district office headache!

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district office headache!

Postby jeffrey » Tue Jan 16, 2007 2:15 pm

I have been trying to become a certified instructor for rappelling. I have been rappelling for 30 years and own my own equipment. My district scout office will not recognize either of my training organizations, yet both meet their requirements.
1. University of South Dakota
2. U.S. Army Special Forces

Can anyone offer me some advice?

I have another assistant scoutmaster that is state certified in High rope rescue. They will not recognize them either.

The office is giving us the impression that, "If we didn't train you, you aren’t trained."
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Postby jr56 » Tue Jan 16, 2007 2:46 pm

Try the Council office. If that won't work, try Regional.
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Postby mhjacobson » Sun Jan 21, 2007 8:16 pm

From the Guide to Safe Scouting:

"The climbing instructor has successfully compelted a minimum of 10 hours of instructor training for climbing/repelling from a nationally or regionally recognizsed organization, a climbing school, a college-level climbing/repelling course, or is a qualified BSA climbing instructor."

"The BSA offers a section of National Camping School for climbing directors who in turn can train climbing instructions. Every instructor must have prior experiences in teaching climbing/rapelling to yourh and must agree to adhere to Climb on Safely and the guidlines set in Topping Out."

It is the local council or regional service center who states who is qualified to be an approved BSA climbing instructor under these requirements.
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Postby jeffrey » Wed Dec 05, 2007 1:32 pm

I went thru a BSA climbing/rappelling training to get my certification. Finally. Now it looks like our tower is going to be closed down for lack of use.
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Lost Awards

Postby ThunderingWind » Thu Dec 13, 2007 10:25 am

It seems that my old District loses adult awards paperwork all the time. My Weblos Den Leader knot is now on its thrid trip from the Pack to the Council. Several others knots (an ASM Leader Trainging Knot for one) are on the road a second time.

They seem to get lost at the district office waiting for the Training committee to sign or on the way to the Council office for processing.
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Re: Lost Awards

Postby scoutaholic » Thu Dec 13, 2007 11:06 am

ThunderingWind wrote:It seems that my old District loses adult awards paperwork all the time. My Weblos Den Leader knot is now on its thrid trip from the Pack to the Council. Several others knots (an ASM Leader Trainging Knot for one) are on the road a second time.

They seem to get lost at the district office waiting for the Training committee to sign or on the way to the Council office for processing.


The simple solution to this problem is to just go buy the knots and present them in the troop/pack. If/When the District/Council pulls their heads out and gets back to you with an official certificate then you can file it away with any others that you may have collected.

They can't blame you for wearing a knot that you have earned. You know you've earned it, and nobody else will question that.

There are a few knots on the 'restricted' list, that you can't buy without proof or earning them, but most are just available for the asking.
If you've earned one of the restricted ones, and you know your district/council is prone to loosing the paperwork, then make sure you photocopy it before turning it in, and keep in contact with your district/council staff to make sure it gets taken care of.
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Re: Lost Awards

Postby ThunderingWind » Thu Dec 13, 2007 12:08 pm

scoutaholic wrote:The simple solution to this problem is to just go buy the knots and present them in the troop/pack.

They can't blame you for wearing a knot that you have earned. You know you've earned it, and nobody else will question that.


I could never do that. If they youth can not wear an MB of the sash until all the paperwork is signed, then I can not wear a knot until the paperwork is signed. And that means someone is going though all the Roundtable sign-in sheets verifying I was there, checking the database to see that I actually attended training, and have been registered as an adult for the proper time period. Then the previous award time frames msut be looked at to see that you are not getting two-for-one time on some of the awards (can not earn Den Leader and Cub Scouter knot while same dates of service).

With the the youth, the process is much easier as most of the MBs are handled at camp or internal MBCs (as has been my experience and only my experience) and ranks are handled internally. Just ahve to get the paperwork to theCouncil office. Internet advancement is making this easier.

Internet awards should also be made availabel forthe adults. The technology and data exists to do this. Only the link remains (ie programming).

Ok.....back of my soap box again........
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Re: district office headache!

Postby mhjacobson » Fri Jul 04, 2008 8:04 pm

YEP - while you may think that you have eanred it, you have not earned it until it is certified by council and approved by national. It is amazing how many people think that they have earned a training award and then find out that they are not eligible to receive the award because they have not attended roundtables or that the unit did not achieve quality unit, or something else that they did not consider.
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Re: district office headache!

Postby wagionvigil » Sat Jul 05, 2008 7:05 am

I was doing a Climb on Safely session Thursday afternoon. The leaders from an out of council troop were telling me how their troop went rappelling and climbing all the time. A father from their troop took them. I explained the BSA rules that they MUST be recognized by their council as a climbing instructor. They kept telling me how he was a MB Counselor and climbed all over the world. I said I am sure he has great experience but make sure your council approves him and documents his certifications. A person can have all the experience in the world but have no paper work on file so therfore they are a liability. Anyone doing climbing must do it according to BSA standards no exceptions. Also Found out he was teaching the troop lead climbing. Not allowed Only Older Boys 14 and up and Crews can do it. Monday I am calling their Service Center and speak to the CE. Just so happens the CE was a scout in my district and I have known him since he was a cub.
What councils can do is have their Council CLimbing Director have a training weekend for CLimbing Instructors. During this weekend all the BSA STandards are gone through and the procedures that BSA allows to be done. This would not be a learn to rappel and climb weekend but for those that have previous climbing experience. ALso FYI if your council has a CLimbing Director they are the only one that can approve a Climbing MB Counselor or climbing instructor in you council. The COuncil Exec does not even have that authority.
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Re: district office headache!

