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POR are issues in many troops.  Boys are troop historian in name only.

This year, for the first time in many years, the boys in those type of positions were given a description of the position and they sat down with the SM and together they came up with goals.

When the goals were met and time was served, the POR were signed off.  We had a scout who hasn't met his goal.  SM has had discussions with him about how he has a goal he needs to meet,

asked what his plans are with meeting the goal, if he needed assistance, etc.  Sad to say, that boy won't be getting his POR signed off.

He and the SM made the goal so he knew what it was, he was asked if he needed help, he was monitored and reminded that he had a goal yet he still didn't meet it.  It is on him.

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Why can't the boys just journal their POR activity and then present it when they want it signed off in their books.  If their journal doesn't reflect 6 months of work, then it doesn't get signed off until it does.

 

Historian: I went to one event, took pictures and gave them to the WebMaster.   (Probably not going to get 6 months credit!)

 

QM: I inventoried the trailer and Scout Room of all equipment.  Provided patrols with appropriate equipment for Spring camporee and Summer Camp.  Repaired 2 tents, Inspected all equipment now that my 6 months are up and submitted a report to the Committee Treasurer for new equipment due to need and replacement.  (Yep, I'm thinking he's done enough)  

 

Chaplain's Aide: I opened every scout meeting with a brief devotion and prayer during flags.  I closed each flag ceremony at the end of the meeting with a brief prayer.  I provide a 15 minute non-denominational service for the troop at the Camporee.  I worked with 2 scouts to get them going on their religious awards from their churches.  (Yep, he's got it covered too.)

 

Of course the SM doesn't have to wait until the end to SMC these boys with their journals to make sure they are on the right track.  If a boy shows up week after week with a blank journal, this could pose a problem down the road.

The issue there is communicating expectations between what you define as 6 months of work and what the Scouts define as six months of work. 

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In our Troop, the SM signs off at SMC. He does have periodic SMC with each of the boys about Troop life in general and advancement goals (or not, depending on the boy) a few times per year anyway. So there is never any misunderstanding about what constitues the fulfilment of each POR, or any doubt about whether or not the Scout is on the right track.

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The issue there is communicating expectations between what you define as 6 months of work and what the Scouts define as six months of work. 

 

The troop is boy-led, my opinion doesn't count.  What their duties are is defined by their PL and if the PL is happy with the boys performance for his patrol then I'm good with it too.  The troop level POR's are covered by the SPL.  Same thing.  If the SPL feels the boys have fulfilled the requirement then he signs off on it.

 

I have found that the boys policing themselves tend to be a lot more stringent than dealing with me.  :)  

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3 weeks ago at Troop meeting 2 Scouts asked me to sign off on their POR requirements.

 

One I wasn’t sure he was even holding the POR he said he was (Chaplin’s Aid for Life) and for the 2nd one I wasn't sure what he had done for his POR (Historian for Star)

 

I told both that they needed to see the SM about getting these signed off.

 

We had a week off for Spring Break and last week both of these Scouts approached me again asking if I could sign off the Scout Sprit requirement.

 

I saw that both had gotten one of our new ASM’s to sign off on the POR requirement.

 

I told both of these Scouts I needed to talk with the SM before doing the Scout Sprit requirement and I would get back with them.

 

After a discussion with the SM he had talked with both of these Scouts on what they needed to do before the POR requirement would be signed off.

Neither had done anything towards the POR but got it signed by another ASM

 

I have been asked to do the Scout Sprit requirement with them before they do the SM conference.

 

How would you approach this with the Scouts?

 

FYI- I can’t really blame the new ASM’s as they took the Scouts word that they had done the POR.  SM has had a chat with the new ASM’s about this….and it will be discussed at the SM conference

 

 

My basic view is that PORs should ONLY be signed by SM, and Scout Spirit also only by SM.  In fact, I think most advancement beyond First Class should only be signed by SM or BOR. 

 

That said, I think I would trust one of our JASMs (my oldest son) to do the POR/Scout Spirit sign off more than any adult. We would have a big logjam at First Class.  My oldest is a stickler on those two things. 

