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#21 NJCubScouter

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Posted 22 March 2017 - 08:52 AM

A scout finishes all his requirements the day before his 18th birthday......except for this EBOR.  Well, Sonny, you had 7 years to figure this out, you knew it was coming, and the rules are the rules.  Too bad. 

 

I would just remind the boy that life is not fair and the rules are the rules.  He's over 18 years of age anyway so he's not a registered Boy Scout and one doesn't need to handle this situation with kid gloves.

 

Life can change in an instant,..... Happy Birthday.

 

 But the Guide to Advancement specifically says the EBOR can take place after the 18th birthday.  (With no permission from anybody within 3 months, or with council permission between 3 and 6 months, or with national approval after that.)  Some Eagle candidates rely on the fact that they can do the EBOR after their birthday.  (Too many, and my son ended up being one of them, and yes, technically he was not a registered member of the BSA at the time he had his EBOR.  Two of our troop's last three Eagles weren't either.)  

 

There is nothing magic in that rule.  The BSA could just as easily decide that the EBOR must take place before the Scout is 18, but I think they would have the change take effect at some future date after announcing it, like 6 to 12 months.  It would effectively shorten the time the Scout has to complete the other requirements, and it would affect different Scouts differently depending on how EBOR's are scheduled in their council.  (Which are two of the reasons it probably will not be changed.)


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#22 4CouncilsScouter

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Posted 22 March 2017 - 09:20 AM

I love the hair splitting here. SMCs are not BORs, so the rank is not done until the BOR is done. That's in the GTA. The Eagle exemption is for Eagle only. You're making up your own rules to suit you and that's unfair.

The Scout and unit leaders had well over a year to make sure their scouts were not impacted. Either the unit leaders or the scouts dropped the ball, but 1/1/17 was a pretty clear deadline. It's March, nearly April and this should have been handled months ago.

Not using the new requirements now is akin to cheating. Sorry.

 

Generally speaking, we expect our unit leadership to provide a program using the most-up-to-date information available. However, at the end of the day, the BSA is a volunteer organization. We rely on our volunteers to do their own research, e.g. Bryan on Scouting, ScoutingWire, Guide to Advancement, but any volunteer will tell this isn't a perfect system.

 

Not saying this right, many unit leaders and Scouts will defer to what's in the handbook they had they joined the unit. If unit leadership is not attending roundtable, or doing their own research, it's very easy for volunteers to take the path of least resistance. We don't exactly make these updates easy to find or compile. How many of the 1 million+ volunteers in the BSA are checking Heath and Safety Alerts, the Training Times, or the Commissioner. We have an information overload for our volunteers, so we strive to keep the program as consistent as possible, and we make our units the best they can be.

 

My two-cents.


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#23 Col. Flagg

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Posted 22 March 2017 - 09:47 AM

If volunteers are missing something as easy as rank advancement changes, I shudder to think what else they are missing in their application of the outdoor program. This is elementary. What happens when it comes to issues of safety such as swimming, boating, shooting sports, etc.?

 

Doesn't every registered Scouter get at least Scouting Magazine? There's a resource that discussed this issue which should have been obvious. Shouldn't UC's have been doing their job and checking with units to make sure they were 1) aware of the changes, and 2) aware of the deadlines.

 

I can sympathize with the "we're just over-worked volunteers" argument, but with the number of resources espousing these changes you'd have to really try not to see them.


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#24 deanofmac

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Posted 22 March 2017 - 10:40 AM

Are we making our own rules? Or, are we reading the GTA as it is written, and proceeding accordingly?

You seem to want to ignore all that verbiage about not holding up a boy because of adults' shortcomings. You also seem to want to ignore the experience of folks who've seen how this stuff has gone on appeal. Isn't that akin to cheating?

 

Yeah sure, @Stosh, but this isn't about the kid's 18th birthday and 7 years as a tenderfoot scout.

 

Lacking other information, this is about the adults not getting their acts together in December to help the boy avoid this situation.

 

Unless @deanofmac, you all did tell the boy to line up his BoR, and he blew you all off.

