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Trevorum

lost advancement records

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I like OR Pioneers's approach a lot. Although I think this is the job of the SM and not the committee. By the time the fellow gets to the BoR, the SM should have no doubt that he's ready.

 

 

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>>Hence... a Scribe should feed to the Advancement/Membership coordinator, but not have direct access to data entry or report output.

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We had a boy lose his book. We went back to our Advancement records. You know the ones you turn in to the Council Office. We looked up when he did his verious BOR. It had badges he had earned.

Everything. If it shows when he received a Rank then it is pretty certain that the Rank Requirements will have been completed prior to the BOR. We went back and went over each Rank with him. Ask him questions regarding each requirement.

And signed off in his book. Then put a letter with his Advancement records.

 

WHat do you all think has been happening to all the Boy Scouts in the storm areas who lost all their records. You simply have to work it out.

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Barry,

 

Having read carefully what you wrote, I would have no problem (in any way, shape, or form) with the Scribe maintaining an old fashioned wall chart.

 

I can even say "that should be the first data point of record :)"

 

Once we get to electrons, the capacity of the current databases is such that I have to ensure the membership/advancement coordinator respects the privacy of parents in the unit.

 

As one example, in my current state of Missouri (or was that Confusion ;) ) the legal age of majority and emancipation is 21. I can give my son a checkbook, but if he writes a bad check, I'm legally accountable. Ditto data theft.

 

As a COR, one of my duties is to minimize the risk to volunteers. Additionally, advancement management is, by the Committee Manual, a support function, not a program function.

 

We're seeing the same challenge from two different perspectives. Neither is 100% right, neither is 100% wrong. I'll tell you what: As we migrate to later editions of TM and have PW protection over privacy fields, we may be able to get to where you are.

 

BTW, had a great time at Scout camp. Work crews, working with state conservation folks, developed a habitat for fish near an overnight campsite out from the main camp. I was on the cook crew; we made lunch for 60.

 

YIS

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Agree with John on the privacy issue. There are some things for which adults are responsible in the troop. While Scouts may be fully capable of doing these things, we can not delegate the responsibility. This includes driving to campouts, writing checks, and maintaining the privacy of personnel records.

 

The wall chart is an interesting idea. I've seen them for sale but our troop has never done this. Anybody use this technique? Pros? Cons?

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The wall chart is an excellent vehicle to use for several reasons:

 

1. Posted in a conspicuous place, it engenders a bit of subtle competition among the boys. For example, if one scout sees that another scout has completed a lot more requirements than he himself has, he might get a little more focused on his own advancement.

 

2. My troop lets each boy add his own advancement to the chart as soon as it has been signed off in his scout handbook. This is a great bit of incentive for the boys. It gives them a sense of ownership in their advancement by providing immediate recognition.

 

3. It lets other people (like members of your CO) see what your troop is doing. It's a great bit of quiet "advertising". The CO gets to see how many boys you're serving, and the fact that they are progressing and growing. That can help with CO relationships.

 

My scouts like the chart, and so do their parents.

 

A caveat: I would not use the wall chart as a primary record of advancement. It's too easy for someone to inadvertently make an entry on the wrong person's line, or be less than trustworthy by claiming more than he has done, or even forgetting to write on a valid achievment. For "official" records, I would still go by the individual handbooks, patrol record books, and TroopMaster or whatever else you use.

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Ditto on the benefits of a wall chart.

 

Our troop has historically done a poor job in planning and conducting activities that will allow Scouts to meet their advancement needs. Sign-offs are also sporadic. The pace of rank advancement in the last year has been poor. So I went out and got a wall chart ($1.85 plus tax) at the Scout shop. I showed it to the PLC and told them (wearing my acting Advancement Chair hat) that I wanted to start tracking the Scouts progress, and that (wearing my ASM hat) they could use the chart to see what activities young Scouts needed, and plan accordingly. I privately hoped it would also provide some motivation. I asked if they wanted to list all Scouts, or only track up to First Class. They voted to list all Scouts, reasoning that this would help younger Scouts identify which older Scouts were "qualified" to sign off requirements. (Also, maybe, to show off their own high ranks a little?)

 

I presented the chart at the next troop meeting, told the boys they could check off the boxes themselves after they got requirements signed off.

 

The results, in my opinion, were dramatic, better than I had hoped.

 

First, I was killing time during the troop meeting x'ing out the boxes up to the known ranks of the Scouts. I was called away, and several older Scouts came over and took over the job. Then younger boys started looking at the chart, and saying "Hey, I only need a couple more things for the next rank." Then they went and looked at their books. And found that they had completed some requirements which were not signed off. And they went and got older Scouts to sign them off. Next thing you know, 2 Scouts were announcing they were ready for their Scoutmaster conferences for their next rank!

 

Frankly, I was amazed. Apparently, even I had underestimated the potential motivation of a little publicity. Your results may vary, but what is there to lose?

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I like the wall chart, however, to keep it's data secure, how about installing it into a locked wall display case? That way, the troop scribe has a key, as well as the SM and CC. In doing it this way, the advancement data will be secure (no inadverant data entries), as well as keeping it protected from damage. Everyone will be able to see the others progress and to be able to help one another to achieve their ranks (A Scout is helpful).

This should NOT be the primary source of advancement info, simply a display means, but if the primary advancement gets lost or damaged, this would be the backup.

 

The chart should have when the Scout joined as well as when each requirment was signed off and by whom.(This message has been edited by Mr.Mal)

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Well, you all did it. I was at the scout shop and bought a wall chart. Around $5. I'm taking it to the next PLC and recommending the scribe start filling it out. The official record will still be in TroopMaster and compiled by an adult (there's no way to pry her hands from that laptop). I like the locked glass display but that is way over budget for our group, we like spending money on silly stuff like camping gear. I think an alternative is to buy some small colored sticky dots from the office supply and use them to signify completion. Sure someone could go buy some themselves but it would be more trouble than just Xing out the box with a pen. The scribe would keep the dots under his control.

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I'm thinking about it now. Maybe I'll get one too and give it to the PLC.

 

Assuming the Troopmaster computer database maintains the "real" records and the wall chart is just for display and visual motivation, what would be wrong with the scouts updating their OWN record on the wall chart. As Johnny gets requirement 3b signed off in his book, HE gets to update HIS line on the wall chart? It would be sort of like "closing the loop" with his decision to complete the requirement.

 

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I'm thinking what Trevorum is thinking. We used to use a wall chart, but the adult leaders at the time thought only adults were supposed to fill it in. It was a pain in the tooka & frankly, I had better things to do with my time. But if the boys marked it down after it was signed off, hmmmm......

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Let's see...To much for a locked display case?

 

How about:

 

A project for woodworking merit badge?

 

A project for some scouts to do for the troop?

 

Donations from some familys in time and materials? etc.

 

Just some thoughts

 

 

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Excellent Ideas Mr. Mal.

I'll propose it to the PLC. Considering the speed at which they get things done, my son will be the proud scoutmaster installing it.

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