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towerflower

Help in handling a situation

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I've encountered a situation where recently our CC defamed me and accused me of wrongdoing and misconduct. I am a member of the Troop Committee. I recently was in a Scout Store and wanted to purchase a spare 100th anniversary merit badge that my son earned (to put into a shadow box) but I did not have my son's blue card/completion card on me. I was going to wait until I could revisit the store with the card but the store advised me to purchase it now since they didn't know for how long the badges would be around. I was given an Advancement Report to fill out but I filled it out incorrectly....I put my name down instead of my son's. The Council Advancement Chair sent an email to me and our Troop advancement chair asking about it. Before I was able to respond I was accused by both the Committee Chair and the Advancement Chair, in writing to both the district and council and other leaders within the troop, of misconduct, filling out bogus reports, signing off my son's advancement (not true), utilizing incorrect forms, and not having the authority to purchase a merit badge. All this was done before anyone asked me what happened.

 

A simple mistake...right? Now it has been turned into the Crime of the Century by our CC and Advancement Chair and I have been defamed and falsely accused of misconduct and other issues solely related to this. If this had stayed within the confines of the troop I could have handled the issue but when they decided to take it to the district and council they went too far. What recourse do I have to restore my good name and counter the damage they did to me? The CC has already told the District and Council that he plans to take disciplinary action against me.

 

Thank you in advance for your advice.

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If by other leaders in the troop they were key-3 (CC,SM,COR) then the advancement chair did correct. If it was a broadcast to all the members on the committee, or everyone in the troop, then he did wrong.. The key-3 are to be contacted in these types of situations, but then should keep the matter private between the 4 of you until they can come to a conclusion of what happened. If the Council/district contacted them about the matter, then they would need to keep them in the loop, it is not them escalating the matter, the council is looking for answers from them. But, they should not draw a conclusion you are guilty and respond to Council/District with that answer, without having a discussion the issue with you. Then rules to tighten up security may hit the committee (hopefully) with details omitted as to why, (although rumors do run rampant in a small community)..

 

If the store clerk handed you the advancement forms and told you to fill them out. They were wrong, and put you in this ticklish situation. I doubt they will own up to the part they played in this though as they would put their job on the line to do so. Really the wording on this form, might allow the uninformed to think you were within your rights. It only needs 3 signatures for rank Advancement BORs (which this was not), for a merit badge, it only needs one, and does not specify that that signature needs to have any certain authority. In my opinion, the wording is weak here, but may be your out..

 

We did have an ex-CC of our troop pull the fast one of sneaking in paperwork for his son's advancement for several MB's without proper signature and with the mother listed as MBC. For this reason, the advancement form should only be filled out by those in the troop with authorization. In our troop, after this incident, we handed the council a very short list of who had authorization from our troop to fill out the Advancement form.

 

If the troop has already given out the merit badge to your son, they should have a record of it, and the council should have a record of it on a past advancement form. Also it should already be listed in the advancement at the council office.. So it should not be hard to prove your son has correctly been issued this MB in the past.. Then the blue card with the name/date of issuance should back that up. If so, it should not be taken away from him. (I am unsure if they did take the bogus MBs away from the ex-ccs son, I think they did not, although if gained through proven falsification, I would think they could (and should).)

 

Ignorance only takes you so far. What do they say "Ignorance doesn't make you any less guilty".. Although the forms do not have any statement of who is authorized. There is a definate understanding within the unit, District & Council, that it is a form only authorized people can(should??) sign..

 

I wish you luck, but you did step in some powerful dog-do.

 

(This message has been edited by moosetracker)

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Why not just hit "Reply All" and send out the same explanation you just posted? You can address the fact no one (other than the Council Advancement Chair) tried to contact you about this in the same email. You can also give the "oops" apology for the paperwork.

 

Bring the original blue card with you to the next committee meeting.

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This mix up is not in my book a hanging offense.

In fact I'm surprised that went anywhere, let alone as far as it has gone.

I have never worked in our local Scout Shop and have to say that I don't know all the ins and outs that go into selling a badge.

