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Engineer61

Dont forget the Advancement Commitee Chair

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I think that the Advancement chair is taking too much on, if it takes that long. If I tripled the boys in our troop, we'd have one your troops size. If I conversely triple the time it takes to do my job, that would be 4 1/2 hrs per week (except for COH time), instead of the current 1 1/2 hrs per week. Does the Troop Scribe help any?

 

I'm Advancement chair, and the only manual entry I do is when I date/initial blue cards after I put the info into Troopmaster. I don't fill out blue cards, I just date and initial them, and put the info into TM. In terms of other advancement, I enter whatever info that the Scout has in their book. I do admit, I have the luxury of a 5 yr old laptop with Troopmaster installed, and I do all the entries during the Troop meeting every week. We also have a portable printer.

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I'm for the compromise position - very brief thanks to the adults - literally brief - as in stand up where you are and sit back down recognition.

 

But I noticed something interesting - no one's picked up on what I think is obvious.

 

The Advancement Chair is ticked off because the Scoutmaster didn't thank her when he was thanking the Assistant Scoutmasters.

 

Think about that for a second and see if you come to the same conclusion I come too.

 

The Scoutmaster, head program leader for the Troop was thanking the Assistant Scoutmasters - essentially his/her staff. The Scoutmaster was thanking the program staff.

 

The Advancement Committee Chair isn't a member of the program staff. See where I'm going with this?

 

The problem really isn't that the Scoutmaster didn't thank the Advancement Committee Chair. The real problem is that the Committee Chair didn't spend a couple of minutes at the COH thanking HIS/HER staff - the Committee.

 

The Advancement Commitee Chair certainly deserves some thanks - but it really should come from the right person - and that person, in my opinion, is the Committee Chair.

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This staff....that staff...the way average parent looks at it is that it's the SM's.

 

Only the insiders have any knowledge of who reports to who.

 

As far at the boy's doing the bookkeeping...I'd doubt it...it would be a help if they wrote neatly.

 

 

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"This staff....that staff...the way average parent looks at it is that it's the SM's.

 

Only the insiders have any knowledge of who reports to who."

 

All the more reason to give the Committee Chair a small bit of time at a COH to thank the members of the Committee, don't you think? If the parents only see the SM and the ASM's, how are they going to learn that there is a committee of people standing next to them supporting the program in important ways?

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I spend a little time at two COHs per year thanking some adults - after Summer Camp and in December. At the Summer Camp COH, I hand out the mugs they gave us at camp, and thank the adults who gave up a week of vacation to attend camp. I also hand out the Scoutmaster Merit Badge that some earned during the week (a program our camp offers). We usually have an adult complete Scout Leader training during the week, so I recognize them, as well. No plaques, just maybe a mug and a patch.

 

At the December COH, I thank the ASMs that served during the year. No plaques or anything, just a thank you for a job well done. Other than that, I will recognize any of our adults who have completed Scout Leader training. I want the parents to see who is donating their time to the Troop. If I only do this at committee meetings, only a handful of adults will be there, and they already know who is getting trained. Our ASMs are expected to attend at least half the meetings and half the campouts. Most attend far more than that, so they have put in a significant number of days and nights. As SM, I thank them for helping me support the program.

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!!As far at the boy's doing the bookkeeping...I'd doubt it...it would be a help if they wrote neatly.!!

 

We are only limited by those who put barriers in our paths. Our scouts do the bookkeeping and present all the badges. the Advacement Chair is only a mentor.

 

I love this scouting stuff.

 

Barry

 

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I know this is semantics but there is no troop position called advancement chair. The position is "Advancement Coordinatior" This is the term used in all the training and should be used so there is continuity to training. It has been this way for quite a while.

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Engineer, I don't think you are giving us youth enough credit. When asked to do a task, we can pull through. All the adults need to do is make it clear that they do want us to do things. If it is not normal in your troop for the boys to do work with the AC, then they will not think of it. Once it is established as something that the boys have a responability to do, it will get done. That won't happen if you just assume that they cannot do it.

