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This time SM in hot water

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SM does not recommend boy for board of review for advancement to Life scout. Parents are livid. The story as I understand it is that as in the past the SM had asked the boy to show leadership on his own and stop relying on his Dad so much. His Dad is a helicopter parent who is stuck in Cub Scout mode. Needless to say the Dad and the SM do not see eye to eye on a lot of things. On 3 different occasions the Scout was asked to help clean up after camp outs. He was defiant and on one occasion told the SM he needed to help his Dad load up then ran over to him and stood beside him and supposedly "glared" back towards the SM kind of daring him to do something. If you read my former post about "SPL in HOT Water" in a past post this Dad is the man who got that rukus started. The SM said the boy stormed out before he had time to delve further in to the alleged problems and the solution he had in mind so the boy could have his board of review.


The parents are appealing the decision of the SM. That is their right. I am at a quandry as to who they appeal to . The Unit committee or the District committee . According to this:





This reads to me that the appeal needs to be filed with next level up from the entity that turned down the scout for a Life Board of review. In other words from Unit level to District level. How does this work? As Committee Chair/CO what say do I have in this matter?


This man has caused more trouble in the past year than we have had in the past 10 years totaled. If I had my way I would tell him to find another troop. But that is the easy way out. Any way the SM has had it and is ready to throw it all in. If we give the boy a board of review over his wishes before he holds another SM conference then thats it. He is gone. I do not want to see this. He just got word that he is the Silver Beaver award recipiant for our District this year. He does A LOT for scouting as a whole. Been in it 25 years. He just wants people to respect his decision. Oh by the way this exact same thing happened to his son 20 years ago. He did not like it and raised a little cain about it but his son recovered and made Eagle scout. The SM says scouting helped saved his son and helped turn his sons life around.

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I don't see the SM being in hot water.. Good for him..


Our SM did something similar, there comes a time when just passing kids through regardless of them being worthy or not, causes you not to be able to respect yourself.. You have to make a stand.


I would hope the Adults in the troop will support him. Not sure what will happen if it gets to council, our council supported the SM.. But, only after several phone calls from several people making sure he would not reconsider.. The stand did something for the scout, his attitude changed, probably at first in a way that was over the top. But, when the adults started showing him respect for his new attitude, it slowly changed from "just for show" to something real. At the end of the 6 months, we had scout sunday, and this scout spoke at how this situation changed his life..


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> If I had my way I would tell him to find another troop. But that is the easy way out.


I disagree - this is not the easy way out, it is the difficult way out. People don't generally want to make waves, and thus let bad behaviour slide. Letting the bad behaviour slide is the easy way out.


Support your SM. Inform the scout and parents that you support the SM, the committee supports the SM, and that obviously this is not the right troop for them, because they do not agree with the progam provided by the SM and supported by the committee. And that neither the SM nor the committee wants to change the program in the way that this family wants it to be changed.

Follow your instinct. It is the right (even if difficult) thing to do.

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Time for the Troop to stand up to the Dad and Scout with bad behavior......


Time for the Troop committee to support their SM and lay it on the line with the scout and dad.......Get with the program or your welcome to enjoy scouting else where.(This message has been edited by Basementdweller)

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WOW! I gotta be the Devil's Advocate, even though I wish we could do what the SM wants done, but according to BSA policy, a SM Conference is not pass fail, but a conversation. So no matter what the SM thinks, if they talked, then it counts. I hate to say it, but the SM needs to sign off and allow the scout to the BOR.


Now the info you are citing is for EAGLE BORs. This may help as it is the link to the GtA.




In regards to SM Conferences, this is what the GTA has to say Unit Leader (Scoutmaster) Conference

The unit leader (Scoutmaster) conference, regardless of the rank or program, is conducted according to the guidelines in the Scoutmaster Handbook, No. 33009. Note that a Scout must participate or take part in one; it is not a test. Requirements do not say he must pass a conference. While it makes sense to hold one after other requirements for a rank are met, it is not required that it be the last step before the board of review. This is an important consideration for Scouts on a tight schedule to meet the requirements before age 18. Last-minute work can sometimes make it impossible to fit the conference in before then, so scheduling it earlier can avoid unnecessary extension requests.


