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4.2.3.4.3 Meeting Unit Expectations

 

"A unit should set expectations of the Scout for positions of responsibility, and if, within reason (see the note under “Rank Requirements Overview,” 4.2.3.0), based on the Scout’s personal skill set, these expectations have been met, the Scout has fulfilled the requirement. In a note that has become a big point of discussion over the last year, the Guide to Advancement says “Regardless of a unit’s expectations or policy, if a unit takes time off, such as during the summer months, it must count that time toward service in a position of responsibility. (See ‘Active Participation,’ 4.2.3.1.)” When setting or considering expectations, see also https://www.scouting.org/coronavirus/covid-19-faq/ #advancement."  

 

The overall topic " Increasing Advancement "

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First, a unit that takes summers off has, IMHO, bigger problems than worrying about whether to count or not count that time towards a POR.

More to the point, the unit, which means the PLC and the adults assisting them, should be  able to set creative expectations for any POR that can reasonably be met even if Covid is disrupting their schedules and plans.

In just about every case where I've seen problems with POR expectations, and disagreements about whether a scout was fulfilling theirs, it was usually the unit that hadn't bothered to properly lay the foundation for success.  Four , five, or worse six months into it somebody realizes hey, we never actually told Johnny he wasn't doing things right, or worse, we never told or helped him understand what to do at all.  

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I had never heard of troops taking the summer off until I moved to NC. That's when I encountered my first troop that took a summer break except for summer camp and high adventure. No meetings, activities, other camp outs occur during the summer. IT BLEW MY MIND! (emphasis) Troop I grew up in not only met year-round,  but summer was when we were more active because we didn't have to deal with school.

As for being inactive for 3 months and it counts, I do not like it one bit.

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38 minutes ago, Eagle94-A1 said:

I had never heard of troops taking the summer off until I moved to NC. That's when I encountered my first troop that took a summer break except for summer camp and high adventure. No meetings, activities, other camp outs occur during the summer. IT BLEW MY MIND! (emphasis) Troop I grew up in not only met year-round,  but summer was when we were more active because we didn't have to deal with school.

As for being inactive for 3 months and it counts, I do not like it one bit.

We have to compete with vacations and other activities. We've found that it's impossible to have a functioning troop in July and August, so we don't meet and only do summer camp and high adventure. 

Maybe larger troops can have more success, but we range from about 17 to 25 active scouts. Even during the rest of the year, we typically end up having to improvise patrols at camping events. I'm not going to demand scouts make scouts priority number 1. The result would be no troop. So we adapt to reality and make the program the best it can be.

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2 hours ago, Eagle94-A1 said:

I had never heard of troops taking the summer off until I moved to NC. That's when I encountered my first troop that took a summer break except for summer camp and high adventure. No meetings, activities, other camp outs occur during the summer. IT BLEW MY MIND! (emphasis) Troop I grew up in not only met year-round,  but summer was when we were more active because we didn't have to deal with school.

As for being inactive for 3 months and it counts, I do not like it one bit.

We have tried to have meetings in the summer, but with local swim teams in June, vacations, holidays, other camps, etc etc it just did not work.  We are somewhat active in the summer with week long camps in June and July.  We have meetings prior to the camps and do HA each year.  

Basically from the end of school (Memorial Day) to First week of August (when school starts) we do not have regular meetings.  

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@69RoadRunner and @Jameson76 Trust me, I understand the competition. But it was just like during the school year when football, baseball, basketball, band, cheerleading, JROTC, etc are going on. So it has never been a big deal. And this has been with troops as small as 11, and as large as 40.

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Interesting, summer may be our busiest time.  In normal times we have summer camp;  a longer more adventurous campout, usually 4 days canoeing, backpacking, type; high adventure crews about every other year; and two weekend trips to some rural properties that friends of the troop let us camp at every year.

We certainly have families on vacation, but since there's a window of no extra-curriculars from end of school until band/sports camps start up right before schools are back in, meeting attendance remains about the same.  We're not a big troop, about 30 scouts on the books.  Outside of summer camp we expect about a dozen or so scouts on all the other trips.  It always seems like meetings are more fun, except for getting ready for specific campouts we generally just head outside for games rather than try more formal programs.

Provisional patrols, or their alternatives, are always a challenge, and worthy of their own thread.

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First, there's an easy solution to the OP, before the pause tell everyone with a pol that they no longer have it and it will start up after the pause. But, yeah, I get your frustration. 

Next, summer is the only time we can count on not having freezing temps, so we want to camp. At the same time we also have lower attendance. So we make things a bit looser, more relaxed. We make it work.

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36 minutes ago, Eagle94-A1 said:

@69RoadRunner and @Jameson76 Trust me, I understand the competition. But it was just like during the school year when football, baseball, basketball, band, cheerleading, JROTC, etc are going on. So it has never been a big deal. And this has been with troops as small as 11, and as large as 40.

