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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????  

 

Sadly lawyers have gotten involved because some leaders decided they were "gate keepers". National has provided policies to protect the scouts and outline how the program is to be administered. As trained adult leaders it is our responsibility to know and follow these policies. The scouts may never open the guide to advancement or the guide to safe scouting, but they benefit from association with adult leaders you know and follow these policies.

 

Our troop is a very well run youth lead troop. The scouts plan all activities and seek guidance when required from adults. As adults we do not run the program, nor do we solve their problems for them. We help them solve their own problems by asking questions and helping them understand their choices. In the end it is their choice which determines what occurs.

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One big thing I see in my son's troop is that nothing in written down and everything is done "by the seat of the pants"

According to the SM these scouts were given expectations of what was needed to fulfill the POR. It was just not written down.

 

My big issue is that I directed both of these Scouts to the SM to get these signed off but they went to another adults instead.

 

PL's and the SPL (SM and ASM's too) can sign off on anything under First Class.

the SM likes to have one of the ASM's do the Scout sprit requirement to get another view on how the Scout is doing

 

One thing we have been struggling with is the PL's and SPL's willing to sign off on requirements.

This fall the SPL (just turned 14) came to me and asked if I could sogn off on another Scouts' requirement - responded that he was the SPL and he could sign off

His responce was he thought only older Scouts could sign off. I then reminded him that as SPL he was now an older Scout

Same with the PL's. They are all young (12 just turning 13) and don't see themselves in a position to do so

 

My thought is to ask about "Scout Spirit" in the contect of their POR and holding off signing it until they fullfill what was outlined when they decided to take the POR.

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It sounds like your PLs and SPL lack confidence that they are respected as leaders in the troop.  Planning and running meetings and outings during the PLC usually help with that unless there are older scouts who might not be showing them the respect that their positions deserve.  I have seen a couple troop guides come in and take over a patrol meeting, rather than mentor a younger PL.  That erodes their confidence and will continue to hurt them.  We had a top heavy troop for a bit and it took a while for the younger boys to grab the reigns, so to speak.  It sounds like a conversation is in order to see where their hesitancy lies.  If it is the cause of older boys undermining authority, they will probably need some advise about how to handle that.

 

As far as the scouts getting the POR signed off by another ASM especially when you sent them to the SM, I think it absolutely falls under scout sprirt.  How is that living the scout law?  A scout is trustworthy, a scout is obedient.....

Edited by andysmom

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Sadly lawyers have gotten involved because some leaders decided they were "gate keepers". National has provided policies to protect the scouts and outline how the program is to be administered. As trained adult leaders it is our responsibility to know and follow these policies. The scouts may never open the guide to advancement or the guide to safe scouting, but they benefit from association with adult leaders you know and follow these policies.

 

Our troop is a very well run youth lead troop. The scouts plan all activities and seek guidance when required from adults. As adults we do not run the program, nor do we solve their problems for them. We help them solve their own problems by asking questions and helping them understand their choices. In the end it is their choice which determines what occurs.

 

:) as it should be!

 

I sure wish BSA would do a bit better with their terminology.  Adult association and Adult leaders are two different issues for me.  Adult Leaders are those that have adult-led programs.  Boy-led programs have registered adults that associate with them.  Basically it is unfortunate but many times it seems to fall to me to protect the boys from misguided adults that think the adult association bit is their excuse to run the show.

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One big thing I see in my son's troop is that nothing in written down and everything is done "by the seat of the pants"

According to the SM these scouts were given expectations of what was needed to fulfill the POR. It was just not written down.

 

My big issue is that I directed both of these Scouts to the SM to get these signed off but they went to another adults instead. ...

The "seat of the pants" thing isn't all that bad. But, people need an anchor. Let that anchor be the handbook.

 

It is easy to get cheezed at boys not following your spoken order. (And yes, in my familiy if you asked Dad a question that Mom had already answered in a way you didn't like, it was grounds for severe negative reinforcement.) But take it down a peg and make sure you get to the heart of the issue. Ask them why they went to the ASM instead of the SM. If it was because they knew that the SM would be critical of their performance, then ask them why they thought that. If it was because they hadn't perfomed their duties as layed out in their handbook, ask them what they should do with that signature.

