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Assistant Scoutmaster as Advancement Chair?


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2 minutes ago, TAHAWK said:

If the Commitee is to fulfill its quality control function, Advancment Chair must be a Committee function, not a Commissioned Scouter function.

Right. This isn't suppose to be antagonistic, but there's a reason these are separated.

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Concur.  That is why BSA doesn't do it.  They give you the minimums.  We use BSA directives to establish the minimums, and then rely on judgment, experience, activity or subject matter expert adv

The real question is, what is the minimum number of adults to charter a unit? Four, in five positions. 1 x COR (dual hatted as a MC) 1 x CC 1 x Additional MC 1 x Unit Leader (

Hi @Chadamus, Sorry to be a few days late here.  It's probably also worth noting the BSA publication, "Troop Leader Guidebook, Volume 1" describes a role of Assistant Scoutmaster for Advancement

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1 minute ago, CynicalScouter said:

Here's the problem with that: if the SM can start doing committee assignments (budget, advancement, etc.) you effectively have one person running everything. The committee is not suppose to be adversarial to the SM/ASM, but there has to be some group who is set apart. Again, I give the example of prohibiting ASMs from sitting on Boards of Review. 

Agreed.

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5 minutes ago, Chadamus said:

Page 15 of the Registration guidebook clearly states:

"In addition to registered unit positions, the following functional duties or roles can also be assigned to registered adult leaders."

This quote reads that a functional role (Advancement Chair) can also be held by a registered leader (SM, CC, etc.). There's no misreading that.

 

Please don't misunderstand that I'm not trying to convince, but instead seeking clarification. Surely based on the the above one can see how there is clearly room for interpretation.

Feel free to email National or your Council. They'll tell you exactly what I just did.

That list ALSO includes unit treasurer. Do you REALLY think this authorizes the SM (unit position) to serve as unit treasurer (unit functional position) as well? The person spending the money gets to sign off on it with no independent review?

 

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1 minute ago, CynicalScouter said:

Here's the problem with that: if the SM can start doing committee assignments (budget, advancement, etc.) you effectively have one person running everything. The committee is not suppose to be adversarial to the SM/ASM, but there has to be some group who is set apart. Again, I give the example of prohibiting ASMs from sitting on Boards of Review. 

Totally get it but we are facing a new paradigm with fewer adults available to be hands on. For the past ten years our units have completely blurred the lines because it's been all hands on deck. CM in name only. SM who are nonfunctional. Roles backfilled by Committee people. Committee roles unfilled so some other warm and willing body has had to step in even if it's been an ASM. The whole program/committee structure is very top heavy. It works very well when you have a lot of bodies. Not so well when you are lean. 

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3 minutes ago, CynicalScouter said:

That list ALSO includes unit treasurer. Do you REALLY think this authorizes the SM (unit position) to serve as unit treasurer (unit functional position) as well? The person spending the money gets to sign off on it with no independent review?

 

Nope, bad idea. But I would say if the Treasurer isn't getting prior approval from the Committee, there's another problem altogether. 

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4 minutes ago, yknot said:

Totally get it but we are facing a new paradigm with fewer adults available to be hands on. For the past ten years our units have completely blurred the lines because it's been all hands on deck. CM in name only. SM who are nonfunctional. Roles backfilled by Committee people. Committee roles unfilled so some other warm and willing body has had to step in even if it's been an ASM. The whole program/committee structure is very top heavy. It works very well when you have a lot of bodies. Not so well when you are lean. 

This is not why I asked the initial question, but you bring up a good point, yknot. I know of several Units in my area where the lack of registered leaders results in some wearing multiple hats. Do they deliver the Scouting program the best they can or not at all? They do their best with what they have. And I'm Trustworthy of them while they do it.

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3 minutes ago, Chadamus said:

This is not why I asked the initial question, but you bring up a good point, yknot. I know of several Units in my area where the lack of registered leaders results in some wearing multiple hats. Do they deliver the Scouting program the best they can or not at all? They do their best with what they have. And I'm Trustworthy of them while they do it.

Absolutely. We made decisions that kept our units alive and going. 

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50 minutes ago, Chadamus said:

Page 15 of the Registration guidebook clearly states:

"In addition to registered unit positions, the following functional duties or roles can also be assigned to registered adult leaders."

This quote reads that a functional role (Advancement Chair) can also be held by a registered leader (SM, CC, etc.). There's no misreading that.

