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What is the actual scope allowed in GTA 7.0.4.7 to dispute a MB completion


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@Mrjeff 1000% agree. Period. End of story for the Scout. All of the follow up would be with the unit and camp. There can be lessons learned so it doesn’t happen again, but for this scout, they are done. 
 

Now if this scout was qualifying to perform brain surgery, maybe the story would be different. They are not. 

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Jeeeeezzzzzzz....................I am not going to discuss my credentials or Scouting position.  I will say that in our district and Council the BEBEFIT OF THE DOUBT IS ALWAYS IN FAVOR OF THE SCOUT...

I once went to summer camp where one of our guys finished his 500 word Environmental Science essay.  He was given a partial because his essay wasn't "good enough", so I stepped up to bat.  When the Ec

Based on your description, I am assuming the camp has been having photogrphs taken and then the scouts then make a sketch from the photographs? While I would not deny the scout, I would expect be

I once went to summer camp where one of our guys finished his 500 word Environmental Science essay.  He was given a partial because his essay wasn't "good enough", so I stepped up to bat.  When the Ecology Director told me that the paper met the requirement but wasn't good enough for the camp I became more determined to assist this Scout.  I spoke to the Camp Director who agreed that if the paper met the requirement the requirement was met.  The Ecology Director was not pleased, but he was told to sign the card because I was correct.  One small victory for that little guy, but I always give the kid the benefit of the doubt😉

 

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On 9/23/2022 at 12:08 PM, qwazse said:

Were your leaders wrong? Did or did not your scout complete the requirement as written? A couple of us have posted that we are quite clear that in order to “explain the changes you observe” one must scout the sky with ones own vision and by one’s own hand render images that can later be decoded to report to some conclusion regarding planetary motion. If your scout did that, then the troop’s actions resulted in her being wrongly denied a completed blue card. If she did not, then she rightly received a partial.

Yes.  It is NOT the unit leader's job to second guess the MBC or the camp staff.  A unit leader after-the-fact second-guessing the camp staff / MBC sucks the life out of the scout.  It's an enthusiasm killer.  

Camp staff often design accommodations to allow doing a MB in a camp setting and with a group.  The best example often is when a group is sampled for requirement "discuss" answers instead of requiring each and every scout to answer the question.  Other flexibility is done to focus on giving the scout a positive, rewarding experience while still teaching the content of the MB.  

I'm absolutely okay with partials.  BUT, that's the choice of the MBC; not the unit leader.  

A key point is the MBs are a council / district program.  MBs are NOT a unit program.   MBCs are council registered; not unit registered.  

 

On 9/23/2022 at 12:59 PM, nolesrule said:

@qwazse... I don't know what we can do as program leaders about monitoring the specifics of the verbs in every requirement. We have to put some level of trust into those who counsel our scouts to do the right thing. But also as leaders when we do have questions we cannot shortcut the process and jump to conclusions. To undo something that has been affirmed as done, in some cases by multiple people, we have to be absolutely sure. To do otherwise is an implicit accusation of lying.

Unit leaders are absolutely NOT there to "monitor the specifics of the verbs" or second guess the MBCs.  That's a clear sign of overstepping boundaries.  Unit leaders need to focus on unit program quality.  If unit leaders don't like the MBC choices, then the unit leader lets their council know.  They do NOT take it out on the scout.

 

Edited by fred8033
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There is another option. Talk to the scouts and ask them what they think is the right thing to do. They all know what isn't right but may need some ideas on how to fix it.

Few summer camps teach the splices for pioneering because few people know them. So I would offer the scouts the option of my teaching them. They got one on one attention and really enjoyed it. It's a hard skill to learn so when they did, they learned about more than the MB. The point is, asking the scouts what is right works better than telling them.

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Welp, this is not going to end well. I was told by our other ASM that the CC engaged in character assassination at the committee meeting when our COR decided to essentially hold a trial where I spoke to the committee and then left, and then the CC got to say her piece (she did not witness what I spoke about). This was supposed to be about conflict resolution.

That other ASM took exception to what was said about me but as an ASM was not permitted to speak or ask questions. He was so angry at how things went that he resigned and withdrew his daughter from the troop.

