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Renax127

Requirement Sign Off

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SM can re-evaluate all he wants during a SMC, but the SMC is checked off.  No pass or fail with SMC.  If the scoutmaster designate signed off on the requirement, it's done.  Even the scoutmaster can't undo it.

 

I might ask a scout to demonstrate some skill or knowledge but I make it clear that a SM conference is not a test and that I'm asking so I can get an idea how their teachers did. An inability to do something signed of will earn the signer a  "how can it be done better" question and probably a quick word at the PLC that the program needs to better reinforce scout skills.

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An inability to do something signed of will earn the signer a  "how can it be done better" question and probably a quick word at the PLC that the program needs to better reinforce scout skills.

 

Sounds fine to me.  I'd probably even been okay with a BOR doing something like that.  Evaluating the effectiveness of the sign-offs, but not undoing the scout's progress.  BOR is supposed to be a feedback step to improve the troop and seems reasonable there.  

 

For me the issue is telling a scout he's done and then telling him whoops, not quite yet.  

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Our Patrol Leaders have responsibility for sign-offs (although the individual Scouts can decide whether to talk with their Patrol Leader or an Adult for the sign-off).  I use PL sign-offs as a chance to evaluate how the PL did by asking the Scout about it.  I try and impress upon the PL's that it does them no credit if they sign off that a Scout can save me from a heart attack and then it turns out he can't. ;)

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SM can re-evaluate all he wants during a SMC, but the SMC is checked off.  No pass or fail with SMC.  If the scoutmaster designate signed off on the requirement, it's done.  Even the scoutmaster can't undo it.

 

Yep, but one can always ask how honestly he "passed" all of his advancement requirements as part of the SMC.  Little Johny just put an ax into his shin.  What are you going to do?  Scream and yell to get someone else to come and do first aid or what?.....

 

My boys know that an extensive discussion is held with PL and SM when it comes time to sign off on Scout Spirit.  PL's know that the welfare of their patrol members is their responsibility.  Just like my PL's getting the boys ready for their SMC, I get them ready for their BOR.  Technically there is nothing one can do to change any of the sign offs, .... well at least not this time around, there's always next time......

 

Knowing all this, my PL and their patrol members don't spend a lot of time worrying about the technicalities of getting by.  It's a lot easier just to learn the skills and do it right.

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When my older son first crossed into a troop more than 10 years ago, the troop he joined would test the boys on their scout skills in their Board of Review and "fail" them.  They would go so far as to have ropes in the BOR and make them tie the knots.  I was a new parent at the time and thought this was the way it was done.  It wasn't until we moved an joined a different troop and I took SM Specific training when I agreed to be SM that I realized just how wrong that was.   In the old troop scouts would literally go through BORs 4 or 5 times until they "passed".

 

When I mentioned that this was wrong to some friends I still had in the troop, my friends said that they had been telling the SM and CC this for awhile, but they didn't care, this was the way their troop did it.  Crazy!

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I upped HH's reply because he took the first essential step in teaching any scout skill (and saving Western civilization): referencing.

I upped LC's because, well, because his pic and HH's are similar :huh:, and he kinda used the "anti-reference" technique.

 

Renax, when the ASM told you that, you should have asked him if the class had everyone look up this supposed rule in a copy of the GTA, or if they were instead taught by the inadequate EDGE method.

 

I've fournd that good reference skills are invaluable when it comes to taking the BS out of the BSA.  It's amazing what you hear -  "the boys can't take a hke around summer camp without two adults"; "sheath knives are banned in the BSA"; "alcohol stoves are against GSS"; "SM's need to sign off on all requirements"; "you need to pass the swim test to go on a canoing trip" -- the list of myths goes on and on.

 

And for the record, hedgehogs and beavers look very different.   :D

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When my older son first crossed into a troop more than 10 years ago, the troop he joined would test the boys on their scout skills in their Board of Review and "fail" them.  They would go so far as to have ropes in the BOR and make them tie the knots.  I was a new parent at the time and thought this was the way it was done.  It wasn't until we moved an joined a different troop and I took SM Specific training when I agreed to be SM that I realized just how wrong that was.   In the old troop scouts would literally go through BORs 4 or 5 times until they "passed".

