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Hawkwin

SM Conference for higher ranks ONLY on campouts?

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46 minutes ago, Hawkwin said:

District is well aware and not happy about it but nothing they can easily do as I understand it. If the CO doesn't object, then the only recourse to my knowledge would be to pull the charter.

I've heard/read similar things over the years and I've never understood it, how a single adult leader can essentially do as they please and district is powerless to do anything about it.

I get the whole "CO owns the unit" thing, but we're all still administering the BSA program here, and it's amazing that the BSA (at the district level) really can't do much sometimes to enforce the methods of the program.

For all of the rules and regulations we have, at the end of the day it seems like any of us can do whatever we want when it comes to how we dish out the program. It's no wonder we have current threads on the subject of parent interference. Adults at all levels of involvement seem bent on doing things their own unique way, and if they know they can get away with it, what's to prevent this kind of behavior in the future? Seems likely it will only get worse.

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1 hour ago, Hawkwin said:

 

 

If we do find a home in the other troop, the most effective thing WE can do is for my son to be an outstanding Den Chief for the local packs and help recruit them to his new troop instead of letting them go to his old troop.

Now that seems totally fair.    

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On 10/28/2018 at 4:42 PM, Hawkwin said:

He also didn't want to have to sacrifice soccer tournaments in order to get promoted.

I am a dedicated Scoutmaster who comes from multi-generational Scouting family. I share my Scouting enthusiasm with everyone around me because it is genuinely felt, and also because Scout Spirit is contagious. Along with my enthusiasm, I also explicitly explain my acceptance that not every family approaches Scouting with my same level of vigor - and that's ok. Troop meetings and weekend campouts will not always be prioritized first when choosing between competing activities - and that's ok. Sometimes other things in life are more important than Scouting - and that's ok.

Last night, I held a Scoutmaster conference and signed off an Eagle Scout application for a VERY busy Scout in our troop. He sings in a prestigious boys choir, he plays elite-level soccer, he swims competitively, and he excels scholastically. In spite of many scheduling conflicts over the years, he has somehow made the required sacrifices to also become an Eagle Scout with three palms. I frankly don't know how he manages it all, but I hold him up as an example of a boy who takes an "and" approach to living life. Nobody should be forced to choose between Scouting OR soccer. Enough flexibility and alternatives should exist that Scouting AND soccer should be a viable option for anyone with the desire for both.

Edited by gblotter
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8 hours ago, gblotter said:

Sometimes other things in life are more important than Scouting - and that's ok.

YES!  Yes to the whole idea of scouts have outside lives too. Thank you for that! 

I had an SM tell me that my son may not be counted as "active for six months" because he hadn't been a frequent attendee to meetings and campouts over the last six months over the fall. Never mind that he had been in this rank for two years and fall was marching band season. I replied that he should talk with my son about what he was doing and see how active he had been over the last two years instead of the last six months in this rank. My son was active during non-marching band times, going to campouts when it didn't conflict with his band/school commitments, but fall precluded him from all campouts and homework kept him out of half the meetings. The same SM relented with another scout who obtained Eagle that year. That scout had been mostly a no show for the last three years due to school commitments. 

And in my current troop, they also want to quantify what "active" means by making it a percentage numbers game. I quietly voice my concerns and thoughts on the subject to the adults when it comes up. As with most things in which I disagree with that don't line up with BSA guidelines, I don't do it in front of the scouts and I don't make ultimatums. I try my best to guide it towards what BSA states. 

However, if I see a scout get caught in one of those traps where the SM/CC/BOR whatever is trying to deny a scout their rights, I have decided I will let the scout and their parent/guardian understand their rights. I won't be party to things where the scout is denied simply because the troop/SM/CC/BOR want to change or add requirements away from what BSA sets. (Currently I'm fighting the whole BOR as a retest problem.) 

