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Assistant Scoutmaster as Advancement Chair?


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Posted (edited)

I know I am late to the party but I had the same question as the original poster and I wanted to share my findings for those that happen to find this thread.

I am certain that an ASM can handle most/all advancement related duties, and I am pretty sure that ASM can be the Advancement Chair.

This conclusion is based on the subtle wording in the following publications:

The Troop Committee Handbook lists "Advancement Coordinator" as a committee position.

The Troop Leader Guidebook indicates...

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A typical committee may include but is not limited to these positions. ... Advancement Coordinator.

It also indicates that a troop may have an "Assistant Scoutmaster for Advancement".

Whenever referring to a committee position, the term Advancement Coordinator is always used. No reference is made to the role of the Unit Advancement Chair.

Finally the Registration Guidebook indicates...

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In addition to registered unit positions, the following functional duties or roles can be assigned to registered leaders. ... Unit Advancement Chair

It is my interpretation that Unit Advancement Chair is a role that could be held by either a committee Advancement Coordinator or an Assistant Scoutmaster for Advancement. All the talk of oversight seems odd to me, because a scout earns their rank immediately upon completion of the BOR, and earns the merit badge immediately upon completion of the blue card. The Unit Advancement Chair has no say in the matter and just records the event. However, if a troop wanted oversight, an ASM could do most/all of the work and then have a MC review all advancement prior to a COH.

Edited by SPG
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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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The advancement chairs responsibility is primarily to ensure everything gets recorded properly. It is a functionary position of responsibility with little to no authority. In my role as an advancement chair I simply cite the GTA and tell the direct leaders to fix the documentation or I will.

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40 minutes ago, Tron said:

The advancement chairs responsibility is primarily to ensure everything gets recorded properly. It is a functionary position of responsibility with little to no authority. In my role as an advancement chair I simply cite the GTA and tell the direct leaders to fix the documentation or I will.

And to arrange Boards of Review when requested!

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It's a good idea not to hold two positions.  In fact, it is BSA policy.  Unless you are uber strapped for volunteers, having an ASM serve as advancement coordinator / chair is just going to make that person spread thin, likely to be mediocre at both roles, and burn out faster.

https://www.scouting.org/wp-content/uploads/2019/06/Registration-Guidebook.pdf

Page 14:

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There are no restrictions on the number of positions one person may hold as long as the individual serves in only one position per unit with the exception of the chartered organization representative (CR), who is the only individual that can be registered in more than one position within the same unit. The CR may also serve in a multiple capacity as the committee chair (CC) or as a member of the committee (MC, NM, or PT) within that unit.

 

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Posted (edited)
6 hours ago, curious_scouter said:

It's a good idea not to hold two positions. 

It's not that simple.  Many troops assign their ASMs special roles / forcus areas.  That does not automatically make it two positions.

@SPG above had a well written answer that aligns with my view.  The job(s) should align with how the troop works, and it can change over time.  For me, the big question is whether the scouts work with the person.   Is the job to be scout-facing?   If yes, ASM.  If scout's won't know the person's name, committee. 

If the youth know PERSON X is who they go to for advancement ... if PERSON X attends summer camp to help the scouts get to MB classes or helping scouts learn skills or handing out MBC names and blue cards ... that smells like an ASM job coordinated with the SM. 

If the youth have zero idea who PERSON X is or what they do AND in-the-background PERSON X gets paperwork from the SM; tracks what needs to be purchased; purchases; prepares awarding cards for the COH, then it is a committee role.  

Also, why does advancement have to be a single person?  How about a tag team?  Scout facing ASM and background supporting committee member.

Do what works best with the adults you have.

Edited by fred8033
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A go-to resource for the scouts for information, mB cards, recommendations, etc is a worthwhile ASM duty for a very large troop.