 

Please don't misunderstand that I'm not trying to convince, but instead seeking clarification. Surely based on the the above one can see how there is clearly room for interpretation.

@Chadamus, an SM/ASM cannot be dual registered in the same unit in a committee position.  You can be an ASM in one unit, and a committee member of another unit.

 

1 hour ago, Chadamus said:

Can an Assistant Scoutmaster serve as a Unit's Advancement Chair? Why or why not?

So, for your original post, the answer is NO.  The Registrar will not register one person in both those positions in the same unit.

Now, theory and practice are two separate things. :)  Are there SM/ASMs out there who fulfill functions of the committee (like advancement chair) simultaneously?  You betcha.  As @yknot points out, "We made decisions that kept our units alive and going. "

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The real question is, what is the minimum number of adults to charter a unit?

Four, in five positions.

1 x COR (dual hatted as a MC)

1 x CC

1 x Additional MC

1 x Unit Leader (SM, CM, etc.)

Everyone else is icing on the cake :)

Edited by InquisitiveScouter
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2 minutes ago, InquisitiveScouter said:

The Registrar will not register one person in both those positions in the same unit.

But Scoutbook will! 😄

Thank for the response, InquisitiveScouter. 👍

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41 minutes ago, mashmaster said:

How many units do you know where it is a husband and wife that are the Scoutmaster and Committee chair?  I personally know of five units that way.  I don't agree with that.

mashmaster, I've seen it once, years ago.

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In my Troop, the SM and ASMs are not the advancement chair. It has to be someone on the committee. It is their job to order all of the patches, rank awards, etc. They must also arrange for boards of review and have some admin work for court of honors. 

The advancement chair in my troop is really busy with her job, so I help her (as SM) out as much as I can. I just let her know what I am up to. 

So assign the advancement chair to someone on the committee and let the ASM help them out if needed. This year I had to step up for the committee, because covid-19 has increased the time committee members had to spend at work. This year, I am sending those tasks back, because it is too much for one person. Whatever it takes for the scouts though.

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This is not a live or die issue.  Scouters can be flexible on this.  BSA does clearly intend the Advancement Chair is a member of the committee.   BSA then again, BSA also clearly intends the SM is the person who interacts with the scouts.  ASMs support the SM.  ... aka ... committee members don't work with the scouts.  Yet, I continually see the committee members interacting with youth and pretending to be SM/ASMs.   Perhaps, committee members should not camp with youth.  Not attend troop meetings or PLCs.  Not make announcements to scouts.  Seriously, this would be good.   It's the SM with his ASMs that should be working with the scouts. 

Quality control?  The BOR is the quality control check, not the advancement chair.  See below duties.  If you really want a separation for quality control, then separate the committee members from the scouts.  Huge benefits here in many ways.  Stop having committee members camp with the scouts.  Stop having them in the room during troop meetings, activities or doing announcements.  Far too often, the BOR members behave exactly like a troops ASMs and then put the committee member hat on for the BOR.

I learned from the above linked Committee Guidebook years ago.  

Advancement Duties:

  • Encourage Scouts to advance in rank. ... Perfect for an ASM.
  • Work with the troop scribe to maintain all Scout advancement records. ... Perfect for an ASM.
  • Arrange quarterly troop boards of review and courts of honor.
  • Develop and maintain a merit badge counselor list. ... Perfect for ASM as SM gives a suggested MBC name.
  • Make a prompt report on the correct form to the council service center when a troop board of review is held.  ... Now ScoutBook.
  • Secure badges and certificates.  ... Order online.  Delivered before next meeting.
  • Work with the troop librarian to build and maintain a troop library of merit badge pamphlets and other advancement literature.  ... Perfect for ASM.
  • Report to the troop committee at each meeting.  ... I usually see many SM/ASMs at commmittee meetings ... not all, but many.

My thoughts are ...

  • Do what you need to make your troop work.
  • Don't overwhelm one volunteer with too much work.
  • Clearly assign responsibilities.  Who buys the advancements?  Who encourages the scout?  Who works with the scout master of ceremonies to put a program together for the next court of honor ?  Who ###, etc, etc, etc ?
  • BOR members must NOT be a SM or ASM from the same troop.  Can be SM/ASM of another troop, but not the scout's troop.  Personally, I'd go further and say not any adult that regularly interacts (attends mtgs, camps, activities, etc) with the youth in the troop.

One option ... split the advancement chair job into two roles.  One scout facing (ASM) and one committee facing (MC).

 

Edited by fred8033
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