Troop Bylaws That Violate BSA Policy

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Re: Troop Bylaws That Violate BSA Policy

Postby smtroop168 » Sun Oct 19, 2008 7:49 pm

deweylure wrote:I am an ASM in the Troop. What amazes me is even though the SM is fully trained he makes up the rules, along with the CC and another ASM.

1. Can not advance to Eagle untill your in High school.
2. No boy will get Eagle without Lifesaving and canoeing MB.
3. Scouts must attend Summer camp.
4. Re tests on BOR.
5. Must attend % of outings.

the list goes on,fortunately we are able to correct some of the rules and not re invent the program,


Dewey


Start correcting these today.
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Re: Troop Bylaws That Violate BSA Policy

Postby Billiken » Mon Oct 20, 2008 8:29 am

Every time I open/read this thread I get mad.
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Re: Troop Bylaws That Violate BSA Policy

Postby cballman » Mon Oct 20, 2008 10:12 am

Just a note to all. This thread was started not as to get people upset but to help people out as to what is allowed and what is not in their troop. The purpose is to educate people on the right way to do things. Not just because thats the way it always been done. If any one could help out someone else with helpful hints as to what would make their job easier then by all means post it here quickly. As I have been reading not all troop rules are totally bad just differ from what national says. There is also a grey area as to the way somethings are wrote and understood. Not right, but not wrong. we just need to let the people they are running a program that would run better with trained leaders and a lot of commen sense.
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Re: Troop Bylaws That Violate BSA Policy

Postby smtroop168 » Mon Oct 20, 2008 2:37 pm

I agree. I started this post not just to list bylaws so we could see the most egregious troop "policies" and offer help on approaches to fix them.
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Re: Troop Bylaws That Violate BSA Policy

Postby wagionvigil » Mon Oct 20, 2008 2:43 pm

BUT, Those of us that have tried to operate within BSA Policies and Those of us that are in it for the Boys should be somewhat upset that there are troops and leaders and Councils that do this and Tolerate this stuff.
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Re: Troop Bylaws That Violate BSA Policy

Postby evmori » Tue Oct 21, 2008 7:15 am

smtroop168 wrote:I agree. I started this post not just to list bylaws so we could see the most egregious troop "policies" and offer help on approaches to fix them.


Wanna fix them? Gather up all copies of these by-laws & use them to start your next campfire. Then actually put together by-laws that include the Oath & Law as the basis.
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Re: Troop Bylaws That Violate BSA Policy

Postby Trigirl » Thu May 14, 2009 11:04 pm

Hello - I've wandered away from the Eagle topics to try and get a handle on what to make of our troop's leadership. Seems we have some issues with holding kids back and not approving Eagle projects until the boy proves his leadership and not letting boys open merit badges because their patrol is not mature enough... I thought this had been resolved in the last committee meeting until I read the notes - so I'll post those two paragraphs here and let you all pick out the NON BSA policy our TC has implemented - Oh how I wish I had great wisdom to help myself and others correct this nasty little addendum to BSA policy... but I do not...

It was agreed that a group of three (3) committee members would satisfy the requirement for an informal approval. First a scoutmaster’s verbal approval is required. Scout writes up the proposal and takes it to the organizational representative for approval. It then requires a scoutmaster signature, then committee chair signature. This is stated in 3 different ways in BSA handbook and project guide. In order to clarify and streamline the process, it was determined that the scout could select three committee members (at least one must be Eagle Scout project knowledgeable) for review and signatures so that the scout can then take the proposal to district. It was voted and approved that those three committee members acting in this role would satisfy the requirement and language in both the hand book and the Eagle project guide. It is one more opportunity to review the project and to find any necessary changes that need to be made. It is more of an awareness guideline than a regulation. Also, the same committee members should be on the Eagle Scout’s Board of Review. This clarifies the process? Really?? Adding THREE signatures???

