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DugNevius

watchout, we are here

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Dug, Welcome! I too am puzzled as to what we will find objectionable. And I'm not sure a guy who doesnt post here anymore would have judged many of the rest of us as being strictly BTB. As for me, after about a decade I'm still eager to learn. One problem with BTB is that the book is so darned unclear at times. The book, as I understand it, is there to provide a model that works and I think there are good ideas and policies there. Some of them are a bit confusing.

 

But if I understand the spirit of what you say, every troop is unique and continually changing with changing membership. AND it is "owned" by the CO, not BSA, so the CO is the ultimate authority as to whether the troop is delivering the program they want or need. If the CO is happy, BSA will likely not interfere.

Besides, my experience has been that BSA is ready to accept the dough and reluctant to provide help with real problems. So I say if it works for you and the CO is happy, go for it. Have fun. Maybe we'll catch you guys on the trail sometime. (This message has been edited by a staff member.)

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Hey there packsaddle.

 

Here what i have to say about "The book". Its a great guide. It doesnt fail you. Troops that Follow the book, the way a guy who doesnt post here anymore does have good programs that help kids. After all, its the Boy Scouts. However, we as leaders must be able to think about what it is we are doing and why we are doing it, and think about if things can be added in order to improve upon. In many of my discussions with guys like a guy who doesnt post here anymore i have asked them why they think they need to do things there way and why we cant do things ours and the only response I have gotten was, "Because the book says so" and thats all.

 

Each troop is different because young men are different and have different needs and interests. Theres a troop for everyone out there but no single troop is perfect for everyone. Its like trying to say what is the best color to paint your house. One family may like hot pink, that doesnt make it better or worse then another family that has blue.

 

As for the council, Packsaddle, i totally agree and have had some issues with ours in the past.

 

What is of the ultamite importance is that the Boys we train are better for our respective program. (This message has been edited by a staff member.)

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Hi Dug! Welcome, I'm new myself. I'm not understanding why you're saying that your troop isn't "By The Book". I'm still involved in Cub Scouts as my son crosses over to Boy Scouts in a few weeks & from my understanding of Boy Scouts is that is supposed to be "Boy run" (I hope that's an appropriate term), build leadership & confidence, the boys learn new things, have fun, go camping & hiking etc. So what is it that your troop does different?

 

Judy

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From what i have learned, our Patrol selection and having scouts sit on BOR of Tenderfoot to First class is not the "recommended" way.

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lets see...

why should anyone see that as threatening?

and whats the point of having boys sit BoRs???

 

and last (just a little salt rub here), if you didn't toss it in everyones face... who in this forum would give a hoot?

 

yawn...get'n late

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Why should the scouts sit on BOR up to first class? The more responsibility you allow a scout to have the more growth he can obtain. All the skills from scout to 1st class are taught by the boys so they should also be able to sit on the BOR. They are as capable of handling such a position as an adult and the experience of being on the other side of the table is a valuble one.

 

dont mean to throw anything in anyones face. Sorry if you think i had done that. Just a reaction from dealing with guys on other websites.

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Dug,

I am still wondering why they sit on boards? In your troop what do you think the boards duties are??? Hint: Boards are not a test...(another hint: ? why do SMs and ASMs not sit boards?)...Just guessing here ...you motives are good, your purpose is different...

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Seems to me the main reason the BOR consists of adults is to give boys the experience of explaining himself to adults he does not know , the same sort of thing you go thru in college admission and job interviews. We try to have one or two non parents on the board as "friendly strangers". It is am important growth experience. When the time comes for asking for that summer job or explaining your high school record to the admissions officer a scout is ready.

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I can think of two purposes of the board of review that are not fulfilled if boys run them. If your purpose is to give boys responsibility, maybe they are not getting that because you've taken it away from them in some other areas?

 

I only see negatives in your practice. Maybe you could explain to the rest of us exactly how you arrived at the conclusion that the BSA method is inadequate and how your way is better without losing any of the BSA benefits??

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This isn't meant to be confrontational. I'm all for improvising and being creative within the framework laid out by the BSA. But the framework is what defines Scouting. If I have a team I call a baseball team but we choose to kick a soccer ball at the plate instead of hitting a baseball with a bat, I really don't have a baseball team do I? Yeah, we get three kicks and we are out. Yeah, we run the bases and can steal bases. Yeah, we wear a baseball uniform. But we kick the ball with our feet and catch the ball with our hands instead of gloves. What are we really, a baseball team or a bunch of guys playing by our own rules instead of the league rules?

 

Recently we had a boy who had a BOR scheduled and we ended up only having 2 committee members show up. They asked me as an ASM to sit in as they didn't want to penalize the boy and make him wait another week. I shouldn't have, but I finally agreed to do it. But I told them that I will only sit in so there are three on the board. I will not ask questions nor will I take part in determining if he passes the BOR. I told them that I will never do it again and not to ask. It does not square with the way BSA says to do it and neither does having boys sit on the BOR. It used to be done that way, but the rules have changed. If you can ignore or bend the rules in one area, what is to stop you in other areas? Can you ignore the G2SS? Can you ignore two deep leadership? Do you allow boys to rappel without a helmet? It seems that just because the BSA says to isn't good enough if you disagree with it.

