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Advancement (Needless) Paperwork

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Council records correct? Seriously?

 

My training record is STILL messed up after five years of trying to fix it.

 

Council screws up paperwork every year. There's too much of it and that's the problem.

 

If council wants to mange paperwork try tracking the stuff that REALLY matters! There's no reason a registered scouter should have to fill out a second or third application to become a MBC or switch from ASM to TC member. That could be done online throughout myscouting instead of insisting on paperwork. YPT doesn't need to be stapled to the annual registration form. If the BSA number is provided the online system should link my application to my online YPT training g certificate.

 

Maybe if council spent less time on such things my new members would actually get put in to the system before June each year! It's sad we have members join in January and get their membership cards at summer camp!!!!

 

I'll wager council's records accuracy for rank badges or anything else would struggle to reach 60%.

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You know, sometimes I wonder about the strange things complained about.  Paperwork for advancements has been required for years, but some councils did not monitor things well.  Yes, there are units that have been known to hand out ranks and merit badges not actually earned.  All those ranks and badges have to be on record for the Eagle check, and that means from Scout on up.  Scouts are given verification cards if their unit is doing what they should; it has the date and leader's signature.  Parents can bring that, or they can politely request a record check in the office. There really is a valid reason for paperwork and certain rules.

 

Storing unearned items is not supposed to be done in order to try and keep invalid advancements from occurring and in some cases to control restricted items properly.

 

As far as the eBay comment went, that is very real.  It really hit the breaking point at the centennial period when some councils were letting anyone buy the supposedly limited items, as well as the specially designed rank patches and so on, and selling them in quantity.  These began to show up on eBay for very large profits to collectors that did not have access or whose councils perhaps actually followed the rules.  One seller somehow got hold of even Distinguished Eagle kits and Silver Beavers.  So, National finally started cracking down on the situation and it is now a lot tighter.

 

But, what is the big deal with making sure a parent or someone does not simply buy something pretty or unearned to brag about?  It is pretty likely that it can be easily verified in the main office, as noted above.  

 

I can get a set of Captain's Bars easier than I can a Scout rank badge. What purpose exactly does it serve to require paperwork to get a rank badge? The problem I have with the paperwork required is it's useless, it does precisely nothing to stop people and only serves as an inconvenience. 

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I know when my son was a CS I did have 2 shirts for him (long sleeve / short sleeve) and getting 2nds wasn't too bad, they would ask me why I was getting them and did he earn them but was satisfied with the 2nd shirt story...  As he got older in CS and the things being sewn on were a lot (especially when he needed new shirts having grown out of the old one) I regretted the 2 shirts.. So in BS he had one short sleeved shirt and wore a long sleeve under it on the coldest winter nights..  I sort of understand stopping the gun-ho mom not understanding the award system and wanting to get lots of badges to put on sons shirt so he looks cool.. But, I doubt there are many and the verbal check they did with me I think was sufficient..

 

I am perplexed over them stating that if a boy earns a rank or award it should be given out the very next week, but not allowing the unit to hold a few in stock..  It is enough to get the paperwork done and have someone go to the scout store once a month, usually the den leaders needed to email the person going to the store about a week before the pack meeting, because that person was going to the store when convenient, not an hour before the pack meeting. Therefore ranks were always at pack meetings..  Boy scouts may know at one meeting who earned what and have a week to go to the store, still expecting someone to go to the store weekly is a lot.. With our troop although we could put together a board anytime, the boys forgot about earning rank until just before a COH so nothing, nothing, nothing, 3 tenderfoot - 2 first class - 1 life all in the week before the COH.. Sometimes the week before the COH we would have to get 2 separate boards running just to get all the boys through during that meeting.

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If council personnel can't trust scouters with being honest about patches, who can they trust?  So a parent goes in and shows a card stating someone has earned the FC badge.  How do they know it will be used only for their son?  

 

What difference does it make.  The boy who needs impeccable records to Eagle, will be able to produce sufficient evidence with his handbook and cards regardless of how messed up the council has his records.

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What difference does it make.  The boy who needs impeccable records to Eagle, will be able to produce sufficient evidence with his handbook and cards regardless of how messed up the council has his records.

 

Yep had to use the HB to fix records. We had an SE in my old council that had enough of the complaints. he made it his goal to get the records correct. While he wasn't 100% successful, the records problem did abate alot.

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So in my council it appears that you can no longer buy a rank patch without your Advancement Chair from your unit printing out a form from the Internet Advancement website to validate your Scout is the rank you say he is.

 

Of course there's no way you can buy bulk rank patches either anymore without said paperwork. If you try they make you fill out a form with the names of the scouts for which you are buying said patch.

 

I asked, "So, do I still have to pay or does this count as the Internet Advancement paperwork to get my patches free?" The reply was, "Nope, you still have to pay."

 

Then I asked, "Ok, so does council take the paperwork and check off that these scouts got their badge?" The young man said, "No, the council just wants this paper filled out."

 

Naturally I asked, "What does council do with the form." Expecting nothing better I heard, "Nothing. All the forms I've given them get filed and forgotten."

 

So, to be clear, if you don't show up with a print out from Internet Advancement you need to 1) fill out a form that will never get used, 2) have to still pay for your patches and 3) if you are a mom or dad simply buying that second or third rank patch (all ranks included on this, not just Eagle) you are out of luck.

 

Somewhere in my state there a roving band of illegal scouts wearing unearned rank badges that caused this whole mess.  :rolleyes:

From what I've been told, the problem is that Scoutmasters (or their designates) were buying the patches but never sending an Advancement form to council.  I know for a fact this is true in my council, because two of our transfers had rank patches but no record of the advancement.  Their previous     scoutmaster didn't want to use the online advancement system, so he didn't. 

