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Requirement clarification

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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.

 

Time out!  "A kids skills or lack thereof can not be retested."  Where does it say that?  I retest my kids ALL THE TIME.  I don't retest for advancement, but if they hold the rank they had better know their stuff.  If not I retest until they do it right.  All your tents went down in the T-storm that went through last night?  Double half hitches and taunt lines slipped or came undone?  No?  What knots did you tie?  .....  No I won't come over and help set up your tents, I will teach knots if you want otherwise, it's up to you to take care of your boys. 

 

I have struggled with new boys now for the past 2 years.  No older scouts.  Teaching is still paramount in the program and unfortunately I have to do it.  But I only teach it once.  Then it's up to the boys to teach the next generation of scouts.  If you don't know it, no, I won't teach it, but I will suggest to the boys in the NSP that maybe they need a new PL if the PL isn't qualified to teach and lead.

 

It's kinda harsh, but my boys eventually really know their stuff.

Edited by Stosh
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Stosh, we are on the same page. I just getting frustrated with some of the people in the troop trying to tell me I'm being to harsh when a kid that wants to be an Eagle, only knows a square knot and that is it. In the year and a half he has been in our troop he has only come to one camping trip and none of the Eagle projects. The last time he came in front of the committee to present his project for the 2nd time he stumbled all over the Scout law, had no idea what the slogan and motto were let alone the outdoor code. Now I have people telling me I can not retest his skills and he has been active enough in the troop.

   Don't get me wrong. I do like the kid and I've offered to help him on innumerable occasions. He's not  a troublesome kid, But now, with 5 months left before his 18th birthday I've thrown in the towel. In my eyes he has done nothing to prove himself a leader, he has learned very little and has taught nothing to any other Scout. But again, I have people telling me I can't deny him his Eagle. Sometimes the best teacher is failure. I think this kid needs to learn that in order to succeed in life. He's had to many things handed to him like a participation trophy. Arrrrrrrgggggg

    This is why I asked " WHAT IS THE DEFINITION OF ACTIVE" I would like to have something to show these bleeding heart feel good types that you need to put something in to get something out.

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    This is why I asked " WHAT IS THE DEFINITION OF ACTIVE" I would like to have something to show these bleeding heart feel good types that you need to put something in to get something out.

 

The BSA definition is on page 24-25 of the current Guide to Advancement, that I linked to you in reply #3, above.  But, I'll paste the info below, so you don't have to go to the trouble...

 

 

Use the following three sequential tests to determine whether the requirement has been met. The first and second are required, along with either the third or its alternative.

 

1. The Scout is registered.
The youth is registered in his unit for at least the time period indicated in the requirement, and he has indicated in some way, through word or action, that he considers himself a member. If a boy was supposed to have been registered, but for whatever reason was not, discuss with the local council registrar the possibility of back-registering him.
 
2. The Scout is in good standing.
A Scout is considered in “good standing†with his unit as long as he has not been dismissed for disciplinary reasons. He must also be in good standing with the local council and the Boy Scouts of America. (In the rare case he is not, communications will have been delivered.)
 
3. The Scout meets the unit’s reasonable expectations; or, if not, a lesser level of activity is explained. 
If, for the time period required, a Scout or qualifying Venturer or Sea Scout meets those aspects of his unit’s pre-established expectations that refer to a level of activity, then he is considered active and the requirement is met. Time counted as “active†need not be consecutive. A boy may piece together any times he has been active and still qualify. If he does not meet his unit’s reasonable expectations, then he must be offered the alternative that follows.
 

Alternative to the third test if expectations are not met:

 

If a young man has fallen below his unit’s activity oriented expectations, then it must be due to other positive endeavors—in or out of Scouting—or due to noteworthy circumstances that have prevented a higher level of participation.

