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griffsmom

Leadership requirement for Eagle Palms

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I concur with @@Krampus, the SMCs in my book are the last requirement to meet with the SM to make sure all the i's are dotted and t's crossed before heading into the BOR.  If the SM thinks there's a problem with it, he can work with the scout to correct the problem.  Any BOR that rejects the scout's advancement or has any questions is thus answerable to ME.  I will go to bat for that boy at the BOR.  I have put my seal of approval on his advancement and if the BOR feels it necessary to question his progress, they also question my integrity to make sure it was done correctly.

 

I have NEVER had a BOR ever done anything other than congratulate the boy and talk about his future in scouting.  To me that's what the BOR is all about anyway.

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I'm of a mixed opinion.

 

The only person who I ever felt that a boy should talk to about scheduling an SMC is ... the SM. Advancement chairs, coordinators, etc ... don't have much say until BoR.

 

Now, I don't recommend the boy ask for one the day after he accomplishes his previous rank. But, if he has a couple of things still to complete, that might be the ideal time to conference. Especially if scout, SM and an ASM or two happen to be on a trail that passes through a bed of pine-needles overlooking a ridge at sunset while the rest of the troop are out on a water run. :happy:

 

Now, you may want the boy to follow-up after he's accomplished those requirements  ... dotting i's and crossing t's before the BoR or whatever. Put that date in his book if you think you need to. You all know when the real conferences happen.

Edited by qwazse

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By the way, any scout that wants to do a special leadership project in lieu of a POR is welcome to do so.  They sometimes ask me what one might be, others have just figured one out and then came and old me about it.  That puts a really big onus on the boy to make sure the project is truly a worthwhile project and has to come to the SMC and PROVE it to me.  If he can't, I don't sign off on it.  I have only had to do that once and for the most part some of those special projects would qualify for Eagle projects if the boy wished to do all the added paperwork around it.  

 

For the most part, leadership has not been a real problem in my troops in that they start from TF on with designing and contemplating their own leadership skills and styles.  By the time the scout is FC, he can handle the leadership of just about any service project or fundraiser we do without any adult intervention.  Some of the TF struggle a bit at first but his PL and TG are there to step in and help mentor him.  Remember the TG is there to guide on multiple levels in the troop.

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Normally the PL works with this patrol members, the SPL works with his PL's, the SM supports the whole process through the SPL.  However, with that being said, there are times when the SM deals directly with one of the scouts either at the scout's request or at the request of his PL.  At those times it is a SMC.  

 

Otherwise if a scout comes to the SM for the approval of a special project isn't that a SMC?  Does he need then a "real" one later on like quazse suggests?  If the SM isn't comfortable with sending him off to the BOR because he isn't really ready, but they have already done the SMC, does he get a pass and try to convince the BOR he's done his requirement.  He did have  a SMC, just wasn't to the liking of the SM, but too bad, he has to sign it off?

 

Lovely little can of worms here.... :)

Edited by Stosh

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I am confused.

 

 

Not necessarily confused, just trying to apply a bunch of policy to a situation for which we have little information, half the story and that coming second or third hand.  If we dig far enough, we'll find some other policy this SM violated.  Perhaps he wasn't wearing official scout socks at the time of the conversation.  Actually, the whole process of asking the troop advancement coordinator for a SMC/BOR is contrary to advancement policy.  Having the Scout ask for a conference or review is adding to the requirements.  The SM is supposed to "know" when a Scout is ready to advance and approach the Scout to conduct a conference.

 

So let's bring in the big guns.  Involve the district advancement chair.  Or call BSA's National Advancement Abuse hotline at 1-800-RAT-MYSM and bring in the really big dogs.   Let's help the kid document all his grievances as this will surely go up on appeal.  First step is requesting a Board of Review Under Contested Circumstances (I'm sure one of the Scout lawyers can provide the six-digit reference number from the Guide to Advancement). 

 

Or we could ask ourselves, What is the Scout-like thing to do here?  How would we want to see one of our Eagle Scouts handle this?  What points of the Scout Law apply?  Courteous?  Friendly? 

 

Still, the easiest solution is for the Scout -- an Eagle Scout -- to simply say to his SM, "Hey, Mr. Smith, I've finished the five merit badges for a palm.  Can I talk to you about how I've demonstrated leadership?" 

 

But that's not nearly as much fun for the rest of the adults.

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Or we could ask ourselves, What is the Scout-like thing to do here?  How would we want to see one of our Eagle Scouts handle this?  What points of the Scout Law apply?  Courteous?  Friendly? 

