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evmori

??? What are the Rules ???

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Kahuna the fundraising policies are related to the use of the uniform, The travel policies are actually located in the safety policies.

 

I believe you will find that, as far as unit operations, all BSA policies are related to the 4 areas I designated.

 

 

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Thanks for the help on G2SS, guys. I just couldn't figure that one out. Makes sense now.

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FScouter said: "I see no purpose in categorizing unless one's intent is to ignore those in a particular category."

 

That implies that everything published in the leader books, etc. is meant as gospel truth- that you have to run a meeting exactly the way specified, that the committee positions are set in stone, etc...

 

It also implies that the leader in question is setting out to flout the rules.

 

I think the reality is that the BSA recognizes that not all units can be run the same cookie cutter way and that units need and deserve a bit of discretion when it comes to many elements of the program with the leader's intention of offering a better program with the resources they have.

 

Personally, I think the BSA would be better off if it clarified/streamlined/emphasized the actual rules a bit more so we would have fewer leaders who are confused on such things. I know we have all heard leaders in training or at roundtable ask things like 'why tour permits', 'you mean I gotta do a permit for THAT?', 'why can't we just sell [fill in the blank] for our fundraising?', 'what do you mean I can't plan a paintball game?' and so on.

 

We load leaders up with piles of books and handouts, weekends full of training, and all the resources of fellow Scouters, and they STILL often don't know what are rules, what are suggestions, and what are opinions.

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There is an almost unlimited combination and variation allowed from unit to unit in where you go, what you do, when you do it. But "How you do it" is what makes it scouting, and that is what the content of the training and handbooks give you.

 

It's easy to tell the rules from the "program". In most cases the rules are stated as what you can't do, or what you must do. The program is everything else.

 

Even if you can't tell the difference the fact remains that the closer you stay to doing what the handbooks and training say to do, or not do, the better the scouting experience the Scouts will have. So rather than worry which is what, why not just do what's there for you?

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That's a perfectly reasonable approach, Bob White.

I like the automobile analogy. There are real laws: momentum, velocity, force, gravity. We don't have much ability to violate those.

Then there are agreed laws: speed limits, rules of the road, etc.

Then there are guidelines: proper maintenance of the vehicle, close the windows if it's raining, don't stare directly into the sun, (oops, that was for another thread).

Barbosa said something like, "They're not so much rules but more like guidelines" in reference to the pirate's code. Arrgh! But he was cursed from violating a rule...so much for his wisdom.

The Concise OED says a guideline is: "a general rule, principle, or piece of advice."

Guidelines, as advice, offer the freedom to be violated. There are still potential consequences: wet car seats, overheated engines.

As I remember, going into an uncharted wild cave, if you don't make a guideline going into it, or if you violate it along the way, you could 1) discover wonderful new things and have a great adventure, or 2) get hopelessly lost (which I suppose still qualifies as an adventure).

 

And yet, given what I sometimes see regarding violations of G2SS, while I do try to wear the uniform correctly (and I still have those terrible nightmares about forgetting my socks), I just can't get overheated when others make mistakes wearing theirs. Especially if the DE standing next to him is even more out of whack. I'll try to devote my attention to the boys...and try to work on the 'curse of the forgotten socks'. :)

Edited part: oops, typos and dyslexic fingers.(This message has been edited by packsaddle)

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The Scout Law is not a law that can be as easily defined as wearing Scout Socks. If a law, such as driving 55 mph, were posted and one were driving 56 mph, then one would not be observing and following the law, which is easily understood. If one is asked to be Friendly, most people would accept that a smile and/or a kind word would follow. But let's say that someone's basic tenor was harsh, critical but insightful and knowledgeable, this could be construed as a type of friendliness with a sharp edge. But if one was simply harsh, without a point then most would agree that it is outside the Law. The Friendly Law may come in various shapes and sizes but there is a limit even to something with such a wide variance. It has to do with the feelings one creates with words, so after the measure has been meted out, if one feels belittled, small, left out, put down, or depressed then one knows the boundaries have been breeched. If this happens on a regular basis and with intensity, it can be detrimental. So, making another person feel this way is wrong and is not just so a Law is needed to point out its' importance, for Life. The Law of Friendliness is one of 12 priority Laws in Scouting with a clear purpose and reason but with latitude. This may well be considered a higher Law or method of insuring that we can live together in harmony to achieve and/or pursue happiness, a goal most hold closely.

FB

 

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2 quick ones.... I'll be brief because this might go to another thread...

 

This January I helped a 17 yr old life scout transfer to a new unit because the new Scoutmaster in his old troop told him w/ his parents present that he wasn't Troop xyz Eagle material. There was no discussion of a lack of "scout Spirit" or any other explanation. Other leaders encouraged the new SM to take the stand & the young man left. The rules should be clear. There is no such thing as a unit specific advancement requirement. We're asking advancement & other district Committee chairs to review this unit w/ an eye toward intervention.

 

The Chartered Organization is responsible for the selection of the unit leadership and ultimately responsible for implementing the program. The Chatrtering organization can / should remove or redirect a leader who is not delivering the BSA program or is not in accord w/ the chartering organizaton's own programs or policies. A well trained & dedicated Scoutmaster should be able to recognize the split (divergence of interests) & move on or at least relinquish such a visible role in that particular unit without undermining the BSA program or the chartering organizations operation.

 

Rules re each of these cases are pretty clear. So why do other leaders and profesionals turn a blind eye when they become aware of such problems?

 

Bob(This message has been edited by Bob58)

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According to the FAQ at scouting.org, the CO is not responsible for selecting unit leadership. The CO selects a COR who assists in formation of a committee which then selects the leadership. In my experience, it very seldom works that way anyhow. Usually, the leadership who will work with kids are sorted out first, because they are harder to find. The committee is usually formed afterwards, because more people are willing to do that.

 

I would take issue that the Scoutmaster who told the boy he wouldn't sign his Eagle application was wrong. He might be, but while units can't adapt advancement requirements to suit themselves, only the Scoutmaster can decide whether to sign an Eagle application. I have known some Life Scouts who should never have become Eagle. Of course, it would be wrong to tell the kid he wouldn't sign it without saying why.

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Bob58

Good Luck on your investigation. I do hope that what you find is a unit that is delivering a great program and a scout that was looking for eagle without acceptable level of scout spirit. That there are multiple adults that supported the SM may indicate that this is case. Sounds like a sticky situation - I don't envy you at all.

venividi

 

This January I helped a 17 yr old life scout transfer to a new unit because the new Scoutmaster in his old troop told him w/ his parents present that he wasn't Troop xyz Eagle material. There was no discussion of a lack of "scout Spirit" or any other explanation. Other leaders encouraged the new SM to take the stand & the young man left. The rules should be clear. There is no such thing as a unit specific advancement requirement. We're asking advancement & other district Committee chairs to review this unit w/ an eye toward intervention.

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