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Carbenez

Scoutmaster delaying advancement....right course of action?

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 We do encourage the Scout to manage this process by contacting these folks to request a BOR, but we do NOT require him to do so AND we hold our BORs once a month so they know when they are.

 

Well, that last part is where the difference is.  We hold BOR's when a Scout needs one. That means we could have them several weeks in a row, or go a couple of months without having one.  But the "on demand" method involves a tradeoff:  More communication is required because every BOR is specifically scheduled.  Our way works for us.

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That is the way it should be, although, in our case, the SM walks the scout to the AC (advancement person), who sets up the BOR committee.  

 

Either is correct, though in our case going to the CC would only result in the CC speaking to the AC (me) which brings an unnecessary person into the loop.  The Scout does not need to talk to the CC, they talk to me.  (Most of the time I will then talk to the CC, not because he is the CC, but because he is a committee member I am asking to join me on the BOR.)

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Lots of great advice has been shared here.

 

I too think that it's important not to rush to judgment against the new SM and to give him the benefit of the doubt. However, the fact that he has delayed this for as long as he has, does raise a serious red flag, in my humble opinion.

 

I hope that your son can resolve this on his own, however, if the SM delays further, then I think that a conversation between you and he, or perhaps the Committee Chair, is in order. 

 

Obviously scouts interacting with adults is an integral part of the BSA program, but I also believe that if proper advancement procedures aren't being adhered to or if scouts are being intentionally delayed or misled, then that's another matter altogether where I believe that a parent does needs to get involved. And at that point it's not a matter of being a helicopter parent.

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I would think the SMC would cover the scouts "next step" on how to set up his BOR.  I usually have the advancement report from the AC so that person knows the scout is close to finishing up that rank.  It is his responsibility to talk with the CC or AC to schedule a time.  I can't be involved with the BOR and let the scout know that and they always seem to get things done in a timely manner.  I don't just do a SMC and drop it.  I tell them what the next step is.

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I would think the SMC would cover the scouts "next step" on how to set up his BOR.  I usually have the advancement report from the AC so that person knows the scout is close to finishing up that rank.  It is his responsibility to talk with the CC or AC to schedule a time.  I can't be involved with the BOR and let the scout know that and they always seem to get things done in a timely manner.  I don't just do a SMC and drop it.  I tell them what the next step is.

 

I think it's worth remembering that in the specific case being discussed in this thread we are talking about a Scout who is going for Life, so he has had 4 or 5 SMC's and 4 BOR's already, and that is only counting the ones required for advancement.  We are apparently also talking about a new SM.  We don't know what the SM's background is, but it is possible that the Scout has more experience with the Boy Scout advancement process than the SM does.  At the very least, this Scout managed to get from an SMC to a BOR multiple times under the former SM, and whatever that process was no longer seems to be working under the SM.  That is of course assuming that there are no other relevant facts other than what is in the original post.

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Troop Committee Advancement Chair here.

 

It actually sounds like you are talking about a scoutmaster conference, not a board of review.  There is a common misconception that a scoutmaster conference happens when all of the other requiremens have been completed, and right before the board of review.  This is not the case and it can happen any time since the previous rank was earned.  If this is a new scoutmaster, is he trained?  He may not know exactly what he is supposed to do but not want to admit it.  I guess in this case, did your son call for an appointment?  I know of scoutmasters that only do SM conferences on camp outs or on Sunday afternoons, which is a little weird in my book but not necessarily wrong, as long as they are getting done.

 

Now, if we are actually talking about a board of review here, that is something different, and something that the scoutmaster isn't involved in.  It should be arranged by the troop committee advancement chair, or if there isn't one, the committee chair or their designee.  I do this all the time.  My youngest just had his tenderfoot BoR last night, but I had to quickly train an extra parent because there were not enough committee present.  Usually, the only reason a board of review is delayed in our troop is if we don't have enough adults to hold one.

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I have not seen one idea mentioned thru this interesting thread.

 

If this Scout is truly a "climber" (nothing wrong with that !) , it might be noted that his effort is a challenge and example to the other Scouts in the Troop, who might just be  coasting   along in the fun of just "being"  Scout.   Perhaps the fun part of Scouting (game with a purpose ?) is sometimes lost in the fulfilling of requirements.  The fun and the quest for requirements should go along together. The recognition of the attainment of skills (First Class) is important, and the passing on of tradition and those skills from older Scout to younger can be lost if not encouraged by the Adults. 

 

Each Scout should be treated as an individual and all Scouts must be treated equally and fairly.   What is the culture/policy in the Troop?   How has the SM, CCh, AdvCh  dealt with other Scouts?   Is this perceived "problem" truly that of an individual  or is there another , greater problem ?   Are other BoR's being  delayed? 