 

If they come clean, get with the SPL and see what kind of project would make up for the last six months slacking.

 

But, it could be that, early on, they started to do stuff in their position and something someone said led them to shut down. Maybe the SM came off like he wasn't available to talk over their attempts. This does happen with "seat of your pants" organizations. Recognition goes by the wayside and boys fall through the cracks. In this scenario, ask the boys what they learned from this, and if they'd like an opportunity to do something differently.

 

I wouldn't make this about Scout Spirit. I'd make it about fullfillnig the requirement.

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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.

It is not a retest, but if they determine that a requirement has not been met (like a POR not done), they can "not approve" the Scout's rank advancement. 

 

 

From

8.0.1.1 Not a Retest or "Examination"

<snip>

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

The above means that a Scout can be rejected related to advancement requirements. If a BOR member knows that a Star Scout who had a QM POR has never done any work related to his position, of course they can reject him based on that. For example, back when I was on the committee, I went on almost every campout. We had one "QM" who not only didn't attend any campouts during the months he was in office, he also never showed up to assist packing the trailer (which is an expectation we have for QM).  Luckily, the SM called him on that, and didn't sign the POR requirement, but had I been on this boy's BOR, I would have voted to not approve his rank advancement.  

 

I guess technically, they aren't rescinding that requirement, but they can ask him to do it again.

 

The BOR does have the responsibility and power to deny advancement.  See bold and italicized below. 

 

 

8.0.1.5 After the Review

If the members agree a Scout is ready to advance, he is called in and congratulated. The board of review date—not that of a subsequent court of honor—becomes the rank's effective date.

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. If it is thought that a Scout, before his 18th birthday, can benefit from an opportunity to properly complete the requirements, the board may adjourn and reconvene at a later date. If the candidate agrees to this, then if possible, the same members should reassemble. If he does not agree, then the board must make its decision at that point. 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, or—if applicable—"Appealing a Quartermaster Bridge of Review Decision," 4.4.2.8.) The council must keep a copy of the letter.

After any board of review, the unit leader is informed of the decision.

 

http://www.scouting.org/Home/GuideToAdvancement/BoardsofReview.aspx

Edited by perdidochas

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

I take the description to be more of a suggestion than a requirement. Most times, the Chaplain's Aide would need a "go to" adult. I had a religiously diverse family -- and no small amount of arrogance -- so I had no problem with the position on my own as a youth. I've seen other youth manage well without adult support. But, by and large, most boys will need guidance picking a reading and setting up a time for vespers, promoting religious awards, etc ...

 

It's definitely one that if you don't have the right boy or a willing adult capable of helping a less-than-prepared boy, you're better off going without the position.

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It is not a retest, but if they determine that a requirement has not been met (like a POR not done), they can "not approve" the Scout's rank advancement. 

 

 

Exactly!

 

We had an outgoing (as in stepping down) advancement chair hold a Life BOR for a friend of his son. In the SMC the SM did not catch the fact that the POR was not completed. He was awarded Star (March), got a POR two months later (May). Six months after his Star award date (Sept he requested an SMC, passed and went for his the following week. The paperwork he submitted was dated but no one caught that someone (the advancement chair) "fudged" the dates to get his SMC and BOR. The advancement chair held the BOR and passed the Scout.

 

One of our ASMs sits down with the SPL each month and reviews the advancement status of the boys. One month after this Scout passed his BOR (October) it was noticed that his paperwork was incorrect as his POR completion date was AFTER his Life BOR (November was the 6 month POR completion date). The old advancement chair was trying to get him through because he knew this scout would not pass a BOR with the incoming chair. this scout was erroneously awarded Life, which would have caused all sorts of paperwork hassles during the Eagle process.

