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Patrol leader election questions


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#41 Krampus

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Posted 28 April 2016 - 03:09 PM

Joe Smith

"According to Assistant Scoutmaster Joe Smith from Troop 1002 in Richmond, Texas, many Scouters mistakenly think a troop is either Scout-led or it’s not. Instead, he points out that being Scout-led is “a spectrum, not a condition; the level of independence given to the boys is dependent on the maturity and cultural personality of the troop.”"

 

I think he's pointing to the reality we all see. Some units are boy led, some are not. The issue is not with the boys, but the adults unwilling to deal with the controlled chaos necessary for boys to learn...especially young, immature boys who don't know better.

 

I see a lot of troops from that area of Texas that say they are boy led but are really adult run. February we were at a State Park camping. Four other troops there.

 

Troop #1 wakes up at 5:30am, makes a HUGE racket getting up and packing. Only have a 2 hour drive to get home. Leave their camp sites a mess and honk their horns as a wake up call to get the boys up.

 

Troop #2 wakes up at 7am. The adults make breakfast for everyone. No cooking or KP, just doughnuts, cereal and playing around. Adults in charge shouting for boys to do this and do that.

 

Troop #3 wakes up at 7am. Cook breakfast. Half the troop doing work, the other half trashing the bathroom. Adults sitting down letting the Lord of the Flies routine to continue for three hours. Kids running all over every camp site, yelling, screaming and stepping on wild flowers and fauna.

 

Troop #4 wakes up at 7am. SPL tells the PLs to keep voices to whispers. Every patrol cooks a hot breakfast. Patrol QMs check out patrol gear during breakfast. KP takes a while but is eventually done well. All gear is checked and approved to be turned in to the QM. Again, takes a while but the boys are in charge...and quiet.

 

Troops #1, #2 and #3 are visited often by the Ranger for various infractions. Troop #3 is put on a list not to come back to that park because of the damage to the bathroom. These troops are all from the Houston area. All adult run.

 

Troop #4 was praised by the Ranger and give stickers for being so good and quiet. Only boy led troop of the four.


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#42 TAHAWK

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Posted 28 April 2016 - 03:22 PM

If you read the article, it is a defense of units not being Scout-led because they are "not ready" and have the wrong "culture."  A a result, the boys do not run things as "smoothly" as the adults and so need more preparation to be "ready."  "Oh we're all for it - when they're ready." Until then, we play and they watch.


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#43 Krampus

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Posted 28 April 2016 - 03:25 PM

If you read the article, it is a defense of units not being Scout-led because they are "not ready" and have the wrong "culture."  A a result, the boys do not run things as "smoothly" as the adults and so need more preparation to be "ready."  "Oh we're all for it - when they're ready." Until then, we play and they watch.

 

It appeared to me the article was how to make your troop boy led (or more boy led).

 

The comments below were, well, a bit disappointing.


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#44 Stosh

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Posted 28 April 2016 - 03:36 PM

@TAHAWK and @Krampus

 

One must also remember that there are troops out there that use the "Patrol Method" where the PL's are assigned by the SM, the patrol members are dictated by the SM nd these patrols  are assigned by the SM & staff as to who cleans the latrines, who cooks the troop meals, who does the campfire, etc.  An ASM advisor is assigned to make sure they are guided and mentored into compliance of their duties.  The SPL of these troops is, if not the SM's son, at least one of the sons of an ASM.

 

Now one has the "Patrol Method" in place, every boy is assigned a PL and a patrol and given a patch and having been given their directives, they are to "lead" their patrol in whatever is mentored by the SM.  The SPL, will report back to the adults whether or not the work has been completed.

 

And there you have it, the perfect Boy Led, Patrol Method troop!

 

And that, my dear friends is exactly what my first troop was all about and the SM was Silver Beaver as were two of the ASM's and this troop went every year to summer camp and either Sea Base, Philmont or Northern Tier.  Of course the SM assigned ad hoc patrols at Camporees guaranteed a high number of blue ribbons at the patrol competitions and accolades from the SE on down.  This was the model troop that all other troops were encouraged to emulate.  The SM's oldest son's picture hangs prominently in the Council Office.  It's the only picture hung.

 

And yes, I'm a bit touchy about the subject of Boy Led, Patrol Method.  :)


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#45 Beavah

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Posted 29 April 2016 - 11:24 AM

If you read the article, it is a defense of units not being Scout-led because they are "not ready" and have the wrong "culture."  A a result, the boys do not run things as "smoothly" as the adults and so need more preparation to be "ready."  "Oh we're all for it - when they're ready."

 

Yah, sometimes this is really the case, eh?

