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andysmom

delayed/deferred/denied rank advancement after BOR. Why?

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This kind of stuff drives me nuts. We require that scouts be trained, tested, and reviewed on their skills. We don't require much of any of that from ourselves in the program. Whatever might be the good intentions of the CC here he is acting contrary to the process as it is set up, and thereby doing a disservice to his scouts.

 

It is not the role of the CC or the BOR to "feel" whether a scout is ready for star, nor to determine the speed of his advancement, nor to demand more leadership from him than is required for the rank.

 

It would be appropriate for him to provide the scout with his opinion as to ways to better experience personal growth by encouraging him to seek to build his leadership skills or by asking him to contemplate whether he is focusing too much on quick advancement to the detriment of his full experience with the program. That's all fine, but scouts don't need to heed every bit of advice they receive and so long as they are completing the requirements they should be recognized and celebrated for doing so. If the CC thinks that the troop's program isn't providing the necessary opportunities then he should take that up with the SM.

 

As to your specific questions about written notice, you should have taken a vote as to whether to award the rank. If the vote wasn't unanimous then that means the scout was rejected, if that's the case here are the relevant quotes from the GTA.

 

"A Scout must not be rejected at a board of review for reasons unrelated to advancement requirements."

"In any case, a follow-up letter must be promptly sent to a Scout who is turned down. It must include actions advised that may lead to advancement, and also an explanation of appeal procedures. (See"Appealing a Decision,"8.0.4.0, "

 

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A specific task for 4 months and a week to count as a POR? Two weeks isn't that much of a delay.

 

It is if the requirements don't ask for it! POSITION OF RESPONSIBILITY is not a POSITION OF LEADERSHIP. The scout was a librarian and now he has to teach someone how to set up a tent???? Am I that far off base that this sounds like some kind of a controlling adult vendetta stance? I can see why the SM was ready to quit.

 

This BOR needs to

 

1) reconvene immediately,

2) call the boy in and extend a full apology for being stupid.

3) Sign off for his earned award

4) get some training so this never happens again.

 

Stosh

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Andysmom, as to what you should do, my suggestion would be to take the long view. This scout is almost certainly going to complete the silly added on requirement that the CC is imposing and become Star in two weeks. Rather than argue about this specific case, use it as evidence that there is a wide variance among the committee about what a BOR should be. See if you can get the committee to meet to try to find a consensus about this issue, take the opportunity to have some training materials available, and ask to have someone from the District (not your husband) come in to provide some guidance.

 

Hopefully, an approach that says we should all be on the same page so it's consistent for all our scouts, will put you all in better compliance with the program.

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Although I'd agree with Ken, my wager is these two are too proud to get trained, and AndysMom is stuck in the middle with them. I'm an ASM, and if this stunt was pulled in my troop I'd be livid. Committees have faulted boys for not showing up with their books, being out of uniform, etc ... and allowed the boy to come back next week with that one thing corrected. It wrankled, but not the end of the world.

 

This sounds like their definition of "leadership" conflicts with the SM's. Heck it sounds like you all are divided on the definition of what makes a "star scout" (the concept, not the patch). Next committee meeting, you all need to get on the same page.

 

Meanwhile, the boy ... the SM should take his side, give him a call, and ask "Since we've been given a hoop, what is the most fun way to jump through it?"

 

- Get a two (or more) tarp ropes and walking sticks. Lead a patrol race to assemble a shelter.

- Get a hose or shovel snow on it to determine which patrol's shelter holds the best.

- Call the national guard armory, maybe they have a 24 man tent that could be set up.

- Blindfold the rest of the patrol, direct them into setting up (and taking down) the tent.

 

This might involve calling an emergency PLC to adjust the meeting agenda, but if the adults are throwing lemons, gang up and make them some lemonade to throw back in their faces!

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You and the Scoutmaster need to go to the COR right now and tell her that she gets rid of the new Committee Chair, right now, or you walk and take every single boy that you can out of that Troop and to a new unit. Your new CC is going to poison that unit, and there is no training in the world that is going to change this guys mind.

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Whoa... I misread the original post. If you were part of this BOR and have inside information the scout was not privy to, there are so many things thus described that are wrong, I would approach the CC and let them reconvene a valid BOR group that knows what they are doing. Sounds like "these two leaders" are adding to requirements that have already been fulfilled, a major no-no in scouting. I hope that the CC is not one of "these two leaders" in that you are really screwed if that is the case.

 

By the way, these separate hoops the BOR is requiring are bogus and outside the scope of the Scout Law. One does not show leadership by setting up tents and I don't believe there is anything in the requirement that says a boy has to show leadership in anything required for Star.

 

In the future I would refuse to sit on any BOR for this troop until they were properly trained and held accountable for their actions.

 

Boy joins at 11, by 12 his could be FC, by 12 yr 4 mo he could be Star. What gives "these two leaders" justification that 13 is too young for Star and they have taken it upon themselves to deal with something that BSA has strictly forbidden?

 

I would get my UC involved with this issue immediately.

