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Scout Leader signed for his son's rank requirement

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Hello,

There are three adult leaders in our son's troop.  One of the scout is one of the troop leader's son. Since the new troop leader joined the group, most of his son rank's requirement have been signed by him.  One of the leaders also has a son in the troop but his son's rank requirements have always been signed by the other leader. We parents wouldn't notice or be curious if the new troop leader's son didn't advance two ranks in the same amount other scouts advanced to one.  And we know that his son is not lazy but not extremely motivated either.  Is there a rule or restriction on unit leader sign off on his/her own son's rank requirements.

 

 

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There is no rule, but it is generally not recommended due to appearances.  It is up to the troop to set the policy.  

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50 minutes ago, scoutldr said:

There is no rule, but it is generally not recommended due to appearances.  It is up to the troop to set the policy.  

Agree. I have found Scouters tend to either A) be harder on their own kids than other Scouts or B) "pencil whip" the requirements.

There have been a few instances where I had to sign off for my sons because I am the only registered MBC for the merit badge. I make darn sure others are shown the work and can verify that the requirements were actually met. And that I am not to hard on my sons.

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1 hour ago, scoutldr said:

There is no rule, but it is generally not recommended due to appearances.  It is up to the troop to set the policy.  

Agree, now how the troop sets the policy can vary. Some paths, I have seen. 

Parent(s) mention concern(s) to a receptive SM or ASM. Say I have read about this Method of Scouting called Adult Association  and I think we could do better.  SM and his ASM's have a cup of coffee and figure it out.  There is also another issue of a scout-run troop. IMO, PL's and the SPL should be  teaching, testing, and "signing-off" requirements. 

SM hears the above after fortunate son (sorry 60's flashback) has a BOR . BOR members noticed scout's father signed-off most of his requirements. 

Fortunate Son 's PL (patrol leader) notices and talks to Senior Patroil Leader who talks with SM.

"There are three adult leaders in our son's troop."  Get trained as a ASM and you could be #4. :)

And then there is the Troop Committee path... 

With two-deep leadership, getting another adult leader signature should not be a problem.

My $0.02,

Hold the phone as  other scouter.com members will have  advice. 

 

 

 

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As a ASM, I never sign my sons requirements, unless it was in a group setting.  We have enough ASMs at meetings to send our kids to each other instead. 

 

For most our dads, its because we would be harder on our own son then another scout.  I know that's not right, but it happens that way.

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Certainly it would be preferred if another leader could be specifically assigned to sign off for a boy whose parent is a primary troop leader. One thing to remember however is that, with all Scouting advancement, that Scout is acting on his honor - as are his parents. And there is no specific policy which prohibits a  registered parent from signing off a requirement for their own child if that parent serves in a leadership position. If the Scout says that he completed a requirement, and his parent signs the book in his capacity as a troop leader, then we are obliged to accept it, unless there is some obviously egregious falsification taking place (in the which case we must still tread carefully). But if there isn't any particular reason to doubt the effort, we should make it very clear that we accept work and the signatures out of trust that their actions are, in fact, trustworthy. Then it's on their heads either to uphold their honest integrity or to live with their fraud and duplicity. 

I do very much appreciate @RememberSchiff's ideas, which suggest easy means of preventing future issues in a civilized, relaxed, and perspicuous manner. I recommend following those suggestions so that nobody's honor will have to be called into question in the first place. :)

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There is no rule forbidding it but it can and has been abused from time to time.
   I clearly recall the case of a CC, who was hell bent on her darling  son "earning" Eagle by age 14, signing  him off on lashing when he couldnt even tie a clove hitch, as well as  quite a number of other reqs.   The other scouts in his patrol were livid, and he to his credit was very embarrassed.  As a young ASM  {20} I had no realistic way of stopping this, so the scout and I would sit down on campouts and we would go over the signed off material until we both felt he had earned it. 

 I did sign off some things for my sons,  but I made sure they knew the subject well enough to instruct  in it.   Just in case.  After a while, although they still wanted me to teach them, they stopped asking me to sign anything off.  Too hard they said.

But 20 years later they can still lash logs together.😁

Edited by Oldscout448

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My troop has always made it a rule where the leaders can not sign off on their scout’s book. It honestly works the best since nobody can try to start trouble about someone earning a rank faster than their son.