 

If you're startin' a new troop with a bunch of 10 year olds, then it's really silly if yeh think the lads are goin' to right off the bat be makin' outing plans from scratch, callin' to negotiate prices and make reservations, plan safety and food and instructional activities and all da rest on their own.

 

So yeh figure out what's reasonable for them to do with some coaching, and yeh handle the rest.  

 

As they grow, yeh quietly fade and shift more of da challenge on to them, eh?

 

Success in small things gives 'em da practice and confidence they need to tackle bigger things.   Boys' success in small things while communication and safety seem strong gives parents comfort and confidence to let their boys tackle bigger things on their own. 

 

Patrol Method, youth leadership, and all of Scoutin' are a journey, eh?  Sometimes you're climbin' a mountain together with some young hikers and yeh have to take more of da load and be more encouragin'.   Sometimes you're cruisin' on the flat or the downhill and they're goin' on their own.   Yah, and sometimes as yeh get old and crotchety it's the lads helpin' da adults up the mountain. :)

 

There are lots of ways to travel on da Journey of Scoutin', and lots of different roads to da destination, and lots of different groups on the trail.

 

Beavah


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#46 Stosh

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Posted 29 April 2016 - 12:05 PM

As one who is starting a new troop over the course of the last year or so, I can assure everyone that it doesn't take all that much training to get the 9-10 year old Webelos boys on-board with the Patrol Method and Boy Led concepts.  I am presently doing WDL for 3 different Packs.  One pack does not have a WDL, another has a WDL who doesn't do anything and the third WDL is trying but is struggling.  My troop offered its services to provide a AOL program for the boys so they can cross over early and get out of their respective disastrous Webelos dens. 

 

Well, they have formed into dens/patrols of their own choosing, they have selected den/patrol leaders.  As they prepare for their first outing, they have worked up a list of gear needed for each boy.  They have worked out the cost, they have come up with a menu, and have been doing their AOL thing which runs remarkably like an introduction to the patrol method and boy led and paralleled in the scout and tenderfoot ranks.  Go figure!

 

So in fact when these boys cross over they will already have a head start on the boys who didn't take the AOL training.  One can lay the foundation of boy led patrol method rather quickly and effectively if one assumes that these boys can be trusted to understand.  By the time these boys are 12 years old they will have had 2 years experience with the model.  If one takes on 11 year old boys, mix them into various patrols, let them observe and somehow through osmosis absorb the concepts, then when they get FC and are 13 years of age, then they can start on their formal NYLT training. 

 

It's rather strange that 11 year olds can fully understand GBB Leadership Training, be oriented to boy led, patrol method and have two years of leadership experience that by the time they reach eligibility for NYLT they are finding that by attending, it is (in their words) "a waste of time." 

 

There are two goals running simultaneously for the NSP in my troops,  1) First Class rank and 2) a functional patrol.   I find the boys get to functional patrol before they get to First Class rank.... :)

 

I have heard that many of the boys in this group of Webelos will have their parents check off their advancement and progress into other troops in the area.  That's fine with me.  Those boys got their citizenship discussion with a teacher or maybe some community leader.  My boys got a visit from a state senator.  Sometimes quality does pay off in the long run.


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#47 TAHAWK

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Posted 29 April 2016 - 01:52 PM

Yah, sometimes this is really the case, eh?

 

If you're startin' a new troop with a bunch of 10 year olds, then it's really silly if yeh think the lads are goin' to right off the bat be makin' outing plans from scratch, callin' to negotiate prices and make reservations, plan safety and food and instructional activities and all da rest on their own.

 

So yeh figure out what's reasonable for them to do with some coaching, and yeh handle the rest.  

 

As they grow, yeh quietly fade and shift more of da challenge on to them, eh?

 

Success in small things gives 'em da practice and confidence they need to tackle bigger things.   Boys' success in small things while communication and safety seem strong gives parents comfort and confidence to let their boys tackle bigger things on their own. 

 

Patrol Method, youth leadership, and all of Scoutin' are a journey, eh?  Sometimes you're climbin' a mountain together with some young hikers and yeh have to take more of da load and be more encouragin'.   Sometimes you're cruisin' on the flat or the downhill and they're goin' on their own.   Yah, and sometimes as yeh get old and crotchety it's the lads helpin' da adults up the mountain. :)

 

There are lots of ways to travel on da Journey of Scoutin', and lots of different roads to da destination, and lots of different groups on the trail.

 

Beavah

Negotiate prices for what?  Reservations with whom or with what?  Minors cannot enter into binding contracts.  Does the grocer negotiate with any customer over the price of a couple pounds of ground meat.  Will a council negotiate with Scouts to reserve a site for Summer Camp?