 

@qwazse I wasn't Scoutmaster last year. Our Asst. Scoutmaster/Advancement Chairman has been in ill health and passed away a couple days ago. I was left in lurch, but I'm learning a lot.

 

This is the only Scout we had in this predicament. After reviewing the newer requirements, I determined that it would not take much effort to "do the right thing" and delay the BOR. The Scout in question was a tad disappointed, but it's not the end of the world. (As a side note I'm not convinced he is really "gung-ho" about Scouting...)  

 

I feel better about the whole thing now. The next task is to reconcile Troop Records (handwritten) to our Troop web site (on Troop Web Host) to Council and National. Wish me luck!

 

Dean


Edited by deanofmac, 22 March 2017 - 10:41 AM.

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Dean Roberts

Scoutmaster, Troop 315 Macomb
I used to be an Owl, C3-133-11
..and a Staffer too! C3-133-14 and C3-133-16


#25 deanofmac

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Posted 22 March 2017 - 10:42 AM

Thank for all of the replies and insights! I'm still learning. They are very much appreciated. I am enjoying the candor of the list!

 

Dean


Edited by deanofmac, 22 March 2017 - 10:42 AM.

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Dean Roberts

Scoutmaster, Troop 315 Macomb
I used to be an Owl, C3-133-11
..and a Staffer too! C3-133-14 and C3-133-16


#26 Col. Flagg

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Posted 22 March 2017 - 11:09 AM

@qwazse I wasn't Scoutmaster last year. Our Asst. Scoutmaster/Advancement Chairman has been in ill health and passed away a couple days ago. I was left in lurch, but I'm learning a lot.

 

This is a very extenuating circumstance. I would, though, wonder why the SM was not more proactive in their role in getting the word out to the Scouts.

 

If you don't have any advancement tracking software, I would recommend getting one (like TroopMaster) to help in your role. This will help identify Scouts that may be in jeopardy like this much sooner.

 

Good luck.


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#27 4CouncilsScouter

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Posted 22 March 2017 - 11:40 AM

deanofmac,

 

No problem, thanks for letting us share a bit of insight.

 

Seconding Col. Flagg's idea, getting some kind of advancement tracking software would be great a resource for your troop. I'd check into Scoutbook and with your council. I know some have started offering the service for free to Scouting units, and there are plans to fully integrate Scoutbook with the BSA's advancement systems!


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#28 Col. Flagg

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Posted 22 March 2017 - 11:54 AM

. I know some have started offering the service for free to Scouting units, and there are plans to fully integrate Scoutbook with the BSA's advancement systems!

 

I'd be careful. Most councils have their own systems and they can vary.


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#29 fred johnson

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Posted 22 March 2017 - 11:56 AM

A guy going for Eagle went past the "grandfather" date given by national for the new EDGE requirement, so he had to complete that to get rank. He didn't because his SMC and BOR were after the start date of that requirement. Council told him to go back and do the requirement.

 

Good thing too, because he would not have made Eagle as a result. I'd get council to weigh in and note in his record their response, otherwise, as well-meaning as everyone is this may come back to bite him.

 

That had to be a troop decision.  EDGE is a life rank requirement.  Councils never see individual rank requirements.  BORs review whether rank requirements are complete.  Life BOR is fully within the troop.  As council doesn't look at individual requirements and council doesn't sit on a Life BOR, it had to be a troop decision.  Even the Eagle BOR only looks at the individual Eagle rank requirements.  It does not go back and re-check all previous rank requirements. 


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#30 perdidochas

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Posted 22 March 2017 - 11:56 AM

But here's a potential problem with that approach: What happens when someone at council looks at his records in Internet Advancement and says, "Gee, your BOR was after 1/1/17 and you should have been using the 2017 requirements."

 

We had that happen 2010 when the requirements changed last time. A guy going for Eagle went past the "grandfather" date given by national for the new EDGE requirement, so he had to complete that to get rank. He didn't because his SMC and BOR were after the start date of that requirement. Council told him to go back and do the requirement.

 

Good thing too, because he would not have made Eagle as a result. I'd get council to weigh in and note in his record their response, otherwise, as well-meaning as everyone is this may come back to bite him.