 

A Scout in this case is still considered “active†if a board of review can agree that Scouting values have already taken hold and have been exhibited. This might be evidenced, for example, in how he lives his life and relates to others in his community, at school, in his religious life, or in Scouting. It is also acceptable to consider and “count†positive activities outside Scouting when they, too, contribute to his growth in character, citizenship, or personal fitness. Remember: It is not so much about what a Scout has done. It is about what he is able to do and how he has grown.

 
 
 
If your unit doesn't currently have "reasonable expectations" documented somewhere in writing, you really should NOT make something up NOW and try to apply that retro-actively to someone who only has 5 months left.  That's intentionally setting him up for failure - changing the rules mid-way through.
Edited by MrBob

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Stosh, we are on the same page. I just getting frustrated with some of the people in the troop trying to tell me I'm being to harsh when a kid that wants to be an Eagle, only knows a square knot and that is it. In the year and a half he has been in our troop he has only come to one camping trip and none of the Eagle projects. The last time he came in front of the committee to present his project for the 2nd time he stumbled all over the Scout law, had no idea what the slogan and motto were let alone the outdoor code. Now I have people telling me I can not retest his skills and he has been active enough in the troop.

   Don't get me wrong. I do like the kid and I've offered to help him on innumerable occasions. He's not  a troublesome kid, But now, with 5 months left before his 18th birthday I've thrown in the towel. In my eyes he has done nothing to prove himself a leader, he has learned very little and has taught nothing to any other Scout. But again, I have people telling me I can't deny him his Eagle. Sometimes the best teacher is failure. I think this kid needs to learn that in order to succeed in life. He's had to many things handed to him like a participation trophy. Arrrrrrrgggggg

    This is why I asked " WHAT IS THE DEFINITION OF ACTIVE" I would like to have something to show these bleeding heart feel good types that you need to put something in to get something out.

 

 

As long as it's just a participation trophy and the boy is dead set on being a Paper Eagle, not a problem.  Have the CC sign off on all his advancement and then one doesn't need to participate in the sham.  When the EBOR ask why his SM didn't sign, he can explain it to them.  My council required a  SM recommendation for the eagle candidate.  I didn't give him one.  The council held up his EBOR.  It was against National policy to require a SM recommendation.  But it wasn't my problem.  Now the boy either shapes up and does what is necessary to gain my recommendation or he can go through the appeal process.  Again, not my problem.  Fortunately the boy chose the sit up and fly right policy and after 6 months or so I gave him his recommendation.

Edited by Stosh

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If the boy cannot name one scout who he's taught one scout skill, then he's not really even a Life scout (the concept, not the patch).

If you get push-back that that's a back doors way of imposing an unwritten attendance policy, fine. Have him put forward the reference of one cute girl in his youth group who he's taught a scout skill.

 

Oaths and Law aside, is his project a good one? I'd let him give it a go if it is.

 

But, be clear that you haven't seen a lot of scout spirit in him, and if he has been showing it without you noticing, it's on him to tell you where to look. Your the SM? Right? You can refuse to sign his Eagle application. He has the right appeal. This is really not complicated.

 

He's got 5 months to shape up. Let's see if the boy can finish strong.

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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

 

Nah.

 

Da actual official definition of "active" is provided by da BSA's Rules & Regulations:

 

An active youth member is one who, with the approval of a parent or guardian if necessary, becomes a member of a unit; obligates himself or herself to attend the meetings regularly; fulfills a member’s obligation to the unit; subscribes to the Scout Oath or the code of his or her respective program; and participates in an appropriate program based on a member’s age, as promulgated from time to time by the Boy Scouts of America.

 

In terms of using da Advancement Method to help boys learn character and citizenship I reckon the unit and the chartered organization has to decide what sort of character and citizenship they're tryin' to teach, eh?  Some units may view a member's obligation to be regular weekly attendance (like most churches teach about a member's responsibility).  Some maybe less, but I hope all units set somethin' that reflects real character and citizenship, eh?    All da G2A asks is that yeh be up front about it, so that a boy knows what a "member's obligation" is to your unit when he joins.