 

Stosh

 

Sadly, one of these two leaders is our current committee chair and the other is his replacement (appointed by the current CC)

The first thing that happened in this BOR was the "New" CC tossing a rope to the scout and asking him to tie a knot, which sadly he struggled with. I told him to stop and after the scout left I informed the "new CC" that this was against policy and he wont do it again. He asked how are we supposed to know if a scout knows his skills and I told him that is the job for the asst scoutmasters and scoutmaster not us. To his credit he apologized and was receptive when I told him that the 2nd scout we were reviewing had severe anxiety and has trouble camping.

 

I am the "advancement person" in the troop, but only have been since September. The problem with the committee training is that once you do it you are done. You don't redo it when policy changes. The "old CC" did his training 19 years ago when he joined the committee. He has kept up with the changes to know enough not to retest, but he still has ideas in his head about other things. This is the same CC that I have posted about before requiring scouts to re write life purpose statements if he felt they were weak and didn't show the scout's "character" to his satisfaction.

 

We have a small struggleing committee. Old CC, new CC (who has been to 7 committee meetings in 7 years), 1 dad who's son Eagled 2 years ago and is now in college, he acts as one of our Eagle mentors, another Dad who's son Eagled last summer and turned 18 in Jan. The COR who has been involved in the troop for a year and a half, an Eagle Scout who never had scouts in the troop but who has been extreamly active until about 2 mos ago (we heard a rumor that he also is having trouble with the pastor of the church), the former SM (both son's Eagled and are now in college) who is now the treasurer and me. Most of them wont be around much longer and I am afraid of what is going to happen to the troop.

 

For the matter at hand I have emailed the district advancement chair, SM has emailed the UC and the DE. Our DC is also aware of teh situation as he is a former member of our committee and a close friend

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Where in the star rank requirements does it say, "Show leadership?"

 

"While a First Class Scout, serve actively in your unit for four months in one or more of the following positions of responsibility (or carry out a unit leader-assigned leadership project to help your unit):"

 

Did this scout get the POR requirement signed off? If so. He's done the requirement. If the CC has issues with how the Scout performed during his term of POR, he needs to take that up with the Scoutmaster.

 

The CC adjourning the board till the Scout shows "leadership" sounds a little bit off the cuff. If the Scout did not actually do anything in the POR, that's on the Scoutmaster to work with the Scout and not sign off the requirement. It's a little too late to do anything in a BOR.

 

Perhaps I just don't understand the Star Requirements as well as the Committee Chair of your Troop.

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The committee chair stated that he didn't feel the scout was ready for star.

He wanted to see some leadership from him.

He wanted to slow him down.

He said he wanted to use the fact that the date in his handbook for when he started his POR was 8/14 (he needs 4 mos) as an "out"

 

The scout was asked what his best scout skill was. He said camping. He was asked to be more specific, what was he really good at. He said setting up a tent. He was told that "a journey of 1000 miles starts with one step, he has gone 999 miles of that journey and they the committee wants to see that he can provide leadership" they asked him to come back in 2 weeks and set up a tent, he could "even use a troop tent", but set the tent up for us so we can see that that he can lead someone to doing it.

 

The 2 committee members couldnt tell specifically what they look for in a star scout saying that it varies by the boy.

 

This is all a load of horse excrement !

 

The Guide to Advancement is NOT open to "interpretation". The requirements for Star Scout do NOT "vary" by boy. They are set in stone by BSA.

 

As for the POR nonsense - The BSA states in the requirements for Star -

 

While a First Class Scout, serve actively in your unit for four months in one or more of the following positions of responsibility (or carry out a Scoutmaster-assigned leadership project to help the unit):

 

Boy Scout troop. Patrol leader, assistant senior patrol leader, senior patrol leader, Venture patrol leader, troop guide, Order of the Arrow troop representative, den chief, scribe, librarian, historian, quartermaster, bugler, junior assistant Scoutmaster, chaplain aide, instructor, troop Webmaster, or Leave No Trace trainer.

 

You stated in your opening post that the Scout served as Troop Librarian for 4 months and 1 week. Librarian is a valid POR. He was never removed from his position, or told he was not doing a good enough job. He served the required amount of time.

 

 

From the Guide to Advancement - Boards of Review -

8.0.1.1. - Not a "Retest" or "Examination"

 

A Scout must not be rejected at a board of review for reasons unrelated to advancement requirements.

 

Where - exactly - does BSA state that showing a BOR how to set up a tent is a requirement for the rank of Star? Also, how does setting up a tent - by yourself - show leadership? Is the Scout supposed to bring other Scouts into his BOR? Not allowed by BSA. Is he supposed to "lead" the members of the BOR in setting up the tent? Nonsense!

 

8.0.1.5. - After the Review

 

If a board does not approve, the candidate must be so informed and told what he can do to improve. Most Scouts accept responsibility for their behavior or for not completing requirements properly.

 

In any case, a follow-up letter must be promptly sent to a Scout who is turned down. It must include actions advised that may lead to advancement, and also an explanation of appeal procedures.

