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Need advice for SM Conference and possible BOR

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Last winter, a Troop in my town didn't recharter. One of the scouts from that troop was 13 at the time and wanted to join a Venture Crew but wasn't old enough, and wanted nothing to do with joining a new troop (before you ask, yes I do know why and I will not discuss it here). Mom registered said scout with my unit "just so he remains registered until his birthday"... and went directly to council with the application, mind you, NOT to our troop committee which has caused some tension. We never see the scout at meetings, so until recharter rolled around I totally forgot about him.


Last week Mom shows up at our troop meeting with a group of Webelos (she's a den leader) and hits me with "Johnny Scout needs a SM conference for rank advancement. He's decided he wants to get Eagle someday. Can I bring him in for you in two weeks with all his documentation?" I was so flabbergasted I never asked her what rank the SM conference was for, or why she would even expect this to happen. I think I faintly said "Ummm, ok, bring him in and the three of us will talk" and off she sailed.


I hear tales of "paper" troops that exist only so Venture scouts can stay registered as Boy Scouts and earn Eagle without having to actually participate in the Boy Scout thing anymore. I think this woman feels she can have her son be a "paper" scout and still advance. BTW, she is a Venture Crew Advisor as well as a Cub Scout Den Leader.


I have only met this boy twice and never had any kind of conversation with him. If the boy was registered as a Lone Scout and this request was made I would have no problem with it but this just smacks of shirking responsibilities. Have any of you been in this position before? My inclination is to hold the SM conference with him AND mom but tell him I want to hold off on a BOR until he starts attending our meetings.

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Yah, EagerLeader, parents can be special sometimes, eh?


I think da real question for yeh is whether the lad is even a member of your troop. Doesn't matter what ScoutNet says or whether da mom dropped an app on the council office without you knowing. Da question is whether you ever signed off on an app and admitted the boy to your troop.


That's the conversation I would have, eh? I would treat it like a joining SM conference, not a conference for rank. Yeh talk about what his interests and needs are in a program, yeh talk about what your program is like and how it might or might not be a good fit. Yeh make it clear that joining a troop is a partnership; both sides have to make a commitment, and either side can opt out, you or him. If he agrees that he wants to join and make da commitment that your troop expects of members, then yeh welcome him as a new scout and let him know that you'll introduce him to the troop at the next meeting, and he'll get to find a patrol to be a member of on the next outing.


A SM conference to discuss advancement is somethin' to have down the road apace after he gets settled, not now.


If the lad or the mom isn't interested after that, that's fine, eh? That's a decision that they don't want to join. Be friendly and polite and point 'em to other troops in da area.


Eagle is like an MVP award, eh? Yeh can get one only if yeh agree to play, and play well.




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I like the Beav's approach here, but I would also suggest you get the agreement and backing of your CC and COR. Yes, the question is who signed his application , agreeing that Johnny would be a member of the Troop?


Sounds like the mom wants to be an Eagle, not necessarily the boy.

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Well he does not meet our troops definition of "Active" so no need for a SMC or BOR.


Our definition of active is 50% of meetings and activities for prior 6 months for general troop members. 80% of activities and meetings for Scouts with POR's.



How can you have a meaningful SMC when you don't know the boy?????



I would say no SMC till he is active in the troop.



Unless she falsified the signatures the council should not have registered him with your troop and if they did I would ask he be removed from the troops charter and not recharter him in the future.



You understand that if the boy is first class he can continue to work toward eagle as a crew member.

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EagleLeader wrote: "..., so until recharter rolled around I totally forgot about him." Plus EagleLeader wrote that the registration process caused some "tension" with the troop committee. So, your leaders knew he was on the roster and official per BSA. So now it's moot who signed the app and how he joined. By doing nothing and leaving him on the roster for an extended time, the troop accepted the scout.


That raises the question was the scout ever ever attending your meetings or ever ever went on a camp out. If not, then you can start the relationship as Beavah said.


The challenge is what to do with rank advancement progress that has been made since his last rank advancement and his last troop. It could have been partly in the last troop. It could have been after his last troop but done using the same mechanisms. What I'd have hardest with is the "active" and "POR" for Star and Life and "with patrol/troop" requirements.