It's not just scouts. I have a very limited number of registered adults who will do campouts and getting 2 to commit for a campout is sometimes a challenge. I'm trying to recruit more. I've let the parents know just as we have turnover in scout leadership, we need turnover to new adults for adult positions. Or the troop fails.

We have a campout this month. I have my second Covid shot days before it. If I'm not up to going or the other guy has to cancel, we'll have to cancel the event as nobody else can go.

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26 minutes ago, MattR said:

First, there's an easy solution to the OP, before the pause tell everyone with a pol that they no longer have it and it will start up after the pause. But, yeah, I get your frustration. 

Next, summer is the only time we can count on not having freezing temps, so we want to camp. At the same time we also have lower attendance. So we make things a bit looser, more relaxed. We make it work.

I WISH it was a "pol."  But BSA has clearly said it's a POR.  😐

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9 hours ago, TAHAWK said:

The overall topic " Increasing Advancement "

I can't find the phrase on the page, so is this what you intend the topic to be? Oh, thanks @CynicalScouter.

In any case, the solution is "Increase Skill Mastery." A pandemic is no excuse.

10 minutes ago, MattR said:

... Next, summer is the only time we can count on not having freezing temps, so we want to camp. At the same time we also have lower attendance. So we make things a bit looser, more relaxed. We make it work.

Basically, more time in open air is also our solution. We met in a park through the warm months last year, and it really helped our boys practice and master skills. Even as we are looking at lower restrictions now that most of our adults have jabs and virus-laden kids pose 1/20th the risk, we plan on repeating that practice.

We were fortunate that our district made efforts to keep things rolling, literally. Even though Klondike had to be postponed and it was a little weird mounting tires on those sledges, two of our patrols participated. Funny thing, in the climb to be best patrol, our scouts learned stuff, and we were pretty busy with BoR's over the past few months. None of this lot asked to perform a virtual campout, and fortunately we had the depth of adult leadership to fill in when someone was sick. On the other hand, we only succeeded in providing about half as many weekends as normal.

3 minutes ago, 69RoadRunner said:

... We have a campout this month. I have my second Covid shot days before it. If I'm not up to going or the other guy has to cancel, we'll have to cancel the event as nobody else can go.

Oh @69RoadRunner, keep up the social distancing. Less then two weeks is too soon to let your guard down. I'm not trying to discourage you (or anyone else) from camping with your scouts. Just keep things ventilated (windows down or burkas on). The charts from the clinical trials are clear: the 20x advantage really does require 14 days, not 10. Before 14 days after last dose, the margin of difference between vaccine and placebo is not all that great.

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1 minute ago, qwazse said:

IOh @69RoadRunner, keep up the social distancing. Less then two weeks is too soon to let your guard down. I'm not trying to discourage you (or anyone else) from camping with your scouts. Just keep things ventilated (windows down or burkas on). The charts from the clinical trials are clear: the 20x advantage really does require 14 days, not 10. Before 14 days after last dose, the margin of difference between vaccine and placebo is not all that great.

We have parents drop off at the camping site, so no carpooling. Everyone tents solo. Masks when they're near each other. We did this last Fall before Virginia had increased restrictions.

Keep in mind this is shot 2 for me. The other adult is fully vaccinated. Shot 1 of Moderna for me 4 weeks later does provide good Covid protection. Clearly 2 shots does much better and I'll be happy when I'm fully vaccinated.

My son is 17 and gets shot 2 of Pfizer the same week.

I was scheduled for J&J on the day they started the pause.

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4 minutes ago, 69RoadRunner said:

It's not just scouts. I have a very limited number of registered adults who will do campouts and getting 2 to commit for a campout is sometimes a challenge. I'm trying to recruit more. I've let the parents know just as we have turnover in scout leadership, we need turnover to new adults for adult positions. Or the troop fails.

We have a campout this month. I have my second Covid shot days before it. If I'm not up to going or the other guy has to cancel, we'll have to cancel the event as nobody else can go.

I think you have to adapt to your demographics. I hear about troops in other parts of the country that are very active in the summer but it in our area it's almost impossible to pull off.  Very few people are around enough to do much more than summer camp and some ad hoc stuff. We are also perennially short of adult volunteers, most of them are two career families, and most of them seem to want to kick back some over the summer. Summer is really not that much of a break in family activity anymore. 

As far as the OP, I think the key is to set expectations ahead of time. Our unit has never held fast to the idea of six months fully active. However, even with a summer let down or during a Covid pause, there are tasks that can be done related to the POR. Same thing with a scout that took a POR but found out he had a conflict with some of the meetings. We didn't extend his term, we just made it clear he needed to delegate so his job was done even when he couldn't be there. Every troop seems to do it a little bit different. The only approach I don't like is the no show POR -- the scout who gets credit for having his name down on a piece of paper but never actually does anything. 

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