Adancement Chairman issues

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Re: Adancement Chairman issues

Postby committee member » Mon Apr 13, 2009 11:30 am

Can anyone tell me the purpose for the Unit Leader to sign the blue card to say that scout _________ "is qualified to begin working for this merit badge?"

What if a SM has some rule that a scout can not have more than three merit badges ongoing at the same time without even considering the length of time some might require, such as Music, Bugling and Sports or that a scout may have to wait for the proper weather conditions, such as snow in order to complete an ongoing merit badge. I'd like guidance, please.

Which merit badges are really not appropriate for younger scouts? What if a scout starts a merit badge and then determines he really doesn't care for that topic and will likely never finish it? Is there a consensus on any of this? Is there a hard and fast rule which I have not seen in anything I've read? Thank you.
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Re: Adancement Chairman issues

Postby Mrw » Mon Apr 13, 2009 11:45 am

The only time the SM should be questioning if a boy has too many open badges, is if he seems to start tons and finish none of them. Artificial limits do not make sense for most boys.

There is nothing wrong with a boy abandoning MB's he starts and finds he has no desire to finish. My boys each did this a couple time and still managed to both earn Eagle and a total of 4 palms between the two of them.

The merit badges are meant to be an introduction to a subject. Some boys find things they want to pursue farther or inveestigate as a career. Some boys also find subject they really do not want to pursue. Both are valid learning experiences.

As far as we are concerned in our troop, the SM signature at the start of the MB means that we have a little control over who the boys are seeing as far as counselors go. And so I can steer them to people who we know do a good job and away from people who an earlier boy did not like much for some reason. (I do ask why they did not like them and take that into account.)
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Re: Adancement Chairman issues

Postby alex gregory » Mon Apr 13, 2009 11:54 am

committee member wrote:Can anyone tell me the purpose for the Unit Leader to sign the blue card to say that scout _________ "is qualified to begin working for this merit badge?"


In my opinion there is very little purpose to the unit leader signature requirement, except to document that the Scout has approached his unit leader (presumably SM) for the purpose of getting a blue card and referall to a MBC. I think it is sad that some unit leaders perceive the signature requirement as granting them a role as gatekeeper to MBs.

Frankly, since MBs are the result of an individual Scout's efforts I think it is silly to suggest that anybody other than the Scout should decide whether or not that Scout should even contemplate beginning work on any or all MBs. Let the Scout discover and overcome his limitations, including maturity.
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Re: Adancement Chairman issues

Postby smtroop168 » Mon Apr 13, 2009 2:24 pm

See my post under "Unit Leader Signature"
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Re: Adancement Chairman issues

Postby Cowboy » Fri Apr 17, 2009 9:14 am

Try to remove the MBC who is "ingrained" in Scouting. It isn't going to happen without a lot of boys being hurt. The advancement policy states that the SM will give the name of THE counselor. End of story. We are still working on this one, but slowly making progress in preventing the rubber stamp from being used on our Troop. In our case he has been in Scouts since he was a Scout in the early 60's. OA leader, Unit rep, etc. His biggest problem is that he wants to see all of the boys make Eagle. I have had to challenge him several times when I KNEW that the boy had not met the requirements, and I refused to sign off. A week later the boy shows up with a blue card signed by him.
There are always personal differences between people and there will always be people that you just plain do not like. Whether the boy "likes" a person or not, should not determine if they use them as a MBC. We are training them for real life and that is a tool that they will need. Learn how to learn from and work with people that you do not like. We have all had employers that we did not like, teachers, police, etc. Learn to "get along" with them to get the job done. I read a lot more into what we are attempting to give these boys than just the specific wording of the requirements.
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Re: Adancement Chairman issues

Postby FrankJ » Fri Apr 17, 2009 11:11 am

As long as the reason that a boy "likes" a MBC is because MBC does not make him do the work, I see no reason for using a MBC that he likes & certainly a good reason for not picking MBCs that you do not like. In real life you occasionally have to work with people you do not like, but you arrange your life so that you are working with people you do like.
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Re: Adancement Chairman issues