 

Does that mean showing a rank card won't allow the Scouts to get the second and third patches?

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Council records correct? Seriously?

 

My training record is STILL messed up after five years of trying to fix it.

 

Council screws up paperwork every year. There's too much of it and that's the problem.

 

If council wants to mange paperwork try tracking the stuff that REALLY matters! There's no reason a registered scouter should have to fill out a second or third application to become a MBC or switch from ASM to TC member. That could be done online throughout myscouting instead of insisting on paperwork. YPT doesn't need to be stapled to the annual registration form. If the BSA number is provided the online system should link my application to my online YPT training g certificate.

 

Maybe if council spent less time on such things my new members would actually get put in to the system before June each year! It's sad we have members join in January and get their membership cards at summer camp!!!!

 

I'll wager council's records accuracy for rank badges or anything else would struggle to reach 60%.

 

You're preaching to the choir.  The problem in general is that the councils aren't taking care of paperwork well. Because of that, a lot of volunteers don't really care to do the paperwork. Why should I want to fill out a MBC form if they are just going to lose it.....(and I have lost several).

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<<Boy Scouts ... love ... paperwork!>>

 

 

 

BSA and a lot of councils are CHOKING volunteers with an unnecessarily complex adminstrative apparatus.

 

 

Sometimes I make a point of ignoring or undermining such bad practices by studied non compliance.

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Does that mean showing a rank card won't allow the Scouts to get the second and third patches?

 

Yup. The only form they will accept is Internet Advancement reports OR having an unit leader fill out the aforementioned form.

 

I could have written the entire roster of the Denver Broncos and they wouldn't have known the difference.

 

Silly process.

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Okay, so it appears that "some" councils have more room than others to improve.  Guess we are blessed with mostly efficient office staff, and ones with common sense.  They still follow the rules, but a card with the scouts name on it and properly signed for, say First Class, would generally suffice.  And if there is a need to check the record, it is generally pretty easy to do so.  But we have had some office people in place for decades and they all know me as well because I have been around so long too.

 

On the other hand, it took me forever to get my training records straight, as has been noted here.  A lot of that came from National having old records that had bee grandfathered somehow earlier, then sort of disappeared.  I solved it by proving the new numbers were covered or exceeded by old course descriptions and numbers.  Also took me a half dozen tries to get NESA records straight, mostly due to living in one spot with still active council, and having Eagled in a council that went belly up in the seventies.

 

Guess what I am saying mostly is that too often we make a minor inconvenience into these huge issues that really do not need to stress us as much as we sometimes allow them to.  I too am hoping they will soon find a way to stop asking for new applications for changes within a unit or the council.  We should have one number that follows us everywhere and that can be added to a new position without added paper.  Will it happen in my lifetime?  One can hope.

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Well, from experience, I can tell you that many SMs would maintain a "goody box" full of excess rank badges, service stars, etc.  It is so much easier to comply with the "instant recognition" policy of BSA advancement if you actually have the badge in hand to award to the scout "instantly".  And following a COH, we would sometimes have unclaimed "extras" if the scout didn't come back for it.  There were times when the Advancement Report failed to make it to the Council registrar, but that is the faullt of the troop Committee.  NO rank badge should be awarded except following a successful BOR, and every BOR should have an Advancement Report signed by the Board members upon its completion.  I am not concerned with people wearing unauthorized ranks.  I am concerned about the young man who is expecting to sit for his Eagle board and there is no record that he made First Class.  When we needed duplicate badges for extra uniforms, the registrar would just make you fill out an Advancement Report and write "DUPLICATE" on it.  And there was the problem of awarding ranks to unregistered scouts...having an Advancement Report was the check on that.

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My husband when he headed up the troops Advancement would ask council for a printout of a scouts advancement records when the scout started working on their Eagle project, he would then go over it with the scout and if an rank or Merit Badge was not recorded, they had time to fix the problem before the scout was ready for his Eagle Board..  He tried to get the Scout to come up with the blue card, but if it was during his time in the position he usually had the paperwork also on when he submitted it to Council.. Council would then go through their on file copy (I don't know if they thought he just squeezed it onto his paperwork after the fact).. Their paper work would have it also.. Proof positive it was someone at Council who skipped over a line when doing data entry..   I suppose still room for human error, but  I think it is so much better now that the units have the software that they can do their own keyboard entry for rank advancement for their own units. You may still flub up, but I think less so when you are entering 20 or 30 then when you are entering a thousand or more..

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"All Cub Scout, Boy Scout, Varsity Scout, and Sea Scout ranks, and all Venturing advancement awards must be reported to local councils. The best and most accurate method is through the BSA’s Internet Advancement (see “Internet Advancement Highlights,†6.0.0.0, for more detail on reporting).

 

At the council’s discretion, the paper form, Advancement Report, No. 34403, may also be submitted, as may electronic files generated by unit management software such as TroopMaster©.

 

Council advancement committees may elect to accept a completed Eagle Scout Rank Application that is signed by the board of review chair and the Scout executive, in lieu of an advancement report form."

 

Guide to Advancement

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"All Cub Scout, Boy Scout, Varsity Scout, and Sea Scout ranks, and all Venturing advancement awards must be reported to local councils. The best and most accurate method is through the BSA’s Internet Advancement (see “Internet Advancement Highlights,†6.0.0.0, for more detail on reporting).

 

Yes, what I said (only not with the correct verbage..)   "BSA Internet Advancement" / "do your own keyboard entry" .. Potato / po-tot-o  ...  (Seriously TAHAWK, thanks your summed up my thoughts beautifully).

 

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