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:)  I never have a discussion directly about POR's, teaching younger boys, etc.  I just ask the question, "How you doing with the Help other people at all times part of the Oath?  Pretty much encompasses a broad base and one doesn't need to go into a long song and dance about doing POR's or helping out as the boy gets older.  

 

For this reason alone, I have problems with BSA's managerial approach to false-leadership.  Everyone is so focused on getting the job done, they are completely oblivious to the people those jobs are supposed to be helping.  PL POR?  It's a job that needs to get done.....  What do you mean there's people involved?  My patrol members don't listen to me anyway so why should I help them..... and the cycle of failure just keeps rolling alone.

 

For me the most important POR in my troop is the PL.  That's the person who exemplifies boy-led, patrol-method!  And the second most important person?  Well they don't even get POR credit!  The APL.  Why?  Because it's their leadership job to make the PL look good.  He's the #1 helper to the PL.  He's the PL's right-hand man.  and how do most people treat him?  He only does something when the PL is not there.  Otherwise he sits on his hands and does nothing so he gets no POR credit, it's not really an important job.  

 

Show me a good APL and I'll show you the next functional SPL.  He knows how to take care of a PL and the next step in his evolution is multiple PL's and to me that's what an SPL is there for!  

 

So much of the BSA training is perpetuation of some in the box processes which  have moved out of the realm of effective scouting.  When people hear me say the next SPL should be one of the APL's, they just smile nicely and change the subject.  Why?  Because they don't understand real leadership of taking care of people, they are only interested in "getting the job done," which is not leadership of people, it's management of task..

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That's an issue in our troop as well in that guys serve their PoR for their time and in some cases do nothing.  For instance, our Historian and Quartermaster are older kids who rarely camp anymore.  Maybe the QM can get away with that if they do other things with our shed and trailer, but how is an historian supposed to document campouts with pictures and descriptions if he rarely goes?  One thing that I am going to do after I step back in as SM is help the boys understand what the positions entail and show them specifically what is required for each position.  I am not sure that has been done recently.

 

Introduction to Leadership Skills should be done every year, preferably before troop elections/appointments. If the scouts don't know what the expectations are, they will never meet them. I agree that if a boy isn't meeting expectations, the conversation needs to take place before he asks to be signed off. 

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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. 

 

Wow.   Very sad.  I "might" have handled it differently.  

 

If the scout did not know or not realize the issue, I'd let it stand.  I might ask the scoutmaster to talk to the scout about it and see if the scout could kick in a bit more effort for the next rank as a matter of good will.  ... BUT ... when leaders make mistakes (intentional or not), we do NOT penalize the scout.  Period.

 

Now if the scout was complicit or knowingly let it happen, IMHO, it would definitely have it affect his next rank.   

 

But it is EXTREMELY SEVERE to revoke recognition.  IMHO, it's akin to kicking the scout out ... same as kicking out the previous advancement chair.  

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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. 

 

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. 

 

 

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

 

Yeah, that selective interpretation ignores key BSA instructions in the Guide To Advancement WITHOUT reading the instructions on how to handle when expectations are not met.

 

BSA GTA 4.2.3.4.5  - When Expectaitons Are Not Met

 

If he is not meeting expectations, then this must be communicated early.

 

He (the scout) 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.
 
It is unfair and inappropriate—after six months, for example— to surprise a boy who thinks he has been doing fine, with news that his performance is now considered unsatisfactory.
 
In this case, he must be given credit for the time.
 
Only in rare cases—if ever—should troop leaders inform a Scout that time, once served, will not count.

 

 
 
 
===================================
But more importantly ...  a BOR IS NOT A TEST.   A direct-contact leader (SM, ASM, youth leader or other) signs off on the requirements BEFORE the scout goes to the BOR.  
 
The BOR can check the number of months in rank or in POR.  
 
The BOR can check that a designated leader signed off on a requirement.  No signoff means go back and and get it approved.  No judgement.  Just get it done.
 
The BOR is not supposed to be "direct contact" leaders who are observing and testing the scouts.  BOR is administrative.  
  • Upvote 1

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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.

That is within your powers, and good on you for communicating your expectations up front, and not waiting until there is paperwork to be signed and then ambushing the Scout. 

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Why is it so important to "establish your expectations" up front.  These boys have been watching other scouts in these positions, They can read the book to find out what these POR's are all about.  And if they don't have the skills, talent or inclination to do the job, why are they given the patch?  Oh, yes, to get advancement credit.  I forgot.  I'm thinking these will be the people that go from the mail room delivery boy to Vice President of Operations overnight because it looks good on their resume.

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Okay, as much fun as MultiQuote is let me spare repeating everyone else and only repeat myself:

