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Hawkwin

SM Conference for higher ranks ONLY on campouts?

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Thanks for the warning @Eagledad.  I could imagine that happening. 

In our troop, my goal is that the chairs understand the goals of Scouting in their area and then work to see that the troop is moving in that direction.  Because we're a big troop, we're fortunate to have a lot of great Scouters in our midst.  So, I can have someone who in another life might be a Scoutmaster and ask him to be the activities chair.  He can come up to speed on the youth led concepts and then see that our planning process, calendar, trips, and other activities are moving in that direction.  My role as Committee Chair is then to guide in that direction as well. 

I'd love for the troop to have a series of youth positions that mirror these.  I'd love to have an adult activities chair partnering with a youth activities ASPL (or whatever you'd call him).  In my ideal world, the adult "chair" would simply be the mentor to the youth position. 

 

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18 minutes ago, ParkMan said:

I'd love for the troop to have a series of youth positions that mirror these.  I'd love to have an adult activities chair partnering with a youth activities ASPL (or whatever you'd call him).  In my ideal world, the adult "chair" would simply be the mentor to the youth position. 

 

That is exactly what we do. The adults enjoy it, but they do require some training because most of our adults are under the CC, not the SM who does that kind of adult training. But once the adults understand their role, they take it very seriously and have fun with it. And it works very well in keeping the program at a very basic level. 

Barry

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Removal from elected or appointed office:

Quote

1.1     The Scoutmaster reserves the right to remove a Scout from elected or appointed office after two counseling sessions when said Scout is not performing the requirements of that position.

Is that supported somewhere? I can't find anything that supports that in the GtoA.

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a.  Only registered adult Troop leaders may sign the requirements in the BSA Scout Handbook.

Camping and service requirements in the handbook state, "Scoutmaster or adult signature." Is Adult synonymous with troop leader or can really any adult sign off on camping or service?

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54 minutes ago, Hawkwin said:

Removal from elected or appointed office:

Is that supported somewhere? I can't find anything that supports that in the GtoA.

Here you go:

Quote

 

Guide to Advancement 4.2.3.4.5 When Responsibilities Are Not Met. If a unit has clearly established expectations for position(s) held, then—within reason—a Scout must meet them through the prescribed time. If he is not meeting expectations, then this must be communicated early. Unit leadership may work toward a constructive result by asking him what he thinks he should be accomplishing. What is his concept of the position? What does he think his troop leaders—youth and adult—expect? What has he done well? What needs improvement? Often this questioning approach can lead a young man to the decision to measure up. He will tell the leaders how much of the service time should be recorded.

If it becomes clear nothing will improve his performance, then it is acceptable to remove the Scout from his position. It is the unit leader’s responsibility to address these situations promptly. Every effort should have been made while he was in the position to ensure he understood expectations and was regularly supported toward reasonably acceptable performance. It is unfair and inappropriate—after six months, for example— to surprise a boy who thinks he has been doing fine, with news that his performance is now considered unsatisfactory.

 

 

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4 minutes ago, LVAllen said:

Here you go:

 

Thanks. So in other words, we could simply state either that a scout may be removed per the GtoA, or not have a section on this at all since it is largely redundant.

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1 hour ago, Hawkwin said:

Thanks. So in other words, we could simply state either that a scout may be removed per the GtoA, or not have a section on this at all since it is largely redundant.

You're catching on.  Most rules are redundant to existing guidelines, they may help folks narrow their focus at a particular time, but they inculcate a lax attitude toward working with source documents.

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19 hours ago, Hawkwin said:

Would anyone be willing to share the text of their troop policy? Instead of spending time trying amend our bureaucracy, it would be easier to simply toss it and start over. Since the new SM is on my subcommittee, I see this as a good opportunity to guide them in a better direction.

Wow.  I've been looking, but I can't find it.  We used to hand it out on nights people visited the troop.  We switched scoutmasters years ago and we've not used it since.  And, I can't find it.  

I'll hunt it down.

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I did find this. It was our one page "flyer" version for recruitment.  It has a similar one page parent info sheet of about the same length.  :(

Forgive the formatting.  The original version has multiple columns, quotes and nice formatting and pictures.