My daughter has told me she no longer trusts the CC and SM. The whole point in the GTA is to handle things in a manner which won't destroy the trust between scouts and adults.

This is double and triply a shame because the SM is course director for a council training that my daughter and I would be staffing in November, and he's also the SM for the female jamboree troop, which both of my kids are registered for.

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@nolesrule ... Ugh.  Kids can easily tell when their parents are upset about something.  Often they hear pieces of conversation and pickup fast.  What could have been a torn could have become a stopping point for her.

Is there another girl's troop near by to join? 

Is the other ASM just out-right quitting along with his daughter quitting?  Or would they consider another troop?

Have you already paid your Jamboree money?  

At some point ... and I should have said this earlier ... take a look at your scout's overall experience.  Is it good or bad with the SM/CC?  If neutral to good, this becomes a lesson in working with other people.  The specific MB is just not that important.  Though I have contempt for what happened, this might not be the war you want to fight.  

I'd be more concerned with keeping your daughter on the path toward a positive experience and growing as a positive good person.  The rest is just not critical.

FYI ... Doesn't sound like the COR handled this the best either.  There is no need for trials or asking people to leave the room when presenting their views on what happened.  IMHO ... that's a sign of already bad things that will end scouting careers.  It's no way to resolve a MB.  ...

This sounds like major personality conflict inside the unit. 

Edited by fred8033
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TRIAL!!!??? What in the world?  It sounds like this has turned into a chest thumping contest!  When people build a kingdom and think that its their way or the highway trouble is sure to follow.  I bet you have some kind of advancement committee at the District and Council level.  At least there is a group that oversees the Eagle boards.   These are the folks who take care of these kind of issues in our district and Council.   These guys, in my experience, are impartial and knowledgeable. They are also highly respected in the Scouting community, and if they come together to look into an issue, their decision is final, end of argument, discussion  over. They may be able to help.

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I’ve been put in the middle of gripes like this before. It ended with multiple new units being spun off and years later merging back to the original. In the thick of it I had to have a heart-to-heart with Son #1 about the various adults in and around our program. Yes leaders can disagree sharply. Yes they can work together for good.

I repeat: This happens because people want to give scouts unearned awards. I have no doubt that this high-minded CC is now on a rampage maligning @nolesrule using this incident as an example of how this bypassing of requirements could be the tip of the iceberg. I’m sure this is engendering a sense of indignation to the point of self-righteousness.

I assure you that denying an award for lack of completing the requirements 
is not “harming the scout” … not nearly as much as  adults failing to get on the same page in the midst of disagreement.

This troop needs to take a chill pill and everyone start taking humble pie in small bites. It might be a good weekend to have a campfire with some friendly cups of coffee. October 1st is international observe the moon night.

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@qwazse I think it's time you give it a rest on the moon observation thing. This really goes way beyond that and the fact you keep trying to say my scout didn't earn the merit badge has gone from annoying to downright offensive at this point.  Just because you don't agree with how the camp chose to do it doesn't mean it's wrong. It's beginning to feel like trolling rather than actually being helpful.

 

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So, the end result of the "trial" is I've been suspended from ASM duties in the  troop for 3 months because they didn't like the tone of my email. I've also been banned from attending troop meetings during that time, which is questionable under the Guide to Safe Scouting, but whatever.

They've also decided to revoke in general ASM access to view scout advancements in scoutbook. I guess they didn't like people looking over their shoulders.

On the positive side, I was told the committee decided to take my requests to improve communication and record keeping seriously, so I'm happy about that. I hope no more scouts are mishandled.

There won't be new units created out of this. There's no point to it. For one, the troop isn't large enough to support a split into 2 units. And it's not something I am interested in taking on. Besides, there's a strong girls troop nearby and a strong Venturing crew with which my kids and I already have some established relationships through camps, OA and NYLT. I'm not going to politic to take other scouts with us should the time come to move on.

Edited by nolesrule
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1 hour ago, nolesrule said:

.... Besides, there's a strong girls troop nearby and a strong Venturing crew with which my kids and I already have some established relationships through camps, OA and NYLT. I'm not going to politic to take other scouts with us should the time come to move on.

@nolesrule ... Speaking from experience.  Your scout's career is short.  You have a three month suspension.  You're banned from troop meetings.  Then add another six months to get back to normal.  Another year to stop looking over your shoulder waiting for the next problem to drop.  Yet another year to build trust.  And risk that it will never recover.  