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In our troop it is small enough the the SM is the only one who signs off for POR and scout spirit for just the reasons as you listed.  He knows what they had agreed to as fufilling the POR. and he signs off scout spirit during the SMC  In a larger troop I don't know how it would be handled.....

 

I do believe that once it is signed off it it can't be taken back, but it  could be discussed at a BOR about why the scouts are going around the SM to get the requirements signed off.

 

Of course it can be taken back if the BOR thinks he hasn't fulfilled the requirement. 

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My basic view is that PORs should ONLY be signed by SM, and Scout Spirit also only by SM.  In fact, I think most advancement beyond First Class should only be signed by SM or BOR. 

 

That said, I think I would trust one of our JASMs (my oldest son) to do the POR/Scout Spirit sign off more than any adult. We would have a big logjam at First Class.  My oldest is a stickler on those two things. 

 

 

 

I have found that the boys policing themselves tend to be a lot more stringent than dealing with me.   :)

 

This is why I as SM can rely on my PL's doing a good job with advancement sign-off in a boy-led program.  :)

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What are the requirements for Chaplain's Aide and Historian?  Is there a job description with clearly defined goals and objectives?  Was there periodic "performance reviews" so that the Scout is not blindsided with a "NO" when he asks for the sign-off?  If they think the requirement is to wear the patch for 3 months, whose fault is that?

Step 1: Abandon sub-par teaching methods, such as EDGE.

Step 2: Adopt a method that actually brought the West out of the darkages. The first step of which should include "Reference."

Step 3: Refer to the handbook, or to a mobile app (in this case meritbadge.org):

  • The historian preserves troop photographs, news stories, trophies, flags, scrapbooks, awards, and other memorabilia.
  • The chaplain aide works with the troop chaplain to meet the religious needs of Scouts in the troop. He also works to promote the religious emblems program.

Step 4: Do what's written, on a monthly basis, check in with your PL or SPL for after action review, improve. Or,

Step 4b: Ignore what's written for six months, return to step 1.

 

Whose fault is it? Who cares? Since when is a star scout's advancement supposed to be dependent on anybody but his own. Either he did what was layed out for him in the handbook and six well-chosen merit badge pamphlets or he did not. If he did not, he is not, by definition, a life scout.

 

In fact, if a boy comes to me and says, "Sir, I have been waiting to be assigned a position for 6 months, meanwhile the QM was a jaggoff, so I inventoried the gear and got everyone to clean it all after the fall camporee, I went to my younger brother's den meetings because their chief was all about the basketball this winter, and I a got Jamila (this girl in another crew) to check out In the Name of God.  You're welcome." Guess who's getting his book signed on the spot, in bold, with no apologies to how much of a headache it will give the andvancement chair with the Troopmaster?

 

Let me ask again, how is this complicated?

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POR are issues in many troops.  Boys are troop historian in name only.

This year, for the first time in many years, the boys in those type of positions were given a description of the position and they sat down with the SM and together they came up with goals.

When the goals were met and time was served, the POR were signed off.  We had a scout who hasn't met his goal.  SM has had discussions with him about how he has a goal he needs to meet,

asked what his plans are with meeting the goal, if he needed assistance, etc.  Sad to say, that boy won't be getting his POR signed off.

He and the SM made the goal so he knew what it was, he was asked if he needed help, he was monitored and reminded that he had a goal yet he still didn't meet it.  It is on him.

 

We have position descriptions. Likely the same ones that many of us here use and are based off of the generic ones in BSA docs and then fine-tuned for our unit. We have the job and duties outlined. We have objectives also. We ask every candidate for positions to create their "action plan" before the election which will outline what they plan to accomplish during their tenure. These are all given to the SPL. After the SPL election, he and the SM sit down and go over the candidates and their action plans. The action plans and the role description are used monthly to keep the leaders on track. If the SPL or PLs or SMs feel a scout is not meeting his action plan or the outline duties/responsibilities they are brought in for an SMC to remind them. 

