Adancement Chairman issues

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Adancement Chairman issues

Postby Woodbadgegirl » Sun Aug 10, 2008 2:57 pm

I have a few questions...It has been brought to my attention by a new parent in our troop that the Advancement Chairman has been entering advancements for her own children. No blue cards were present, she wasn't working with the scoutmaster or committee chairman and she was flipping through the 2008 Merit badge book and entering things into Troop Master. Now, I didn't see this, but it would not surprise me. This person's children seem to advance really fast. BUT, shouldn't she be accountable? Should she be entering her own children into Troop Master? I don't even sign off on my kid's advancements even if I'm teaching a group merit badge!

Give me your thoughts and feelings on this, because I think the Scout master should know, but I'm afraid to offend all parties involved.
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Re: Adancement Chairman issues

Postby wagionvigil » Sun Aug 10, 2008 3:27 pm

Bad Karma
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Re: Adancement Chairman issues

Postby Woodbadgegirl » Sun Aug 10, 2008 3:58 pm

LOL!! Well.....That doesn't help me much! LOL!! But yes, I have a bad feeling about this as well.
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Re: Adancement Chairman issues

Postby Mrw » Sun Aug 10, 2008 6:37 pm

I always entered my boys advancements into the system and ordered their badges, but not until they had earned them.

This is a tough one, but as it was brought up to you, you should pass the parent's concern on to the Scoutmaster. There might not be much you can do beyond this as it is just a suspicion.
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Re: Adancement Chairman issues

Postby FrankJ » Sun Aug 10, 2008 6:41 pm

I would raise this with the SM & CC as a concern. If the advancement chair is creating advancement for her son, then she should not be the advancement chair. If she is entering advancement that her son as earned then perhaps some one else should sign the advancement reports.
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Re: Adancement Chairman issues

Postby Woodbadgegirl » Sun Aug 10, 2008 8:02 pm

I would raise this with the SM & CC as a concern. If the advancement chair is creating advancement for her son, then she should not be the advancement chair. If she is entering advancement that her son as earned then perhaps some one else should sign the advancement reports.


I agree. I think that this is what should happen. I will get the nerve up and take the SM aside and let him know what I was told.

This was just a gray area concern, I just don't feel right about it and wanted to know others thoughts. Thanks!
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Re: Adancement Chairman issues

Postby FrankJ » Sun Aug 10, 2008 8:12 pm

Since this is a concern & not a certainty, I would be sure to express as such.
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Re: Adancement Chairman issues

Postby smtroop168 » Sun Aug 10, 2008 8:20 pm

There are checks and balances in the Advancement system.

For MBs, the SM has to sign the blue card twice and there is a list (or should be) of approved Council MB counselors. So it's easy enough for the SM to check out what's happening. If the scout has a signed blue card by an approved counselor, then it's a done deal and he gets the MB. If the MB was not signed by an approved MBC, then this is a situation where the badge can be revoked. (FYI...I know the Blue Card is not officially required)

For Rank Advancement, it's easy enough to check the Scout's handbook and see what's been signed off and by whom. My Troop has rules on who can sign off and so I can tell if it's been signed by an authorized person. My QA on this is at the SM Conference as I ask the boys (not retest) the scouts to explain their trail to X rank. I also know who has been on every troop event so if something doesn't match up, then we figure it out. The signature in the book signifies completion so its harder to handle than a MB, but sometimes a discussion about Scout Spirit might help.

The Handbook is the Scout's official record of his advancement, not Troopmaster. So she can put him in for 20 palms if she wants but it doesn't matter. A SM review of his handbook and bouncing it agianst TM would be the next step I would take.
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Re: Adancement Chairman issues

Postby cballman » Sun Aug 10, 2008 8:32 pm

Also one of the first things is to look for blue cards that have been filled out by different people. If they were all filled out by her then I would raise nine kinds of cain. something else to think about is when the scoutmaster signed the blue cards to adknowlede that he has given permission to take the badge. Hopefully the SM and the CM are not to close the this person, I think that it could cause problems but then again a scout is TRUSTWORTHY and his parents should also be. I have always taken the stance that I will NOT sign off on any req. or merit badge for my son. If I taught a merit badge I always had another person sign off for my son. Then there would be no question as to if I was to easy on him or to hard. If this person is just entering the material then she or he needs to be replaced QUICKLY.
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Re: Adancement Chairman issues

