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Lets look a requirement for 2nd Class. From the book


Demonstrate first aid for the following:



Heat exhaustion


Heatstroke, dehydration, hypothermia, and hyperventilation


Now, do I give him a first aid class, after which he immediately parrots from his short term memory what I just told him and I sign his book, or do I provide this as an introduction to these requirements, request that he go home, study (or master if you prefer) these requirements and then come back and demonstrate?


Is this adding to the program or following the true intent and spirit of the program. Which is best for the boy (and you, if it is you he has to REALLY demonstrate on in the future).


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Where does the book say that "demonstrating leadership ability" is the criteria for advancement to Star and Life?


Herms: I would hope that leaders try and help the boys reach their individual potentials. But I don't believe that all boys can be great leaders, anymore than all boys can be great athletes or musicians. They are individuals.



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Could be that if you call a halt to the rope making that he will turn around and ask "Please Sir, can I have some more?

Hang on, that's my kid - Now you know what the "O" in OJ, stands for!!


Thanks for being such a good sport.

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Let's say for a minute that I represent the "Ass" that flunked Johnny because Johnny was not mature enough. I told him no because he wasn't old enough or because I hated his pushy Mom. Let's say that maybe my son is the same age and he couldn't do what Johnny did because he wasn't as fast, strong, or lacked the motivation. If this were the case, then I should apologize on every count. I should be brought to task on making Johnny measure down to all of the things of my world that Johnny does not represent.


Let's say that Johnny passed every requirement and met all deadlines and leadership requirements. He "actively" served in his position and was voted as the best Scout in the Troop. Let's say that his Mom was really a concerned Mother, not Pushy that simply supported Johnny in his desire to be the best Scout ever. As a responsible human being, then I should bring myself to task and review my own credits first. It is highly probable that I am failing in "Life" and I should be the one held up.


But if a group of caring individuals saw a young man driven beyond his means coming before them, yet they saw a need, an opportunity to teach him something that has great merit and did not want it to slip from him by simply "signing off" his BOR, then there could be a good reason to defy the principle of the rubber stamp method of Scouting.


I knew a Scouter a few years ago that slowed down a young man because the Scout, although good in nature, was wanting for a better way to learn. The Scouter failed him repeatedly until the Scout learned the requirements until they became second nature.


It took me six months to obtain the First Aid merit badge and I have been thankful for all of these many years to have known such a man as Mr.P. He died a few years ago but the lessons I learned from him were truly badges for the heart.


I dont know claim to know the answers and the more I read here, I am not sure the answers can be found. I try to believe that people are basically good and want to provide the kind of experiences that any Scout will always remember for the best.



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I make it a point to try and not teach a scout any requirements. Occsinalinaly I have to, but when a scout comes up to me and ask to be signed off of a requirement, I call in a troop instructor, and usually walk away. Unless the instructor is new, than I stay and watch. When the instructor is done with the scout, they will come up to me and I sign the book. (I am trying to get the SM to allow the instructors to sign off of requirements). The instructor most likely has learned more than the trainee, but is that not the reason to have a boy teach other boys!

This scout has not mastered this skill, but I have signed off of it, if the instructor, says he is ready.

It is up to the troop to make sure that the scouts use these skills to master them. Meaning that campouts and meetings should be setup so the scouts use these skills in games or competitions.

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Mrs.Smith wrote, "Doesn't this mean that a poor leader who is active should be advanced over an inactive great leader."


First, there is =no such thing as a scout advancing "over" another scout. Each scout is advanced on his own merits, and just because one advances does not mean that another doesn't get to.


Secondly how could a scout be a great leader if he is not applying those skills?

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OGE, I agree. The BOR is the wrong place to let the Scout know he has failed. It is up to the SM to let the Scout know how he is doing along the way.

"Doesn't this mean that a poor leader who is active should be advanced over an inactive great leader."


Like Bob posted, no one is advance over another in Scouting. But an active Scout will advance faster than an inactive Scout.


Ed Mori

Troop 1

1 Peter 4:10

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"advanced over" was a poor choice of words. What I meant was there seems to be a disagreement about what is meant by the requirement to actively serve.


One interpretation would lead to an inactive scout who is a great leader (read: natural born or developed leadership ability as quarterback of the football team) being advanced.


A second interpretation leads to a dedicated and active scout without leadership ability being advanced.