I don't buy that.  The completion of individual rank requirements are not sent to the Council.  All that is sent is the record of rank completion. 


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#31 perdidochas

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Posted 22 March 2017 - 12:00 PM

That had to be a troop decision.  EDGE is a life rank requirement.  Councils never see individual rank requirements.  BORs review whether rank requirements are complete.  Life BOR is fully within the troop.  As council doesn't look at individual requirements and council doesn't sit on a Life BOR, it had to be a troop decision.  Even the Eagle BOR only looks at the individual Eagle rank requirements.  It does not go back and re-check all previous rank requirements. 

My thoughts as well, the only individual rank requirements national or the council look at are the Eagle ones. The Life and before are all within the Troop, and the only thing sent to Council is rank advancement and merit badges.


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#32 qwazse

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Posted 22 March 2017 - 12:22 PM

@qwazse I wasn't Scoutmaster last year. Our Asst. Scoutmaster/Advancement Chairman has been in ill health and passed away a couple days ago. I was left in lurch, but I'm learning a lot.

 

This is the only Scout we had in this predicament. After reviewing the newer requirements, I determined that it would not take much effort to "do the right thing" and delay the BOR. The Scout in question was a tad disappointed, but it's not the end of the world. (As a side note I'm not convinced he is really "gung-ho" about Scouting...)  

 

I feel better about the whole thing now. The next task is to reconcile Troop Records (handwritten) to our Troop web site (on Troop Web Host) to Council and National. Wish me luck!

 

Dean

Sorry for your troop's loss.

 

With all the catch-up from paper to digital, chances are you are going to stumble up some other missteps.

 

As is often the case, what you could do (or as some would view: could get away with) will split in multiple options. But what you should do depends on the scout in front of you and the sharpness of your leaders.

 

For most continually active scouts this would be a tempest in a teapot. It probably is for this scout as well. It can't hurt for the boy to know how to tie a sheet bend.

 

One final strategy: talk to his patrol leader and see if his buddies are willing to go through these last few skills with the scout. That way the boys who didn't have to do the requirements can come along side and do them for fun.


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#33 Stosh

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Posted 22 March 2017 - 12:43 PM

Are we making our own rules? Or, are we reading the GTA as it is written, and proceeding accordingly?

You seem to want to ignore all that verbiage about not holding up a boy because of adults' shortcomings. You also seem to want to ignore the experience of folks who've seen how this stuff has gone on appeal. Isn't that akin to cheating?

 

Yeah sure, @Stosh, but this isn't about the kid's 18th birthday and 7 years as a tenderfoot scout.

 

Lacking other information, this is about the adults not getting their acts together in December to help the boy avoid this situation.

 

Unless @deanofmac, you all did tell the boy to line up his BoR, and he blew you all off.

 

No, the issue is not a 7 year TF, it's an issue of we cut some slack for Eagle, but the TF's get hung out to dry.  It's all one way or the other.  This middle ground, subjective judgments only harm the program and leave a bad taste in the mouths of the boys.


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#34 Stosh

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Posted 22 March 2017 - 12:46 PM

No, the issue is not a 7 year TF, it's an issue of we cut some slack for Eagle, but the TF's get hung out to dry.  It's all one way or the other.  This middle ground, subjective judgments only harm the program and leave a bad taste in the mouths of the boys.

 

After all, isn't one of the requirements for Eagle is to have a BOR????  And how many of them happen AFTER the birthday?  I can see a COH after the fact, but the EBOR that's held only once a month?  I guess getting boy's their Eagle is more important than getting them their TF.


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Stosh

 

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


#35 fred johnson

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Posted 22 March 2017 - 12:51 PM

... As a side note I'm not convinced he is really "gung-ho" about Scouting...

 

There is a key aspect of scouting that advancement is tool to motivate the scout.  It's one of the key tools we have as leaders.  IMHO, that concept is a higher priority than using advancement as a "scout" quality check.  Yes as a troop quality check.  Less as a individual scout quality check.  


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#36 fred johnson

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Posted 22 March 2017 - 12:54 PM

If you don't have any advancement tracking software, I would recommend getting one (like TroopMaster) to help in your role. 

