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Hawkwin

SM Conference for higher ranks ONLY on campouts?

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21 minutes ago, numbersnerd said:

This policy could likely have the unintended effect of older boys only attending a campout for the purpose of a SMC.

If a unit has to "force" older Scouts to attend to get a SM conference, the issue of conferences is likely the least of their worries. 

While we would always welcome more of the older scouts, the key to get them to the outings is to have engaging and fun / challenging outings.  If the outing is solely based on advancement, then likely it will drive many away.  If the district or council camporees do not get enough attendees, maybe pass on those (yes one could get involved and maybe plan more engaging ones but that is a long play).  Key is to do stuff they may not do with their friends and families...backpacking because it's there, hiking back country rugged trails into a gorge because it's fun, getting hauled around the lake on a tube...well because, canoeing in a swamp because seeing alligators maybe 10' away is wicked fun.  That is how you get older scouts to attend, not only doing SM conferences there.

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3 minutes ago, Jameson76 said:

Key is to do stuff they may not do with their friends and families...backpacking because it's there, hiking back country rugged trails into a gorge because it's fun, getting hauled around the lake on a tube...well because, canoeing in a swamp because seeing alligators maybe 10' away is wicked fun.  That is how you get older scouts to attend, not only doing SM conferences there.

Yeah, that was my point. I think the thought was it would keep older boys coming to campouts. But forcing teenagers into something like this only breeds resentment and lower participation. You might get them out there, but not for the right reasons. Band aids, not solutions. 

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I wish I could just hold a SM conference for him over a video chat with you to get this done, but alas .....  That would be no bueno.

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1 hour ago, walk in the woods said:

I've helped plan a lot of Fall Camporees for a fairly small district.  If we ruled every homecoming weekend and school break off limits, there would be no camporee.

Nah, every other local district holds their camporee in either early or late October. Ours is the only one that does it this weekend (and it isn't as if we lack the camp ground space).

Last year, my son went to the Camporee with another district and another troop simply so he would not miss out on the experience.

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22 hours ago, Hawkwin said:

Got a response. SM's heart clearly is in the right place and I support his reasoning, but it is still the wrong decision.Will be emailing him stating as much.

If you don't mind saying, what was his reasoning?

Edited by HelpfulTracks

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21 minutes ago, HelpfulTracks said:

If you don't mind saying, what was his reasoning?

Scroll back.

 

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4 minutes ago, gblotter said:

Scroll back.

 

Thank you, I missed that.

I see that as adding requirements to advancement.

I can agree with the SM that leadership is important and needed, but adding it as a requirement for a SM conference is a poor way to handle it.

He is adding leadership beyond the PoR requirement as rank requirement.

If he is conducting SM conferences, for other reasons or other ranks, at times other than camp outs he is adding to the requirements.

 

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On 8/28/2018 at 11:23 AM, gblotter said:

Adding requirements like that is obviously wrong, but I can sympathize with what this troop might be trying to do (encouraging activity by older Scouts). Right objective, wrong implementation.

We have a troop of 30 boys (about half are age 11-13 and half are age 14-17). All the older Scouts are grouped into one large patrol. The lives of these older teens get so busy, and we rarely see them on a troop campout or other Scouting activities. I remind those still working toward Eagle that real activity in the troop is requirement #1, and I challenge them to attend at least one campout a year (not setting a high bar). But that counsel never seems to translate to actual campout attendance. I have also urged their Patrol Leader to organize their own separate patrol campouts, to no avail.

This is a point of frustration (for more than just our troop).

 

If a boy is working on Eagle, unless they already have their POR time, I don't see how they can avoid campouts.  The busy lives of older teens is why, given my druthers, I would recommend boys work to get their Eagle at 15 or 16, instead of waiting to be 17.5.  Both of my boys got their Eagle at 15. The oldest had the time of his life as an Eagle Scout. The younger got too busy in high school stuff.  

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6 hours ago, Hawkwin said:

"The reason I only do SM Conferences on camp outs is to get the senior leadership on the camp out so that they should be on leading younger scouts. My expectation for Star and Life Scout should and is more rigorous since they are moving into Leadership roles."

Like I stated, I get the rationale behind his policy but the inflexibility of it is both disappointing and appears to violate the spirit of the rules (e.g. a different standard for higher ranks is adding requirements).

If that's the rationale, his troop is in trouble.  I know with my boys at that level, they wouldn't have had a problem with it. They were camping frequently.  However, a lot of our older Life Scouts who were gung ho (and had 6 months in a POR and a year as an active Life Scout), but then got into high school extracurriculars, it would have been hard.  

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Progress!

