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Can PLs sign-off on advancement requirements?

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Kudu (Mr. Horn?) - If one uses a patrol of "peers" having a PL sign-off can become problematic. We have PLs who are maybe 2nd Class in their second year of Scouting with their fellow 12/13 yr old seventh grade peers. Many of his patrol mates are 2nd Class and 1st Class Scouts.


Also, having sign-off privilege based on rank can help defeat patrol unity. I don't like having a Life Scout from the "beavers" signing requirements for 2nd Class Scouts of the "badgers." Not a big deal but not optimal in my book. (Troop Guides are the exception.)


Now, one of the best ways to really learn a skill is to teach it! So having a Scout teach a skill and then signing-off is great in my book - regardless of age, rank, patrol membership or whatever.


Now for a real mundane question - on Saturday March 11 (12th?), a Scout comes to you, the Scoutmaster, and informs you that he made a "useful camp gadget" on his last outing on February 18. You did not attend but asked the leader in charge and he verified that yes, Johnny made a towel rack via lashings. You are inclined to sign-off this requirement - do you date it March 11 or Feb. 18? My preference is to date on Feb. 18 because during a review, I know that camp gadgets are made a camp (not in a troop meeting, not at home, etc.). If I check the calendar, I know that March 11 was NOT a camp date but Feb. 18 was. Comments?

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acco40 writes:


Kudu (Mr. Horn?) - If one uses a patrol of "peers" having a PL sign-off can become problematic.


Yes, that is why I do it more by personality than by a set policy. Making sure that advancement standards are high is more important than some consistent rule about who is authorized to sign off.


Age-peer Patrols of 6th and 7th graders are problematic in many ways, with discipline being the chief problem. Sometimes a 7th-grader can actually keep his whole Patrol more or less on track, but that is rare because class-clowns tend to win popularity contests in a pure democracy :-/


That being said, most 12 year-old First Class Scouts can instruct a peer or two at a time, and can test individually.


One way to start is to use a "slash sign-off" trial period. When a newly authorized Scout signs-off he places a diagonal slash in the sign-off space with his name above the slash. A second approved Scout spot-checks it and counter-signs, or it waits for the Scoutmaster Conference.


Even when it is necessary for an adult to do the instructing, I like to have Scouts do the testing and sign-off.




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In our troop the PL leaders sign off the requirment for the scoutmembers of his patrol. The testing is done by a panel of scouts in leadership roles from outside the patrol. We try to give as much responsbility to the scouts as possible.

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