IMHO ... move on.  Things might recover, but all events for the next year will be tainted at best.  It's just not worth putting your child in the middle of your pain to fix this situation.  Plus, your child might benefit from seeing you leave a bad situation.  ... every decision has many results and many lessons ...

  • If your scout has an option for a strong girls troop near by, have her join.  You can just be a parent and enjoy life as a scouting parent.
  • If already established in venturing, focus on that.

For those from this mess ... Be humble and kind and warm hearted when you see these people in the future.  Own up to your own mistakes.  Avoid reminding them of their mistakes.  Even though you won't be in the same unit, try to heal the relationships.   Strange thing is that scouters often re-encounter each other. 

I am not saying you are wrong.  IMHO, if the camp issued the MB, it's done.  ... but reality is this should never have escalated like it did.  ... what can be done different?  ... Perhaps, step back and enjoy a more personal role with your scout.  Sneak a few treats together.  Watch a sunset together.  Go on an extra hike together.  Beyond that, let others lead for a bit. ... I say that because when I've gone thru messes like this, it really damages confidence.  My reactions can be based more on emotion than logic or common sense.  Small issues get escalated.  ... It takes time to get reground and move past events like this.  Just enjoy the time. ...  Being a leader is like being in a relationship.  Takes time to build and grow.  When it crashes, jumping into a new leadership role won't go well.  Give it time.

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@nolesrule, I am truly sorry. I've hated the multiple occasions when I've personally seen strong and good leaders clash over various parts of the program - especially advancement. IMHO, it's a complete waste of time, and your scout's troop is now down one capable and passionate leader.

But, we (not just you and me, but all scouters who may in the future read this) must not back down from the truth written in the skies. The GTA is a well thought-out document covering most of the problems we scouters have had with this method, but man-hours hours spent parsing it could be better spent opening a youth to abundant opportunities to scout in the purest sense of the word.

Regarding negotiating the future given the troop's decisions (and this really is from personal experience): the single most important thing a troop can offer is brotherly love. Obviously that's a lot harder to do when people are at loggerheads, so everyone will have to dig deep to make it happen. The good news is that I've seen that scouts have a far greater capacity for this than adults. If a scout feels cherished in a troop, he/she will stay. If not, he/she will move on. If the adults around him/her can manage to do the same over months or years, it will be worth their while to do so.

Anyway there are a lot of topics by scouters who've had to negotiate their time volunteering after things like this happened. (In fact, that's why I started following.) I hope you can avail yourself of them.

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2 minutes ago, qwazse said:

But, we (not just you and me, but all scouters who may in the future read this) must not back down from the truth written in the skies.

@qwazse ... We are really too far removed from the specifics to judge either direction on "truth".   Inferring either way is useless.  Inferring it's okay for unit leaders to routinely second guess a MBC is just bad and does NOT have any standing in the GTA.  Future leaders would do well to read GTA for rules and intent.   ... The rule is a MBC is the final judge on if the MB is done; not the unit leader.  Unit leaders are not to second guess requirement wording / specifics / etc. 

As this escalated so fast, there is more going on than this discussion thread can handle.

Edited by fred8033
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@fred8033 thank you for your thoughts.

Kids aren't stupid. They can see when there is conflict. I did own up to my mistake in the matter.

You are also correct in that it never should have escalated. Which is why i asked for the unit to put processes in place to make sure the series of mistakes don't keep happening. But it's not my unit and I don't have the control to ensure those safeguards actually get implemented. But I'd like to see the unit survive, whether or not I'm involved in it.

The first thing the scoutmaster did yesterday was send out a notice to parents of position elections in a week, something we've never done this time of year. My daughter contacted the SPL to ask about it, and the SPL knew nothing about it.

So yeah, if that's how they want to run the troop, I don't have an issue moving on with my kids. But I'm going to do it methodically so as not to cause a disruption.

I have reasons to maintain registration as I am active in OA as a committee adviser and with council level youth trainings, which I enjoy, but those are secondary. I'd need to find a primary role in some manner in order to be able to continue my involvement in those things. That's something to I'll need to spend some of my downtime contemplating.


 

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