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What to do about invisible scout

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Well, I think both scouts are equally undeserving of the badge honestly. I wouldn't have a major problem with someone coming back to the program a year before their 18th birthday, because they now have a year to make up for some lost time and show some honest dedication to the program. I would still be slightly dissapointed that he left the troop in the first place, but I understand that boy scouts may not always be the top priority when you are that age and that I would know! I do have a problem when kids come back to a troop with 5 or less months untill they are 18. Why do I feel this way? Like many have always pointed out on this forum, there is much more to scouts than rank advancement. Any boy who returns that close to his 18th birthday is certianly after the Eagle Rank. I think it is wrong for these kids to be able to do this. I think it is unfair to other Eagle Scouts who have put so much into the program. It is also unfair to the boys in the troop he left. Like I stated in my first post, as of now there is no way to stop boys from doing this without adding to the requirements. That is why I would like BSA to publish a requirement that would ensure boys had atleast 6 months of solid participation right before they would be allowed to have his scoutmaster conference. I realize this wouldn't stop the 15 year old eagle from leaving the troop right after his badge, but it would cut back on the other problem of these last minute guys squeezing everything in! Just my two cents!(This message has been edited by YoungBlood)

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This very situation comes up several times a year in our district. Many scoutmasters think that they have the duty to run the program as they see it. These are the troops that demand the eagle scout candidate be active in the troop until he finishes all the requirements. It is true that some scouts work harder than national requires becaues their scoutmaster has added requirements. Usually we try to work this out with the troop adult leaders. In the worst cases the only choice a boy may have is to transfer to another troop to finish eagle.

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One of the things you will need to accept as a new leader in the BSA Youngblood is that the scouting program is determined by the BSA and not by the personal opinions of any of us as volunteers. It is important that leaders follow the rules and not what they "feel" the rules ought to be.


Bob White

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Ditto to the other posts. If this Scout has completed all the requirements for Eagle then he deserves it.


Bob White,

You stated that Scout Spirit is not about Troop participation. Wouldn't lack of participation in Troop meeting, activities, etc. be in conflict with a Scout being loyal to the Troop?


Ed Mori


Troop 1

1 Peter 4:10

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Read the top box on page 47 of the Boy Scout Handbook, requirement 9 on page 108, requirement 10 on page 164, and all of page 170.


Every one of these sections say that scout spirit is about how a scout lives the elements of the Oath and Law in his everyday life.


Scout spirit is about living the Oath and Law, and has nothing to do with attendance.


Can you site anything other than your personal opinion that says otherwise?


Bob White(This message has been edited by Bob White)

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In the troop I am Scoutmaster for, we have a adult leader assigned to help Scouts who achive Life advance toward Eagle. By this I mean when the Scout starts slowing down in their advancement toward Eagle, this adult memtors them. Sometimes, this occurs by the adult haveing them come to troop meetings and talking about how their project is going, or finding counselors for those last merit badges. I have had transfers come from other troops in the area, because they just aren't working toward their Eagle, I personaly get concerned about them, talk with their parents, and the scout and find out there is a problem with the current troop or leader. I feel a youth should have every opportunity to earn their Eagle Rank if at all possible. I've even argued at Roundtable about the guidelines for Eagle advancement, sometimes not the most popular person, but I always remember we are here to help the boy advance and become a better person. Maybe if you use a mentor to guide this Scout, he will get more active. Even if he doesn't, stick with the guidelines and procedures.


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Read the handbook Ed! Scout Spirit is about who you are not how good your attendance is. Give us a BSA reference that says otherwise.


Scouting is what the BSA says it is not what individuals 'think' or 'feel' it should be.


The Boy Scout Handbook is the study guide we give to the boys. It says that Scout Spirit is about living the Oath and Law in your everyday life. You have a responsibility to stick to the information in the handbook.


Good attendance is a result of good program. Meet the needs and characteristics of scouts and they will will come. If you have to use artificial rules to make scouts show-up then scouting spirit is not your biggest problem. if you need to have rules to get kids to play the game of scouting it would be like hanging a bone around an ugly kids neck in order to get the dog to play with him (old joke). Even if the dog cooperates it's still an ugly kid.


If the troop program is so weak that you need attendance rules to get scouts to show-up you may get better attendance but you still have a weak program.


Voluntary participation is a good gauge of program. Scout-like behavior at school, work, home and community is how we measure Scout Spirit.


It's in the handbook.


Bob White

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BW, since Scout Spirit is about living the Oath and Law in everyday life, how would you, as a SM or a BOR member, evaluate that requirement in this particular instance and/or in general?


As a BOR member, I find it very difficult, as I don't see the older scouts outside of the troop context. We live in an urban setting where the troop draws from many different neighborhoods, schools and municipalities.

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By talking to the scout. Ask them for specific examples. "if I spoke to the minister at your church, how would they say you were reverent?" "If I talked to your parents what would they say about being helpful?" "You took an oath to help other people at all times tell us how you fulfill that promise." "What part of the law means the most to you and why." "Tell us about your attendance at scout events and how a scout is trustworthy."


Notice that the emphasis isn't on statistics it's on character.


At the end of a scouts time in the troop I could not care less about his attendance. I care about his character.

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"If a Scout doesn't attend Troop meetings becuase he feels he doesn't need to, how is that showing Scout Spirit?"


Doesn't need to because the SM is doing all the leading?

Doesn't need to because the meetings aren't organized and nothing gets done?

Doesn't need to because they are doing a merit badge as a program for the month and he already has, or isn't interested in, that merit badge. Doesn't need to because the Scoumaster doesn't follow the Scout Handbook or the scouting program so why go?

Doesn't need to because he is not valued as a member?



The bottom line is that nowhere in the advancement program is a unit allowed to add in mandatory attendance unless it specifically states it in the advancement requirement.


The Scout Spirit requirement is explained in multiple locations in the Boy Scout Handbook and NONE of them include attendance. It is about how you incorporate the Oath and Law into your everyday life. Read the book.


Bob White


(This message has been edited by Bob White)

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Until I take the time to talk with the scout I will never know. Counting Xs on an attendance chart certainly will not tell me.


If he is not at meetings because he is volunteering at a shelter...A Scout is Helpful and Kind


If he has been taking care of an ailing family member..A Scout pledges to help other people at all times.


If he is volunteering to help with a religious education class....A Scout does his Duty to God.


If it's wrestling season....A Scout keeps himself Physically Fit.


If his meetings are for a merit badge class that he already has the badge for and he needs that time to study...A scout is mentallly awake.


If his parents have a committment and need him to stay home and watch his siblings...A Scout is Obedient.


I can see many ways that a scout can not attend your required number of activities and still be a great scout. But it requires a leader to spend time knowing the scouts rather than making artificial rules up to be "in control" of the troop.


Scout Spirit is about living the Oath and Law in your every day life. No amount of circumstances you post will change what the Scout handbook says. Follow the handbook and the rules of advancement.


It is far more fun to use the existing BSA program, than to make one up as you go along.


Bob White(This message has been edited by Bob White)(This message has been edited by Bob White)

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Our Scoutmaster has set attendance requirements for advancement because he also believes it is related to Scout Spirit. I have to agree with Bob about this. There are lots of good reasons for a scout to miss meetings. Maybe he's out doing some of the things you have taught him. We are probably at the stage that we need to get back to the basics of scouting. Sometimes we need to look in the mirror at how we run the troop. See! I said how we run the troop. The boys run the troop. Regular scoutmaster conferences can clear up a lot about what this scout is involved in.

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