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9 hours ago, gblotter said:

I am a dedicated Scoutmaster who comes from multi-generational Scouting family. I share my Scouting enthusiasm with everyone around me because it is genuinely felt, and also because Scout Spirit is contagious. Along with my enthusiasm, I also explicitly explain my acceptance that not every family approaches Scouting with my same level of vigor - and that's ok. Troop meetings and weekend campouts will not always be prioritized first when choosing between competing activities - and that's ok. Sometimes other things in life are more important than Scouting - and that's ok.

Last night, I held a Scoutmaster conference and signed off an Eagle Scout application for a VERY busy Scout in our troop. He sings in a prestigious boys choir, he plays elite-level soccer, he swims competitively, and he excels scholastically. In spite of many scheduling conflicts over the years, he has somehow made the required sacrifices to also become an Eagle Scout with three palms. I frankly don't know how he manages it all, but I hold him up as an example of a boy who takes an "and" approach to living life. Nobody should be forced to choose between Scouting OR soccer. Enough flexibility and alternatives should exist that Scouting AND soccer should be a viable option for anyone with the desire for both.

Absolutely agree.  We actually schedule some of our fall campouts (if possible) to depart early on Saturday mornings.  This enables some of the HS Scouts to do the football Friday night, march, whatever and still do the outing.  This small change has increased the participation. 

Scouts should be well rounded and do many different things.  Some of ours play football and we do not see them in the fall.  Our current SPL plays baseball and he took the fall SPL slot to accommodate Spring ball.  His Eagle project is focused on some aspect of the HS Baseball stadium.  Some swim, soccer, marching band, water polo, lacrosse, advanced math stuff, church commitments, rugby (yeah we had one of them play that), tennis, golf, AP classes, etc etc.  We welcome them when they can be there and figure some participation is better than none.

Attendance / participation is not about percentages and checkmarks.  Our unit is large, the only written policy we have is about cell phones (single page).  Other than that, it is all situational and we follow the Guide to Advancement as best possible.  Full disclosure we sort of skim the Guide to Safe Scouting and try our best with that one (is it all applicable??)

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Yes, if you want to get me lecturing again, just whine about sports taking away scouts. Our troop averages 60% participation at meetings during football and soccer season. 95% during the rest of the year. Strangely our camp outs average about 80% all year long because while scouts miss meetings due to practice, they work the camp outs around the games.

Barry

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I've often wondered if there was some option such as letting districts hold SMCs and BORs for scouts that can show they met rank requirements, but have other obstacles ... such as a troop going above and beyond requirement expectations.  But, that would subvert the structure and habits of the troop.  (not necessarily a bad thing)

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20 hours ago, fred johnson said:

I've often wondered if there was some option such as letting districts hold SMCs and BORs for scouts that can show they met rank requirements, but have other obstacles ... such as a troop going above and beyond requirement expectations.  But, that would subvert the structure and habits of the troop.  (not necessarily a bad thing)

I held an SMC for life rank of a boy in another crew, but that was at the request of his advisor who had never done one.

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Oh, the ramifications of this thread.   

One must pick and choose, that is a rule in life.  When the Scout learns what is important (Band?  Sports?  Eagle? Debate club?  Video games?  Facebook? Instagram? Faith? 4H? ) he will find out that Scouting is a guide, and as such will affect all the rest of his/her decisions and activities.  

I can remember back in my pre Schmart phone school days.  (I would not be having this conversation via keyboard !).  Scouts, Band,  Drama arts (4 or 5 plays/musicals), School government,  church dinners, Key Club,  part time job, )  .  I learned to juggle and with my parents help, did well.  I tried to help my sons and daughters do the same. 

It s admittedly different these days.  1000 cable channels and nothing worth watching (even the grown Eagle Scout son often says so). Lots of distractions, fer sher.  Here's where the SM can be a help, to remind the Scout (and parent ?)  what might be more important.   

"Ya pays yer money and ya takes yer cherce", to quote the carny barker. 

See you on the trail.

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