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Interesting point about chair vs. coordinator. Semantics, maybe, but the first implies control over the situation, where the last implies facilitation rather than control.

 

I'd like to echo platypus and Barry. One troop I'm familiar with, the adults do all of the record keeping and any attempt to shift some of it to the boys - even when the boys are plainly, literally, asking to help and do more - is met with stiff resistance. If it isn't "their handwriting is sloppy" then it is "they aren't careful and don't pay attention to detail" or "it is too hard to coordinate among the boy(s), advancement coordinator, troop secretary who keeps troopmaster up to date, and SM." Or some other reason. There is always a reason.

 

Another troop I'm familiar with, the scribe not only keeps the advancement records (with help from the PLs), but collects monthly dues, too. Awards are presented by youth leaders, not by the SM or Adv. coordinator in this troop.

 

Guess which of these troops is growing? Guess which one has more older boys involved? I don't think it is too surprising that in both cases, the answer is the second troop - the one that trains the boys and then gives them real responsibilities.

 

 

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Another CoH and the same result... spent even more time thanking the previous person who hasn't done anything in over a year....

 

I'm gonna have a talk with my Scout...see what he thought.

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Interesting thread.

 

As a Cubmaster who is his own Advancement Chair/Coordinator, I yearn for the day when I'll have someone to thank!

 

 

Den Leaders, Committee Chair and Committee Members are recognized when appointed as pack leaders at a pack meeting. They receive the same neckerchief and slide that the boys receive when they join the pack, but instead of the parents helping the boys get the neckerchief on, the boys help their parent.

 

I have a Cub Scout "Hero" award that gets pinned on adults who do a significant job like leading the popcorn sale.

 

 

And while I think it was a shame that Advancement Coordinators weren't being recognized --- perhaps that is a byproduct of the excellent work they have done ---- they should have bought themselves a certificate or plaque to be awarded at a pack meeting or Court of Honor!

 

I aslo suggest that Committee Chairs should be on the lookout for people to put in for Scout "knot" awards, which come with the knot and a nice certificate. That's a nice opportunity to recognize people for their contribution.

 

And yes, this takes some time. But I think it is both polite and "friendly, courteous and kind" to take the time to recognize volunteers. If pack meetings or courts of honor are boring, the program needs top be enlivened with more games and activities to capture the interest of Scouts.

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I have a very simple solution to the AC that is getting run raggeed and getting no appreciation for it... as for not getting a thank you - let the SM know and he'll likely make it a point at the next CoH. Just because she was left off the list doesn't mean it was intentional, just overlooked - we all make mistakes.

 

Now - for the meat and potatos of this thread....

 

Set a deadline and hold your ASM's and SM to it - period. We are all adults and have deadlines in every other aspect of life. If CoH is on the 15th, then ALL awards must be in to the AC NLT the 10th. You call on the 11th, then THAT ASM gets to explain to the scout in question WHY he will be waiting until next month to get his award.

 

You MUST do this if you are running a unit with over a dozen boys in it.

 

We've had explosive growth in the past 3 years, going from about 20 kids to well over 50. It is unfair to the volunteers involved to expect last minute add-ons as the norm.

 

I've had upset moms and dads asking why Johnny didn't get his rank this month. Me, "Well, you need to speak with his DL on that. The deadline was (date). Did the DL let you know all awards needed to be in to him before that?" and then leave it be.

 

I've had a couple different responses to that exchange. most of the time, its, "No, the DL never let us know." - then my answer is they need to coordinate better with the DL because award deadlines are put out at LEAST 2 weeks (more like a month) before the drop dead date. DL's need to backplan and have time to collate their report and get it into the AC on time.

 

I've had a mother tell me on the night of the Pack Meeting, "Well, I IM'd the DL this morning." My reply, "I'm sorry, but the deadline was last Friday. Your son will get his awards next month."