  • Never assign PoR's based on need for rank advancment. Assign them because the boy has or may have a knack for the position. Don't care if the boy is still working on Tenderfoot. If he's the best guy for the job, put him in the position.
  • Use the handbook for expectations. That ILST course might not roll around in a timely fashion for the boy to really master his PoR before he is up for his next BoR. You and SPL might not have time for a personal orientation. He might not have the patience for another lecture. Say these words
    • "Read everything your handbook has to say about your position, next week tell me what it says, then tell me what you will do about it."
    • By next week there might be two or three "to do's" in the kid's head if you're lucky. Tell him "Pick one. Please do it by/on our next meeting."
  • No boy needs a PoR for advancement to Star or Life. I had to set committee members straight regarding this at our last meeting. There is no shame in being assigned a service project that benefits the troop.
    • Leading up to summer camp there are a multitude of tasks that adults appoint for themselves, wouldn't it be great to have a scout who will hunt down those med forms?
    • Maybe you've had a good many historians who've made dozens of posters and you've run out of space to hang them. How about making a scrapbook or two covering the last ten years while the current historian catches up the last six months.
    • Son #2 is manic about baking cakes. If he didn't double down on PoRs for fits and giggles, why couldn't he serve up a few for Courts of Honor? Do you have a boy like that?
    • Maybe you have a boy who wants to do nothing but chuck a pumpkin 300 yards. Assign him a catapult assembly goal for the county fair.
    • Who's overwhelmed? Who needs one task taken off their hands? Maybe only for a month?
    • Maybe there's a charity your troop wanted to support, but nobody seemed to have the time to call and line it up. Maybe if you weren't assigning positions that nobody in your troop particularly cares about, someone would!
    • Obviously, for service projects, you'd want the kid to think of a proposal if you don't have one, then flesh out a plan, then implement it. Not that he'll ever need to do anything like that ever again. :rolleyes:
  • No boy needs to advance beyond first class unless he (not momma or pappa) decides he needs to.
    • He always needs to be responsible.
    • He always needs to lead.
    • You just have to help him figure out how.
  • Not every boy needs a first class patch to be a first class scout.  Don't ask me why, but with some guys, you just have to sneak it in.
    • "How about getting your CPR cert? Just in case I collapse on you boys? And hey, maybe your girlfriend would like to get it with you?"
    • "Can you set up the knot board for the crossovers?"
    • "The borough council is talking about selling off your ball park, maybe you should sit in on that meeting."

There is so much pressure on SMs to become bean counters. Please help them to become scouters. :mellow:

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Under the service project requirement for Star/Life is where my boys document their multiple/temporary POR work if they choose to go that route.  I have also used it as a preliminary trial run for the Eagle Leadership Project as well.  I'm not as anal as the Eagle Review Committee, but it is a good opportunity to get ready for the "big one".  These are the boys that have already done POR work prior to FC, i.e. NSP PL, Instructor, Bugler, etc. and didn't get "credit" for it.  If they have done it under these circumstances, chances are they are heading into their Eagle Project anyway.  A couple of trial runs will do him better than repeating what he's already proven he can do.

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Wow.   Very sad.  I "might" have handled it differently.  

 

If the scout did not know or not realize the issue, I'd let it stand.  I might ask the scoutmaster to talk to the scout about it and see if the scout could kick in a bit more effort for the next rank as a matter of good will.  ... BUT ... when leaders make mistakes (intentional or not), we do NOT penalize the scout.  Period.

 

Now if the scout was complicit or knowingly let it happen, IMHO, it would definitely have it affect his next rank.   

 

But it is EXTREMELY SEVERE to revoke recognition.  IMHO, it's akin to kicking the scout out ... same as kicking out the previous advancement chair.  

 

Everyone involved knew. This was an end-run. The rank was unearned and rightly taken back. It was the right call.

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Everyone involved knew. This was an end-run. The rank was unearned and rightly taken back. It was the right call.

Even if the scout was ignorant of the adult shenanigans, letting the rank stand would have been wrong. "Adult error" would be something like recording the wrong date, an unregistered MBC, lost paperwork, or maybe an SPL assigning a service project that the previous SM always approved but the current SM would never.

 

Boys catch on real quick when a kid sneaks one by, and it will demoralize a troop faster than you can sing the "I'm a" of the little teapot song.

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Even if the scout was ignorant of the adult shenanigans, ....

Boys catch on real quick when a kid sneaks one by, ...

 

First it's the adult, then the kid ...  It's two very different things.  If the kid is cheating, that's a different issue and a stronger lesson is needed.  

 

But if it's the adult and the kid was not aware of the issue just like the rest of the troop at the time, I do strongly disagree with pulling the rank back.  

 

There are many other ways to teach a lesson and others in the troop will catch on quick when they notice the correction as much as they noticed the mistake.  

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Everyone involved knew. This was an end-run. The rank was unearned and rightly taken back. It was the right call.

 

In your opinion.  Taking back recognition is a big action.  Bigger than being short for two months.  It sounds like the issue was blown out of proportion.

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Fred, not personally trying to bust your chops on this one. I'm pretty sure if this turned up in your unit you'd be pretty hot about it to the adults and kind and courteous to the boy as you try to sort it all out  ... with that in mind, think about what you're implying:

 

If the kid doesn't fulfill the requirements and knows it, he/she doesn't deserve the award.

If the kid doesn't fulfill the requirements and doesn't know it, he/she deserves the award?

 

So is ignorance an alternative requirement in any organization that you know of?

 

Moz' was correct in running this up the chain to National.

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In your opinion. Taking back recognition is a big action. Bigger than being short for two months. It sounds like the issue was blown out of proportion.

Not only in my opinion, but in the opinion of national. The boy could count. He had his paperwork. He knew darn well he'd only held the POR for four months. So did the adult. The POR date was clearly AFTER his BOR date. Can you imagine what heck would have broken loose at his Eagle BOR with a missed date like that. We had a boy with a ten day difference (which was not material to anything other than being ten days longer than required) on one date on his Eagle paperwork and his entire application was tossed back by national.

 

You can take back something that was gained under false pretenses. Even the GTA says you can take back something that couldn't possibly have been earned. That's stolen valor in effect. Could you image him making Eagle under such circumstances?

 

The problem with BSA these days is we go so over board protecting scouts from failure that -- even in boy-led troops using the patrol method -- that there's now NO circumstance we can imagine where they are allowed to experience being disheartened. Sorry, but this is not opinion, this was done by the book.

Edited by Mozartbrau

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