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OLDRIFLE

Who enforces the BSA rules when a scoutmaster breaks them?

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@OLDRIFLE, I'm going to go in a slightly different direction than many of my esteemed fellow Scouters here.

If the Scout in question (you perhaps?) looses the opportunity to make Eagle because of this because of reaching 18 years old, then yes - file a request through council.  Explain that the troop has added this requirement and this requirement is pushing the Scout past the age of 18.

However, if this is not the case, then mention it to the Scoutmaster and Advancement Chair/Committee Chair that this interpretation is incorrect, but then move on.  What is the fundamental issue here - that the Scout has to be active in the troop for another 6 months?  That is not the end of the world and it probably even enriches the Scouting experience for the Scout.  If this turns into the kind of messy political situation where there are factions, the Scout and family are frustrated, the Scoutmaster is embarrassed, and there is hurt and division in the troop - what has really been accomplished?

We could have a discussion about who has the authority to correct a Scoutmaster (the Troop Committee BTW).  But, sometimes it's better for adults to inwardly know the Scoutmaster is wrong, but outwardly support him.  In the grand scheme of things, this decision by the Scoutmaster isn't that awful.

BTW - the national organization is likely to support a petition for you to be awarded a BOR under disputed circumstance which will result in the Scout obtaining Eagle.  They will do this because the situation you are describing is one of interpretation of rules by adults.  Scouts should not be penalized because of how adults interpret rules.  However, you should not interpret that as National wanting the Scout to file a petition.  National would clearly prefer that the Scout have a positive, constructive troop experience.  So, I would go back to my other comment - the Scout should cheerfully embrace this variant on the 6 month rule and go on in life.  

Edited by ParkMan
expanded the thought
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Define "patched up" in this specific case please.  What is the time window between the first and last month's of service that the scout is claiming?  How much of the patchwork was continuous? Was the scout otherwise active during that same window or did he disappear because he made the decision to pursue something else (all decisions have opportunity costs)?  Is the 6 month continuous service applied consistently in the unit?  Was it known in advance?

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Active participation within the troop merely means national has your membership dues for the year. Some of you sound like you've forgotten this.

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1 minute ago, jpb6583 said:

Active participation within the troop merely means national has your membership dues for the year. Some of you sound like you've forgotten this.

That's not entirely correct unless something has changed since 2013.  https://blog.scoutingmagazine.org/2012/04/30/active/#:~:text=The Scout must meet the unit's reasonable expectations for activity.&text=noteworthy circumstances that have prevented,taken hold and been exhibited.

If the unit fails to uphold a consistent standard then yes, the default is effectively, "Dues paying"= Active. 

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What a strange situation. I’ve never heard of so many adults at so any levels of a youth organization not want to support a youth’s endeavor toward a noble dream. Why?

Barry
 

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1 hour ago, Sentinel947 said:

That's not entirely correct unless something has changed since 2013.  https://blog.scoutingmagazine.org/2012/04/30/active/#:~:text=The Scout must meet the unit's reasonable expectations for activity.&text=noteworthy circumstances that have prevented,taken hold and been exhibited.

If the unit fails to uphold a consistent standard then yes, the default is effectively, "Dues paying"= Active. 

https://www.scouting.org/resources/guide-to-advancement/mechanics-of-advancement/scouts-bsa/#

Quote

4.2.3.1 Active Participation

The purpose of Star, Life, and Eagle Scout requirements calling for Scouts to be active for a period of months involves impact. Since we are preparing young people to make a positive difference in our American society, we determine a member is “active” when the member’s level of activity in Scouting, whether high or minimal, has had a sufficiently positive influence toward this end.

Scouting is a year-round program administered by the adult leaders. Units should not be taking time off during the summer or at other times of the year. Regardless of a unit’s expectations or policy, if a unit takes time off it must count that time toward the Scout’s active participation requirement. The Scout must not be penalized because the unit has chosen not to meet or conduct other activities for a period of time.

Use the following three sequential tests to determine whether the requirement has been met. The first and second are required, along with either the third or its alternative.

