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Bob White

Measuring "active in your troop or patrol" requirement

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Mark, I really do understand your point. What would you do with a boy -- regardless of age -- who say he has no income? But in my humble opinion, you're essentially adding a requirement to the merit badge which says a boy has to have a certain level of income. I think there are a couple of practical solutions, though. First, you could counsel the boy to sit down with his parents and work out a salary or allowance for the chores he's doing at home. I think most parents would think this reasonable, but you're still not going to get $50 or $100 a week like a 16-year-old with a parttime job. The other approach would be to have the boy make his budget based on what he THINKS his income will be. Maybe instead of $10 per week, he only ends up with $5. Isn't making that adjustment to his budget part of the purpose of the requirement? By the way, what do you consider an adequate income to complete the requirement?

 

Sure, a 17-year-old making a couple hundred bucks a week at a real job is going to learn much more than he would have as a 12-year-old with a $10 allowance. He'll learn more yet when he's 25 making $30k a year.

 

But my larger point is that we need to work with the boy in front of us. Sure, a good Scoutmaster will steer a boy toward merit badges and activites which are appropriate for him. But that's not always possible.

 

Regarding the idea that the Scoutmaster conference or BOR needs to be the stop-gap for boys who may or may not have completed certain requirements. While that may be true in the extremes, one point I don't think has been brought out in the discussion is the Scoutmaster(s!) responsibility for quality control of the advancement process throughout the year. The time and place to address this problem is counselling the older scouts to make sure they are adequately teaching and testing the requirements.

 

PS to Bob: Is it really a "gross generalizaion" to say there is a difference in leadership, maturitity and emotional development between 12- and 17-year olds? Ture, it's a generalization, but I'd say it a fairly accurate one.

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Hi Mark,

 

I think if a scout has the ability to teach a skill then they have the ability to test the skill. (Teaching and testing are the tough part, if a scout can manage that then I think they can initial and date a book.)

 

Mark if I found out that the scout had lied, and scout spirit had been signed off by me or anyone else, I would have the Scoutmaster conference and tell him that I had a responsibility to inform the Board of Review of what I had discovered. It is their responsibility to review the scout's personal growth and this incident could effect their evaluation. It is the BORs responsibility to determine if the scout advances or if he must display specific behavior over a specific time period in order to meet the character of a scout.

 

Could the scout appeal? Sure he could but I think his behaviour would work against him and the board would be upheld.

 

Bob White

 

 

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Let my try to answer in order:

 

Ed,

 

If I understood your answer, it sounds like you are saying that you would symbolically erase the initials of the person who signed off the requirement. If I understand you, I don't think I agree. If your answer had said that the boy wouldn't earn his NEXT rank until he proved to you he lived up to the Scout Oath and Law, I like that. It gives him the oppurtunity to discuss with you his lapse, and a reason to adjust his behavior in the future. But if I were the Advancement Chair and a SM ignored the signature of someone allowed to sign off a requirement, I'd have a real problem. Negating someone else's signature (assuming that person is authorized to sign) might be even worse than adding or subtracting requirments.

 

Ron,

 

In our Troop, all Scouts 1st Class and up can sign basic requirements. Some, Like the Drug and Achohol requirment, we require either the teacher of the program or the Scout's parents to sign. the req't for meeting with an elected official we ask that the elected official sign. Only the SM and ASMs can sign Scout Spirit and SM conference. Our SM does ALL Scout and Tenderfoot conferences. Then usually rank SM conferences are done by the SM or the ASM assigned to the Patrol. The SM and usually an ASM do Eagle conferences. Someone mentioned the SM conference being valuable for quality control, and I agree. However we would not hold it against the Scout trying to advance. If it was signed, it was signed. We would deal with it directly with the tester remedially. We'ed also be very quick to get the boy who "benefitted" from the lax testing process to teach the next round of that skill. It's the best way we know to make a kid learn a skill - ask him to teach it.

 

Twocub,

 

I readily admit to walking a very fine line with my stance, but I don't believe I am adding a requirment by saying I won't work with a boy unless he meets this criteria. I have offered anyone who I have said no to the chance to work with other Counselors. They have all said no and come back to me when they do have a significant income. But I would never say no to, or even discourage, a Scout doing this badge with someone else.

 

What is a significant income? That's not an easy answer. I live in a very upper middle class area, and I would guess that most of the family incomes in our Troop exceed $75,000.00. What is significant to a boy from a family like this is way more than $2.00 / week. If I had a boy come to me from a very impoverished area, $2.00 - $5.00 / week might be very significant to him, and I would work with him. I've not had that happen yet. The least I have agreed to work with was $20.00 / week. the most I can recall saing no to was $30.00 / week. This boy got $30.00 week allowance with no effort on his part. Although even I questioned whether I was being fair with him, his dad thanked me for giving him the impetus to get a job, and the Scout was very kind in his words about me at his Eagle C of H when he talked about this.

 

Bob,

 

I like your solution. As I thought about the question myself, this is kind of where I was leaning. Though the SM conference isn't the gatekeeper, the BOR is. As I understand, the SM has a right, and a responsiblity, to advise the Board of any special circumstances that existed during a Scout's trail to his next rank.

 

The only thing I might add is for the SM to ask the boy if, under the circumstances, knowing that he lied, and therefore didn't live up to his responsibilty as a Scout, if he thought that seeking a BOR immediately was in his best interest. I think I would suggest that maybe he find a way to show some evidence of his desire to live up to the Oath and Law before he seek the BOR. If he didn't feel it was in his best interest to wait, at that point I'd probably remind him of my responsibility to discuss the incident with the BOR.

