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SM pulls rank advancement after successful BOR


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#41 NJCubScouter

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Posted 21 November 2016 - 05:02 PM

I have heard of two incidents in our troop involving boys being sent home from a camping trip:

 

One boy chasing another with an axe.  (I was not told how close Scout A came to catching Scout B before the adults stepped in.  My impression is that nobody really thought Scout A was actually intending to strike Scout B with the axe, but one does not need too much imagination to picture what could happen if Scout A, while running with the axe, happened to trip on a rock, resulting in a potentially very bad day for Scout B, or Scout A himself, or innocent bystanders C, D or E who happened to be standing in the wrong place at the wrong time.)

 

One 11-year-old Scout who was sitting across a mess hall table from an older Scout (15 or so) and the two were having a disagreement over something, and the new Scout decided the way to resolve the dispute was to take his fork (I think it was plastic but I am not certain) and stab the older Scout in the hand.  With some force, so plastic or not, some blood was drawn, but there was no serious injury.  The stabber's parents were "asked" to take him home and the troop ever heard from them again.  (I heard this story in greater detail than the other one because the Star Witness for the Prosecution happened to be my son.  He was sitting next to the older Scout trying to eat his breakfast when forks started flying.)

 

So I think it is fair to say that when a Scout is sent home from camp in our troop, it was really the only option under the circumstances.


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#42 krikkitbot

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Posted 21 November 2016 - 05:16 PM

As all things post BoR, not relevant under mandatory BSA procedures to the rank advancement approved by the BoR .

 

4.2.1.4 The Scout Is Recognized

When the board of review has approved his advancement, the Scout deserves recognition as soon as possible. This should be done at a ceremony at the next unit meeting. His achievement may be recognized again later, during a formal court of honor.

I wasn't talking about the rank that was taken back. I was talking about the next rank, Star in this case. And, again, it depends on the offence. 


Edited by krikkitbot, 21 November 2016 - 05:19 PM.

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#43 TAHAWK

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Posted 21 November 2016 - 06:01 PM

Point taken.  It could possibly fall under Scout Spirit.


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#44 skeptic

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Posted 21 November 2016 - 06:28 PM

IF I understand the advancement accounting system, once the rank is officially granted, which is the time of the board completion and approval, then it is in effect.  I suppose if there was some really unusual situation that could negate the approval, it could happen, but not just at the whim of a SM or other troop, or even council leader.

 

Certainly, if there was an actual valid concern for some reason, the troop committee would be well served to meet and come up with a plan, which perhaps could lead to a freeze of rank and removal of leadership, and maybe even more severe in extreme cases.  But, the event you suggest is simply not valid as described, and if perhaps warranted should still be approved by the committee.

 


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#45 TAHAWK

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Posted 21 November 2016 - 06:30 PM

Only the National Council could take back a rank since only it has the power to add anything to the requirements.


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#46 CaliGirl

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Posted 21 November 2016 - 06:56 PM

Thank you all for your responses.  To clarify here, the reason he was asked to leave a camp out had nothing to do with violence of any kind, weapons, fire, profanity, drugs or alcohol.  He provided an honest opinion and it was not appreciated, that is all.  

 

My Scout would just like the rank that he earned months ago and will forgo the COH.  Not looking to get anyone in trouble here.  Would just like to move on...


Edited by CaliGirl, 21 November 2016 - 07:12 PM.

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#47 Tampa Turtle

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Posted 22 November 2016 - 07:37 AM

I did not disagree about sending a boy home...even I have done that. But I would not strip a rank because of it.

 

We don't know why the boy was sent home from the camp out.  

 

It is sometimes necessary to send boys home.  I wouldn't criticize or disparage a Scoutmaster for sending a boy home unless I was confident that I knew all the facts.

 

It is a serious thing to send a boy home, and it should only be done when it is absolutely necessary, but sometimes it is necessary.


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#48 qwazse

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Posted 22 November 2016 - 08:05 AM

I did not disagree about sending a boy home...even I have done that. But I would not strip a rank because of it.

It is not the SM's prerogative to strip rank. I think, in the first years of scouting, it could have been the SPL's under certain conditions (e.g. failure to demonstrate a skill). But, I get the impression that that processes was not uniformly used and soon abandoned.

 

We get the discipline a troop needs from its boys because, having achieved a certain rank, we ask them to live up to it. (E.g., simply saying, "You're a First Class scout, act like it." can quickly modify a lot of behavior.)

 

Therefore, sending a boy home when there is no risk to life or limb is pointless. Creating drama of a youth who respectfully disagrees is detrimental to morale.

 

Was the root cause was the SM or the boy? Transferring to another troop might be the best way to find out.


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#49 krypton_son

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Posted 22 November 2016 - 08:56 AM

Yeah, they should never be punished because of their opinion.  The leaders in our Troop disagree on a lot of things, especially like hot button issues (gays in scouts, etc.), but none of us would ever punish or shun any of the others because of their differing opinions.