 

If I am the SM of a new troop, as the Scouts meet in their patrols exclusively for a couple of months, what should I expect them to do?  I hope I have learned to expect what kids that age CAN do.  "To a boy's standard, of course."  What they will be able to do will change with experience in doing.

 

Coaching, encouraging, counseling, and being a resource can, I think, be separated from making decisions.

 

To the extent that I would make decisions I would be depriving them of practice in making decisions  -  taking the balls, bats, gloves and balls and playing the boys' game - for them?  No, for me.


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#48 qwazse

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Posted 29 April 2016 - 03:14 PM

Negotiate prices for what?  Reservations with whom or with what?  Minors cannot enter into binding contracts.  Does the grocer negotiate with any customer over the price of a couple pounds of ground meat.  Will a council negotiate with Scouts to reserve a site for Summer Camp?....

It's not that far fetched. I have crew youth who want to negotiate some steak dinners with a ranger for service time fixing up a rather neglected camp. I forwarded the youth the phone #. It's on them to give him a call and figure out a reasonable date and exactly how many youth he wanted to extend this offer to. (Actually, the one youth turns 18 tomorrow. So, he could negotiate that legalese.)

 

No reason why a PL or QM can't do those work-for-food contract negotiations. Most of us in these parts accept handshakes as binding.

 

For the rest of the BSA-required hoops, my preference is to have youth assemble all of the necessary paperwork. Fill it out. Come to me for review and a signature.

 

No reason why a patrol can't achieve that level of proficiency (where THEY tell ME the plan) for most camp-outs.


Edited by qwazse, 29 April 2016 - 03:15 PM.

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#49 TAHAWK

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Posted 29 April 2016 - 03:16 PM

The exception that proofs the rule. Always exists.  Hence, "Never say 'never.'"


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#50 Beavah

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Posted 01 May 2016 - 08:14 AM

Negotiate prices for what?  Reservations with whom or with what?  Minors cannot enter into binding contracts.  Does the grocer negotiate with any customer over the price of a couple pounds of ground meat.  Will a council negotiate with Scouts to reserve a site for Summer Camp?

 

....

 

Coaching, encouraging, counseling, and being a resource can, I think, be separated from making decisions.

 

Negotiate prices for whatever, eh?   Lots of times when units go places as a group yeh can negotiate group rates or whatnot.  Have a troop where da ASPL did that this winter for a cabin/lodge for a combined skiing / snow outing, for example.   

 

Reservations for whatever, eh?   Campsites, events, lodgin'.  

 

And yah, sure, sometimes da grocer will negotiate too, eh?   I've had OA lads do that with local grocers for service events.

 

Why take those things away from the boys?  Both are skills a lot of lads need when it comes time for Eagle projects. ;)

 

On da flipside, though, we do make decisions all the time, eh?   Havin' an SPL is a decision that lots of troops make for kids, for example.   Yeh could just have PLs, eh?  Probably should just have PLs until a troop gets large enough for them to decide they need such a thing.   But that's an example of makin' decisions as adults that provide da structure for kids to work within, eh?   Sometimes yeh do that.

 

Lots of troops make budgetin' and finance decisions,  or safety planning decisions, or car travel/navigation decisions,  or negotiatin' for services or makin' reservations instead of coachin' the lads.    No particular reason not to train 'em, trust 'em, let 'em lead for those things, eh?   Unless they're not quite there yet, and it's more important to just provide that structure while yeh let 'em work on other things like makin' good meal decisions or how to work with a younger lad with special needs.    All things in balance.   Yeh just need to be aware of such choices so that as the lads grow, yeh fade adult support and let the boys take over that work, too.

 

Beavah


Edited by Beavah, 01 May 2016 - 08:16 AM.

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#51 TAHAWK

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Posted 01 May 2016 - 08:51 AM

If you define "negotiate" as reaching a non-binding agreement, no reason why you can't try having Scouts negotiate for lodging and campsites.  It would be a good experience so long as they don,t get too bummed out if the adult on the other side changes his/her mind.  Even that experience would be a useful lesson, if handled correctly.  Then there is, of course, the Personal Management Merit Badge, which has the potential to teach much of what you have identified as valuable ( a decent Merit Badge pamphlet would help).

 

Before we had Senior Patrol Leader we had senior Patrol Leader.  (BSA still does not understand why "the senior patrol leader" and "the patrol leader" are incorrect.  Somehow they get "the Scoutmaster" right.)  No reason a senior Patrol Leader cannot chair the  PLC.  Maintaining all the administrative overhead in a tiny troop does seem questionable. In fact,  I think BSA should go back to chartering "Neighborhood Patrols."