 

Sounds like you are doing something similar. It has helped us IMMENSELY in reducing and nearly eliminating poor leadership. Yes, this process does require some adult assistance in the boy-led troop, but the SPL is actively involved all the way.

 

 

The issue there is communicating expectations between what you define as 6 months of work and what the Scouts define as six months of work. 

 

Exactly! And it needs to be revisited monthly too. After two months of a six month term, if the scout is not stepping up (and is being told so) then in month 3 we have a "shape up or lose your role" talk. If month 3 goes by and no joy, he's replaced.

 

The troop is boy-led, my opinion doesn't count.  What their duties are is defined by their PL and if the PL is happy with the boys performance for his patrol then I'm good with it too.  The troop level POR's are covered by the SPL.  Same thing.  If the SPL feels the boys have fulfilled the requirement then he signs off on it.

 

I have found that the boys policing themselves tend to be a lot more stringent than dealing with me.   :)

 

I respectfully disagree. Part of adult association and guidance is having a discourse with the youth leaders to point out to them the difference between truly living up to our duties and obligations. They may not be equipped to handle the pressure of turning down a buddy, nepotism/cronyism, etc. It is our job as leaders to guide them with that decision-making. 

 

I suspect you meant that we don't make the decisions for them, but rather advise them on all the angles and then let them make the decision. That's what they do in my unit....I suspect that may be what you meant @@Stosh.

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Step 1: Abandon sub-par teaching methods, such as EDGE.

Step 2: Adopt a method that actually brought the West out of the darkages. The first step of which should include "Reference."

Step 3: Refer to the handbook, or to a mobile app (in this case meritbadge.org):

  • The historian preserves troop photographs, news stories, trophies, flags, scrapbooks, awards, and other memorabilia.
  • The chaplain aide works with the troop chaplain to meet the religious needs of Scouts in the troop. He also works to promote the religious emblems program.

Step 4: Do what's written, on a monthly basis, check in with your PL or SPL for after action review, improve. Or,

Step 4b: Ignore what's written for six months, return to step 1.

 

Whose fault is it? Who cares? Since when is a star scout's advancement supposed to be dependent on anybody but his own. Either he did what was layed out for him in the handbook and six well-chosen merit badge pamphlets or he did not. If he did not, he is not, by definition, a life scout.

 

In fact, if a boy comes to me and says, "Sir, I have been waiting to be assigned a position for 6 months, meanwhile the QM was a jaggoff, so I inventoried the gear and got everyone to clean it all after the fall camporee, I went to my younger brother's den meetings because their chief was all about the basketball this winter, and I a got Jamila (this girl in another crew) to check out In the Name of God.  You're welcome." Guess who's getting his book signed on the spot, in bold, with no apologies to how much of a headache it will give the andvancement chair with the Troopmaster?

 

Let me ask again, how is this complicated?

 

EXACTLY!!!! I'll even agree to your misspellings!

 

I have had boys doing what your last paragraph describes all along.  In a small troop we don't have enough work to fill up a POR except maybe the one PL  and he's been working his butt off for a year but because he's not yet FC, none of it counts for advancement.  So what, he's an excellent scout anyway!

 

Take responsibility for oneself, it's the core principle of growing up and maturing into an adult!

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I respectfully disagree. Part of adult association and guidance is having a discourse with the youth leaders to point out to them the difference between truly living up to our duties and obligations. They may not be equipped to handle the pressure of turning down a buddy, nepotism/cronyism, etc. It is our job as leaders to guide them with that decision-making. 

 

I suspect you meant that we don't make the decisions for them, but rather advise them on all the angles and then let them make the decision. That's what they do in my unit....I suspect that may be what you meant @@Stosh.

 

No problem with the disagreement.  We just come from different approaches.  It really bugs me when adults deal with individual scouts (besides YPT issues).  If they do it often enough the boys will turn to the adults when they need help.  As well meaning as that "adult association" method  is meant to be, it is often contra-indicative of what I want to accomplish with the boys really running the show.  I even have had to reign in SPL's over the years that interfere in the PL leadership of the patrols.