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#50 Stosh

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Posted 22 November 2016 - 10:03 AM

The only time I "held back" a scout from advancement was in the case of the Eagle Scout candidate who I have mentioned in previous posts.  It would seem that council would not schedule an EBOR with the scout without a formal recommendation from the SM.  THAT is an inappropriate requirement on the part of the council!!  The boy had pulled a major infraction and so I didn't feel it necessary to "reward" him with a SM recommendation for Eagle. 

 

This went on for 6 months during which time the boy had the opportunity to convince me he was Eagle material....which he did and I issued the council a recommendation which read, "This scout has fulfilled all the requirements for the Eagle rank."  When the council questioned it, I informed them that their SM recommendation requirement was inappropriate in regards to the requirements of the BSA rank advancement policy.  They scheduled his EBOR very quickly after that.

 

I don't mind giving a boy a second, third, fourth  chance from failure, it's what I teach my troop's program.  Failure is what what I get, but I never accept it,  Either the boy wins or he learns.  As long as he sticks to that premise, he stays in the troop and works at growing up.


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Stosh

 

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


#51 Tampa Turtle

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Posted 22 November 2016 - 11:02 AM

Seems to me sending a boy home for voicing dissent, as long as it was respectful, will quickly kill any Boy Led momentum in a unit. In our Troop a boy was sent home because he was screaming for an hour in the face of the SM on how he didn't have to listen to the SM, the SPL, and how everyone sucked (this was after being reprimanded for almost burning down a tent with 3 scouts in it as a practical joke). He had to be quashed.

 

That kid was real rude and his Mom backed him up 100% so we never saw him again. He was really out of line. If he had come back and just apologized we would have welcomed him back. It is a shame since the kid has gotten in  alot of trouble since scouting.

 

Even for all that he was given his rank at the next COH (in absentia) cause he had earned it and been signed off.

 

The only time I could see removing a rank might be in a case of fraud (he never did the MB in question or something).


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#52 Eagle94-A1

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Posted 22 November 2016 - 11:51 AM

One of the guys in my Sea Scout ship got sent home from jamboree for destroying about $3000 worth of gear. I knew the story, but not who it was until an incident with the Ship and his mom told me. Mom backed up the adults.

 

Had to send another "Scout" home for assaulting a leader with a tree branch. That was touch as the adult defended himself and did make contact with the "Scout."  Mom supported the "Scout," despite the fact that the "scout" assaulted the adult in front of the entire troop and other adults.

 

Incident at a camp I worked at involved a "scout" whose parents refused to pick him up after 3 attempts by the troop's adults to get the parents to pick him up. Camp director got involved, and called the parents while they were still on vacation at Disney. When they refused, the CD gave them a deadline to pick up their son, or he was going to report either an abandoned child or Trespassing child to child protective services.  The parents made it with about 30 minutes to spare.

 

Worse case was sending home an entire troop. Adults with them couldn't control the kids, and they destroyed about $60,000 worth of property at the camp. All but 1 was sent home via the sheriff's department. That one was not a trouble maker, he actually wanted to be a Scout, and was hidden by  some of the youth staffers. Long story short, 2 staffers had to drive him home, and prevent dad from putting a belt to his butt. 


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#53 frankpalazzi

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Posted 23 November 2016 - 08:54 PM

@David CO The rank advancement was not submitted to the registrar and the COH has already taken place.  I had the registrar run my son's report to confirm.  It was also missing some recent training.

 

I understand that the demerit policy falls outside of the BSA program.  I also understand the need for rules, however what was outlined in the Troop Code of Conduct is not being enforced.  There has not been any positive reinforcement here - at all.

 

Not we wait.

This SM is completely clueless. Find another troop now.


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#54 David CO

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Posted 23 November 2016 - 10:05 PM

Hi Frank,

 

It doesn't sound to me like this Scoutmaster is clueless.  He sounds to me like an experienced leader who, for one reason or another, is at the end of his rope.  


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#55 NJCubScouter

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Posted 25 November 2016 - 11:59 AM

Hi Frank,

 

It doesn't sound to me like this Scoutmaster is clueless.  He sounds to me like an experienced leader who, for one reason or another, is at the end of his rope.  

 

The fact is, we don't really know why this SM is doing what he is doing.  We only know WHAT he has done, as reported by the original poster.  We could speculate about the reasons until the cows come home.  Here are a few possibilities:  It could be that he is "clueless", which I would take to mean that he does not know what the rules are.  It could be that he has a vague idea of what the rules are but is filling in the blanks with what he thinks is his "authority" as SM.  It could be that he knows perfectly well what the rules are, but "this is how we've always done it" and if it's worked for us for the past x years, it works for us now, regardless of what the BSA says.  Or it could be he is "at the end of his rope" dealing with disciplinary problems.   And even within that one, there are different possibilities.  Maybe he can no longer tell the difference between a serious infraction and a minor infraction and has decided that the penalty for all of them includes making a Scout wait at least 3 months (or whatever it is) before the troop will submit an advancement report for a rank that has already been earned.  Or it could be some combination of these things, or others I haven't thought of.  wh Bottom line is, I don't know why this SM does what he does, nor does it necessarily matter to the limited question of whether this Scout should be getting his First Class rank.  Depending on what the answer is, it may tell something about whether this person should be SM anymore, but we just don't know enough.