I kinda think that in a perfect world it should go something like:

Hi Mr. Scout Shop person, how are you? I need to buy a merit badge for my son.

"Hi, Mr.towerflower, I'm fine. Give me a minute while I just get on Scout-net and check it out."

From there it ought to have been plain sailing.

If the badge was in the system? Then the guy in the Scout Shop should have been happy to take your money and send you with badge in hand down the road.

If it wasn't? Then he ought to have made some sort of an apology and sent you to find out why it wasn't in the system.

 

I'm kinda at a loss as to know what you expect the forum members to say to you?

I kinda think you don't want anyone to say "Hey Buddy, you messed up. Now just take your medicine!"

I really don't think anyone is going to say that the both the Committee Chair and the Advancement Chair are terrible people who need to be let go.

 

At the end of the day, I'm guessing that you and the committee will sort this all out and the guy from the District and the Council have more pressing things to think about and worry about than a merit badge.

Everyone has a life to lead.

Ea.

 

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I am trying to figure out why they would even ask you for an advancement report after you told them why you needed it. There is no rule at national that says you cannot buy extra's.

 

Tell the Council advancement person to pissoff, because its not any of his business anyway.

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Yah, hmmm...

 

Welcome to da forums, eh?

 

Tempests in teapots happen a lot in scouting. I can't for da life of me figure out why. I think some adults take themselves and scouting too seriously, eh? Better to think of it as a kid's game. Gettin' all bent out of shape over some scouting thing or another is like gettin' all bent out of shape over a game of monopoly. :)

 

There's nuthin' here that amounts to defamation in da legal sense, towerflower, so just let go of that. This is just a misunderstanding between friends. I'd do what ntrogt8r suggests, and just explain that all you were doing was trying to buy a spare badge that your boy already earned from a scout shop staffer who wasn't properly trained in their job. All the fellow needed to do was call up Scoutnet and your son's records to see he already had the badge to let you buy it. But some shops and some staffers start to take this stuff more seriously then the game it is too, eh? :p

 

Beavah

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nldscout - It would not be the Advancement persons business had he just picked up a merit badge, but it is if he is filling out paperwork that he should not be. It is a red flag to Council if there are scouts earning merit badges & rank advancement who are not registered in the troop. (Father put his name on form as the youth scout).

 

They would be contacting the troop, since they can't log the advancement because no youth is registered in the troop by that name. So either registration paper work was passed in and lost and needs to get corrected. Or the troop needs to know that a scout can't advance until he is registered. Had the name of son & father been the same, there probably would have been some confusion as to why they are putting in another Advancement form for a merit badge that they had already sent in previously, but Oh well, it's been logged..

 

It is also of concern to the troop if a parent is sneaking in advancement under false pretenses.. So, they should be concerned over the issue, but allow Mr. towerflower a chance to explain before accusing him of wrong doing. If Mr. Towerflower was falsifing his sons advancement, well for a troop that would be considered the crime of the century.. (We have few mass murders & rapists in each unit, so small things can become the crime of the century).. But, if he is innocently getting a 2nd patch of one the son has already earned, it should be a small slap on the wrist not to do it again..

 

Council level, this would be small potatoes.. District, depends on how busy the District Advancement Chair is. My husband is District AC, he would take interest enough to follow up.. May even remember your name if someone brought it up in conversation for a few months to a year. Then go to name sounds familure, can't remember why, until not recognizing the name at all..

 

I think once the dust settles, and you get a chance to explain yourself, you will survive this fisco.

 

(This message has been edited by moosetracker)

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Tower, the troop/district/council response to this situation describes exactly what is wrong with the BSA today.

 

You needed an extra MB, the guy/gal at the store took your word of honor as a scouter that your son earned it, and sold you the badge. Then you filled some paperwork out incorrectly.

 

Ok, so what?

 

And now a bunch of bureaucrats and handwringers are acting like you slipped a Medal of Honor in your pocket on the way out the door to sell at the swap meet.