 

I don't reckon that belongs in "bylaws", though.  More like an information sheet and what a Scoutmaster says to the lad and his parents in a joining conference.

 

In terms of small groups like troop committees, it can be useful to have real bylaws... the stuff that specifies who is on the committee, how they get selected, how often they meet, how "votes" are conducted and such.  Youth attendance doesn't belong there, nor any of da other "stuff" that frequently comes up.

 

If you're goin' to be writin' any "rules" down at all, I'd encourage yeh to legislate for the norm and not the exception.  What do yeh want to be the case most of the time?   Then yeh deal with da exceptions or problems as they come.  Legislatin' to try to fix individual problems is just poor practice.  

 

Beavah

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Nah.

 

Da actual official definition of "active" is provided by da BSA's Rules & Regulations:

 

 

Which I quoted, from the BSA's own official publication on the matter, thus are, in fact, "da actual official definition".

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We have a goal of 50 percent participation, but it's a goal and it really is covered under all the governance mentioned above. It is not really talked about a lot in our troop, but it is written down along with some guidelines, such as what constitutes an activity or what can be used for service hours and all of that posted on our website. As I said, it's a goal and we explain in the same breath that we just want the Scout to enjoy what Scouting has to offer and  to take advantage of it. 

 

However, we did flunk a Bronze Palm candidate who disappeared for a year after getting Eagle and then showed up wanting a Palm.  There had been no effort on the part of the Scout to even  communicate with the troop or SM. We later passed this Scout when he demonstrably proved he had been actively involved in HS athletics and rigorous academics. 

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Which I quoted, from the BSA's own official publication on the matter, thus are, in fact, "da actual official definition".

 

Nope.  

 

Da BSA's Rules and Regulations are da standards that apply to the whole organization, and the ones yeh agreed to when yeh signed your adult application.  What I quoted is da actual official definition.  :)

 

Beavah

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We later passed this Scout when he demonstrably proved he had been actively involved in HS athletics and rigorous academics. 

 

Yah, hmmm...

 

Why?

 

Will his HS athletic coach give him a Varsity letter for never showin' up for practice or games because the lad was actively involved in Scouts?

 

Will his AP teacher give the boy an "A" in his class if he skipped out most days and never did da AP coursework, but participated in rigorous Scouting?

 

It's amazin' how little we value our Scoutin' program.

 

Beavah

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No, Beavah, but it's covered in GTA. It says something to the effect as Scouts get older, enter HS and participate in more stuff, there is a different expectation. 

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I copied and pasted our policy (old rules):

 

Activities, Participation and Troop X's Expectations

 

As with any enterprise, the more a Scout puts into any endeavor, the more he will get out of it. Troop X is no different. Yet Scouting is only one activity in a young man's life and it is a challenge to balance the time demands of similar worthwhile activities, such as organized sports, extracurricular school activities or other pursuits.

 

All Troop X Scouts are expected to attend the monthly meetings on a regular basis and it should be the goal of every Troop X Scout to attend 50 percent of the meetings and outings.

 

Activities in the early ranks

The participation requirements for advancement are different in the lower ranks than in the higher ranks. In the early ranks of Second Class and First Class, this requirement is centered around a set number of activities. For Second Class, the Scout must participate in 5 Troop or Patrol activities outside of monthly or regular Troop/Patrol meetings. First Class requires participation in 10 activities, including the five counted for Second Class.

 

For any activity to count, it must be a Troop or Patrol-sponsored event; at least two trained and qualified Troop X adult leaders must be present; and it should last longer than 30 minutes. It should also be noted that while Troop X follows the Patrol Method and encourages outside Patrol events, the Scoutmaster and Assistant Scoutmasters should be notified of such events and Scouts from other patrols should be invited, especially if the meeting is geared primarily toward rank advancement.   