 

I think this is what often happens in this forum, someone asks a relatively simple question and many of us (sometimes including myself, though I try to keep to a minimum) find it necessary to add in why we think a person (who we don't know) is doing what he is doing, and all kinds of other speculation and conjecture, and then we get into arguments about whose speculation is correct.  If I recall correctly, the original poster asked whether the SM could do what he did.  No, he can't.  I think we have helped the original poster.  That's pretty good.


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#56 SSScout

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Posted 26 November 2016 - 02:45 PM

Can we agree that the pummeling of this non-breathing equine is finito ?


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#57 NJCubScouter

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Posted 27 November 2016 - 03:14 PM

Can we agree that the pummeling of this non-breathing equine is finito ?

 

Hopefully CaliGirl will let us know how things turned out with council and/or the new troop though.


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#58 The Latin Scot

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Posted 28 November 2016 - 11:38 AM

Wow, I am shocked to read about a Scoutmaster pulling a stunt like this. Sadly, it's not the first time I have heard of such a move.

 

First off: if a Scoutmaster tries to strip a boy of his rank (which is utterly beyond his prerogative), the boy can and should refuse to allow the demotion.

 

I was part of a rather pathetic troop in my days as a Boy Scout; the leaders were incompetent, the boys all troubled, and with the exception of my brother and I, nobody cared much for the program, nor understood how it worked. Well, when I was almost 12 and after a particularly grueling camp out that had to miss, one leader was especially mad at the way things were going with the younger group of scouts (which happened to by my age group), and decided that all the boys in the New Scout Patrol would be pulled back one rank.

 

I had not been on that camp out, and my behavior had never been anything less than exemplary, so when I was told at the weekly meeting that my rank was being pulled along with the rest of the boys in my patrol, I simply refused. The leader tried to explain that he knew I wasn't guilty of any misconduct, but that the boys needed to be taught a lesson, and that he would even make it extra-easy for me to re-achieve the rank since I had a solid history of being obedient. Still, I refused. I explained that official BSA policy did not allow for such an action (my mother taught me well), and that I would not be turning over any rank, merit badge, or award of any kind to the Scoutmaster, because he did not have the authority to take them.

 

In my case, the Scoutmaster relented; it helped that I had a perfect record of behavior that he really couldn't speak against. But the principle is the same. If your son has earned a rank in the BSA program, the Scoutmaster cannot strip him of it. Teach this to your son and instruct him very clearly that he is completely within his rights to refuse such an order; this is a boy-run program, and he needs to know that he has this privilege - in this case, the right to refuse an order given without authority. It might appear obstinate, but sometimes, the boys aren't the only ones who need to be taught a lesson. As long as he is remains polite and calm about it, he should be able to maintain the upperhand in this unfortunate battle.


Edited by The Latin Scot, 28 November 2016 - 11:41 AM.

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Hearken world, and listen up! There is no such word as "Webelo." If your son is an older Cub Scout, he is NOT a "Webelo!"

The singular of Webelos Scout is ... WEBELOS SCOUT!  That's it! Please take the extra half second and get it right! Thank you for indulging my little pet peeve!

 

Did I mention my obnoxious OCD?  :D 

 


#59 CaliGirl

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Posted 13 January 2017 - 08:47 AM

Unfortunately this issue still has not been resolved.  The original Boy Scout Troop now contends that his Board of Review NEVER took place, despite the fact that the Committee Members signed his book.  I am absolutely flabbergasted by the lies and behavior of these adult leaders.  Their actions are so far out of line with BSA guidelines and expectations. I am sorry to say that we are seriously considering leaving Boy Scouts.


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#60 gumbymaster

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Posted 13 January 2017 - 10:16 AM

While I can understand the sentiment, please do not let the actions of a rogue troop color your opinion of all the BSA.

 

The BSA is made of a diverse group, as you should be able to tell through the differing opinions on the wide range of subjects of these forums.  We are people, and people make mistakes.  People can also rise to the occasion.  For most of the Scouters out there, we really want to help the youth grow into the best possible person they can become.

 

With a signed book, unless every member of that board of review is willing to lie and say their signature was forged, you should be able to move into the new unit with the presumption of the award.  The Boy Scout book is also a valid record and proof - regardless of what is or is not entered into the BSA advancement database.

 

If the new unit is not comfortable putting in the advancement record based on the other troop's signatures, while regrettable, that is also understandable - they really do not know what is going on here.  If you know anyone at the district level, talk with them.  A unit commissioner for either the new or old unit would be ideal, the district advancement chair may also be a good choice.  They may have the ability to record the advancement in your son's official record directly - once they understand the situation.


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