You need to use your judgement, but ... depending on the situation ... I'd let the requirements decide. THEN... THEN... I'd reset expectations so that everyone is on the same page. Leaves the scout with a starting positive experience.


BUT if he does not plan to be an active member of your troop, drop him from the roster. Better now then later. Better now then the headache questions that will happen later.


I say let the requirements decide because every rank has expectations for troop involvement: "10 separate troop/patrol activities" ... "On one campout, serve as your patrol's cook" ... "one of these campouts, select your patrol site and sleep in a tent". Star and Life requires "active" (hard to define) and to complete a POR.


If you really follow the requirements, it's impossible to become a paper Eagle.




The original poster raised a red flag for me and it is a classic example of why I hate the Webelos transition. She asked about his advancement when she had her Webelos den visiting. That's an implicit statement of you better keep me happy if you want my Webelos to join your troop. I've seen this year after year with Webelos den leaders that try to negotiate or sweeten the pot. We are at the point now that our troop has a good program and it is what it is. We'd love your scouts to join us but we won't jump thru hoops to make it happen.


I just have contempt for the whole Webelos process in general(This message has been edited by fred8033)

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I think the big thing here is sitting down with the Scout and understanding the situation. Maybe he has taken his scout skill and applied them to leadership in some other aspect of his life (Church, athletics, clubs, etc). I think the most rewarding part of being an adult leader is hearing about how someone used EDGE in school, or in planning an activity at church. My hang up would be with mom wanting to schedule the SMC and that's a whole other topic..

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Check the supporting documentation. If ANY of it is in the past year, ask what SM signed it. It must be another Troop so he will have to go to that troop if that is what he is in. If it is the Mom, remind her that this is NOT Cub Scouts and not everyone is Akela.


If the SM conference is for "Scout" badge I'd give it the same as new scouts and talk further advancement. If it is for any real rank (including Tenderfoot) I am sorry but the scout must attend MY troop meetings and have someone our SM approved for signoffs.


Just my $0.02 to add to Beavah's excellent reply.



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I'm a sucker for a good story and would want to hear from the boy.


At the same time I'd make it clear that I hate paperwork and don't do anything "on paper only." I'd make it clear that the first SM conference will not be a "sign-off" on rank. Rather it would be a time to figure out what's really going on.


Why troop? What good has that membership card done him this year? Why eagle now? (If he's 1st class, he can just wait until he joins a crew and work with his advisor. If not, he can start on the trail to an equally prestigious venturing silver.)


You seem to know why he wouldn't want to be active in a troop at the time. Ask him if he's changed his mind about that.


I would make sure you have this SMC well away from ear-shod of the mom.


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I played defensive line in high school. We were coached that when the offensive line pushes you one way, you fight to go in the other. That and I just generally don't take well to being played.


Beav and others have good advice for handling this diplomatically. That's cool. But no way does the kid advance. I'm sorry, but I have more respect for the program and the effort and dedication the other boys put into it.


And I'd want the council registrar to explain how this kid gets registered.

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He really isnt a part of you troop simple as that so No Conference, NO Board of review and NO POR. There are actual requirements for ranks. really. And a scout who has never actually shown up will not be able to complete anything.


Defining and actually enforcing the active requirement is whats going to help here. A certain percentage of meetings as well as outings should be required. Getting the troop committee on board is also essential though in some cases hasn't helped solve this problem.


Just be sure to not wait years to address this or this mother will be coming to you asking to sign the eagle app or some other document with por's completed with her cub pack and all things done without ever stepping foot at a troop meeting.

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Kristian wrote: "Defining and actually enforcing the active requirement is whats going to help here."


Kristian is absolutely right, but if you don't have them already defined for since the scout joined your troop and you knew about it, then it's sort of moot for this specific incident.


VigilEagle wrote: "I think the big thing here is sitting down with the Scout and understanding the situation."


I think that's the best answer. Not necessarily sitting with the parent. Sitting with the scout and understanding the situation. You will probably need to talk with the parent too to learn more. But they are separate conversations.


Once you deal with the situation mess, then look at the advancement questions. Advancement is individually pursued and earned by completing the requirements. Maybe he has done that and that's absolutely fine. It really depends on his situation. There's nothing wrong with getting a rank advancement on his 1st meeting as long as he has completed the requirements. By the way, he has to attend a meeting to have a SMC and/or a BOR.

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