 

Its just like a report to your boss or making your house payment - it happens at the same time every month.... put it in your crackberry, or a sticky note, or e-mail it to yourself - however you keep track of your deadlines.

 

You blow past it - YOU get to explain it to the youth you serve - that is NOT part of my job.

 

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"Even with Troopmaster, the advancement process is paper intensive....all that paper has to be generated, verified and then entered into Troopmaster.

 

And then you have the issues of missing paperwork, so it doesn't get entered at all...that's the worst part...ASM's and PL's not tracking who did what when amd where then bashing the ACC because something is missing.

 

Our troop is about 100 active Scouts.

 

Far worse than that is that the ACC in our troop also does all the MB scheduling for summer camp... "

 

As advancement chair for a troop with just over 50 active scouts, I cannot see where the ACC is spending all that time if using troopmaster. Nor do I see where all the PLs and ASMs have all sorts of paperwork to do. I maybe spend an hour or so a month on a trip to the scout shop and labeling award cards out side of troop meetings.

 

We let the kids know they are responsible for making sure their books get signed and shown to me for recording at a troop meeting. They turn in blue cards to me at a troop meeting. All that gets entered into Troopmaster during the meeting.

 

If little Joey does not turn in his blue card or show me his book once in a while, his advancement does not get recorded or awarded.

 

I do try to catch up with the kids who never remember to show me stuff, but again, that is an announcement at the beginning of a troop meeting that they need to remember to show me stuff.

 

A month ago we were organizing a First Aid course for anyone who did not have it and one boy protested that he had earned it. I had no record. The next week he sheepishly handed me that signed blue card as well as another one - both over a year old! Now he will remember better who is to make sure things get turned in.

 

As far as scheduling summer camp badges, if each boy fills out and turns in a page of what he wants to take when, just compliling this would be extra time, but should never be 30-40 hours worth!

 

Our troop does recognize adults at COH. The names are called with the position stated. The person stands so the parents can see who it is and then sits back down. Short and simple. Committee members and ASMs both are handled this way. Those who are on the roster in name, but generally not active are normally not there anyway and are skipped.

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I disagree with recognizing adults. It creates a competition for the awards, which is not a always good thing. Engineer didn't recognized and it results in hurt feelings.

 

I got snookered into attending the districts award dinner. The district committee spent the next two hours awarding each other.....for what I have no idea. then came the district popularity contest......enough already. Then I had to pay for the privilege and then they had the audacity to have a FOS presentation too. Enough already.

 

 

The second you start recognizing adults in front of the Troop it is going to lead to hurt feelings. You have to start with the parents for paying for and allowing them to attend. You need to thank the church elders for allowing them to use the church, the camp out drivers....on and on and on.

 

I never volunteered to be den leader, ACM, CM, ACM, ASM, Blue and gold chair, popcorn kernel, pinewood chair, Activity Chair, Day Camp Program Chair, IOLS Staff, JLYT Staff or Crew advisor to be recognized in public. I solider on day after day week after week, some days I get a thank you from the scouts others I do not. A thank you is nice but unnecessary.

 

I fill the jobs because I enjoy it.

 

If your advancement chair has issues with not being recognized for doing the job, it is time to resign.

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Basement Dweller,

 

 

Opinions and situations differ.

 

For families new to Scouting, I think there's something to be said for formally welcoming and recognizing leaders, just as is done for youth.

 

Handing out awards to youth can be done in ways that are boring and tedious too.

 

 

The way to keep youth interested in to keep a mix of games, competitions, songs, run on, skits mixed in with awards and recognition.

 

That's my view, anyway.

 

Saying "Thank you" in sincere and creative ways is the smart thing to do. Many people value and appreciate it, even if you do not.

 

Perhaps that's somewhat less important in Scout Troops than it is in Cub Scout Packs.

 

Also, Cub Scout Packs typically have monthly pack meeting while Troop Courts of Honor often occur quarterly.(This message has been edited by seattlepioneer)

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