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Por Sign Off Issue

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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

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Sounds a bit like the honesty issue hasn't been raised here.  I too don't think the ASM is to blame here.  I'd hold off on Scout Spirit until the boys could prove to me otherwise.  They could start by identifying what they did to prove to the new ASM they really did fulfill their POR's.  If they can't then a discussion on the honesty of what they did would feed into the discussion on Scout Spirit.  

 

Am I to assume that you are the PL?  If that be the case, there's nothing wrong with you have a SMC with both SM and ASM on their signing off on this requirement without consulting with you the PL might be the real reason for the boys getting away with their antics.

 

In my troop I never signed off on any requirements unless I was authorized to do so by the PL.  They are the ones responsible for their patrol members.    As far as the PL's advancement, I don't sign off on their advancement unless they can show just cause for it.

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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.

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Actually I do put some of the responsibility onto the ASM. If someone doesn't know something, they can't honestly sign off for it. If these two boys have 'scammed' that ASM then this is an issue that the SM needs to address. 

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How is this complicated? If the boys did not fulfill the requirements, scratch the signature.

The whole thing could be easily remedied if the Historian produces his summary of troop events over the last six months (a poster of photos and captions maybe) and the Chaplain's aid produces his "order of service" (e.g., the scriptures he chose to read for each campout) or list the homesick boys he helped at camp.

 

Really NYC, you should have written in their books "POR unmet as of April 2015." Betcha they would have gone straight to the SM then!

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... 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.

In what world does something signed under false pretenses constitute fulfillment of requirements? None in which I want our youth to grow.

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We have a unit in policy that POR and Scout Spirit is signed off in the SMC. The SMs assigned to do the SMC must physically check our system for POR credit. Scout Spirit is evaluated by those SMs talking to the PLs, SPL and JASMs as to how the scouts in question met the oath and law. The SMs then deliberate if the scouts have met that requirement. We know in advance if they will or won't because those won't have been under scrutiny of been spoken too prior to the SMC, so they are not even granted a rank SMC if they don't meet the requirement. Those few who don't are counciled about what they need to do (and time frame) to complete that requirement. These cases are few in number.

 

All other requirements are signed off by our Instructors only.

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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?

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In what world does something signed under false pretenses constitute fulfillment of requirements? None in which I want our youth to grow.

But MBs are signed off like that all the time. Cant take it back.

 

However the ASM can refuse to sign off on scout spirit or hold the SMC until these boys are counciled about what they did.

 

Better troop procedures and adult training would fix all of this.

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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?

This is the million dollar question. If there were no expectations given to the Scouts for the position, and no coaching given to them through the term, then denying them credit is unfair. 

 

Rather than looking to deny credit for advancement, we need to make sure we are coaching our youth leaders and giving them the chance to have a successful term. They'll grow a lot more that way. 

 

Often times when things like this happen, I make people uncomfortable, because I blame adults, not the kids. The kids will do what they've seen before, unless coached otherwise. If (like in my troop) there is a tradition of do-nothing POR's then the Scouts will do nothing until expectations are clearly communciated to them. Often after that everyone is impressed at how they rise to the occassion. 

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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.

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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.

In our unit the SM monitors the POR activity. The Scribe notes attendance. The SPL manages what events they attend. Each month if we don't see he leaders the SM take to them. If by the midpoint of the six month term they are below the objectives for that role there's an SMC to give them one last chance. If they still don't step up they are removed and no credit given.

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In our unit the SM monitors the POR activity. The Scribe notes attendance. The SPL manages what events they attend. Each month if we don't see he leaders the SM take to them. If by the midpoint of the six month term they are below the objectives for that role there's an SMC to give them one last chance. If they still don't step up they are removed and no credit given.

 

Mozart, thanks for the ideas.  I will try and incorporate this in our process for next year.

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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.

 

By the way, we don't have many boys in our troop so they have to double up a lot of times on the POR duties that need to get done.  The boys can journal this as well.  The POR requirement doesn't say the POR has to be the same for the whole 6 months and it doesn't say the 6 months is a contiguous time period.  It's a total of 6 months worth of work that maybe took 7-8 months to accomplish.

Edited by Stosh

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