 

Of course adults create the structure (such as when Bill convinced West to allow Scouts to elect leaders).), Adults have had that function from the first patrols and troops in the UK.  The luminaries we quote on the Patrol Method helped create that order, so there is no argument from authority to support a different system.  

 

I recognize that one might argue for a different structure from one's own personal view of how things should be, Bill Hillcourt to the contrary not withstanding.  Adults do that all the time in explaining why the Patrol Method, or some aspect of it (like youth leadership) is all wrong today. "Maybe it worked then, bit kids are different.now." (A corollary to "Kids these days!")

 

Under our structure, adults have the nondeligible duty to do their best to make Scouting a safe place for Scouts.  Scouts can act as "force multiplier," and their good judgement and self-discipline makes the adults' job easier, but adults leading on safety issues is not supposed to be optional.   Safety is an adult function.

 

Rule No. 76:

• You can tell some Scoutmasters there are four billion stars in the universe and he believes you, but tell him the Senior Patrol Leader is supposed to be running the troop meeting and he looks at you like you’ve just had frogs leap out of your mouth.

 

By "Andy"


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#52 Beavah

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Posted 04 May 2016 - 09:24 AM

If you define "negotiate" as reaching a non-binding agreement, no reason why you can't try having Scouts negotiate for lodging and campsites.  It would be a good experience so long as they don,t get too bummed out if the adult on the other side changes his/her mind.

 

Yah, I know several units where da Scouts handle all da reservations and negotiations.   It's well within da abilities of high schoolers or loquacious middle schoolers.  They make a deposit with da troop debit card or a scouter's card or by havin' da treasurer send a check.  Never had an outfitter or other adult change their mind.  Most of the time they're surprised and impressed they were dealin' with a youth.

 

Under our structure, adults have the nondeligible duty to do their best to make Scouting a safe place for Scouts.  Scouts can act as "force multiplier," and their good judgement and self-discipline makes the adults' job easier, but adults leading on safety issues is not supposed to be optional.   Safety is an adult function.

 

Yah, ultimately.

 

I think our goal is to help kids have da judgment and skills to be safe on their own, though... even outside of Scoutin'.   If we have scouts drown at some school event or out playin' on their own because we never taught 'em how to be safe on their own, that's on us, eh?   We're supposed to be helpin' 'em Be Prepared for life.

 

Da only way to help 'em Be Prepared for life is to let 'em take charge and practice while we're still in the background.  

 

So I'd say safety is like everything else, eh?   It's somethin' that we adults handle sometimes, but it's somethin' that we should be shifting to the boys as they become capable.  There's no reason why a group of swim team highschoolers can't run Safe Swim Defense, eh?   They're probably stronger swimmers and better lifeguards than the adults.   There's no reason why a PL shouldn't do a safety plan and manage safety for his patrol's outing, or why an Eagle candidate shouldn't be fully thinkin' through and providin' for safety on his project.

 

Train 'em, trust 'em, let 'em lead.

 

Beavah


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#53 TAHAWK

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Posted 04 May 2016 - 12:09 PM

Reservation Deposit: ALL units will be required to deposit (as a new check) of $100.00 with this application. This fee is part of your total 2017 bill, and not an additional fee. This fee does not roll and must be accompanied by a check.

 

___________________________________________________

Signed by Unit Leader                                                   Date


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#54 qwazse

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Posted 04 May 2016 - 03:08 PM

Reservation Deposit: ALL units will be required to deposit (as a new check) of $100.00 with this application. This fee is part of your total 2017 bill, and not an additional fee. This fee does not roll and must be accompanied by a check.

 

___________________________________________________

Signed by Unit Leader                                                   Date

 

Kid calls camp director: "Sir, as opposed to your published program, we'd like the entire week at outpost camp and will bring our own MBs, food and shelter to the camp who makes us the best offer. What will yours be?"

Follow-up: "Your offer was accepted, can you draw up a contract for me to give to whomever you need in our unit for sign-off? In what amount should I tell our treasurer to draft the check for the deposit?"

 

I just saw a scout (also staff's camp) going over with the CC the list of MB's the boys need to schedule. Man-hours could have been cut in half, just loan the boy the labtop!


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#55 Beavah

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Posted 05 May 2016 - 08:34 AM

Reservation Deposit: ALL units will be required to deposit (as a new check) of $100.00 with this application. This fee is part of your total 2017 bill, and not an additional fee. This fee does not roll and must be accompanied by a check.

 

___________________________________________________

Signed by Unit Leader                                                   Date

 

Yah, hmmm...   Dat's quite a luddite camp yeh have there.