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We have Scouts (youth) who are Life or Eagle sign off on the Tfoot / Second Class / First Class requirements.  I guess if we had Life Scouts in the troop that also had a son in the troop we would evaluate if they could sign off, though not likely we will put it in the rotation of things to talk about.  For merit badges scouts find leaders other than their parents to cover that.  We are a large unit so most merit badges (especially Eagle required) have 3 to 4 MBC they can call on.

For our unit no parents can be on their son's BOR.  Same for SM conferences, no parents does those for their son.

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2 hours ago, The Latin Scot said:

One thing to remember however is that, with all Scouting advancement, that Scout is acting on his honor - as are his parents. And there is no specific policy which prohibits a  registered parent from signing off a requirement for their own child if that parent serves in a leadership position. If the Scout says that he completed a requirement, and his parent signs the book in his capacity as a troop leader, then we are obliged to accept it, unless there is some obviously egregious falsification taking place (in the which case we must still tread carefully).

 

1 hour ago, Oldscout448 said:

   I clearly recall the case of a CC, who was hell bent on her darling  son "earning" Eagle by age 14, signing  him off on lashing when he couldnt even tie a clove hitch, as well as  quite a number of other reqs.   The other scouts in his patrol were livid, and he to his credit was very embarrassed. 

Sadly we had an incident in my council 20 years ago where a mom, dad, and grandfather, serving as committee chairman, ASM, and SM respectively, signed off on a bunch of requirements and MBs. When it came time for his Eagle BOR, it was obvious that he did not do the work. Eagle BOR followed procedure, came up with a plan and asked him to come back when completed. family appealed to council, and the council concurred with the district EBOR. Family then appealed to national. National granted the Eagle stating you don't punish the Scout because of the adults in the unit.

Entire district advancement committee resigned in protest.

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On 12/15/2018 at 12:16 AM, MTroop said:

Hello,

There are three adult leaders in our son's troop.  One of the scout is one of the troop leader's son. Since the new troop leader joined the group, most of his son rank's requirement have been signed by him.  One of the leaders also has a son in the troop but his son's rank requirements have always been signed by the other leader. We parents wouldn't notice or be curious if the new troop leader's son didn't advance two ranks in the same amount other scouts advanced to one.  And we know that his son is not lazy but not extremely motivated either.  Is there a rule or restriction on unit leader sign off on his/her own son's rank requirements.

 

 

There is no  such rule or restriction from National. It's just not a good idea.  We  had an informal rule, that pretty much all the leaders obeyed, which is, that unless it was a matter of looking up records on the computer and signing (for number of campouts, outings, etc.), leaders didn't sign things off for their own sons. Our SM didn't even have Scoutmaster conferences with his own sons (leaving that up to ASMs to do for him). 

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On 12/15/2018 at 12:23 PM, Jameson76 said:

We have Scouts (youth) who are Life or Eagle sign off on the Tfoot / Second Class / First Class requirements.  I guess if we had Life Scouts in the troop that also had a son in the troop we would evaluate if they could sign off, though not likely we will put it in the rotation of things to talk about.  For merit badges scouts find leaders other than their parents to cover that.  We are a large unit so most merit badges (especially Eagle required) have 3 to 4 MBC they can call on.

For our unit no parents can be on their son's BOR.  Same for SM conferences, no parents does those for their son.

Which brings back memories of my being a scout. I recall my SM asking me first to teach another scout various skills. Then after teaching them send them to another scout to verify. Later I was to teach and sign off without anyone verifying. I realized the program when the time came for me to stop teaching and start verifying some of those I had taught.

My troop is just three years old so we don't yet have a full compliment of older boys. But we are moving the right direction and scouts teach while a leader sits off and observes. Then the scout teaching lets us know when he believes the work is completed. It is working well. 

If you want a scout to know the material have said scout teach. The whole idea of adults signing everything off is not a good one in my opinion.

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On 12/15/2018 at 12:16 AM, MTroop said:

Hello,

There are three adult leaders in our son's troop.  One of the scout is one of the troop leader's son. Since the new troop leader joined the group, most of his son rank's requirement have been signed by him.  One of the leaders also has a son in the troop but his son's rank requirements have always been signed by the other leader. We parents wouldn't notice or be curious if the new troop leader's son didn't advance two ranks in the same amount other scouts advanced to one.  And we know that his son is not lazy but not extremely motivated either.  Is there a rule or restriction on unit leader sign off on his/her own son's rank requirements.

 

 

It's allowed, but not recommended.  IIRC, my sons' old troop had bylaws that didn't allow for this, except for requirements that were just  record keeping--number of camping nights, etc.

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