The conference can provide a forum for discussing ambitions and life purpose and for establishing goals for future achievement, but work left to be completed may be discussed just as easily as that which is finished. If appropriate, an object lesson on delayed effort could prove valuable. Ultimately, conference timing is up to the unit. Some leaders hold more than one along the way, and any of them can count toward the requirement.


This section may be of help When Responsibilities Are Not Met p23


If you have talked to him about what he is not doing, an he hasn't listened, then it's possible that the BOR can deny Life. But the book recommends removal form position so it doesn't get to the BOR,


Good luck.


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BOR can be held at any time for any reason, not just for advancement. The SM's job is to sign off the requirements as they are met. If Scout Spirit is not signed off, then the BOR can explore why, and discuss with the scout what "Scout Spirit" means. While the SM Conference requirement is a rubber stamp, Scout SPirit should not be.

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Cross, the procedures you have linked to are no longer valid. The one Eagle92 posted is what is now being used, starting on page 48. The way it works now is you would have what is called a "board of review under disputed circumstances". But this is only for Eagle, and not for any other rank. I questioned the National Advancment Team about this, and below is their response:



"There is no allowance for a board of review under disputed circumstances for ranks other than Eagle. This is because a Scout, once he believes he has completed all the requirements for any rank, must be granted a board of review. See GTA, topic Scout leaders do not have the authority to deny a board of review. There is no application, for ranks other than Eagle, that a Scoutmaster or unit leader must sign. It is instead, their responsibility to see that a board of review is scheduled and held.


You can also see in GTA topic, that Scoutmaster conferences are not to be established as "pass/fail." A Scout simply must participate in one. The SM must not use the conference as a forum upon which to deny the boy advancement, or to deny a board of review. He does not get to be the gate keeper in this sense." Boards of Review Must Be Granted When Requirements Are Met

A Scout cannot be denied this opportunity. When he believes he has completed all the requirements, including a Scoutmaster conference, it is up to the unit leader and committee to assure a board of review is held. Scoutmasters, for example, do not have authority to expect a boy to request one, or to defer him, or to ask him to perform beyond the requirements in order to be granted one



So in this case the Scoutmaster does not have the authority to not recommend the boy for a BOR. The Scoutmaster can tell the scout why he thinks he is not ready, which requirements he has not met, etc, but if the boy believes he has completed all of the requirements a BOR one must be convened.


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Yeah cross, as CC you have the right to call BS on any such shenanigans! You don't have to approve any advancement you don't feel comfortable with.

Furthermore, as COR you have the right to remind any adults in the audience that the CO expects the program to be implemented with the highest standard possible, and you are standing behind the SM.


Our committee has called boys before it for disciplinary reasons. Literally, at summer camp our CC had to tell a couple of boys that if they didn't straighten up instantly the would have to pack their stuff that hour and sit by the road until their parents came to get them. They did. Both Eagled a couple of years later.


Put another way, an SM is a master of scouts, but when a boy does not act like a scout, he puts himself in the hands of the committee to determine his disposition.



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Yah, Crossramwedge, it's unclear in da current materials whether any appeal is allowed on individual requirements at the Life Scout level. My read of the G2A is "no."


But da easiest thing for the troop to do with regard to advancement is to hold a BOR, deny the scout because he does not meet the Scout Spirit requirement, and send him a letter to that effect. He can appeal that to the council, but national no longer hears appeals for Life Scout, so it stops at the council.


All of this is really irrelevant, though, eh? And you know it.


The issue is that yeh have a behavior problem with dad, and a family that doesn't buy into the program despite your best efforts at education, patience, and hard work. That's what yeh need to address. The advancement issue is really irrelevant and not worth wasting time on.