General discussion re: boys using their funds for their eagle scout project. Parents should not fund the project as the idea is for the scout to learn the process of raising money and securing the volunteers to do the work. Method of securing donations should be outlined in the project write up. This is a learning process and we need to apply appropriate criteria for potential eagles. With regards to fundraising, adults/committee set it up and scouts work it.
Hmm... and I thought the goal of the project was for the boy to show leadership by developing a service project to benefit an organization other than BSA... guess I missed the part about the idea being to learn how to raise money....

PS - Should mention that our SM is also the DAC and we have a District Commissioner on the committee. Shouldn't they know these rules?
Also, this is the same group that has denied a very active scout a Life BOR because he lost his book. Isn't that hazing? Can you imagine if your child made an A throughout the school year - only to lose his Chemistry book and be told he would not pass the course?????
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Re: Troop Bylaws That Violate BSA Policy

Postby FrankJ » Fri May 15, 2009 12:02 am

Also, this is the same group that has denied a very active scout a Life BOR because he lost his book. Isn't that hazing?


No I would not call that hazing. Stupid,but not hazing.

In our troop, a scout is expected to bring his hand book to his BOR because that where his advance record is kept. But we also make allowances for a scout losing his book.
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Re: Troop Bylaws That Violate BSA Policy

Postby evmori » Fri May 15, 2009 7:21 am

Now that's interesting. There only needs to be one committee member's signature. Have three review it is fine.

The funds for an Eagle project can come from anywhere and it isn't up to the Troop committee to determine where - it's up to the Scout. It should be documented where the funds came from since someone will want to know.

Denying a BOR because the Scout lost his book is not hazing. Ask the BOR to show you where in the BSA Advancement Procedures it states the Scout must bring his book to a BOR.
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Re: Troop Bylaws That Violate BSA Policy

Postby Trigirl » Fri May 15, 2009 9:22 am

I appreciate the input that holding back a BOR for losing a book is not hazing. Noone has openly accused anyone of that - as it is a pretty serious charge. I was wrong to use that word. It just seems that they are trying to come up with so many ways to hold these kids back. There are 12+ Life scouts right now that have held that rank for over 15 months. So they don't want anymore Life scouts that might try to push ahead. Seems to me the focus ought to be on encouraging the Life scouts.

A Venture crew has been brought up on the table for discussion. That might be a wonderful option for some of these boys.
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Re: Troop Bylaws That Violate BSA Policy

Postby Fibonacci » Fri May 15, 2009 10:45 am

Lost book story in our troop:
Lightly active Scout, coming to his Star BOR without his book ~ lost. No one has seen the signature from the Scoutmaster that the SM conf and Scout Spirit were signed off. We passed him on his Board, contingent on him getting a new book & getting the signature from the SM or providing other written proof that he passed his SM conf. (He could ask the SM at any meeting to sign a document that the Scout has prepared, he could order a new Handbook from the Scout Shop, whatever.) He has a Committee Member who talks with him at least once a month about his progress, about shopping for a new book, about making progress with his advancement. He has friends in the troop who encourage him to attend. Nothing.

The Board of Review was in December. Now it's May. We are really not trying to hold him back, but his advancement and involvement in the troop is spotty, his dad is probably the most interested in Scouts, and he's 15. We'll see what the future brings for this young man.
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Re: Troop Bylaws That Violate BSA Policy

Postby evmori » Fri May 15, 2009 11:12 am

Fibonacci wrote:Lost book story in our troop:
Lightly active Scout, coming to his Star BOR without his book ~ lost. No one has seen the signature from the Scoutmaster that the SM conf and Scout Spirit were signed off. We passed him on his Board, contingent on him getting a new book & getting the signature from the SM or providing other written proof that he passed his SM conf. (He could ask the SM at any meeting to sign a document that the Scout has prepared, he could order a new Handbook from the Scout Shop, whatever.) He has a Committee Member who talks with him at least once a month about his progress, about shopping for a new book, about making progress with his advancement. He has friends in the troop who encourage him to attend. Nothing.