A final interpretation could result in only very active, great leaders advancing.


I assume that everyone would like to see all boys be Boy #3. But is there an interpretation of this requirement that permits either or both of the first two boys to advance? Or is there even room at the top for them, i.e., are the upper ranks of scouting only for Boy #3.


Just asking.

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I have a boy in 7th grade that will make life scout before he returns to school next year. In the troop for a little more than 2 years. He made First class in less than a year. He is driven to get his merit badges, loves getting them. He attends every meeting, every campout and event. His goal is to make Eagle before high school.


As for maturity, I require progressively harder leadership positions as the boys move up in rank.


As a star scout I will accept scribe, historian, bugler, etc. The boy is helping the troop and learning.


As a Life scout I want them to have a larger leadership role in the troop. I will accept PL, Troop Guide, ASPL or SPL if they are ready.


In both of those situations, the SPL or ASPL (depending on the position as defined in JLT) must sit down with the scout and explain to them their job position and establish goals for their time in position.


I explain to the boys that I will not sign of their time in leadership position just because they wore the patch. They need to do the job as defined in JLT book.


When it is time for eagle scout, I think they need to be an ASPL, SPL.


Becoming an Eagle Scout is not just about getting 21 merit badges and spending time in the troop. It's about boys being taught to lead.


Can a boy learn that in 3 years? Some yes, others no.

For the boys that will need a little more time, I think the SM and boy needs to sit down and have an honest discussion.

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Mich, welcome to the board.


I have a question for you however. Don't you feel you have an obligation to accept the positions of responsibility that the BSA sets as qualifications for the advancement, not just the offices you say "you" will accept for advancement?(This message has been edited by Bob White)

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I've only been reading the boards on a hit and miss basis for the last few weeks, so excuse me that my response is a bit slow.


I have historically been in the camp of the folks who wanted to provide a boy an oppurtunity to enjoy his journey through Scouting, rather than race through it. I think I've had an epiphany.


KoreaScouter's post was excellent. To describe what I got out of it, he seemed to be saying that either a boy will get out of the journey what is intended, or he will learn other important lessons. Either way, the journey was worthwhile. What a great point!


Look - I've got my ideas about what I would like boys that I know in Scouting to get out of their experience. And I still think I'm right. But the only two boys who I might be able to endure my ideas are my own sons. The rest I can only hope to influence. I'd like to hope that those boys with whom I have the honor of working "get it". But if a boy (and his parents) have a different idea about what he should get out of this great program, who am I to roadblock that? I have a responsiblity as an Advancement Chair to make sure the advancement policies of the BSA are met. As long as they are, I should only be suggesting that a boy "smell the roses" on the way. If he chooses not to, hopefully he still will get great value from doing Scouting in his own way.



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Mich -

"As a Life scout I want them to have a larger leadership role in the troop. I will accept PL, Troop Guide, ASPL or SPL if they are ready.


When it is time for eagle scout, I think they need to be an ASPL, SPL. "


I don't know how you can get away with this. The book clearly identifies the positions that qualify as leadership for rank advancement. It even leaves it a little vague as to allow some other leadership opportunities (imho).


My concerns with this approach:

- Not all boys are cut out to be an SPL. They may be great "servant leaders", and that's fine. The troop needs Instructors, Guides, QM and Scribes in order to function.


- For some troops, it would be impossible to allow every boy to be SPL, unless their terms were only for a couple of months. There's a large troop near me that has 6-10 Eagles per year. It would be impossible for all of those boys to be an SPL.


Case in point - I served on an Eagle BOR a few months ago. A great young man, 17 years old, had been in Scouting since he was a Tiger. He did a great job in his BOR. His project was a good project, and he showed leadership in it. However, he never served in the traditional positions that you listed. He had held a couple of troop positions (Historian, etc.), Instructor and "troop webmaster". I asked him why he never served as PL or SPL. He had a great response. He said that he didn't have a desire to hold a "power position". He enjoyed serving the troop in the background. He especially liked working with the new scouts, teaching them Scout skills. I thought this was a great response and demonstrated a maturity that many boys who crave the power positions don't have.


"I explain to the boys that I will not sign of their time in leadership position just because they wore the patch. They need to do the job as defined in JLT book. "


I agree with you there. I see boys get away with this all the time. It's something I'm trying to deal with in our troop.

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