 

This is indeed the "Shiny Object Syndrome." You'd think they would focus their energies on, oh, say, declining enrollment, poor public perception of scouting, low FOS contributions, whathaveyou. No. This case is a shiny object, and it's always easier to focus on a shiny object of no consequence than tackle something of importance.

 

And the BSA wonders why volunteers quit?

 

If they are looking for fraudulent MB matters, they can look no further than the local MB mill weekends. That's where the real crime is being committed--signing scouts off on MBs just for sitting in a chair.

 

I concur with nrto--wise course of action for Plan A. But I also agree with nldscout!(This message has been edited by desertrat77)

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I don't know what the current protocols are, but when I worked for national supply the following had to be done to get replacement advancement.

 

1) Proof that the advancement item was actually awarded. This was in the days when SCOUTNET had major problems with it, yes at one time there were actually more problems than today, and National Supply had their own system that did not interact with SCOUTNET. It could be a certificate, the actual award ( i.e. bringing in the uniform shirt to get extra stuff for jambo uniforms, etc) or insme cases photographs from the ECOHs

 

2) If it was a youth advancement item, an advancement report with the words REPLACEMENT needed to be filled out and submitted.

 

 

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Yep, I'm with ntrog8r too.

 

Reply to all with your explanation of what you were trying to do. I would include a suggestion to Council/District that they check the ScoutNet database for proof that your son earned the merit badge, and that they train their Scout Shop staffers more thoroughly in this area. I would also include a suggestion to your Troop that in the future, they check their advancement records, and contact the original person involved, before they send off emails to the world that could embarrass themselves, and the Troop.

 

Good grief.

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Eagle92, that is exactly what happened. My son earned the MB and I did not have the blue card on me at the time to prove it. When that happens the store hands you the Advancement paper to fill out, I filled it out wrong and Replacement was not put on it(wasn't told to write it and the store didn't do it either). All I was doing was purchasing a spare one for a shadow box nothing more. Buying a spare MB isn't the sole reponsibility of the Advancement Chair.

 

I did hit the reply all, like Ntrog8r suggested, but this is a common problem with our CC and his wife where they take a simple issue and turn it into the crime of the century without bothering to find out facts first, they will also send out their thoughts/beliefs to others outside the troop when it is not necessary. They had sent the message to the SM, other leaders within the troop, the district and council advancement chairs. If their vile emails stayed within the troop I could've have handled it but when it went outside the troop it went too far. This is making our Troop look foolish and they damage the reputation of others with their wild comments.

 

I am seriously considering stopping my volunteer work within the troop because of this, but a part of me want to fight what they have done. They have officially accused me of misconduct when they know I have never signed my son off for advancement nor did I try to buy a MB that he didn't earn (the dates prove it).

 

Thanks for the help and keep the suggestions coming.

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If you replied to everyone that the CC emailed (I would have made sure to include the COR and head of the Charter Org too), with the correct version of the events, and the fact the Shop staff was in error in what they told you to do, what more do you see happening?

 

As far as I can see the CC now has a carton of egg on his face, and the issue should now be closed.

 

 

 

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In our council, you walk in, pick up the merit badge, take it to the counter, pay for it and walk out.

 

If your son already is recorded as having this merit badge, I can't see why the troop would be upset that you were trying to buy another one or to duplicate the advancement record. You definitely shouldn't need to turn in an advancement report. Can't you just explain this? Your forum post is pretty clear - I'd think that would suffice. I'd just send out an email as ntrogt8r suggests.

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Why couldn't the troop advancement chair merely check his records (Troopmaster) to verify that the scout had earned the badge? Next time check Ebay. You can usually find anything you need there, including restricted items. Oh...and find another troop.

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They had sent the message to the SM, other leaders within the troop, the district and council advancement chairs.

 

Yah, well. If only everybody had a modern notion of email courtesy. How many times do we see people who thoughtlessly Reply to All? ;)

 

Don't sweat the small stuff. Your CC overreacts at/on email. If otherwise da fellow is a decent CC then just chalk it up to someone who isn't used to email or types with an annoyin' local accent.

 

Focus on the kids, and let the adult stuff just glide by.

 

Beavah

 

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