 

Some examples of what qualify as a Troop/Patrol Activity:

  • Campouts;
  • Hikes and other outside events sponsored by the Troop/Patrol;
  • Participation in Eagle service projects;
  • Summer Camp or other BSA-sponsored expeditions. However, it shall count only as one activity, regardless of length of time or whether side excursions are involved;
  • Participation in Troop/Patrol service projects. However, these must be approved by the Scoutmaster ahead of time;
  • A special Troop/Patrol class convened to teach a skill or merit badge that is not part of the regular monthly meeting;
  • Participation in Pack X activities as a volunteer. However, this is restricted to helping Pack X with special events. A Scout's participation in Pack X on a regular basis as part of a leadership requirement would not count.

 

What would not qualify:

  • An individual Scout's participation in MB classes offered by outside entities;
  • Meetings held prior to an outing in which the primary purpose is to load gear, plan the outing or inform parents about arrangements.
  • Scoutmaster conferences;
  • Participation in a Council or District Merit Badge academies. As with other MB opportunities outside Troop X, these are considered individual pursuits.
  • Boards of Review;
  • Courts of Honor, unless held on a separate night for a special event, such as an Eagle ceremony.
  • Service projects organized by other entities in which participation is being used for Bright Futures Scholarship community hours or other educational community service requirements. However, public service projects organized by other entities in which Troop X is participating as a group would be counted. For example, if the local Sierra Club is sponsoring a Coastal Cleanup and Troop X is participating, then those activities and hours would count. A Troop X Scout ringing the holiday bell on behalf of the Salvation Army to complete required public service hours for Bright Futures or to complete the public service requirements of other academic institutions would not count, unless Troop X had partnered with the Salvation Army ahead of time.

 

Participation and the higher ranks

The activity/participation requirements to advance to the higher ranks of Star, Life and Eagle are slightly different and call for Scouts to be active for a period of months. BSA uses the following sequential test to measure this (Please refer to BSA  advancement guidelines for definitions):

 

·        The Scout is registered;

·        The Scout is in good standing;

·        The Scout is meeting Troop X's reasonable expectation of participation.

 

Again, while Troop X's reasonable expectation is the goal of 50 percent participation in meetings and outings, both Troop X and the national BSA organization recognize that as a Scout gets older, there are more demands on his time. Troop X encourages its Scouts to participate in an array of other activities and such participation will not be a barrier to advancement.

 

However, if a Scout is not able to reach the 50 percent goal, there should be communication with the Scoutmaster or his designated representatives as to why the Scout is not able to attend more regularly. It may be the Scout is involved in a particularly heavy academic endeavor, participating in school sports, is ill, has a unique family situation or is even studying abroad.

 

In any event, it is the responsibility of the Scout to notify the Scoutmaster or his designated representatives and explain this. The Scoutmaster's primary test will be "Would the Scout have been more active if he could have been?"

 

A Scout with prolonged absences and no communication with the troop may find it difficult to advance in rank in Troop X.

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Yah, hmmm...

 

Why?

 

Will his HS athletic coach give him a Varsity letter for never showin' up for practice or games because the lad was actively involved in Scouts?

 

Will his AP teacher give the boy an "A" in his class if he skipped out most days and never did da AP coursework, but participated in rigorous Scouting?

 

It's amazin' how little we value our Scoutin' program.

 

Beavah

 

Your point is well taken.

 

Our unit is chartered by the Athletic Department of my school.  Like most grade schools & middle schools, we don't give out "letters" like the high schools.  

 

If we were to form a lettermen's club like those in the high schools, I can see no reason why our scouts couldn't "letter".

 

AP has its own rules.  A teacher in a regular class, however, could give a student extra credit for subject related scout work.

 

It really is amazing how little some scouters (at BSA) value our scouting program.

Edited by David CO

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One of the things I find so strange about the activity/participation requirements is that a unit cannot deny advancement to a scout, but it can drop them entirely.

 

Should we really want to leave units with no recourse except the "nuclear option" to maintain standards for activity/participation?

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Or the unit can just ignore the guidelines and do what is sane and fair for the boy.  All or nothing is not much of a choice in this case and only leaves the door open for hard feelings.

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