 

So where's the adult association?  I'm the SPL's #1 shadow.  I seldom speak, but he knows I've got his back.  The SPL is the #1 Shadow for all of his PL's.  They all know the SPL has their back.  Neither of us interact with their patrol members in any official leadership capacity, just the PL's lead, that's there job, we both respect that.  Whenever there's an issue the SPL needs to address with a PL, I'm not that far away but I'm more of an observer than anything else.  Neither the SPL or myself are ever out of the loop with what's going on in the patrols because we "visit" often with the PL's.

 

When I say I pencil-whip MB cards it not any rebellion against the system, it's just that my boys have already take care of all the issues and have everything worked out already and the council wants my signature?  Sure here it is.  

 

I trust my boys and they know it.  I have had very few scouts over the years that have ever taken advantage of that trust.  The vast majority really appreciate the opportunity to own their program.  They work hard on not jeopardizing that.

 

I can't remember the last time a scout (other than SPL or PL if he can't find me) ask questions of me.  Most of my contact with the boys centers around, "How's this scouting stuff working out for you?"  or "What did you think of your patrols dinner last night?"  or "Are there boys in your patrol that are interested in doing any canoeing this summer?  I have 3 kayaks and 2 canoes that need to get wet.", etc.

 

Yes there is a ton of adult association, but not adult leadership, I leave that up to the boys.  A certain amount of adult management behind the scenes is necessary, but the course taken by the troop is entirely in the hands of the boys and they've always done a really good job at it. 

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The unit needs to have clearly established expectations that the scout understands for a POR.

 

 

 

4.2.3.4.3 Meeting Unit Expectations. If a unit has established
expectations for positions of responsibility, and if, within
reason (see the note under “Rank Requirements Overview,â€
4.2.3.0), based on his personal skill set, the Scout meets
them, he fulfi lls the requirement. When a Scout assumes
a position, something related to the desired results must
happen. It is a disservice to the Scout and to the unit to
reward work that has not been done. Holding a position
and doing nothing, producing no results, is unacceptable.
Some degree of responsibility must be practiced, taken,
or accepted.

 

4.2.3.4.4 Meeting the Requirement in the Absence of Unit
Expectations. It is best when a Scout’s leaders provide him
position descriptions, and then direction, coaching, and
support. Where this occurs, and is done well, the young
man will likely succeed. When this support, for whatever
reason, is unavailable or otherwise not provided—or
when there are no clearly established expectations—then
an adult leader or the Scout, or both, should work out the
responsibilities to fulfi ll. In doing so, neither the position’s
purpose nor degree of diffi culty may be altered
signifi cantly or diminished. BSA literature provides
the basis for this effort: the Scoutmaster Handbook,
No. 33009, (“The Boy-Led Troopâ€); the Patrol Leader
Handbook, No. 32502 (“Your Patrol and Your Troopâ€);
the Varsity Scout Guidebook, No. 34827 (in explanations
of team organization); the Venturing Leader Manual,
No. 34655 (“Leadership in the Crewâ€); and the Sea
Scout Manual, No. 33239 (“Offi cers’ Responsibilitiesâ€).
Under the above scenario, if it is left to the Scout to
determine what should be done, and he makes a
reasonable effort to perform accordingly for the time
specifi ed, then he fulfi lls this requirement. Even if his
results are not necessarily what the unit leader, members
of a board of review, or others involved may want to see,
he must not be held to unestablished expectations.

 

4.2.3.4.5 When Responsibilities Are Not Met. If a unit
has clearly established expectations for position(s) held,
then—within reason—a Scout must meet them through
the prescribed time. If he is not meeting expectations,
then this must be communicated early. Unit leadership
may work toward a constructive result by asking him
what he thinks he should be accomplishing. What is his
concept of the position? What does he think his troop
leaders—youth and adult—expect? What has he done
well? What needs improvement? Often this questioning
approach can lead a young man to the decision to
measure up. He will tell the leaders how much of the
service time should be recorded.
If it becomes clear nothing will improve his performance,
then it is acceptable to remove the Scout from his
position. It is the unit leader’s responsibility to address
these situations promptly. Every effort should have been
made while he was in the position to ensure he
understood expectations and was regularly supported
toward reasonably acceptable performance. It is unfair
and inappropriate—after six months, for example—
to surprise a boy who thinks he has been doing fi ne,
with news that his performance is now considered
unsatisfactory. In this case, he must be given credit
for the time.

