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Advancement (Needless) Paperwork

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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:

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What?  There's bureaucracy in the BSA?  I'm shocked, I tell you!  Shocked!

 

You know, I get that they don't want to be just handing out rank advancements that no one's earned, but why don't the Council's treat the volunteers as though they believe in the Scout Oath and Law?  They act like they think we're all trying to pull a fast one until we prove we aren't.

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What?  There's bureaucracy in the BSA?  I'm shocked, I tell you!  Shocked!

 

You know, I get that they don't want to be just handing out rank advancements that no one's earned, but why don't the Council's treat the volunteers as though they believe in the Scout Oath and Law?  They act like they think we're all trying to pull a fast one until we prove we aren't.

 

The mom in front of me drove an hour to get there, only to be turned away...twice.

 

I asked her what she needed and gave her a Scout badge from my "stash". I am not sure if I broke or upheld the Scout Law doing that, but frankly I don't care. She said her son earned Scout and was looking forward to wearing it to the meeting tomorrow.

 

I suspect I might get fired from my 1 hour a week volunteer role for that. ;)

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What happens if I want another knot from the "Restricted" list?  

 

I earned most of my knots in a council that ceased to exist forty-four years ago and the records were already gone when I tried to get them "transferred" in 1981.

 

Ever since my "newer" council was forced to switch to BSA standard software, their records show I completed adult basic training in 1910.  That makes me 21 in 1910, and 126 in another two months, so I must be dead.    :rolleyes:

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Mozart, you committed a good deed. Nice. 

One of my rules posted on my office door is: There are few things more professionally gratifying to an administrator than to create a new form for people to complete. 

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Every time I sit down to contemplate the meaning of life, it always dawns on me that the whole process is not finished until the paperwork is finished.....

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Sad that all national seems to care about is whether the paperwork is in order not whether the scouts actually fulfilled the requirements (for rank or mb). 

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It's about time they got that rank badge black market under control.  Better sell my Ebay stock fast!

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Sad that all national seems to care about is whether the paperwork is in order not whether the scouts actually fulfilled the requirements (for rank or mb). 

my thought exactly!

I was at the store the other day and picked up the Tiger badges for our Tiger Leader.  Had to fill out a form.  Seriously?  It's Tiger!!!! Why does that need to be tracked???

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My council has done the same thing the past couple of years.

 

I suspect that a major motivation is to get units to pay membership fees to register boys,  although that's just speculation on my part.

 

 

You can order badges from Scout shops across the country if you wish  ---most don;t have such a requirement.

 

 

Personally,  I take grim pleasure at bypassing or ignoring BSA/Council paperwork which burdens volunteers for no very good reason.  Personally,  I think BSA and the council should eliminate all their advancement record keeping and leave issueing awards to units where it belongs.

 

 

 

Seattle Pioneer

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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.  

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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.

 

"Easily verified"? Have you ever BEEN to a council office? They told me my recharter paperwork was missing YPT forms....until I produced the PDF files proving they screwed up!

 

I get stopping someone from buying 12 Life patches. I even get restricting Eagle badge purchases (though I could have purchase 20 palms if I wanted, go figure). But to require some parent to go to get more paperwork so Timmy can have a second Tenderfoot patch sewn on a second overpriced uniform shirt she just bought? Please.

 

How bloody likely is it that Timmy is a rouge unapproved Tenderfoot? This is existence justification on BSAs part.

Edited by Mozartbrau

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Having worked for national supply, all stores are suppose to collect paperwork for "restricted items."  Part of it is an attempt to control the "rank black market."  Part of it is to make sure the Council's records are correct.  You don't want to know how many times I've seen the council records messed up. And that is with me hand delivering the paperwork!

 

Someone said it goes into the "circular file"  I am betting that is only the CS stuff as Boy Scout, Sea Scout, and Venturing advancement has to get verified whereas the CS ranks don't. 

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