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Requirement clarification

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   My troop is in the process of re writing the by laws. One of the qualifications for advancement is to be active in the troop.

   Ok, that being said, what is the official definition of "ACTIVE"

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Sorry I can't help.  Don't have by laws and don't define active.  If they show up when they are not in their sports season, it's good enough for me.   PL's usually deal with this issue like they do all the other advancement issues.

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   My troop is in the process of re writing the by laws. One of the qualifications for advancement is to be active in the troop.

   Ok, that being said, what is the official definition of "ACTIVE"

 

The official definition of "ACTIVE" is on page 24 of the Guide to Advancement, section 4.2.3.1

 

http://www.scouting.org/filestore/pdf/33088.pdf

Edited by MrBob
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Yep, the more the adults get involved in the decisions, the more they make themselves a target for grief.  Get the books give it to the boys and if things go to hell in a basket, you don't get caught holding the bag.

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By-laws are not necessary unless you are sponsored by a military installation that requires them.  Everything you need is in the BSA literature, including the Scout Oath and Law.  By-Laws and rules create adult squabbles.  SOME rules are necessary, you only need a few.  Policies are ideal, as they can be modified to fit individual situations, i.e., you can't "break a rule", but you can amend a policy.

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If you ask your PLC, they will probably give you criteria like x% of meetings y% of activities that most of them could not even meet.

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"Aye, they be  more like guidelines...."

 

Bylaws are often the results of previously  poorly handled interpersonal relations.   If the Scout does not follow the Scout Promise and Law successfully and does not understand the results of his choices of action, perhaps a more definitely defined set of results would be helpful? 

If the Scout does XX then YY will result...   If he doesn't do ZZ then QQ will not happen.   These things often sound reasonable and obvious "to the most casual observer" (as my physics professor used to say),  but sometimes it helps to spell it out .  Sometimes the Bylaws are not needed for the whole Troop, but a behavior contract for a particular Scout may be warranted.   See your local Unit Committee and DE for more information. 

 

I favor the Scout Promise and Law as the definition of Good Scout Behavior and Inter Personal Relations.  That and the Golden Rule (translatable into just about every faith on Earth).

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My Venturing Crew "needed" by-laws.  So they sat down and hammered them out over the course of 5-6 meetings while I drank coffee and daydreamed.  They got them all written, had printed copies made for everyone and they never mentioned them again in the 13 years I was crew adviser. 

 

They are a total waste of time for those who live by the Scout Oath and Promise.

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My troop committee adopted a "Constitution" about a year ago, over my diplomatically voiced objections, and we have had nothing but trouble with it since. I think that when the school year starts up again, there will be a move to either repeal it or remove substantial parts of it.

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While I will generally agree that a "by-laws" may be overkill, I do think that:

1. Some "structured" discipline policy (there are many examples from many units on the web) has some value in making sure that the adults treat the youth fairly/the same for similar magnitude issues rather than at the whim of how much the leader(s) like that particular scout or their family.

2. Defining "Active" has value.  Under the Guide to Advancement, if the unit does not have an "active" policy/definition, then the Scout is considered active simply by virtue of being registered and in good standing (i.e. not suspended or otherwise under disciplinary action - see above).

 

That said, both of these are worthless if not followed or no one knows about it.  My son's troop has/had an active Scout policy on the website that I don't think any current parents or scouts are actually aware of.  It was something along the lines of of a certain percentage of attendance of the weekly meetings and a different percentage of attendance of camping trips or other activities.  There was some provision for an "excused" absence not counting against that percentage.  The excuses had to do with church, school, sports functions, and I think custody issues.

Edited by gumbymaster

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Hmmmm.... #6 - To be considered active the scout must attend 60% of all activities.

 

What about the boy whose father wants him in the program and mom doesn't, she lives an hour away.  Custody agreement says 50/50 on the boy's time.  Here's a boy who will never make Eagle and is being punished because of the courts, his parents, and circumstances beyond his control. 

 

Not a problem, we'll make an exception and the slippery slope begins and the #6 by-law becomes useless and everyone is bent out of shape.

 

Welcome to the need for stupid rules.  National does not have the total market on bad rules......

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Not a problem, we'll make an exception and the slippery slope begins and the #6 by-law becomes useless and everyone is bent out of shape.

Exactly what has happened in my troop. And I knew it would happen. And I said it would happen, but the answer was "Let's give it a try" and neither I nor anybody else wanted to hurt the feelings of the people who were pushing for a "constitution", who are wonderful, selfless people and have given so much of their time and energy to the troop over the years. But even wonderful people can have bad ideas, and nobody stops them because they are wonderful people, and that's how you end up in a mess.

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I'm dyslexic and haven't read all the guidelines yet but I'm trying. Unfortunately, everything I've seen so far is, learn it, forget it and move on. It is all beginning to look like a participation trophy to me.

  A kids skills or lack thereof can not be retested. If the kid doesn't come to any of the troop outings, oh, well, I'm sure he had a reason. You still have to advance him, he came to 1/3 of the meetings and did nothing. That counts and you can't deny it.

  The troop I am in needs more structure and I'm trying to get the Scouts to take control of their troop. This hasn't been successful in the past but I am trying now. I'm just having a hard time with the feel good, politically correct, open ended subjective vague guidelines I read so far. From what I've read a board of review is nothing more than what was your favorite merit badge, what was your favorite trip, do you like it here, is this a nice easy way to skate through scouting.

   How is this politically correct,  everyone gets a trophy nonsense going to teach a young man to try harder, to strive for excellence. to overcome adversity and stand proud of his accomplishments.

    

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