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hikingdad

Troop activities attendance as a requirement for rank advancement.

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As my son advances in scouting and takes on positions of responsibility, I will discuss with him the impact of doing this during the summer when he may not be there. Also, we will look at other arrangements so he can be in town. The SPL and ASPL of his troop have been gone most of the summer because they are working at summer camps. As someone else said, communication is key. These young men have appointed stand-ins for them to run the troop meetings. I'm sure this was discussed with the SM beforehand.

 

Despite what you may think from my previous message, I am all for active attendance. I was also a Cub Scout leader and constantly amazed at what activities ranked above scouting. We always met on Monday night at 7:00 -- den meetings and pack meetings. Everyone knew this when they signed up. In our area when you sign up your little one for community sports you can tell them you can't practice on Monday nights and they will try to accomodate you (I know school sports are different). Again, the parents would have the boys miss meetings. They would "forget". For most of us, if we did not meet on Monday night we were lost! We were so used to being there every Monday night.

 

My son's baseball coach said "well I'm sure he can miss scout meetings, my son did as a Cub Scout. They usually don't meet much in the spring." Ugh! We traded off between the too when baseball and scouts conflicted. I know other parents and boys who do the same.

 

I stress to my son that just deciding "I don't feel like going because I want to watch TV" is NOT good. I stress to him that Scouting is a team. Not to mention you just may miss out on something fun if you don't go. I've been having better attendance than he has this summer...LOL. I've been showing up to make sure I got info about summer camp, fundraisers, etc.

 

I just ask that people look at why a scout is having an attendance problem -- other obligations, too many things on their plate, parental problems, lack of interest, serious life issues, whatever. Then decide if you can help or not. Give the kid a chance.

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Hello. I am the Scribe for my troop and am responsible for keeping attendance records. I have no problem with the idea of an attendance requirement. If a scout can't make it to even 70% of the meetings, then how are they going to be able to find the time to fulfill the duties and responsibilities a Scout has to God, country, and others. If a scout has decided that he would rather play a sport or participate in another group to the extent that he can't even maintain 70% attendance in his troop, then he should not be allowed to advance.

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troop8een, many scouts participate in many activities with many conflicts. Many people will attend sports practices instead of going to meetings, but they still have time to do "the time to fulfill the duties and responsibilities a Scout has to God, country, and others." We have scouts who show up for the last 5 minutes of a meeting (after coming from another activity) so they can get information, sign-up for events, and do anything else they need to do. This doesn't affect the patrol planning, because the scout can let the patrol know before they plan if he is going or not, and if he doesn't the patrol can look at the sign-up list and see if he is going or not. These scouts participate as much as possible while participating in there other activities to the fullest extent. And if my troop adopted your 70% attendance requirement, our 90 member troop would lose about half it's members.

-Tyler

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Hi I'm a committee member from a newly formed troop. Our troop was formed to help boys who have other activities going one. (we call ourselves a "sports friendly" troop...lol) We try to accomodate sports schedules and school schedules since we have boys who come from different cities with different school schedules. What I'm trying to say is...sports and school activities are also important in these boys lives as is scouting. We've had new boys join who thought since they did sports ans such that they could not possibly do scouting too. We also have boys who are in our troop that can now advance easier (troop and patrol outings) and still hold thier commitment to their teams and schools. Our troop is boy led unlike the much larger troop they came from. They are once again excited about scouting and that's what is important. We even made it known that if there's a boy who wants to be in scouts and has no goal to become an Eagle that is OK. They are learning, experiencing, and staying out of trouble. Of course we're hoping all the boys meet the Eagle rank and continue to be scouts all of their lives. Our boys have planned lots of activities and camping nights and we have plenty of parent support. I have no doubt that this troop will succeed with such an awesome group of fine boys...soon to be young men.

YIS,

jmo3b

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MORE AND MORE, I AM HAPPY WITH THE TROOP MY SONS ARE MEMBERS OF.