  1. The Scout is registered. The youth is registered in the unit for at least the time period indicated in the requirement. It should also be indicated by the youth in some way, through word or action, that the youth considers himself or herself a member. If a youth was supposed to have been registered, but for whatever reason was not, discuss with the local council registrar the possibility of back-registering the youth.
  2. The Scout is in good standing. A Scout is considered in “good standing” with a unit as long as the Scout has not been dismissed for disciplinary reasons. The Scout must also be in good standing with the local council and the Boy Scouts of America. (In the rare case the Scout is not in good standing, communications will have been delivered.)
  3. The Scout meets the unit’s reasonable expectations; or, if not, a lesser level of activity is explained. If, for the time period required, a Scout or qualifying Venturer or Sea Scout meets those aspects of the unit’s pre-established expectations that refer to a level of activity, then Scout is considered active and the requirement is met. Time counted as “active” need not be consecutive. Scouts may piece together any times they have been active and still qualify. If a Scout does not meet the unit’s reasonable expectations, the alternative that follows must be offered.

Units are free to establish additional expectations on uniforming, supplies for outings, payment of dues, parental involvement, etc., but these and any other standards extraneous to a level of activity shall not be considered in evaluating this requirement.

Alternative to the third test if expectations are not met:

If a Scout has fallen below the unit’s activity-oriented expectations, then the reason must be due to other positive endeavors—in or out of Scouting—or due to noteworthy circumstances that have prevented a higher level of participation.

A Scout in this case is still considered “active” if a board of review can agree that Scouting values have already taken hold and have been exhibited. This might be evidenced, for example, in how the Scout lives life and relates to others in the community, at school, in religious life, or in Scouting. It is also acceptable to consider and “count” positive activities outside Scouting when they, too, contribute to the Scout’s character, citizenship, leadership, or mental and physical fitness. Remember: It is not so much about what a Scout has done. It is about what the Scout is able to do and how the Scout has grown.

 

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1 hour ago, Eagledad said:

What a strange situation. I’ve never heard of so many adults at so any levels of a youth organization not want to support a youth’s endeavor toward a noble dream. Why? Barry
 

I do not believe we are getting the full story here.

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41 minutes ago, CynicalScouter said:

I do not believe we are getting the full story here.

Of course not.  It is very easy to win an appeal at council.

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7 hours ago, Eagledad said:

What a strange situation. I’ve never heard of so many adults at so any levels of a youth organization not want to support a youth’s endeavor toward a noble dream. Why?

Barry
 

I'm not sure I'm following you here.  Where so you see adults not supporting the youth in this one?

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46 minutes ago, ParkMan said:

I'm not sure I'm following you here.  Where so you see adults not supporting the youth in this one?

From the OP: “Thanks for your advice. Unfortunately, the facts of the Advancement Guide had been presented to all levels including to council but they have decided not to intervene. 
 

Of course more details are included, but you can read all the posts yourself and decide.

Barry

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On 9/5/2020 at 6:51 AM, OLDRIFLE said:

Thanks for your reply. It is sad that no one had the courage to step up and correct the SM, not even at Council level. 

I feel like the core of the problem here is that you asked the "wrong" question and, as bureaucrats and customer service folks are wont to do, they answered the question as asked without anyone thinking "I wonder if there is another way to get this done".   

If the important issue here is getting the scout his Eagle Board of Review, I think PACAN is correct in his approach.  If the scout can prove 6 "non-contiguous" months of active scouting, I could easily see the Advancement Committee granting a BOR even without a SM conference in these circumstances.

  But if your desire is to be publicly acknowledged as correct with instructions telling the SM he is wrong and must concede, you are only going to end up being disappointed.  Council staff are notoriously unwilling to exert any significant pressure on units unless the unit is ignoring an utterly black and white rule, and doing it publicly. 

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40 minutes ago, Eagledad said:

From the OP: “Thanks for your advice. Unfortunately, the facts of the Advancement Guide had been presented to all levels including to council but they have decided not to intervene. 
 

Of course more details are included, but you can read all the posts yourself and decide.

Barry

I see.  I understand now.

Thanks

 

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