The Board of Review was in December. Now it's May. We are really not trying to hold him back, but his advancement and involvement in the troop is spotty, his dad is probably the most interested in Scouts, and he's 15. We'll see what the future brings for this young man.


OR .................................... you could check with the Scoutmaster prior to the BOR! And the Advancement Chair should have the same information.
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Re: Troop Bylaws That Violate BSA Policy

Postby smtroop168 » Fri May 15, 2009 12:44 pm

[quote="Trigirl] In order to clarify and streamline the process, it was determined that the scout could select three committee members (at least one must be Eagle Scout project knowledgeable) for review and signatures so that the scout can then take the proposal to district. It was voted and approved that those three committee members acting in this role would satisfy the requirement and language in both the hand book and the Eagle project guide. It is one more opportunity to review the project and to find any necessary changes that need to be made. It is more of an awareness guideline than a regulation. Also, the same committee members should be on the Eagle Scout’s Board of Review.[/color]

Only one Committee signature is required, usually the CC although sometimes the troop's Eagle Mentor. Extra eyes on an ESLP can be helpful but should not slow the process down. Also the way this is worded, the scout picks his EBOR members....pg 30 of the ACPP #33088 prohibits that.

With regards to fundraising, adults/committee set it up and scouts work it.

What?

PS - Should mention that our SM is also the DAC and we have a District Commissioner on the committee. Shouldn't they know these rules?

Absolutely...show them the ACPP.

Also, this is the same group that has denied a very active scout a Life BOR because he lost his book. Isn't that hazing? No just more moronic behavior. Does the troop use Troopmaster or similar program as a crosscheck to the scout's handbook? . [/quote]
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Re: Troop Bylaws That Violate BSA Policy

Postby Trigirl » Sat May 16, 2009 10:02 am

smtroop168 - thanks for the connection to the boy 'picking' his Eagle BOR. I had not made that and I do not think that is what the committee intended.

Yes, our troop uses troopmaster - the CC is responsible for keeping it up and does a very good job. Can't get the AC to use it yet - that person still insists on doing manual reports to council - but at least everything is on troopmaster too.

There should not have been a problem with the boy's book. Our troopmaster has every date that would be on each rank sign off. It's a great system.
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Re: Troop Bylaws That Violate BSA Policy

Postby Jean9 » Sat May 16, 2009 10:19 am

Can someone please quote me where it says that you can start a merit badge before getting the blue card signed?
We allow the scout to start the badge after they have talked to the counselor, but need to get a blue card at the next scout meeting.
I would love to have the exact wording from BSA on when a merit badge starts
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Re: Troop Bylaws That Violate BSA Policy

Postby Quailman » Sat May 16, 2009 11:51 am

On the Guide for Merit Badge Counselors, the third paragraph after the heading "A Merit Badge Counselor Is ..." starts (emphasis added):

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.


So the Blue Card does not mark the beginning of the merit badge, it's just an optional record-keeping tool. In some cases, the merit badge may start well before the boy even meets with the counselor. This has been discussed here at length. For example, if you're a Coin Collecting MBC, would you ask a boy who's been building a collection since the second grade and hass all the coins neatly arranged in flips to start from scratch? And if a boy finds out midway through little league season that there's a Sports MB, would you as a MBC ask him to wait until next year to start counting towards the badge (well, maybe if he play for the Cubs).

In most cases, it's up to the judgment of the MBC, and we need to remember that we're here to help the boys. If a boy displays initiative and does something reasonable that didn't require prior approval, why not foster that attitude?
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Re: Troop Bylaws That Violate BSA Policy

Postby biglou » Sat May 16, 2009 10:44 pm

Quailman wrote:On the Guide for Merit Badge Counselors, the third paragraph after the heading "A Merit Badge Counselor Is ..." starts (emphasis added):

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.


So the Blue Card does not mark the beginning of the merit badge, it's just an optional record-keeping tool. In some cases, the merit badge may start well before the boy even meets with the counselor. This has been discussed here at length. For example, if you're a Coin Collecting MBC, would you ask a boy who's been building a collection since the second grade and hass all the coins neatly arranged in flips to start from scratch? And if a boy finds out midway through little league season that there's a Sports MB, would you as a MBC ask him to wait until next year to start counting towards the badge (well, maybe if he play for the Cubs).

