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scoutmaster refused to sign off on conference

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#5 The adult leaders job is to TRAIN junior leaders and help them to learn and practice leadership skills not remove them from office.

I partially agree. The adult leaders' job is to train the youth leaders. But, IMO, part of the training is instilling respect for the position and assuming the responsibility that if the position is not being filled in a satisfactory way, corrections, up to and including removal may be employed.


And I would add that the scout has the ability to fail here also. Scouts can participate in leadership training, be taught how to set goals, given expectations for the position, and still decide not to put in the effort to fulfill the requirements of the job, (especially if he thinks that he will get his reward regardless).


I do not believe it is within the adult leaders responsibility to make sure that a scout fulfills the duties of his PositionOfResponsibility any more than it is a teacher's responsibility to make sure that every student gets a 100 on every assignment; that takes the Responsibility away from the scout and puts it on the SM. Provide Encouragment motivatation, and advice, yes. But lead him by the hand so that he does not need to take responsibility for himself, or tell him he did a good job even if he did no job - I don't see that as being consistent with the aims.

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A few quibbles.


First, if you look in the Handbook, it clearly contemplates that the Scoutmaster Conference for a rank takes place after all of the other requirements have been completed. Thus, it seems to me that if at a Scoutmaster Conference, it is determined that one of the other requirements hasn't been done, then another Conference needs to be done after the requirement has been completed. I think this could be made clearer in the requirements themselves, but the Handbook makes it pretty clear.


Second, the "active" and "Scout spirit" requirements must be signed off by a leader, just as the requirement to earn a specified number of merit badges. That means that the leader must have some means of determining whether these requirements have been met.

I think there are more than two schools of thought about what constitutes "active." One school of thought is that the troop should set specific numerical criteria on "active." Another is that the SM and the scout should agree in advance what constitutes "active" for that boy, and that if he achieves that, he gets the sign-off. A third school of thought is that the SM gets to decide after the fact if the boy has been "active" enough, based on the SM's personal feelings. A fourth school of thought is that the scout gets to decide after the fact if he's been active enough. A final approach would be that if the boy is registered, he's active in the eyes of BSA (it's been claimed that this is the criterion on appeal). Personally, I think that only the first two approaches are sensible and workable, and that the second is probably the best.

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Well, if you guys remember, more than a few months ago, I was asking for opinions on how my really bad troop ran things. So I'll bring up a point someone brought up then. But first,

Scoutfamily, I'm really sorry you guys have to go thru this, but believe me I feel for you.

In my troop when the not-so-scoutly scoutmaster had a grudge against one of the guys, it was the Scout spirit requirement that was held over their heads as unsatisfactory. The way my troop worked it, the spirt req was signed off as part of your SMC. Looking back, it would be far better for a conversation between the boy, his parents and a committee member to decide that requirement, because the Committee member could uphold some standard, the boy could defend himself and hopefully, the parents were paying attention to the kids actions in the prior months. But I digress. It seems to me that the Den Chief position meets the requirement fine, especially if the den leader and jr leaders of the troop were fine with the boy's performance. the scoutmaster really shouldn't have much of an argument, since most of the work in that position was done when he wasn't around (since I'm assuming that den meetings took place at a different time/place)


I'd say change troops, especially since your son is relatively young compared to how far along in rank he is. (I was 15 when I got life, and I still made Eagle without feeling rushed!! :-D) So with that in mind, Congrats on your accomplishments thusfar, in my opinion they appear to be well earned, and good luck in achieving the rest of your goals.

-Curtis H. :-D

Phil. 3:8-9

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Like BW and others here, I suspect the time is near to change troops.


Expect to re-start the 6 months for leadership and Scout spirit. Some SMs will accept prior service; others will say "I want to work with your son and see him in action. I want to do my job of being a mentor."


Some questions the parent should ask SMs of troops they are looking at for this transfer:


"How does the PLC and you get a boy active and involved? Are there holes in the leadership structure needing filling?" -- The point of this question is large troops often have all positions filled. There IS the option of a Scoutmaster approved leadership project, but you as parents want to know the SM know his youth leaders. If not, RED FLAG!


"How do you integrate new parents into the adult operations of the Troop?" Being part of the solution and helping fill transportation, record-management, or special skills holes looks/sounds/IS a way to demonstrate your commitment to the Scouting process.


"What program opportunities do you encourage Scouts to explore?" A Troop that has/leverages unit JLT, that encourages young men to attend Brownsea/NYLT, that has a high adventure trip in addition to summer camp, that uses the OA program to foster leadership in older youth ... is one that is looking to make a young man reach for the brass rings!


Finally, look around: Is the equipment cared for? Are the youth smiling and happy. Do they have their heads in a huddle, thinking of *something* to do (and yes, some mischief can be a good thing), or are they *bumps on the log?*


Good hunting.

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