 

Should this be dealt with over a cuppa or in the Troop Committee meeting? 

 

I am sure this soon-to-be Life Scout  will be satisfied in the near future.    A Scout is Cheerful and Loyal and Obedient....  and patient? 

Edited by SSScout

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Somehow I feel more comfortable with the scouts learning from their own mistakes rather than others.  Over the years I have made plenty of mistakes, but the most important one was not to make the same mistake twice.  I learned this as a child.  I had a very non-sympathetic mother.  If I couldn't find something she would always answer, "Try looking for it where you left it.  If it's not there, put it where it belongs, or at least in a place where you can remember."  After hearing that for a second, third or even fourth time, I learned not to keep making the same mistake.  :)

 

If this scout isn't getting the answers from the SM he needs, try talking to someone else.

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This thread has gotten to point of speculation about what is going on here, which people are of course free to do, and we are trying to help the original poster, but I'm not sure how much more we can help at this point. Maybe @@Carbenez can fill in some of the blanks that have been discussed by various people. We don't even know for certain whether it is an SMC or a BOR that the Scout is trying to schedule. The post says it's a BOR, but the SM isn't even on the BOR, so...? The SM asked your son to call him, so... did your son call him? Or is he going to call him? If we are really talking about an SMC here, maybe this could be resolved with one phone call. If it really is a BOR, and the SM really is the bottleneck, then someone really needs to talk to this new SM about the proper procedure when a Scout is ready for a BOR. But as it is, we have so much uncertainty that we are just guessing at this point.

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If this scout isn't getting the answers from the SM he needs, try talking to someone else.

That's right. As I said before, if this actually is about a BOR, this Scout has had at least 4 BOR's and they have all been in the past 2-3 years since he is 13, so he has to know who the committee members are who do BOR's. He may very well know who schedules the BOR's, or that they are on a fixed schedule, or however else the troop does it. Every Scout who has made Star in my troop for at least the past 15 years (and probably far longer) has known that information.

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That's right. As I said before, if this actually is about a BOR, this Scout has had at least 4 BOR's and they have all been in the past 2-3 years since he is 13, so he has to know who the committee members are who do BOR's. He may very well know who schedules the BOR's, or that they are on a fixed schedule, or however else the troop does it. Every Scout who has made Star in my troop for at least the past 15 years (and probably far longer) has known that information.

 

One has to also consider that even though the scout has had 3-4 other BOR's, they were set up by the former SM.  This is new territory with a new SM.  It could very well be the former SM was the go-to person for the BOR set-up.  It's a bit of a learning curve for both the scout and the new SM.

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One has to also consider that even though the scout has had 3-4 other BOR's, they were set up by the former SM.  This is new territory with a new SM.  It could very well be the former SM was the go-to person for the BOR set-up.  It's a bit of a learning curve for both the scout and the new SM.

 

I guess, but it's kind of foreign to me coming from a troop where the "setup" usually consists of the SM saying to the Scout who has just completed his SMC, "Go talk to Mr. _____ about your board of review."  (Possible variation for a younger Scout, "You know who Mr. _____ is, right?  Go talk to him about your board of review."  Or for a really young and/or shy Scout, the SM and the Scout will arrive together at the place where I am sitting or standing, and we will have a conversation, at the end of which a BOR will be scheduled.)

 

Very little learning curve required for anybody.  That is one reason why a few posters here, including me, have wondered whether Carbanez is actually talking about setting up an SMC rather than a BOR.

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I never underestimate the confusion caused by the lack of real communication.  Yes, the SM needs to be the adult and step up his game, but taking over as a new SM can be overwhelming and not necessarily understanding how the former SM dealt one-on-one with the scouts traditionally can be quite a challenge to unravel.  When in doubt, the new SM would be trying to do a hundred things all at one time so as to not be able to focus his attention on helping by giving clearly defined instructions to every boy.  Here's where the former SM could be offering up some solid expertise based on his experience.  However, if that communication is not there, it's going to be a make-it-up-as-you-go for the new guy.

 

I'm not trying to make excuses for anyone here, but my advice remains the same, if one can't get an answer out of one person (no communication), then go to someone else for that information.  Eventually someone's going to need to start communicating.

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Our SM gives the guys a sheet with a few steps on it for requesting a bor. He has them take note during the SMC so they know.

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Our SM gives the guys a sheet with a few steps on it for requesting a bor. He has them take note during the SMC so they know.

 

Again, I'm not making excuses for the SM, he's new and all these suggestions are great for the OP to take back to his unit to suggest to the new SM to assist (after all that's what an ASSISTANT SM supposed to do) him in getting his bearings as he starts that often daunting task. 

 

Still it's up to the scout to start asking questions to resolve his situation.  His advancement is his responsibility.

 

Everyone needs to start communicating with each other.

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