 

When I mentioned that this was wrong to some friends I still had in the troop, my friends said that they had been telling the SM and CC this for awhile, but they didn't care, this was the way their troop did it.  Crazy!

I don't agree with that approach as I accept the model of "once it's awarded, it's awarded."  However I will say that I think the hurdle to have things awarded is often too low.  I'm focused on the cubs now, but the general low standards theme is the same.  Too many times I've seen kids get recognized for something they never should have earned.  For example, if the requirement says "demonstrate" then the scout should have to demonstrate and not just be there as someone else talked about something.

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Too many times I've seen kids get recognized for something they never should have earned.  For example, if the requirement says "demonstrate" then the scout should have to demonstrate and not just be there as someone else talked about something.

 

Completely agree on that.  Too many times I have seen someone sign off a requirement that says to demonstrate, when all they have done is watched what someone else did.  When I was SM and I saw this I would step in right away and ask both scouts to re-read what the requirement said and if they thought that it had been demonstrated.  Usually that worked, however, I know there were times that I missed because you can see when you are doing competitions, either patrol competitions within the troop or Klondikes or Camporees and there are boys (sometimes older) that struggle to do basic scout skills.

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I have taught my PL's that when someone demonstrates their ability on an advancement, they will really know their stuff if they teach it to someone.  This takes the whole ballgame to a more comfortable level of accountability.

 

PL: Johnny, you need to demonstrate you know how to tie a square knot for advancement.  How about you teach me how to tie a square knot. 

 

PL works with Johnny on his presentation of the lesson and his teaching skills.  

 

PL: Good.  Now it's for real.  You need to each someone for real, I already knew how to tie the knot, but your mother over there never has (or for older scouts, pick a younger boy to be taught), go teach her and let me know how it went.

 

By the time the boy has done all that, he will forever be able to tie a square knot. 

 

:)  At a SMC when I ask the boy if he knows his square knot, instead of a simple yes/no answer, he just jumps into his teaching routine.  They know that if they do a good job at that, I won't ask more testing kinds of questions in the SMC.....

Edited by Stosh

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I like how my SPL told me when I will know when to sign off on something. In this case first aid. "[Eagle94-A1], when you would trust Owl to do first aid on you if something happened to you, then you can sign off on it."

 

Never know when the skills they learn in Scouting, will be needed for real.

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I like how my SPL told me when I will know when to sign off on something. In this case first aid. "[Eagle94-A1], when you would trust Owl to do first aid on you if something happened to you, then you can sign off on it."

 

Never know when the skills they learn in Scouting, will be needed for real.

 

I think in a lot of cases, people (both scouts and adults/parents) don't think like that.  Just like with everything else Little Johnny does, people think it is about getting a check mark.  I have had discussions with parents about why their son hasn't had this or that requirement signed off yet when the rest of his buddies have.  The first thing I usually did was tell them to ask their son why and if they have and he hasn't told them, I would let them know that these are skills that are needed to be demonstrated, not a requirement that they can read back and have checked off.

 

On a bit of a tangent, I was shocked when I was on a campout last month and our Troop Guide was teaching the boys about fire safety and helping them earn their Firem'n Chit and I asked about having them start fires like the scouts used to have to do in order to earn that, I was told that they didn't have to do that anymore.  Shouldn't starting a fire be part of earning the Firem'n Chit?

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  It's amazing what you hear -  ...  "you need to pass the swim test to go on a canoeing trip" -- the list of myths goes on and on.

 

Wow.  I had to look that up.  Hedgehog is right.

 

I was 100% sure you had to have passed a swim test to be on a canoe trip.  Low and behold, I can't find such a requirement.  When it comes to the scouting unit I'm responsible for, it's a required.  Period.  I need to know the scout can swim otherwise he's not going on an a canoe trip.  

 

This is different than advancement.   BSA advancement rules are a promise to the scout.  G2SS rules are the minimum for safety expected by BSA.  I, as a unit leader, can add more if I believe it necessary.  If people protest, either they can go elsewhere or I can give up responsibility for the unit.

 

Swim test not required for canoeing.  Who would have thought ... 