 

I HAVE NOT HEARD OF ANY ATTENDANCE REQUIREMENTS, BUT THEN AGAIN MOSTLY ALL THE BOYS WE HAVE ARE ALL ACTIVE. YEAH, THEY MISS MEETINGS, DON'T MAKE ALL THE TRIPS, PLAY SPORTS OR DRAMA BUT THEY MAKE THE EVENTS THEY CAN. THEY MAKE THE MEETINGS THEY CAN. THE ONLY RULE I CAN THINK OF FOR ATTENDANCE IS THIS: IF YOUR TWO OR MORE MONTHS BEHIND IN DUES, YOU CANNOT ATTEND ANY TROOP EVENTS.

 

IF THERE WAS A ATTENDANCE REQUIREMENT, MY OLDEST WOULD NOT MEET THEM. HE'S AWAY ALL SUMMER WORKING SCOUT CAMP. HE MISSED QUITE ALOT THIS YEAR BECAUSE DRAMA MEET THE SAME NIGHT, BUT WHEN HE WAS THERE, HE WORKED WITH THE YOUNGER BOYS AS PART OF HIS POSITION AS TROOP GUIDE.

 

TO ME, TO ADVANCE AFTER FIRST CLASS YOU MUST SHOW LEADERSHIP AND YOU CANNOT SHOW LEADERSHIP IF YOU ARE NOT ACTIVE.

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Interesting thread. I really find the comments about "punishing" Scout for having other activities especially remarkable. I don't get the sense that anyone is being punished for joining the football team. They aren't being thrown out of the troop, are they?

 

If a kid was playing football and told the coach, "Coach, I can't come to practice three days this week because I have Scouts, drama, and Chemistry club," would he be starting or even playing?

 

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I have given this thread some more thought.

 

Requirements for advancement after first class include MBs. Are there really boys out there not attending meetings and doing MBs?

It doesn't seem likely to me.

 

Also, how are boys getting there books signed off if they are not active and coming to meetings?

 

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That's the subjective part. Through 1st Class, it's all about skills and fun (you can tie the knot or you can't, you cooked the meals or you didn't). After that, those Scouts remaining are serious and in it for the long haul (mostly). And, the requirements are replaced with more subjective measurements, such as active membership, and serving in a POR.

 

What do you consider active membership? Does serving in a POR equate to successfully performing in a POR? Again, subjective questions, for which there is no cookie-cutter answer. Every Scout, and every Troop, is different. That said, I think it's important that there are no misunderstandings between adult leaders, youth leaders, Scouts, and Scouts' families over requirements and whether or not they were met. Many troops deal with this by defining "active", and other things, too. The key, though, is not just having a definition, but in communicating it clearly to the Scout and his family, especially if he's in a Life-to-Eagle situation and facing timing pressures.

 

I'm not an advocate of gulag-style applications of this, that allow no flexibility for school, sports, family activities, or other conflicts. I always try to make sure Scouts understand that as in most endeavors, you get out of this what you put into it. And, if a Scout wants to take a sabbatical for baseball season, I tell him I hope he has a great season, and make sure he understands and accepts any potential Scouting tradeoffs as a result of his choice and the Scouting activities he'll miss out on. I had a SPL who did just that a couple years ago, and it pushed his Eagle project, and therefore his BOR and COH, out six months longer than it would have taken him otherwise. He understood it, accepted it, and dealt with it in a mature fashion.

 

KS

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Keeping a minimum attendance requirement is adding to the requirements for rank advancement, pure and simple. It is not allowed.

 

That said, in my son's troop most of the troop committee attends most of the meetings and activities. Because of that, we know who is there and who is not, and why not. If we don't know why not, we ask. If the boy is frequently absent, someone contacts him to see if there is a problem or need we're unaware of. While we don't expect a certain percentage of attendance at meetings, attendance and participation reflect on Scout Spirit and on demonstration of leadership as pertains to the POR, so it does have a bearing on advancement. The BOR has the right to refuse advancement, and the responsibility to assist the scout to improve and advance. We do take into consideration circumstances that may hinder a scout from attending regularly. We also encourage those who cannot attend to make sure they are informed of what the troop and their patrol are doing so they can participate whenever possible. And, yes, we do get a little fussy when a scout could attend/participate but chooses not to. (I am human enough to compare scouts, for instance, who are in sports together if one manages to make the last few minutes of the meetings after practice and the other just goes home.)

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