 

Still, the easiest solution is for the Scout -- an Eagle Scout -- to simply say to his SM, "Hey, Mr. Smith, I've finished the five merit badges for a palm.  Can I talk to you about how I've demonstrated leadership?" 

 

Unless I misread the follow up from the original post (below), seems the Scout did follow the process and ask the adult in charge for an SMC. Given that they have a coordinator for such things, does not sound like the SM is that approachable. Since we're going with the Scoutlike thing to do, how about the SM live up to some of those ideals and simply have the SMC rather than create a whole bunch of barriers.

 

Given the comments below it sounds like the SM is making up a whole bunch of stuff as he goes along. Courteous? Friendly? If it is, I'm not seeing the logic.

 

 

I didn't initially provide the details because I wanted to find out if there is an objective, hard and fast rule on this (perhaps I should have known better), but the gamut of your comments illustrates the problem quite well. A 17-year-old scout who earned his eagle rank a few months ago has the sufficient number of merit badges and time being active with the troop for a Bronze Palm. He contacted the troop's SMC/BOR coordinator to schedule an SMC with our scoutmaster. When she requested a date from the SM, he told the scout that they had never met to discuss the leadership activity that he had accomplished or whether such activity would even qualify. He then told the scout that they would need to meet discuss this before they could proceed on anything in regards to an SMC.

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The existence and use of a SMC/BOR coordinator is a matter of troop procedure which should be addressed with the committee and advancement chairmen -- and probably the SM.  I don't necessarily assume that to be a barrier to advancement or the SM's doing.  And I certainly won't make the wild leap that the SM is unapproachable.

 

Our troop has a similar structure for BORs -- the Scout contacts the BOR coordinator who puts together the BOR from the committee members who have had the training, usually for the next troop meeting and almost always by the second week.  That doesn't make our BOR members unapproachable.  It meant we had 65 kids in the troop and needed some structure for coordinating multiple meetings juggling the schedules of multiple people.

 

Of course, in our troop, the "Scoutmaster Conference Coordinator" handles things a bit differently: 

 

SCOUT: "Um, can I have a Scoutmaster's conference?"
SCOUTMASTER: "Sure. When's good for you?"

 

I would conduct conferences just about anytime.  But after a few years I felt I was being taken advantage.  No, I'm not doing you SMC at 11:30 Friday night after the ballgame and dance is over.  My policy was to conduct conferences in the hour prior to weekly troop meetings or on campouts.  If you can't attend one or the other, you probably don't need to be advancing anyway.  Was that a barrier advancement?  Some would say so.  Those are the folks I referred to as The New Scoutmaster. 

 

I don't know why griff's troop does things differently.  But they need neither my understanding or consent.

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I guess I don't follow you, @@Twocubdad. You say the scout should approach the SM for an SMC. I thought that is what you advocated. He did and got pushed back for not having stuff signed or "approved". 

 

I guess I can't see why the SM wouldn't just give the scout an SMC. That would seem more scoutlike, as you put it. What am I missing?

Edited by Krampus

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While we're asking ... I always looked at all of the Palm requirements except BoR as SM sign-offs (usually at the SMC, but as in the case of a boy who didn't develop and demonstrate leadership ability since the last Eagle/Palm, maybe afterword).

 

Does anybody out there (e.g., an SM whose troop is swarming with Eagle scouts) do it differently?

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Krampus,

 

No, he didn't approach the SM (not that it was his fault, he presumably followed troop procedures).  What you're missing is -- so far as we know -- the Scout and Scoutmaster have yet to speak.   I don't know why.  And absolutely, either one of them could initiate that conversation.  Which is all I'm suggesting.  Instead of us going all policy wonk, griff'smom, who seems to have the Scouts ear or at least that of his mom, should suggest to the Scout he talk to his SM. Who cares about the definition of leadership or what the G2A says?  Ask your Scoutmaster.  I can't imagine he wouldn't explain his thinking. 

 

And if it were the SM asking, or if griff'smom were asking on his behalf, I'd give the same advice. Actually, in a round-about way, I did.

Edited by Twocubdad
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I just don't see the fuss. The scout followed the process. The adult is being silly in requiring an SMC first before the SMC for rank. Seems an extra step and the boy is trying to follow the procedures adults have put in place.

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Kinda makes one an advocate for boy-led.  The adult-led stuff is far more confusing and abusive and causes far too many problems along the way.

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...  No, I'm not doing you SMC at 11:30 Friday night after the ballgame and dance is over. ...

How about after the ball-game, but before the dance? Bring the date so as to avoid 1-on-1 contact. Count on you asking her for verification of the "morally straight" clause. :p

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