 

If a Scout believes he has performed his duties satisfactorily,
but his leaders disagree, then the possibility that
expectations are unreasonable or were not clearly
conveyed to the youth should be considered. If after
discussions between the Scout and his leaders—and
perhaps including his parents or guardians—he believes
he is being held to unreasonable expectations, then upon
completing the remaining requirements, he must be
granted a board of review. If he is an Eagle candidate,
then he may request a board of review under disputed
circumstances (see “Initiating Eagle Scout Board of
Review Under Disputed Circumstances,†8.0.3.2).

 

 

Our council advancement chair told me that under disputes like this, the council advancement committee always sides with the scout.

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Our troop "policy" is that the POR belongs to the scout.  He defines what his role is based on his understanding of the definition of the role.  You're PL what does that mean to you and what do you feel you should be doing to fulfill your expectations for advancement.

 

If he defines the role, then there's no misunderstanding at the end.  Either he did what he said he was going to do or he didn't.  

 

Then there are those who create POR activity for themselves along the way.  They might fill in for a PL doing sports for a month even though they wear the APL patch.  They're doing PL work, they should get credit for it.  Maybe they take on the CA's duties for the campout because he couldn't make it.  QM didn't show so he got the equipment ready for summer camp. etc.  He documents all this and turns it in.  Does he get advancement credit for all the work he's done?  In my book yes.

 

Extensive by-laws and policies are tor those who's politics have gotten in the way and the only next recourse for the troop is retaining lawyers.  That's really sad.

 

Ever notice the only ones who jump to the by-laws and policies are the adults????  

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Of course it can be taken back if the BOR thinks he hasn't fulfilled the requirement. 

 

BOR is NOT a re-test. If the ASM incorrectly signed off, the SM should rectify the situation. If it gets past the SMC, the BOR has no authority to deny advancement. That is NOT their function- they are more of a gut check for the Troop as a whole. Their questions should be about the Scout's experiences in the Troop and where the program is succeeding or failing form the boy's point of view.

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Step 1: Abandon sub-par teaching methods, such as EDGE.

Step 2: Adopt a method that actually brought the West out of the darkages. The first step of which should include "Reference."

Step 3: Refer to the handbook, or to a mobile app (in this case meritbadge.org):

  • The historian preserves troop photographs, news stories, trophies, flags, scrapbooks, awards, and other memorabilia.
  • The chaplain aide works with the troop chaplain to meet the religious needs of Scouts in the troop. He also works to promote the religious emblems program.

Step 4: Do what's written, on a monthly basis, check in with your PL or SPL for after action review, improve. Or,

Step 4b: Ignore what's written for six months, return to step 1.

 

Whose fault is it? Who cares? Since when is a star scout's advancement supposed to be dependent on anybody but his own. Either he did what was layed out for him in the handbook and six well-chosen merit badge pamphlets or he did not. If he did not, he is not, by definition, a life scout.

 

In fact, if a boy comes to me and says, "Sir, I have been waiting to be assigned a position for 6 months, meanwhile the QM was a jaggoff, so I inventoried the gear and got everyone to clean it all after the fall camporee, I went to my younger brother's den meetings because their chief was all about the basketball this winter, and I a got Jamila (this girl in another crew) to check out In the Name of God.  You're welcome." Guess who's getting his book signed on the spot, in bold, with no apologies to how much of a headache it will give the andvancement chair with the Troopmaster?

 

Let me ask again, how is this complicated?

 

So, if there is no adult serving as Troop Chaplain, there can be no "Chaplain's Aide", by definition, ...correct?

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