Postby smtroop168 » Fri Apr 17, 2009 11:46 am

Cowboy wrote:Try to remove the MBC who is "ingrained" in Scouting. It isn't going to happen without a lot of boys being hurt. The advancement policy states that the SM will give the name of THE counselor. End of story. We are still working on this one, but slowly making progress in preventing the rubber stamp from being used on our Troop. In our case he has been in Scouts since he was a Scout in the early 60's. OA leader, Unit rep, etc. His biggest problem is that he wants to see all of the boys make Eagle. I have had to challenge him several times when I KNEW that the boy had not met the requirements, and I refused to sign off. A week later the boy shows up with a blue card signed by him.
There are always personal differences between people and there will always be people that you just plain do not like. Whether the boy "likes" a person or not, should not determine if they use them as a MBC. We are training them for real life and that is a tool that they will need. Learn how to learn from and work with people that you do not like. We have all had employers that we did not like, teachers, police, etc. Learn to "get along" with them to get the job done. I read a lot more into what we are attempting to give these boys than just the specific wording of the requirements.


A MBC as a registered member of the BSA serves at the pleasure of the Council. If they are not following the rules (usually we discuss adding to the requirements, but subtracting is the same), they can be removed as a counselor. Contact the DAC and talk to him about your concerns.
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Re: Adancement Chairman issues

Postby evmori » Fri Apr 17, 2009 1:32 pm

smtroop168 wrote:
Cowboy wrote:Try to remove the MBC who is "ingrained" in Scouting. It isn't going to happen without a lot of boys being hurt. The advancement policy states that the SM will give the name of THE counselor. End of story. We are still working on this one, but slowly making progress in preventing the rubber stamp from being used on our Troop. In our case he has been in Scouts since he was a Scout in the early 60's. OA leader, Unit rep, etc. His biggest problem is that he wants to see all of the boys make Eagle. I have had to challenge him several times when I KNEW that the boy had not met the requirements, and I refused to sign off. A week later the boy shows up with a blue card signed by him.
There are always personal differences between people and there will always be people that you just plain do not like. Whether the boy "likes" a person or not, should not determine if they use them as a MBC. We are training them for real life and that is a tool that they will need. Learn how to learn from and work with people that you do not like. We have all had employers that we did not like, teachers, police, etc. Learn to "get along" with them to get the job done. I read a lot more into what we are attempting to give these boys than just the specific wording of the requirements.


A MBC as a registered member of the BSA serves at the pleasure of the Council. If they are not following the rules (usually we discuss adding to the requirements, but subtracting is the same), they can be removed as a counselor. Contact the DAC and talk to him about your concerns.


And don't send anymore of your Scout to this MB counselor.
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Re: Adancement Chairman issues

Postby smtroop168 » Fri Apr 17, 2009 3:57 pm

evmori wrote:And don't send anymore of your Scout to this MB counselor.


I think that's the problem...The SM is sending the scouts to this guy.
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Re: Adancement Chairman issues

Postby Cowboy » Fri Apr 17, 2009 6:07 pm

Usually the issue does not come with starting with this MBC. Some, I said some, of the lazier boys have figured out that they can start the "hard" usually ER, MBs at camp or a clinic and then just get him to sign off when they get home. As I have stated before, it is very difficult to get someone removed without difinitive proof that they are a "bad" counselor.
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Re: Adancement Chairman issues

Postby jr56 » Sun Apr 26, 2009 3:06 pm

As posted before, the best course of action is to discuss this problem with your District Advancement Chair. They are the one responsible for maintaining the MBC list.
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Re: Adancement Chairman issues

Postby alex gregory » Tue May 25, 2010 6:27 pm

I need to vent for a minute and then I'll feel much better.

I hate it when eager beavers input data in Scoutnet and get it wrong! That's my job as Advancement Chair. If I make a mistake at least I know where the buck stops.

Is there a reason why the same Scoutnet password lets you have access to troop roster data and advancement data? I can see why more than one person should have some access to the troop roster, but why should all those good folks also then gain access to advancement records? I'm not the treaurer so I don't need or want access to the troop bank account (who wants to get roped into an audit if bad things happen to the money). I'd like to know that I'm the only person responsible for advancment data entry because then I'm the one to blame if Junior is getting credit for something he did not earn. I'd at least appreciate that certain repeat offenders would respect me enough to stop doing advancement data entry behind my back, especially if they don't even give me the courtesy of at least getting it right!

