things were bugging me about how we do things in the troop and rather than make a nuicance of myself, i decided to RTFM. I've read it through twice now and on my third go-round. Came in real handy at the Troop meeting last night when the boys were arguing that they couldn't have two JLT's two months in a row (you know they couldn't find that reference in their handbook and i couldn't find it in mine either!?!?)


Two more weeks and i'll get real training.




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