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Boys sitting on BOR was the official process up until sometime in the 1980s. While it had some sound logic and I personally liked it, there was enough complaints and/or perceived problems that the BSA did away with it in favor of the process we have today.

 

Frankly, Dug, I think this is a process you should change. If we are truly going to live by the Scout Oath & Law, we need to follow the rules. The BSA has been crystal clear on this one (I know they are vague in many areas). A Scout is Obedient, a troop should be too.

 

I'm not sure about your patrol selection process. If you've described it, I missed the post. That, I believe, is an example of an area where the BSA is pretty vague. Whatever reasonable way a troop comes up with should be okay. Same way for elections.

 

Nevertheless, I look forward to hearing more from you. It sounds like you've got an interesting troop.

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John D- The scouts BOR of Star through eagle are very much dealt with an adult committee for all those purposes. Therefore through scouting the boys are getting to experience both sides. Therefore, the scouts arent losing anything and gaining more experience.

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Dug,

 

you didn't answer my questions on your troops reasons for BoRs (the scouts on the boards and all)

Scouts were 'taken' off the BoRs (in the long ago past)in part, due to massive nation wide complaints of perceived bias, variable levels/difficulty of 'skills' testing (fairness)and other unseemly complaints...

 

The BSA position (as my feeble mind comprehends) is that BoRs should be a give and take between the Adults supporting the Troop operations and the Scouts standing for rank. It is a mutual exchange to determine just where the scout is in his scouting career, both achievement wise and mentally. It is NOT a retesting of skills, (although, those who have followed my posts on this subject know I like to test scout skills and would like to do so in BoRs).

 

Note here that SMs and ASMs are not permitted by BSA to sit on the boards and in many if not most lower rank BoRs are not to be in the room during the boards. This is to allow the free flow of information from the scout as to how he feels about the program and the people running it both scouts and scouters (see any problems with either scouts or SMs/ASMs serving now?)

 

Dug, the perceived benefit to the scouts sitting on the BoRs seems to me to be vastly outweighed by the possible loss of open communication and possibly the loss of a young scouts basic right to be heard.

 

Recently, I asked on of my favorite BoR questions to a second class candidate, "if you could change one thing about this troop's operation, what would it be?

 

Many boys are totally stumped by this question...but this boy without missing a beat said he would like the instructors to do more interactive teaching (read hands on teaching )...where each boy got plenty of time actually doing the skill rather than being lectured.

Dug, this is a very minor 'issue' but I can't help wondering if a scout who had taught this youngster had been sitting the BoR, would this very young scout have been 'brave enough' to speak his mind? If the issue had been really, 'powerful', (say violence, abuse... you can fill in the blank) what would the boy do with one of the perpetrators sitting across the table? I wonder, don't you?

 

More significantly, Dug, your troop committee misses a great oportunity to assess the quality and the direction of the program...not filtered by the SM/ASM reports but through the eyes of the real 'customers/consumers'. Dug, Think on it a while...we are not being confrontational or 'by the book' here... nor are we threatened by your 'difference' we simply think your troop is missing out on some great interactions...

 

My username should tell you what I think about arbitrary rules and regs...but this part of BoRs I think BSA got right... I would still like to test the heck out of the little buggers!

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Anarchist- First off, i appreciate that you are not being confrontational at all. Im glad we can actually discuss such issues without anyone getting upset or offended or running off to the board admin seeking to edit other peoples statements. Thank you.

 

Now, onto the discussion.

 

I am aware of the ideas behind adults on BOR as well as scoutmasters on them. However it is my opinion, and that of every adult leader before my time and those that share the workload today, that this is really indeed busy work. There are plenty of chances for our adults to have free exchange of discussion with scouts. The scoutmaster conference is for this very purpose. Our troop comittee is very active on trips and in meetings where they have chances to interact and better yet, to observe. We also have conferences with all scouts in leadership positions 2-3 times during their 6 month terms in which we have open discussion and evaluations. Lastly, at the end of every year we give all the scouts the chance to annonymously fill out evaluation slips on the troop program and adult leaders. This is all above and beyond, because the program is from top to bottom run by the scouts, from the meetings, instructions, trip planning and running and all outside activities are all run by the boys themselves, our purpose, as our Troop Comittee chairman likes to put it, is to "handle paperwork, give advice and to make sure it doesnt become lord of the flies." As far as will scouts be more open with adults, im confident that for every scout that will be more open to an adult, there is another that is more willing to open up honestly to his peers. After all, they are teens and no matter how hip a 40 year old scoutmaster may be, hes still regarded by many as an authority figure rather then someone a scout can be 100 honest with. Lastly, i believe that the percieved bias, variable levels/difficulty of 'skills' testing (fairness)and other unseemly complaints has a lot to do with the lack of trust in the responsibilities young men can handle and a lack of a program that builds scouts to such a responsable level to conduct things like lower rank BOR and other jobs. Leading by example is a MAJOR part of leadership and therefore a major part of scouting and if the teachers were sound and fair it is more often then not that their students themselves will be sound and fair teachers. The system therefore powers itself along. As a scout who went this system i had never seen a problem with the scouts who handled me, never heard a complaint from my friends through scouting, and have yet to hear a word of dis-satisfaction from scouts, comittee members or parents of this system of BOR.

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