In most cases, it's up to the judgment of the MBC, and we need to remember that we're here to help the boys. If a boy displays initiative and does something reasonable that didn't require prior approval, why not foster that attitude?



Sorry Quailman, I believe you are wrong. This is what is printed in the Boy Scout Requirements, 2009 Edition (BSA Supply No. 33216).

" You can learn about sports, crafts, science, trades, business, and future careers as you earn merit badges. There are more than 100 merit badges. Any Boy Scout may earn any merit badge at any time. You don't need to have had rank advancement to be eligible.

Pick a Subject. Talk to your Scoutmaster about your interests. Read the requirements of the merit badges you think might interest you. Pick one to earn. Your Scoutmaster will give you the name of a person from a list of counselors. These counselors have special knowledge in their merit badge subjects and are interested in helping you.

Scout Buddy System. You must have another person with you at each meeting with the merit badge counselor. This person can be another Scout, your parents or guardian, a brother or sister or other relative, or a friend.

Call the Counselor. Get a signed merit badge application from your Scoutmaster. Get in touch with the merit badge counselor and tell him or her that you want to earn the merit badge. The counselor may ask to meet you to explain what is expected of you and to start helping you meet the requirements."

Here is the link to that page.

http://meritbadge.org/wiki/index.php/Me ... adge_Rules
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Re: Troop Bylaws That Violate BSA Policy

Postby biglou » Sat May 16, 2009 10:50 pm

This also confirms my previous post. I copied it from the National website.

"A Scout first expresses an interest in a particular merit badge by letting his unit leader know. To get him started, the leader may give him a signed Application for Merit Badge (blue card) along with the name and telephone number of a district/council approved merit badge counselor. The Scout then contacts the merit badge counselor and makes an appointment. The merit badge counselor sets a date and time to meet with the Scout and his buddy, and may suggest the Scout bring the merit badge pamphlet along with the blue card."

I agree with you that a blue card is not required. However, I disagree with you on when a merit badge can start. A scout must do what is printed above. No more, no less. With or without a blue card.

Here is the link from the National website.

http://www.scouting.org/boyscouts/guide ... elors.aspx
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Re: Troop Bylaws That Violate BSA Policy

Postby FrankJ » Sun May 17, 2009 8:42 am

We all adjust BSA literature to fit our reality; it is just some of us will admit it. That is why it is important to have trained scouters that do not go off and invent a new reality. To be clear I am not saying that 20 is really 18, tell is the same as write, 2.5 months should count for 3 or that 1 hr hike is 5 miles.

For example we have a rules oriented guy that does not give partials in climbing. Not exactly in the guidelines, but he has valid safety reasons for his position.

The importance of meeting the counselor is to be sure that the scout understands the requirements. If the scout has work done prior that clearly meets the requirements such as camping nights, a collection, or grades for scholarship, why (not) accept them? Other things such as something he thinks he did 3 years ago will need to be redone. You gotta have MBCs that understand their subject and the program, not just reading sometimes poorly written requirements from a page.

Edited by me. Thanks to SMtroop168 for pointing that out. :oops:
Last edited by FrankJ on Mon May 18, 2009 2:24 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: Troop Bylaws That Violate BSA Policy

Postby smtroop168 » Mon May 18, 2009 1:36 pm

FrankJ wrote:The importance of meeting the counselor is to be sure that the scout understands the requirements. If the scout has work done prior that clearly meets the requirements such as camping nights, a collection, or grades for scholarship, why accept them? Other things such as something he thinks he did 3 years ago will need to be redone. You gotta have MBCs that understand their subject and the program, not just reading sometimes poorly written requirements from a page.


FrankJ...I think you meant to say....why NOT accept them.

I use the term "credible evidence" for previously performed requirements such as report cards for Scholarship MB.
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