 

<big image>

Boy Scout Troop ###
<city>, <state>
http://<web site>


WHAT IS SCOUTING: Boy Scouts is a boy led program of fun outdoor activities, peer group leadership opportunities, and a personal exploration of career, hobby and special interests, all designed to achieve BSA's objectives of developing character, citizenship and personal fitness.

WHAT DO WE DO: Troop ### offers a traditional scouting program of learning through fun and adventure. At troop meetings, scouts work on skills and advancements; plan camp outs and special activities; make life long friendships; and most importantly, have fun! The following are recent Troop ### camp outs.

Jan – <camp and/or activity>
Feb – <camp and/or activity>
Mar – <camp and/or activity>
Apr – <camp and/or activity>
May – <camp and/or activity>
Jun – <camp and/or activity>

Jul – <camp and/or activity>
Aug – <camp and/or activity>
Sep – <camp and/or activity>
Oct – <camp and/or activity>
Nov – <camp and/or activity>
Dec – <camp and/or activity>

The troop has at least one high adventure trip every year. Past adventures have included the following.

Philmont (120,000 acres in New Mexico)
Florida Sea Base (near Key West)
<regional high adventure>
<regional high adventure>
National Jamborees

MEMBERSHIP: Troop ### is open to all boys ages 11 to 17.  We welcome transition cub scouts, existing scouts and all boys new to scouting.  Some of our scouts are home schooled. Others attend a wide variety of schools in <city>, <city>, <city>, <city>, <city> and <city>.

LEADERS: Our Scoutmaster ###### started scouting in YYYY with his son ##### (Eagle Scout YYYY) and has been Scoutmaster since YYYY.  Mr. ##### is an active member of the community and is a very positive influence on the scouts. Our high adventure coordinator ####### joined in YYYY with his son ###### (Eagle Scout YYYY).  Mr. #######  was raised by his own father in scouting, earned his Eagle as a youth and has served Troop ### in many positions including Scoutmaster. 

ADVANCEMENT: Advancement has many forms.  Skills, rank, leadership, independence, etc. As Troop ### wants every scout to earn the Eagle Scout rank, our program teaches skills, responsibility, leadership and supports advancement. But the real control of advancement is in the hands of each individual scout.

Another form of advancement has to do with developing character, citizenship and physical fitness.  Troop ### is committed to the goals as expressed in the Boy Scouts of America “mission statement”. 

“The mission of the Boy Scouts of America is to prepare young
people to make ethical and moral choices over their lifetimes by
instilling in them the values of the Scout Oath and Law.”

SCHOOL? CHURCH? SPORTS? Scouting won’t always be the highest priority. That’s fine. Troop ### encourages scouts to explore life and all opportunities. Scouts participate as they can and have no mandatory minimum attendance requirements. Scouts participate because it is fun and rewarding. 

COST: Scouts are encouraged to pay their own way using the funds they earn through the annual fall popcorn and wreath fundraisers. Annual troop dues are $##. Average weekend camp out is $##.

SCHEDULE: Troop meets on Mondays at 6:45pm with the 4th Monday being a PLC meeting where the scouts in leadership positions update their plans.  
 

Edited by fred johnson
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On 9/24/2018 at 5:00 PM, Hawkwin said:

Camping and service requirements in the handbook state, "Scoutmaster or adult signature." Is Adult synonymous with troop leader or can really any adult sign off on camping or service?

I can't get the multiple quote thing to work to include your entire post, but I think this falls under GTA section 4.2.1.2 The Scout Is Tested:

"The unit leader authorizes those who may test and pass the Scout on rank requirements. They might include his patrol leader, senior patrol leader, an assistant unit leader, another Scout, or the unit leader himself. Merit badge counselors teach and test him on requirements for merit badges."

So the Scoutmaster decides who may test and sign off the Scout on rank requirements.  The Scoutmaster might decide that youth leaders or other adults can sign off on certain requirements.  And the rank requirements specify that the service projects must be "approved by [the Scout's] Scoutmaster".

Taken together, I think that your troop's policy that "Only registered adult Troop leaders may sign the requirements in the BSA Scout Handbook" is limiting your Scoutmaster's authority to determine who may test and sign off on the rank requirements.