 

Same can be said for sheathed knives.  BSA does not ban them, but units can choose not to allow them.  We allow them, but that's our troop.  I know many troops that do not allow them.

Edited by fred johnson

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I think in a lot of cases, people (both scouts and adults/parents) don't think like that.  Just like with everything else Little Johnny does, people think it is about getting a check mark.  I have had discussions with parents about why their son hasn't had this or that requirement signed off yet when the rest of his buddies have.  The first thing I usually did was tell them to ask their son why and if they have and he hasn't told them, I would let them know that these are skills that are needed to be demonstrated, not a requirement that they can read back and have checked off.

 

On a bit of a tangent, I was shocked when I was on a campout last month and our Troop Guide was teaching the boys about fire safety and helping them earn their Firem'n Chit and I asked about having them start fires like the scouts used to have to do in order to earn that, I was told that they didn't have to do that anymore.  Shouldn't starting a fire be part of earning the Firem'n Chit?

 

Actually, the Firem'n Chit does not require the scout to start a fire.   Here is a link to the requirements:  http://www.scouting.org/scoutsource/BoyScouts/AdvancementandAwards/MeritBadges/firem.aspx

Edited by kissmekate

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When it comes to teaching the advancements, I don't do it any more.  My boys generally teach it because I got in trouble once when I had a scout horsing around instead of learning his first aid requirements.  I simply told him he would have to learn this stuff or accept the possibility of standing around watching a loved one die because the ambulance took too long getting there.  Some of the adults and parents felt that was a bit harsh to tell an 11 year old.

 

Now my PL's get into trouble for the same reason.  :)

 

The fire-starting skill is always a fun one.  My new boys all had their lessons on fire building but per the requirement, didn't have to actually start it.  Well the first time they really needed to have a fire to heat up tomato soup and do grilled cheese sandwiches, they had a problem.  What was to be a nice lunch ended up cheese sandwiches and the soup stayed in the can.  Bacon?  Oh, there's the best lesson ever.  Breakfast Saturday morning, bacon's on the menu and no fire.  The look in their eyes is priceless.  I would say EVERY boy in my troop now knows how to start a fire with no problems. 

 

In a boy-led, patrol-method program there are no adult safety nets to save anyone from failure.  The best remedy for failure is to pay attention in the first place.

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Wow.  I had to look that up.  Hedgehog is right.

 

I was 100% sure you had to have passed a swim test to be on a canoe trip.  Low and behold, I can't find such a requirement.  When it comes to the scouting unit I'm responsible for, it's a required.  Period.  I need to know the scout can swim otherwise he's not going on an a canoe trip.  

 

This is different than advancement.   BSA advancement rules are a promise to the scout.  G2SS rules are the minimum for safety expected by BSA.  I, as a unit leader, can add more if I believe it necessary.  If people protest, either they can go elsewhere or I can give up responsibility for the unit.

 

Swim test not required for canoeing.  Who would have thought ... 

 

Same can be said for sheathed knives.  BSA does not ban them, but units can choose not to allow them.  We allow them, but that's our troop.  I know many troops that do not allow them.

 

 

Actually, a swim test is required for actively canoeing. From G2SS in the section on Safety Afloat. 

http://www.scouting.org/scoutsource/HealthandSafety/GSS/gss02.aspx

 

 

3. Swimming Ability

Operation of any boat on a float trip is limited to youth and adults who have completed the BSA swimmer classification test. Swimmers must complete the following test, which must be administered annually.

 

Jump feetfirst into water over the head in depth. Level off and swim 75 yards in a strong manner using one or more of the following strokes: sidestroke, breaststroke, trudgen, or crawl; then swim 25 yards using an easy, resting backstroke. The 100 yards must be completed in one swim without stops and must include at least one sharp turn. After completing the swim, rest by floating.

 

For activity afloat, those not classified as a swimmer are limited to multiperson craft during outings or float trips on calm water with little likelihood of capsizing or falling overboard. They may operate a fixed-seat rowboat or pedal boat accompanied by a buddy who is a swimmer. They may ride in a canoe or other paddle craft with an adult swimmer skilled in that craft as a buddy. They may ride as part of a group on a motorboat or sailboat operated by a skilled adult.

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