 

Long story short, we went all the way to national with this one (neither council nor district had a clue on how to address this). National had us take back the Life award, have the Scout earn his POR for Life by completing two months in a POR and then go back through the SMC and BOR process. The former advancement chair was rebuked and asked to leave....this was a purposeful act, not a mistake...and we now have stronger audit controls on advancement.

 

All that to say, yeah, you can take things away *IF* they were not earned according to BSA rules. 

Edited by Mozartbrau

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This might be a bit off topic but I am interested in this. I have a problem with POR's in general, for older scouts. Shouldn't they just be expected to help out with the program? If they have a POR then fine but that's such a short period. I despise the attitude of I don't need the POR so I don't have to help out. I'd like to ask every scout coming in for a SMC for a higher rank what he's done to help the troop. It would be great to see him pull out a list of things he's done beyond what the POR requires. Helped run an event, taught younger scouts some skills, mc'd a camp fire. I'd like to see them do something once a month. It doesn't have to be a lot. This falls under scout spirit. Is this OK to do?

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This might be a bit off topic but I am interested in this. I have a problem with POR's in general, for older scouts. Shouldn't they just be expected to help out with the program? If they have a POR then fine but that's such a short period. I despise the attitude of I don't need the POR so I don't have to help out. I'd like to ask every scout coming in for a SMC for a higher rank what he's done to help the troop. It would be great to see him pull out a list of things he's done beyond what the POR requires. Helped run an event, taught younger scouts some skills, mc'd a camp fire. I'd like to see them do something once a month. It doesn't have to be a lot. This falls under scout spirit. Is this OK to do?

 

I do it all the time.  I held an Eagle back for 6 months because he was doing things quite contrary to what an Eagle candidate was supposed to do.  I signed off on all his advancement and he thought it was a done deal until the Council came to me and asked for a recommendation stating he was an exemplary scout and deserved Eagle.  Personally I couldn't do that and by requirements for Eagle rank my recommendation wasn't part of the process.  Council stood firm and the boy rolled up his sleeve and proved to me that he could be an exemplary scout and deserved Eagle.  He got his recommendation.

 

In the SMC I ALWAYS ask, "What have you done in regards to your duty to God and Country?"  "How about your helping people at all tmes?" etc.  That second question always is followed up by, "Why haven't I seen it in the troop?"  A lot of times they try to weasel out with, "I don't have a POR." followed by "You don't need a patch to help other people at all times."  :)  They figure it out.  

 

At the present time I have only one boy wearing a patch, the PL.  Everyone else pulls their weight and the patches aren't needed because none of the boys are FC.  

 

In my last troop, the boys did their POR's without patches because they didn't want to bother with sewing them on.

 

Everyone either has a job or finds a job because that second question in the SMC is always asked. 

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This might be a bit off topic but I am interested in this. I have a problem with POR's in general, for older scouts. Shouldn't they just be expected to help out with the program? If they have a POR then fine but that's such a short period. I despise the attitude of I don't need the POR so I don't have to help out. I'd like to ask every scout coming in for a SMC for a higher rank what he's done to help the troop. It would be great to see him pull out a list of things he's done beyond what the POR requires. Helped run an event, taught younger scouts some skills, mc'd a camp fire. I'd like to see them do something once a month. It doesn't have to be a lot. This falls under scout spirit. Is this OK to do?

I think it is ok.  I have high expectations of the older boys. I tell them that.  I expect them to be helping/teaching the younger scouts.  Our oldest scouts don't do that.  Our next "year" class after them (who were my Bears and Webelos Scouts when I was  a den leader) are doing that.  The problem is that they sometimes inadvertently step on the SPLs toes, because they are former SPLs, and to use Kudu's term, are the 'natural leaders' of the troop.  (they weren't when they were younger, but have grown into that). 

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This might be a bit off topic but I am interested in this. I have a problem with POR's in general, for older scouts. Shouldn't they just be expected to help out with the program? If they have a POR then fine but that's such a short period. I despise the attitude of I don't need the POR so I don't have to help out. I'd like to ask every scout coming in for a SMC for a higher rank what he's done to help the troop. It would be great to see him pull out a list of things he's done beyond what the POR requires. Helped run an event, taught younger scouts some skills, mc'd a camp fire. I'd like to see them do something once a month. It doesn't have to be a lot. This falls under scout spirit. Is this OK to do?