 

 

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Had a Scout email me this past Saturday night that he completed his 5 mile hike.  Included pictures of map and compass used as well as the route taken.  It was the last thing he needed before his SMC and BOR.  He requested a SMC and BOR.  I emailed him back "Be in Class A and have your handbook and Eagle Binder at Tuesday's meeting"  Sent an email to the Troop Committee and within minutes, had five Committee Members respond that would be there to conduct a BOR.  Proud to say the Scout earned rank last night.  Our Troop has cut off dates for our COH and September 30 is the cut off date for our COH in October.  It gives our Advancement Chair time to get everything together, go to scout store to purchase all awards etc.  We have a campout this weekend and this scout is attending and yes, I could have said we would do it then.  I might not have been able to get Committee Members to complete his BOR and September 30 comes and goes and he has to wait until January to receive his award.  In the end, the scout would get punished.  As I have said before, I will do everything in my power to get these Scouts to rank up.  If they put in the work, so will I.  I try to teach the Scouts that hard work does pay off.  @Hawkwin, Keep up the good fight.  Your Scout deserves better.

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16 hours ago, Thunderbird said:

 

Taken together, I think that your troop's policy that "Only registered adult Troop leaders may sign the requirements in the BSA Scout Handbook" is limiting your Scoutmaster's authority to determine who may test and sign off on the rank requirements.

 

 

Thank you; and agreed. My son had month's worth of camping and service projects not entered or signed off in his book before I took it upon myself to research what was missing and then signed them myself (under the assumption that "adult" meant me). No one has questioned those signatures (and why would they if they never helped him get them signed off in the first place).

More good feedback for our committee.

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Sent my recommendations to the subcommittee last night. We are scheduled to meet on October 7th. I doubt I will have any feedback prior but will share any updates that may come my way before that meeting.

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@Hawkwin  Some more thoughts:  your troop's policies are very long and detailed, and some of the policies are out of date already (for example: the BSA registration fee is now $33 per person).  Instead of having detailed policies like this, it would probably be better to just refer to the source documents (Guide to Safe Scouting, Boy Scout Handbook, Guide to Advancement, Guide to Awards and Insignia, uniform inspection sheets (currently more up to date than the 2015 Guide to Awards and Insignia), etc.)  This way, the troop's policies don't have to be edited every time something changes.  In addition, the longer something like this is (troop policies), the less likely people will read it.

Good luck!

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16 hours ago, Ranman328 said:

Had a Scout email me this past Saturday night that he completed his 5 mile hike.  Included pictures of map and compass used as well as the route taken.  It was the last thing he needed before his SMC and BOR.  He requested a SMC and BOR.  I emailed him back "Be in Class A and have your handbook and Eagle Binder at Tuesday's meeting"  Sent an email to the Troop Committee and within minutes, had five Committee Members respond that would be there to conduct a BOR.  Proud to say the Scout earned rank last night.  Our Troop has cut off dates for our COH and September 30 is the cut off date for our COH in October.  It gives our Advancement Chair time to get everything together, go to scout store to purchase all awards etc.  We have a campout this weekend and this scout is attending and yes, I could have said we would do it then.  I might not have been able to get Committee Members to complete his BOR and September 30 comes and goes and he has to wait until January to receive his award.  In the end, the scout would get punished.  As I have said before, I will do everything in my power to get these Scouts to rank up.

This is basically how our troop operates. I conduct the SMC and then signal the CC to schedule the BOR as soon possible. The SMC and BOR will frequently happen back-to-back on the same day, and they always happen withing a week of the Scout making the request. Our troop holds a COH three times a year. We set and publicize a cutoff date before each COH. It has proven to be an effective incentive for the boys to finish off lingering rank requirements and partial merit badges. We automatically assume that a few SMCs and BORs will be held on the cutoff day for that reason.

@Hawkwin I don't remember you mentioning the size of your troop. We have a smaller troop of 30 Scouts which makes flexible scheduling easier. I know of several mega troops (130+ Scouts) in our area. I have no doubt they run high-quality Scouting programs, but I can't imagine operating in that kind of environment. So much personal attention would be lost, and you end up with subcommittees generating long, legalistic policy documents like the one you describe. Different strokes for different folks, but I'd be finding a new - and possibly smaller - troop (as I've said before).

 

16 hours ago, Ranman328 said:

If they put in the work, so will I.  I try to teach the Scouts that hard work does pay off.

I love that quote. What a contrast to the SM for @Hawkwin

Edited by gblotter

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