 

Probably the youth says to himself "Sheesh, what a pain.   I'm goin' to shift da outing to the state park where I can make an online reservation without da hassle." :p

 

Otherwise the lad signs it the same way my secretary signs most of my letters, eh?   He signs my name and then follows it with his initials.   Or he just uses my electronic signature ;) .  Then he goes over to Mrs. Jones da treasurer and picks up a check to mail in.

 

As @qwazse says, the lads do a fine job with just about all of da jobs we think of as "adult" jobs, if we let 'em.   The troops that do let 'em tend to hold on to more of their older scouts, eh?  The troops that don't have boys who fade at around age 16, except for perhaps da one SPL who is doin' a lot.   Contrary to popular opinion, it's not really high adventure that keeps older boys active, it's bein' given real responsibility and scope to practice their growin' abilities.

 

Beavah


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#56 TAHAWK

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Posted 07 May 2016 - 10:59 AM

I have no doubt that many minors are capable of entering into contracts, Scouts or not..

 

They are, however, legally incompetent to do so in all fifty states when last I checked.  

 

Are there ways to get around the rules? Sure.  Scofflaws often succeed in getting around rules.. 

 

Making a reservation is ministerial - no judgement required.  There are more important responsibilities than making a reservation that we should be giving to Scouts (such as playing according to the rules)

 

But the adult troop method prevails - rationalized by the position that all the BSA rules are optional.


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#57 Beavah

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Posted 08 May 2016 - 10:04 AM

Yah, hmmm....

 

Yeh do realize that goin' to a store and buyin' somethin' is enterin' into a contract, right?    Kids do that all the time, in all 50 states.   Kids also serve as babysitters (enterin' into a contract with da parents), as camp staff, as lifeguards, as fast food workers, as lawn mowers and all sorts of other things.

 

Besides, in da case of a troop, the lad wouldn't be actin' on his own behalf, he'd be actin' as agent for the troop.  The troop, whether separately incorporated or as an unincorporated association or as a program of da chartered partner can enter into contracts.  Minors can act as agents in all 50 states and Canada.  All da rest of da world too.

 

So lots of times it's not da case that "rules are optional", eh?  It's just that some folks aren't well informed about how da rules really work. :p

 

There's also nuthin' to stop a troop from puttin' an SPL on as a signer for a troop debit card or credit card.   I knew one troop back before President Obama's over-regulatory credit card law that used to encourage parents to get teens their own bank accounts and credit cards as part of the learnin' for Personal Management MB.   They used a bank program that specialized in such things for young people.   Seemed like it was really effective for preparin' 'em for da real world.  Way more effective than just "discuss with your counselor..."

 

Beavah


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#58 TAHAWK

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Posted 09 May 2016 - 11:38 PM

If you mean a card  for the minor, as opposed to putting the minor on his parents' card, find us a company that will issue a credit card to a minor - without an adult cosigner.  Report back.  

 

Oh, and consider 02/22/2010   :D


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#59 Stosh

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Posted 10 May 2016 - 07:44 AM

Is there any age limits on a pre-paid card, gift card, or debit card on a legitimate bank account?


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Stosh

 

There's a reason why I don't always answer the phone, doorbell or comments on forums.  :)


#60 Beavah

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Posted 10 May 2016 - 08:17 AM

If you mean a card  for the minor, as opposed to putting the minor on his parents' card, find us a company that will issue a credit card to a minor - without an adult cosigner.  Report back.  

 

Oh, and consider 02/22/2010   :D

 

Yah, as you say, da over-regulatory CARD Act made it more difficult for minors, eh? Because it's always better for parents to do for young people what they are capable of doin' for themselves. :p

 

As @Stosh says, because of da CARD Act it's now easier to just use other card types, like debit cards or prepaid cards.   As far as I know, just about every bank/card company offers linked debit card and checking accounts for minors.   One of da legal absurdities is that although a scout of age 12 can have a bank account and debit card, he can't use online banking or change his personal information online until he's 13 because of da COPPA Act... even though da personal information on a bank account is private/confidential.  Yeh gotta love Congress. :rolleyes:

 

Still, kids can also get credit cards so long as their parent co-signs.  That's co-signs da application, eh?  Not co-signs every transaction.  Not so big a deal.  Minors can also get cards if they can show an independent source of income that matches the credit limit.   So a minor with a good job or a trust fund just has extra hoops to jump, but doesn't necessarily need a co-signer on da application.

 

Beavah

 

Spun thread: Modern Banking and Teaching Kids to Fish


Edited by Beavah, 10 May 2016 - 08:36 AM.

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