 

I fully understand your view and it's a common view.  My experience though is the best thing our troop ever did was stop recording the small details of scout advancement.  That's for the scout to track in their scout handbook.  If we want to see who's stalled, we can log into BSA's online advancement and run a report.  


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#37 Col. Flagg

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Posted 22 March 2017 - 01:03 PM

I don't buy that.  The completion of individual rank requirements are not sent to the Council.  All that is sent is the record of rank completion.

 
You don't have to buy it. We lived it and I can assure you it happened. This lead to us being very vigilant since that 2010 requirements change to make sure our guys know the timeline and get their ranks closed out before the deadline.
 

I fully understand your view and it's a common view.  My experience though is the best thing our troop ever did was stop recording the small details of scout advancement.  That's for the scout to track in their scout handbook.  If we want to see who's stalled, we can log into BSA's online advancement and run a report.


Well we used to do it your way until we had two guys lose their book with no back up. Despite telling them to take pictures and store them in the cloud somewhere, they didn't. Books got lost and re-constructing service hours, camping, rank, etc., was arduous. Never again, so we went with TroopMaster and have not looked back. Never had the issue since, though we have had to help a Scout reconstruct their history...made a TON easier with the software.


Edited by Col. Flagg, 22 March 2017 - 01:08 PM.

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#38 fred johnson

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Posted 22 March 2017 - 01:16 PM

Well we used to do it your way until we had two guys lose their book with no back up. Despite telling them to take pictures and store them in the cloud somewhere, they didn't. Books got lost and re-constructing service hours, camping, rank, etc., was arduous. Never again, so we went with TroopMaster and have not looked back. Never had the issue since, though we have had to help a Scout reconstruct their history...made a TON easier with the software.

 

Understood.  I've seen that argument.  My experience is it's all contained within one rank.  Service hours and camping is pretty easy to re-create.  Even rank requirements for TF, 2C and 1C that are done concurrently should be pretty easy to re-create to figure out how much was completed.  

 

I just hate to see a large large effort to save a relatively rare and small amount of time.  It's one of the issues that scares me with scoutbook.  I don't want to keep click and navigating web pages when all it takes is initially a paper book.  

 

For a troop of 40, it's a lot of work to keep all the small requirements updated in any tool.  Camping and service hour logs are as easy as the scout walking up to the scoutmaster and saying "I think I've completed my service hours expectation".  They discuss.  If meets requirement, it's good.  No on-going log necessary.  Same with camping.  

 

... it's my personality ... I just really like the mode of if you want to know how the scout's doing, talk to the scout.


Edited by fred johnson, 22 March 2017 - 01:38 PM.

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#39 Col. Flagg

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Posted 22 March 2017 - 01:47 PM

For a troop of 40, it's a lot of work to keep all the small requirements updated in any tool.  Camping and service hour logs are as easy as the scout walking up to the scoutmaster and saying "I think I've completed my service hours expectation".  They discuss.  If meets requirement, it's good.  No on-going log necessary.  Same with camping. 

 

I've run the requirements bit for a while, both with and without software. My experience has been that SW saves me tons of time.

 

Before software, a few hours a week. More if I have to help someone reconstruct lost info.

 

After software, if I spend more than an hour a week it is odd.


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#40 RememberSchiff

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Posted 22 March 2017 - 02:23 PM

We're old school.

 

Scout is responsible for keeping track of his advancement in his handbook. He loses handbook, he has to work the problem just as he does when he loses his homework.  We have had a few scouts lose their handbooks, but they don't do it twice. They do learn to keep their blue cards. We continue to believe this is an important life lesson - that a kid should learn to  keep his own records whether its an exercise plan, bank account, schoolwork, scout handbook...

 

PL is responsible for knowing what his guys need to advance and brings that info to PLC for meeting and activity planning.  A leader looks after his men.

 

SM or Advancement designee (adult) updates scout record at SMC/BOR and submits up the chain when earned.

 

No real-time tracking, no report generation, no JTE paperwork, no software, minimal adult  paperwork processing. We are the Boy Scouts not Goldman Sachs.

 

My $0.02


Edited by RememberSchiff, 22 March 2017 - 02:24 PM.

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