 

The council must keep a copy of the letter.

 

I would contact your District Advancement Chair, and have him/her have a friendly chat with your CC, and COR, on how they are doing things.

 

"Slowing down" a Scout is NEVER a valid reason for delaying a BOR. BSA SPECIFICALLY states that a Scout is supposed to advance at HIS OWN PACE!

 

I would also consider looking at other Troops.

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Wow. I'm upset with the situation, but pleasantly surprised with the responses.

 

My comments are to add that Andysmom understands the roles and BOR purpose. And, I applaud her for having the guts to stop a BOR member who asks for something inappropriate during a BOR.

 

I'd advise do NOT walk away from the BOR. If your son is there, stay in it and try to keep it on-track somewhat.

 

Also, here's the key GTA link. Look at section 8.0.1.5. http://www.scouting.org/filestore/pdf/33088.pdf

 

=======================

 

Many years of experience can also just be many years of doing it wrong.

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I appreciate everyone's comments. We will be visiting other troops. It's sad but we have been involved with the pack from the CO since Andy was a tiger. My husband was his assistant den leader and pack committee chair. I was on the committee as well and served as advancement in that role. We crossed into the troop knowing that the current SM was planning to retire and my husband, then an ASM hoped to take over. He was the only one interested. He LOVES being a SM. Right now in our troop we have trouble getting volunteers. My husband has camped every single month with the troop since Andy crossed over 3 years ago, many times with me as the 2nd adult because no one else would step up. He takes the week off for summer camp and for the last 2 years I have had a bag packed to spend the first half of the week because no one would commit. The thought of leaving is causing him alot of guilt not knowing what will happen to the scouts and who will take over. It has been difficult. Our committee does not know that our long time COR resigned in December and was replaced in Jan. or that the old CC plans to step down at the end of next month and has recommended the new CC take over. (Only 3 of us, myself, my husband and our treasurer showed up for the Dec committee meeting, so we couldnt have one and our Jan committee meeting was cancelled because of a snowstorm) We have no communication. I emailed the old CC to see if he would be at the meeting last night because I have an eagle application for him to sign and he never responded to my email.

 

I have contacted the district advancement chair and the SM (my husband) has contacted the DE and the UC. I have a call with the DC in less than an hour and I have been informed that the "new CC" has contacted him. It will be interesting to see how this goes

 

The opinion of the new and old CC seems to be that our troop produces excellent scouts and this is the way we do it. If you don't like it, leave. He said he has never been questioned or sued (where ever that came from) about how BOR have been conducted in the troop

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8.0.1.5. - After the Review

 

If a board does not approve, the candidate must be so informed and told what he can do to improve. Most Scouts accept responsibility for their behavior or for not completing requirements properly.

 

In any case, a follow-up letter must be promptly sent to a Scout who is turned down. It must include actions advised that may lead to advancement, and also an explanation of appeal procedures.

 

The council must keep a copy of the letter.

 

 

I pointed this out to him during the exchange while the scout was out of the room and he asked me if I got that information from my "training" or if that was official policy because as he recalled they were told never to put anything in writing.

 

After both BOR were over and I had access to my bag I pulled out my personal copy of the 2013 Guide To Advancement and pointed that out to him and he argued with me that we did not fail the scout, we deferred him. Did not fail, did not need a letter.

 

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I pointed this out to him during the exchange while the scout was out of the room and he asked me if I got that information from my "training" or if that was official policy because as he recalled they were told never to put anything in writing.

 

After both BOR were over and I had access to my bag I pulled out my personal copy of the 2013 Guide To Advancement and pointed that out to him and he argued with me that we did not fail the scout, we deferred him. Did not fail, did not need a letter.

 

This guy is so out of touch it is unreasonable to think one can work effectively with him. If a boy walks out of a BOR without approval, it is not a "postponement" it is a failure to reach a conclusion on the part of the committee and that must be documented with the boy and the council in a letter.

 

Time to move on. Been there done that multiple times in my scouting career.

 

Stosh

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After both BOR were over and I had access to my bag I pulled out my personal copy of the 2013 Guide To Advancement and pointed that out to him and he argued with me that we did not fail the scout' date=' we deferred him. Did not fail, did not need a letter. [/quote'] So, if you want to stick to your guns, since they did not fail him, insist that they sign-off the date of the BoR when the boy first appeared for advancement ... Just in case the kid's up for life 6 months from last week.

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A possible suggestion for a different solution.... work with the new COR representative to revamp the committee. Try to get people with boys currently in the unit on the committee. If your son has aged out, you can stay for a year to provide wisdom to the new members.

 

That way, you get some empathy for the boys - seriously, who is going to be an [insert un-scout like word] about advancement if they and their sons are involved in the troop? Also, the new blood will go through the current training.

 

Finally, if there is a concern about the boy's leadership (agree, the requirement is "responsibility") then there is a problem with the Troop program that the committee needs to address. That is the role of the BOR and the committee -- not to evaluate the scout but to evaluate the quality of the program.

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