If a troop does have an ASM dedicated/focused on advancement, that person should be acutely aware of the slipperiness of advancement as a method to advancement as an aim. The ASM should be careful to ensure advancement is the scout's journey and not push, prod, nor carry the scout along for the ride. Good are gentle reminders posed as questions such as "hey bobby, how is the archery mB going? You got a partial at camp last summer right?" As stated this role can slide a troop into advancement as an Aim and worse not belong to the Scout. 

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3 minutes ago, DuctTape said:

A go-to resource for the scouts for information, mB cards, recommendations, etc is a worthwhile ASM duty for a very large troop.

If a troop does have an ASM dedicated/focused on advancement, that person should be acutely aware of the slipperiness of advancement as a method to advancement as an aim. The ASM should be careful to ensure advancement is the scout's journey and not push, prod, nor carry the scout along for the ride. Good are gentle reminders posed as questions such as "hey bobby, how is the archery mB going? You got a partial at camp last summer right?" As stated this role can slide a troop into advancement as an Aim and worse not belong to the Scout. 

Hey, wait...isn't the purpose of a Troop to produce as many Eagle Scouts as possible in as short a time as possible?

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As I recall, and unless it's changed, there is only one position on the Committee, that being "MC" or "Member of Committee".  The tasks assigned to those members are at the discretion of the CC, Committee Chair.  The SM and ASM(s) execute the program as approved by the Committee.  The Committee handles the admin tasks such as record-keeeping.

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1 hour ago, scoutldr said:

As I recall, and unless it's changed, there is only one position on the Committee, that being "MC" or "Member of Committee".  The tasks assigned to those members are at the discretion of the CC, Committee Chair.  The SM and ASM(s) execute the program as approved by the Committee.  The Committee handles the admin tasks such as record-keeeping.

In the "by-the-letter-of-the-manuals" world, bear in mind that the members of the Committee are not expected to have any involvement with the outdoor program of the troop, and have exceptionally little direct Scout interaction beyond BORs. Everything about the program delivery and supervision of the Scouts is intended to be by the SM/ASM, with the Committee having oversight by meeting with the SM (and ASM corps, if including them is desired).

Committee is expected to have the Chair, who can appoint an Advancement Coordinator that handles the record-keeping on Scout advancement and recruiting Committee members to conduct a BOR. The Chair can also appoint a Fundraiser Coordinator. The last re-charter I did for our Crew, I had to name someone from the Committee as "New Member Coordinator" to file the re-charter, but curiously I did not have to do that for the Troop- though National does want every unit to have one.

When I took the Scoutmaster Specific training, our trainer presented our group a few "org charts" that showed some suggested ASM make-up for troops, depending on their size and adult engagement levels (I have no idea if the online training does this, or if they were really "official" materials that were blessed by National). Some of those suggestions were:

ASM- New Patrol   works with the Troop Guide to aide them to develop program for the new Scouts

ASM- Quartermaster  works with the Troop Quartermaster to oversee care/maintenance of troop equipment

ASM- Advancement  works with the Patrol Leaders to encourage advancement (I have seen this in a large troop, where basically the "SM" role of signing-off advancement/blue cards is delegated to a specific ASM)

ASM- Order of the Arrow Troop Rep Adviser  works with the OA Troop Rep to encourage OA involvement (even has a specific ASM patch with the OA arrow on it)

 

At the end of the day, ASMs are really about helping to take some burden off the SM. If you have a troop of 15 Scouts, it may not be necessary to detail the specific role is to each individual ASM, but with a troop of 90 Scouts a more detailed structure may be necessary to help everyone (including the ASMs) from tripping over each other. 

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I am our troop's advancement chair.  I just logged onto my.scouting.org and checked the "registrations" section of my profile.  I have two "Registered Positions": Merit Badge Counselor and Committee Member.  I also have one "Functional Position": Unit Advancement Chair.

That pretty much confirms things.  Other than being a counselor, an adult leader is only allowed to have one registered position, however we may have multiple functional positions. Since Unit Advancement Chair shows up as a functional position, that means any adult leader can hold that role.

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