 

Herein lies the real issue.  Bobby is a Star scout and needs a PoR for advancement, so he becomes the troop historian because he needs the position.  He doesn't really go on many campouts at all and never brings a camera with him when he does.  Tommy is a Second Class Scout and also would like to be the historian because he really enjoys photography and he goes on most of the campouts and he usually takes a lot of pictures when he goes on the campout.  In our troop we elect positions (I know that's not 100% correct but it's better than the SM picking ;)), in other troops the SPL or SM (in an adult-led troop) picks the positions.

 

I have seen Bobby get the position because either the scouts, or more likely the SPL or SM, talk about how he needs the position and Tommy will have plenty of opportunity since he doesn't need the PoR for advancement.  I'm not saying that this happens in most troops, but I think this happens a lot that the "PoR" is only meant for advancement in a lot of cases.  Now, when I was SM I would counsel the boys on the meaning of the positions and if Tommy was really the one taking the pictures and going on campouts, I would have the conversation with Bobby that he needed to step up and if he didn't then I would give the credit to Bobby as part of Scout Spirit.  However, I don't know how often that happens.

 

And, oh by the way, if Bobby doesn't get that position initially, then I have had parents come up to me as SM and ask me why he didn't get it because he NEEDS it.  I would tell them the same thing I told the scouts, but that would fall on deaf ears.

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This is why I don't take POR's all that seriously and find that in the long run really don't need to.

 

Boys, if left alone, will naturally move to a place where they want to be in the patrol.

 

If Johnny is 2nd Class and would do a good job as QM, give him the job.  If Freddie NEEDS a POR for advancement and someone puts him in the QM position, what right do they have to complain about his performance?  Freddie is going to do a "get by" job so he can get his next rank.  It has nothing to do with learning anything other than how to cut corners to the next step of the game.  Give the QM to Johnny, he wants it, his heart is in it and he will do the job for the sake of doing the job, not just for advancement credit.

 

If on the other hand, the SM/SPL put Freddie in the QM position and then complain to someone, that someone has the justified right to simply ignore them.  They have created their own problem, live with it.  Better yet, jump all over Freddie's case about how lousy a job he did when you in fact set him up to fail.

 

If Freddie needs advancement credit, he had better start learning the job and getting himself ready for the POR.  Nothing in the book says that if Freddie needs a POR he can't pitch in and help the existing QM so that he knows what's going on in the position and when appointments are made his name is at the top of the list.  It's called taking responsibility for oneself and one's advancement.

 

So the parent comes and says Freddie NEEDS a POR, make him a Bugler.  Doesn't know how to play the bugle?  So what, he doesn't know anything about any of the other POR's either.  At least as a bugler, he won't be bothering anyone doing real work for the troop.

Edited by Stosh
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Thanks for the feedback. In a way I've been doing this for a long time. An older scout never helps out, I sit down with him and tell him I'll never sign off unless he changes, his eyes get very large, and we have a discussion that leads to the scout helping out and eventually getting eagle. The only scout that has not made Eagle after a discussion like this is the one that brought weed to summer camp. Some scouts have grudgingly gone along but most have made the best of it and had a good time. At the same time I really don't like doing this because it's a lot of stress for me and the scout. That's why I like the idea of telling all scouts up front that as long as you're a candidate for star, life, or eagle then you should keep track of how you're giving service to the troop. That would make everything easier on everyone.

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At almost all BOR for Star scouts and above it is asked of the scout what he has done to give back to the troop, specifically. Especially if they don't have a POR.

They are told at their First Class board that to this point they have taken and learned from the troop, now it is expected that they give back.  We expect them to be leaders, teachers and mentors.

 

If a scout fumbles and cannot think of a reasonable example of how they have helped out the troop in some way, a conversation is had about how that scout is living up to the oath and law.

Edited by andysmom
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