Postby cballman » Sat Jul 05, 2008 7:16 am

What I like is that since I am a BSA Lifeguard I have to be questioned about the boys in my troop doing a swim test before summer camp. I understand but it still seems that since I have taken the course and done it at the same camp they wouldnt be hateful about it.
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Re: district office headache!

Postby wagionvigil » Sat Jul 05, 2008 7:28 am

SInce you do volunteer your time at the camp while you are there I find that strange. This is your own COuncil Camp? DId they get a new Aquatics Director? Have they had trouble with others that are not honest? Our council has four districts and each winter each district have winter swimming session where Webelos can earn aquanaut or learn to swim and where swimming and lifesaving MB's are offered. ON the First night neveryone must take a swim test and troops are encouraged to attend to test for summer camp. The Boys are tested and the DE records the results for the Troop on a formm that form is given back to the Leader and the leader turns in it with his final camp payments. Makes checkin alot faster and makes the staffs SUnday a lot less stressful.
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Re: district office headache!

Postby WVBeaver05 » Sat Jul 05, 2008 8:37 am

I know that there are members here who have experience with that crazy camp check in day, as I do. And, anything to speed up the process has to be considered a help.

However, I do have mixed feelings about this. We know that there are Troops that aren't following procedures and policies (see wagionvigil's previous post on climbing). As an Aquatics director (or even staff member) who knows the same thing (and they do) I would feel uncomfortable accepting something outside my control. Are there leaders who I would "trust"? Of course. Are there ones I wouldn't? Sorry, but yes. Do I think the policies allow the Aquatics Director to accept some and not others? I think they can.

But, if I were Camp Director would I want to "open that can of worms"? Probably not. As Camp Director I might decide that it is worth the time to do the swim checks just to prevent having to either accept any swim records that a Troop brought or possibly start the week with a huge controversy.

As Aquatics Director, I would want all Troops to come to the waterfront to hear the policies, times, etc. So, the swim test would add time but balanced against a meeting or two a week with he Camp Director and an irate Scoutmaster to explain why a swim record was not accepted it would probably be worth it.

I wish that we could trust all Troops (Crews, Packs) to follow the rules, but my experience shows that we can't.

So, is an District/Council controlled/administered pre-camp swim test an answer. I think so - with appropriate assurances to the Aquatics Director. But, I would clearly state that it is the only swim record that will be accepted in the Camp information packet.

Just my thoughts.

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Re: district office headache!

Postby wagionvigil » Sat Jul 05, 2008 8:43 am

AS aI stated We do this with Council APproved people and the DE from each district takes care of all the paper work. The troop still must go to the water front with their Blank Tags which are given them at the First Aid Check(the first stop on Sunday)when they arrive at the Waterfront the staff pulls their paper work anbd fills in their tags while another staffer goes through all the rules and procedures. It works well and everyone is happy.
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Re: district office headache!

Postby joat » Sat Jul 05, 2008 11:40 am

mhjacobson wrote:YEP - while you may think that you have eanred it, you have not earned it until it is certified by council and approved by national.
I'll agree that while an individual may complete all the requirements, the award may only be approved by the person or entity authorized to approve it. While the national council approves the Silver Antelope and such, they don't approve den leader awards. They authorize the local council to handle approval, which should be done via the district training chairman.
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Re: district office headache!

Postby John F. » Sat Jul 05, 2008 11:55 am

A few years ago at summer camp, half way through the week, someone thought it would be a great joke to take all the buddy tags off of the buddy board. Every one that was taking a water front MB had to retake the test. Plus anyone that wanted to go swimming also had to retest. The water front was close for the day for retesting the scouts. The water front staff were not happy campers. They never found out who took the buddy tags.
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Re: district office headache!

Postby wagionvigil » Sat Jul 05, 2008 11:57 am

Be it a training award or be it advancement it is not "official" until it is registered at your service center.
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Re: district office headache!

Postby wagionvigil » Sat Jul 05, 2008 11:58 am

John F. wrote:A few years ago at summer camp, half way through the week, someone thought it would be a great joke to take all the buddy tags off of the buddy board. Every one that was taking a water front MB had to retake the test. Plus anyone that wanted to go swimming also had to retest. The water front was close for the day for retesting the scouts. The water front staff were not happy campers. They never found out who took the buddy tags.


WOn't happen at our camp. Every ones name is written in a log by camp site with their swimming classification. This is kept in the camp office after Sunday Check in. Very simple and solves alot of problems
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Re: district office headache!

Postby WVBeaver05 » Sat Jul 05, 2008 1:44 pm

Taking the buddy tags doesn't seem like much of a joke.

wagionvigil - that is something that our camp doesn't do, but I think I'll recommend it. It wouldn't have to be a joke to be useful. Just a couple weeks ago I watched a tag blow off the board (the outside one, not the checked in one) and sent a staff member to retrieve it. In many years, even with a gusty wind like we had then, I have never seen one blow off. May not have been clear on, but it would be a problem in any case.

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Re: district office headache!

Postby AquilaNegra2 » Wed Jul 16, 2008 6:02 pm

There are other factors to consider. We camped at a higher elevation this year. Even though I'm a strong swimmer who grew up swimming around ocean piers, I was surprised that I had a difficult time getting enough air to finish a simple four lap swim test. The Aquatics director made EVERYONE take a swim test before being allowed at the Waterfront or the pool. Smart move, imho. (btw, I saved the tag in case we go back ;-))
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Re: district office headache!

Postby wagionvigil » Wed Jul 16, 2008 6:27 pm

The Tag is good for 1 year.
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