From the CC:

 

Quote

 

Troop Handbook and Policies about Scoutmaster Conferences and Board of Reviews:

2.5     Requesting a Scoutmaster Conference
a.  For the ranks of Scout, Tenderfoot, Second Class, and First Class:
(1)  The Scout requests a Scoutmaster Conference from the Scoutmaster or any Assistant Scoutmaster prior to the start of the meeting.
 
b.  For the ranks of Star, Life and Eagle Palms:
(1)  The Scout requests a Scoutmaster Conference by emailing the Scoutmaster at least one week in advance.
 
2.6    Requesting a Board of Review
a.  For the ranks of Scout, Tenderfoot, Second Class, and First Class:
(1)  The Scout signs the Board of Review sign-in sheet prior to the start of the meeting.
(2)  The Board of Review will normally occur during the meeting.
 
b.  For the ranks of Star, Life and Eagle Palms:
(1)  The Scout signs the Board of Review sign-in sheet prior to the start of the meeting and he must notify the Advancement Chair or Advancement Co-Chair.
(2)  The Scout will be notified when the Board of Review will occur.

 

 
 
I replied back thanking the CC for their help and clarity but also to request confirmation that if my son follows these very reasonable rules, that he would indeed be granted a SM conference outside of a camp out (since clearly a camp out is neither specifically required nor even implied). I've yet to get that response. Either way, my son will likely send an email tomorrow to start the clock on the request (even though realistically, he already made an email request on Sunday which started this process).
 
Props to everyone that helped. We haven't achieved complete resolution but your advice certainly helped us get to this point. I will share the response I get from the CC when it comes in.
 
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Sounds like a well defined and reasonable policy. Good luck. Though the AT LEAST part could be interpreted differently by everyone.

p.s. - not that I would good looking to correct them given the situation, but BoR are no longer required for Palms. Probably best to let that one lay were it is for now since you are making progress.

Edited by HelpfulTracks
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I'll just throw in that scoutmaster conferences and boards of review at camp are not always the best environment for the scout to succeed in.  Our Troop has a new scout weekend and they have tried to do all this advancement stuff at the end of the outing, and it's a big fail -- you've got 11 and 12 year old who are exhausted and it's 10 o'clock at night and there's no point.  We discussed this at committee and I think this year they will do the advancement stuff after they get back home when the kids are fresher.

The same kind of thing happened with my son as he worked towards First Class.  He was going to have a BOR at camp and he basically refused to do it -- it was not the right setting or time for him.  Three weeks later, he did wonderfully with a board of review around the dining room table when he was not worn out from a full week of summer camp. 

Edited by WisconsinMomma

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Update:

My son, via email, requested a conference last week Saturday as the instructions state. I recommended he copy me and the CC on the email.

A week went by with no response. I emailed the CC (yesterday morning) indicating that it has been over a week with no response and asked if my son should be expecting a response and if the unwritten rule of conferences being only on camp outs will be enforced. It has been a little over 24 hours and I have not received a response from the CC. I intend to give it a week but I am not overly hopeful that I will get a response either at this rate.

The committee meeting is in two weeks and I see that as my next recourse - but I am not overly hopeful for that either. Any other ideas? I thought the CC was in agreement but it so far does not appear to be the case.

.....

This just developed...

 

I emailed this question to Ask the Expert last week and they replied just now stating that they will be answering my question on the scoutingmagazine.org site! To be posted "soon."

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1 hour ago, Hawkwin said:

Update:

My son, via email, requested a conference last week Saturday as the instructions state. I recommended he copy me and the CC on the email.

A week went by with no response. I emailed the CC (yesterday morning) indicating that it has been over a week with no response and asked if my son should be expecting a response and if the unwritten rule of conferences being only on camp outs will be enforced. It has been a little over 24 hours and I have not received a response from the CC. I intend to give it a week but I am not overly hopeful that I will get a response either at this rate.

The committee meeting is in two weeks and I see that as my next recourse - but I am not overly hopeful for that either. Any other ideas? I thought the CC was in agreement but it so far does not appear to be the case.

.....

This just developed...

 

I emailed this question to Ask the Expert last week and they replied just now stating that they will be answering my question on the scoutingmagazine.org site! To be posted "soon."

I am sorry they are making him go through this.  It could be so simple to just work with the scout to have the conference.  sigh.

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29 minutes ago, mashmaster said:

I am sorry they are making him go through this.  It could be so simple to just work with the scout to have the conference.  sigh.

Agreed, but there are life lessons here too. We can all probably point to times in our lives where we had to follow rules that absolutely made no sense - and even times when TPTB made up rules that made little sense.

While I'd rather he not learn that particular life lesson from scouting, at least he is learning from someplace.

I figure even if we lose, he will still gain a life lesson. Perseverance is part of our family motto.

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