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CaliGirl

SM pulls rank advancement after successful BOR

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Even with all the professional ministry and working with youth all my life, especially Scouts, I had an interesting epiphany just recently.  Since retiring I have upped my volunteerism and have taken on working with the American Red Cross.  My first national deployment I was lead on a crew doing Bulk Distribution, which means I drove a truck out into the neighborhoods and handed out food, water, supplies, clean up kits, and things of this sort.  When we handed out stuff we could tell there were many items going out that were going to be showing up on craigslist and Ebay by that evening.  But we were told to never question it, just hand it out, no questions asked. 

 

I was in one neighborhood and I handed out a full compliment of supplies to a young boy about 15 years old.  Within a few minutes he was back asking for another load.  I had to give it to him by ARC policy.  Sure enough he came back a third time, but this time I watched him.  He took it over to a house nearby and knocked on the door.  An elderly woman answered and he pointed to the stuff he had just put on her porch.  He was back again, this time going to another house, and back for more.  By the time I had emptied my truck I was on cloud nine.  If I had but one boy like this in my troop I'd be in heaven.  When I got back in my cab to drive back to the warehouse, a terrifying thought ran through my head.  "What if I had said no?"  I might be an old-fashioned stogie in my thinking and opinions cemented into place, but like W.C.Boyce's experience in London, I may never know his name, but it changed my way of thinking forever.  No is such a devastatingly destructive word.

 

Dang it Stosh! You just made my allergies act up. There must be a lot of pollen in the air because it's making my eyes water. 

 

When I'm driving in traffic with my family and I see someone driving like a maniac, switching lanes all over, driving on the shoulder, I tell my kids that we should give them the benefit of the doubt because we don't know if they are rushing to the hospital to visit a dying relative or have some other similar emergency. We can't see into people's hearts so it's best to give them the benefit of the doubt. 

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We can't see into people's hearts so it's best to give them the benefit of the doubt. 

 

Most would agree. But when you see Scouters making up their own rules and not acting in the best interest of a Scout, there's not a whole lot of benefit of doubt left. Those actions indicate an agenda of controlling things beyond what BSA allows. When a Scout no longer feels he can talk to the adult leaders, those adults have let their credibility erode leaving little doubt remaining as to their motives.

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Perhaps it is better to rate people on behavior, regardless of motivation.

Having recently gone through a similar situation, I think that's about all that can be done.

I explained to the aggrieved scout what scouters had done wrong, and what his options were.

There was some back-and-forth about it. But at no time did I try to assign any more motive to it than, "Looks like this new committee is trying to address a skills retention problem."

The scout eventually made peace with the committee, knowing he was well within his rights to keep digging his heels in.

 

Follow-up: as crew president, he is centering meetings on refreshing those first class skills. A process that is much more fun when the only award is bragging rights, and the promise of some real-world challenges in the near future.

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""Show me what a man does with his hands that I may know his heart."

 

                                 =  Amish  Proverb  =

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The rank has now been awarded after several months, with the original BOR date.  Council examined the Scout's book and noted the multiple sign offs (in different handwriting and ink colors!).  They also had a discussion with the Scout.

 

In short, representatives of the Troop lied to cover the actions of their Scoutmaster, who revoked the rank.  Rather than admit his wrongdoing, a cover story was crafted.  Very, very sad.....

 

Well, congratulations to your son, finally!  I would say "all's well that ends well" but I'm not sure that applies here.  I know this was a very discouraging experience for your son.

 

So just to clarify, the rank was awarded by council, not by the new troop, correct?  That is what I thought would (and should) happen, but it should not have taken so long.  

 

Is your son happy in his new troop?

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CaliGirl, I'm so sorry to hear about what your son and your family had to go through. I too have dealt with a highly corrupt Scoutmaster and Troop Committee so I definitely empathize with what you and your son have gone through.

 

I think the real question is why does the BSA allow corrupt leaders to retain their positions as registered leaders? 

 

This seemed to be far more than just a simple misunderstanding of some kind and, based on what you shared, it appears evident that this SM did overtly lie in an attempt to cover-up his own unethical actions. Beyond shameful.

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The rule in some councils, unfortunately, is "Performance Metrics uber alles."

 

I was proud of our just-retired SE when, on his taking over, my older council took a 30% membership hit on paper, eliminating the fictional units and their members set up by the previous SE.  No pussy-footing.  Just back to honest numbers.

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The Char

 

 

I think the real question is why does the BSA allow corrupt leaders to retain their positions as registered leaders? 

 

This seemed to be far more than just a simple misunderstanding of some kind and, based on what you shared, it appears evident that this SM did overtly lie in an attempt to cover-up his own unethical actions. Beyond shameful.

 

It's called a Charter Agreement.  BSA takes a hands off stance on who can and who can't.  The COR and IH determine it's membership.  BSA can revoke a person's registration and ban them from the BSA but that usually involves a legal issue, theft, abuse, etc. not breech of programming.  It's pretty much in-house issue with the unit.  Even if the boy gets the rank from council, the unit does not need to honor it.  This gamesmanship might just be the tip of the iceberg,  Better to just move on down the road and forget it.

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Thankfully he is happy in his new Troop, which is run very differently.  What the Council does with all of this information is out of my hands, and I doubt I will ever find out.  We are in the same District so clearly I am concerned about my Scout being with some of these Scouters (from the old Troop) at events.

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"No council, committee, district, unit, or individual has the authority to add to, or subtract from, advancement requirements. There are limited exceptions relating only to youth members with special needs. For details see section 10, 'Advancement for Members With Special Needs.'"  Guide to Advancement at p. 2.

 

Everyone else "implements and facilitates" according to B.S.A.  Id. at p. 10. 10, including the unit Advancement Coordinator, who is trained that it is important that everyone understands that a Scout completes the requirements as written. 

 

The Council Advancement Committee, directly and by delegated authority to District Advancement Committees,  support BSA's program and no one else's program.  Id. at p. 12.  To that end, district, council, and national committees, as the case may require, act on appeals that BSA requirements and practices have not been followed. Id. at 13.  No one from the CO or unit has a say in the membership or has a vote in the committee.  Their role is to supply information to the appeal committees. Id. at p. 61.

 

There is no provision in BSA's rules for a rank to be taken back or suspended.  To do so would be adding to the requirements and is absolutely prohibited.  All that follows the completed Board of Review is recognition.  Id. at p. 23.

 

The the date of the completed Board of Review is the advancement date.  Id. at p. 55.  There is no other provided by BSA.  For a unit, person, or Council to set a different date for any reason is absolutely prohibited as an addition to the rules of BSA.  See id. at p. 2.

 

I think you describe BSA's behavior in some cases, not what the legal agreements say in which the CO agrees to follow the program as set out by BSA. and not what BSA says regarding its rules.  Man is imperfect clay.

Edited by TAHAWK

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