 

Mark

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Mark,

If a Scout lied & was signed off for Scout Spirit, he was signed off fraudlently. Therefore I would physically erase the initials AFTER I had a talk with the initialer to determine if he/she knew the Scout had in fact lied. And if they initialer knew, that is a whole different discussion.

 

Ed Mori

Scoutmaster

Troop 1

1 Peter 4:10

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"Is it really a "gross generalizaion" to say there is a difference in leadership, maturitity and emotional development between 12- and 17-year olds?"

 

Yes, I believe it is. Here is why. A scoutmaster has two responsibilities. Train Junior leaders, and understand the needs and characteristics of each individual scout in the troop. Once you start making generalization such based soley on age you blind yourself to the individual character of each scout.

 

It's important that scouts be evaluated on who they are as separate people. Leadership skill is not age dependent it has to do with training and practice, just because one scout is older does not guarantee that he has had either. Had you simply said that some 12-year old boys do not have the same maturity, skills, or leadership abilitiesas some 17-year olds that would be accurate. But to say a 12-yearold and a a7-year old, is simply not true. I have seen many nmany situations that would disprove that.

 

One other point Twocubdad.

You mentioned "A few weeks ago in another thread regarding young Eagles, the conversation was hot and heavy that 12 & 13 year olds don't have the maturity and leadership skills to meet the standards of an Eagle Scout."

I just wanted to remind you that one of the main thrusts of that discussion was that the premise was wrong. There are no maturity or leadership skills required for Eagle. There is leadership service required but I do not know of leadership skills required. The plan is that the skills will be learned during the service and through training from a responsible Scoutmaster.

 

The thoughts that, Eagle Rank as a maturity requirement, 13-year olds are not mature enough for Eagle, and that a 17-year is automatically more mature or more skilled than a younger scout, all are faulty premises and can only lead to faulty conclusions.

 

Bob White

PS there goes Ed playing devil's advocate again. I'll bet he knows that if the advancement requirenment was signed off by an approved person then there is no taking it back. He can deal with the two parties (the signer and the signee) but it is a violation of the advancement regulations to take it away. I'm sure Ed knows that this is what BOR is for, and once again he is just hopes to spurr a lively discussion. At least I hope that is whats happening.

 

 

(This message has been edited by Bob White)

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Ed,

 

I'm sorry, I might be mixing up scenerios here. I thought we were discussing a boy who already has Scout Spirit signed off, but then lies at the SM conference.

 

But even in the scenerio you described, I don't think I agree. If the requirement for, say, lighting a light weight stove was signed off, and then in a SM conference, I (if I were a SM) found out that the Scout never met this requirment satisfactorily, but was passed on by someone who was just trying to ge tthe boy out of his hair, I don' think I would "erase" the initials. Assuming all else is in order, I would allow the process to continue, I would make very sure that the Scout got the benefit of learning the skill very soon after, and I would be discussing with the person who signed it off improperly. I might go so far as taking away that priveledge (If I were the SM, I would do this in consultation with the Advancement Chair).

 

Don't get me wrong. I have read your posts for about a year now, and I feel I am just as much a stickler for making boys meet the requirements as are you. But once someone who was given the responsiblity to sign a boy off signs a boy off, from my perspective, it's done. If I find out that expected standards were not met, I can assure you that corrective action will be taken. But I just don't think undoing what has been done is in the best interest of anyone.

 

I also have one other question. If I understood correctly, you don't let Scouts sign off advancements (maybe you meant they can't sign off Scout Spirit). If they can't sign off advancements, who does? If you are trying to do this on your own, that sure seems like it would be hard. I can't imagine one person trying to test all of the requirments for all of the boys in our Troop of @ 40 right now.

 

Mark

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Bob I think you and I are in violent agreement on the core issue that we should evaluate boys on their own level, at least as it related to activity in the troop, leadership and scout spirit.

 

We seem to just be arguing around the edges on the other issues, so I'll leave it lay.

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Mark,

No I don't let the Scouts sign off on rank requirements. They can complete them with the Scout but the actual signing off is done by myself or one of my ASM's. This helps eliminate a friend signing off a requirement without it actually being completed. And the adults in my Troop know what a stickler I am for the Scouts knowing the requirements before they are signed off.

 

No you didn't mix things up. What I posted was what I meant.

 

Bob,

No leadership skill required for Eagle? Isn't that what it is all about? Doesn't the Eagle service project require leadership? And doesn't the Life Scout have to serve as a leader in the Troop as a rank requirement?

 

Ed Mori

Scoutmaster

Troop 1

1 Peter 4:10

 

 

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Ed, When all else fails, read the requirements in the Boy Scout Handbook.

 

Serving actively in a leadership position is required.

 

Plan and give leadership to a service project is required.

 

Tell me Ed, other than planning a project where in the Eagle Scout requirements does it list specific leadership skills that must be used or displayed? It doesn't.

 

If the scoutmaster has done the job correctly, the scout will know and understand specifc leadership skills. If the scoutmaster has done the job correctly the scout will have had opportunityto practice and implement those skills. For instance, junior leaders who have been taught the skill of evaluation would have opportunities to practice by evaluating things at the patrol and troop level, things like evaluating meeting, campoputs, advancement requirements. The scouting program suggests that these things are done by scouts to train them in vital leadership skills.

 

Choosing their own advancement trail with the meritbadge program allows them to develop planning and goal setting. Having them elect their own leadership and the SPL choose the troop junior leadership helps them to evaluate the needs and characteristics of others and recognize human resources. Having Patrols hike and camp on thier own develops, planning, setting the example, situational management, representing the group, and more.

 

So leadership skill is something we give to them. They can only employ what we have allowed them too learn and prractice.

 

Bob White

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Bob,

Agree there is no leadership skill listed.

 

Ed Mori

Scoutmaster

Troop 1

1 Peter 4:10

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