Postby wagionvigil » Mon Aug 11, 2008 8:38 am

Remember Blue Cards are no longer a requirement sio this could be a problem. Many councils only want the Advancement report. Thankfully our council still ask for the Blue Cards. I had a group of scouts at the CAve a while back and they had a sheet with all the boys names on all I had to do was sign the sheet when we were finished with climbing. There were two boys that did not complete the MB and I just crossed off their names and Initialed over their names. We do not give any partilas at he CAve on Climbing.
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Re: Adancement Chairman issues

Postby FrankJ » Mon Aug 11, 2008 10:51 am

BSA is rapidly going to scoutnet online advancement. The only thing that matters then is the online database. When a scout transfers or turns in his eagle app. scoutnet will be what gets checked. When doing advancement on scoutnet, you are suppose to print out the record & have signed by the appropriate people & turn that into council, but the advancement is already done. I expect the paper copy will go into the same black hole as the MBC records.

So what this means is anybody with the password to the scoutnet online advancement account can enter advancement for anybody. So those people need the integrity not to abuse the trust giving to them.

Sorry for drifting off from the original question.
Frank J.
Venturing Crew Adviser, Assistant Scout Master, Renegade Merit Badge Counselor
Owl-2 WB 92-49
Foothills District Atlanta Area Council
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Re: Adancement Chairman issues

Postby wagionvigil » Mon Aug 11, 2008 11:08 am

Really Bad Karma! :lol:
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Re: Adancement Chairman issues

Postby smtroop168 » Mon Aug 11, 2008 12:16 pm

I don't think FrankJ is off the topic at all. The issue is potentially entering advancement that may not have been earned. Doesn't matter if its Troopmaster or Scoutnet. I have used both but there still is an audit trail for what has been entered whether its the Scout Handbook or Blue Cards, JAMBO Yellow Sheets or some other local council form. Blue Cards are the usual form of the Merit Badge Application, but despite their almost universal use across the BSA's, they're not "mandatory" or "official" but they've been the standard practice for a long time. I have mine from the late 60s (including a partial from Wagion :P ).
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Re: Adancement Chairman issues

Postby alex gregory » Mon Aug 11, 2008 12:18 pm

Exactly why you have to push for training for committee positions. Not a panacea, but it helps.
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Re: Adancement Chairman issues

Postby wagionvigil » Mon Aug 11, 2008 12:24 pm

OK I give up A Partial for What Swimming or Lifesaving and From when?
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Re: Adancement Chairman issues

Postby Woodbadgegirl » Mon Aug 11, 2008 12:27 pm

I must be out of the loop with my troop. No blue cards are required any more? So boys can just start merit badges without contacting the councilor first and getting a blue card. Then just turn in this information to the Advancement chair and get credit? This doesn't seem right or does it?

Fill me in on this.
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Re: Adancement Chairman issues

Postby smtroop168 » Mon Aug 11, 2008 12:34 pm

Jerry...Just Chain yanking. I think it was Nut Culture MB in '59. :lol:
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Re: Adancement Chairman issues

Postby wagionvigil » Mon Aug 11, 2008 12:36 pm

From the BSA Website and the MB counselor training guide

Most local councils (including summer camps) use the Application for Merit Badge, or blue card, although it is not required. This tool just makes the recordkeeping easier for the Scout, the merit badge counselor, and the unit leader. At summer camp, a Scout may receive partial credit for completion of a merit badge on the blue card, which goes to the Scoutmaster at week's end. Back home, the Scout would need to contact a merit badge counselor for assistance with completing the rest of the requirements.
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Re: Adancement Chairman issues

Postby smtroop168 » Mon Aug 11, 2008 12:38 pm

What Wagion is saying is that the Blue Card is not the only Merit Badge Application used. The National Jamboree used a Yellow Sheet. The procedures for getting MBs is not changed. SM gives the application, scout goes to MBC, brings application back to SM, SM gives to AC, AC fills out Advancement report and takes to council/store to get badge.
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Re: Adancement Chairman issues

Postby MisterChris » Mon Aug 11, 2008 5:31 pm

Recently at Summer Camp, we had several Provisional Scouts attend summer camp while our troop took a 14-day road trip out west.

The provisionals came back with computer printouts of the requirements completed, or 'all requirements complete' for their badges.
No Blue Cards.

Each year at summer camp, we've gotten printouts for each scout, or advancement pages (one per MB per boy) with the req completed indicated.

When it's a partial we usually generate a blue card, sign it and initial the summer camp reqs completed, and assign an ASM to work with the class to finish up the last few reqs. When the MB is totally complete, we don't bother with the Blue Cards. We simply log the MB on Scoutnet and print an advancement sheet.

Times have changed.
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