Since you are the CC and COR, this one is squarely in your court. You are the final authority on the membership in your unit, and it's your job to maintain the character, integrity, and mission of your scouting program.


When yeh have an intractable conflict between a member and your Scoutmaster, the choice is fairly straightforward. Are you willing to replace your Scoutmaster over this? Because if in a high-profile, high-stakes dispute like this yeh choose to support the parent/youth, you're sendin' a clear signal to the Scoutmaster that it's time for him to go. No Scoutmaster can be successful without the support of the CC/COR.


Since your feelings on this are clear, it is time that you arrange an exit meeting with the parents involved. Inform the IH so that he/she knows what's up, and bring one other senior committee member or person from your CO (NOT the Scoutmaster). A good UC can be helpful, but it has to be a really good UC who yeh know is on board.


These meetings are difficult, eh? Much wailing an gnashing of teeth. Yeh handle 'em professionally, just like firing a worker. Yeh explain that it's been clear they've been unhappy for some time, and that they are uncomfortable with the troop leadership and program. Yeh acknowledge their position respectfully, but inform them that yeh have confidence in the Scoutmaster. You indicate that you will be happy to refer them to other troops and to ensure that their son's records get transferred. And yeh do this somewhere like a public restaurant or an office at your CO where their behavior can be contained. Then yeh simply call the council office and inform them that the boy's registration with your unit has been terminated.


It's time to pull the trigger, mate. You know it, everybody here knows it, and I guarantee everyone in your troop knows it.




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I was involved with a very similar situation -- except that it really wasn't the Scout that had an issue, it was the dad. Here's a short version of the story:


Adult-led troop method troop, with do-nothing PoRs -- new adult leaders some along (I'm one of them) and decide that it has to change over time. A new advancement chair starts to give warning at BoRs that Scouts have had their freebie, but they will be expected to have actually served the next time around.


So all is fine until the first Scout is coming up for a board under the "new rules". The advancement chair brings it up at a committee meeting, that things are about to come to a head, as a warning. The dad of this first Scout, at the committee meeting, is livid. He didn't understand why all these free passes have been issued in the past and now his son would be held back. The Scout, as a Patrol Leader, hadn't really been on any outings, hadn't been to meetings, and hadn't held patrol meetings.


My attitude: you can't actually raise the standards in a troop without actually raising standards.


It got ugly at that meeting. The dad was shouting. I tried to calm him down, but that might have only agitated him more. The advancement chair did continue the discussion with the dad, and things were smoothed over. Turns out there was a basic misunderstanding that was underneath everything.


The dad didn't understand that the rank was awarded as of the board date. He thought it was all about the Court of Honor date. So he thought that the board had to be done prior to the upcoming Court of Honor, and he didn't want his son to be delayed several months until the next Court.


The advancement chair explained the real rules, and then made a simple change with the troop. We now award rank badges at the conclusion of boards of review, recognition at the ends of meetings, and then do recognition at Courts of Honor.


The best part is that the Scout has since been quite active. In the last year, he's attended more outings and meetings than he has in the previous two years, and he was selected for ASPL, and has served well in that role, even filling in for the SPL several times.



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We asked an adult to leave almost exactly the way Beaverha suggested.


Our CO didn't care to participate, but they supported what ever we decided on the matter. I highly recommend a trusted District representative be there with you. In our case we had a good UC, but that is rare. Check you District Unit Commish if you don't have a good UC.


These are tough decisions for volunteers because we dont like conflict. But as Beaverha implied, this is what you need to do so that your program gets back to normal and so that you dont loose a good SM.





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First of all, it's disgusting that BSA has rules that are so complex that few volunteers are going to be able to understand them well enough to be able to follow them reliably.


That puts the nitpickers and lawyers in charge of the program.


Frankly, I don't understand these rules and I can't rely on statements in this forum to be reliable either.

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