There, I feel much better now.
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Re: Adancement Chairman issues

Postby smtroop168 » Tue May 25, 2010 6:47 pm

Sorry....This sounds like an internal problem to me. How do the Eager Beavers even have the Advancement info to enter? If they have been screwing up the database, then the CC needs to take appropriate action. This is a one-and-done scenario, repeat offenders can be removed from the program. Are the EB entering their own son's stuff?
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Re: Adancement Chairman issues

Postby Mrw » Tue May 25, 2010 9:36 pm

Can you not get the password changed?

I have been selfish about not allowing anyone else to have the Scoutnet password. And although others have access to Troopmaster, I would know when uploading data to Scoutnet if there were advancements I did not input. And I would ask questions about it.

At a minimum, I would have that as a point of discussion at the next committee meeting, brought up from the standpoint of how it is important to be done by one person because of how difficult it is to get errors corrected.
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Re: Adancement Chairman issues

Postby FrankJ » Wed May 26, 2010 8:28 am

Mrw wrote:Can you not get the password changed?


Log into scoutnet & look under options or settings. It has been a while since I have done it so I forget exactly where.

You can also print a roster, I think it actual opens a different window as a pdf. You can make the printed roster available to those that need it & not share the scoutnet advancement password. The only person that needs that is the advancement person, not the SM, not even the CC.
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Re: Adancement Chairman issues

Postby alex gregory » Wed May 26, 2010 4:38 pm

Mrw wrote:Can you not get the password changed?

I have been selfish about not allowing anyone else to have the Scoutnet password. And although others have access to Troopmaster, I would know when uploading data to Scoutnet if there were advancements I did not input. And I would ask questions about it.

At a minimum, I would have that as a point of discussion at the next committee meeting, brought up from the standpoint of how it is important to be done by one person because of how difficult it is to get errors corrected.


You can change the password, but there is only one password for the troop which means you either have one person hoard the password (my personal preference) or you have to share. Obviosuly I quickly realize someone else has been inputting data, because I know what I have done and my file has paper copies of all advancement records. I can ask the hard questions, but it is still extra work, annoying, and makes the troop look sloppy.

Because the SM and Committee Chair think they have to have access to the electronic data they want the password and my choice then is to either resign or cave. We were supposed to have a policy that only the advancement chair inputs advancement data, but we seem to be reurning to bad old habits.

I'm sure that it is all with the best intentions. But giving credit where credit is not due is not fair to the Scout who is not given the chance to actually earn the recognition, and unfair to the scout who actually did the work to earn the recognition. It also tells a Scout that advancement is all about the swag as opposed to being recognized for his personal achievements and growth.
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Re: Adancement Chairman issues

Postby smtroop168 » Wed May 26, 2010 5:45 pm

alex gregory wrote:I'm sure that it is all with the best intentions. But giving credit where credit is not due is not fair to the Scout who is not given the chance to actually earn the recognition, and unfair to the scout who actually did the work to earn the recognition. It also tells a Scout that advancement is all about the swag as opposed to being recognized for his personal achievements and growth.


Are you saying that these two are entering advancement that was not earned? If so, you need to stop this immediately. You can also take your records down to your registrar and have the ones that are false removed.
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Re: Adancement Chairman issues

Postby razor_strop » Wed May 26, 2010 8:08 pm

alex gregory wrote:
Mrw wrote:Because the SM and Committee Chair think they have to have access to the electronic data they want the password and my choice then is to either resign or cave.


Why shouldn't the person responsible for running the unit program and the person responsible for running the committee that supports that program have access to the advancement data?
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Re: Adancement Chairman issues

Postby FrankJ » Wed May 26, 2010 9:47 pm

razor_strop wrote:Why shouldn't the person responsible for running the unit program and the person responsible for running the committee that supports that program have access to the advancement data?


Because it is a kluge & the more fingers in it, the more likely it is to get screwed up? Beside management types do not really understand computers. :)
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Re: Adancement Chairman issues

Postby Mrw » Wed May 26, 2010 10:54 pm

Our SM and a few committee members have access to advancement data in Troopmaster, but need to ask me if they need something checked in Scoutnet. Or ask downtown at council for a printout. Works fine that way for us.
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