what are we 'holding these kids back' from????

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what are we 'holding these kids back' from????

Postby Trigirl » Fri May 01, 2009 2:58 pm

Florida again. I'll just post one more issue. Currently, we are waiting this out to see what happens inside the troop politics/leadership. This one involves my son - so I am really trying to back out of the political scene.

Last June my son (Star at the time) asked to open Personal Management merit badge. He had no other badges open at the time. His father and mother are both MBAs and have had careers in finance. Our dinner table conversation is about finance and he has been making stock picks for his own account for years, has a savings account he funds himself - that we match dollar for dollar as it goes in - and has accumulated enough savings to even purchase CDs - father takes him to the bank so he can sit with the officer and learn how it is done...
(It is just our way of life. He has friends whose fathers are doctors and all they talk about are medical things and lawyer/judge kids that know more about the law than we will ever know.)

Last June SM said that he 'wasn't ready' and that he wanted the entire patrol to work on this merit badge together next year.

A year later, merit badge is 'opened' in a class for the older kids and all Life scouts, except the two Life scouts that are in the younger patrol. They were told there was an age requirement. (Covered and vented in a post a few months ago :) )

Okay ..... so the SM has given his ASMs authority to sign blue cards as unit leader to open merit badges. An ASM did so on one merit badge I counseled some boys on earlier in the year. Now, an ASM who is also the adviser to this patrol decided that these boys needed to start PM so that over the summer they could track their 13 weeks and do some homework. Many of the boys have summer jobs so it is a great time to keep track of income and expenses. The SM said "They aren't ready" but the ASM thought they were and took it upon himself to start the boys on this merit badge.

Last week my son (Life rank for 3 months) goes to SM (also the DAC) to sign blue card for PM. He says "I am not going to sign this because I don't approve of your patrol starting this merit badge. YOU may be mature enough and ready for this, but not everyone in your patrol is ready and if I sign them at all I will sign them all together."

My son was shocked. He has NO other merit badges open. This is the ONLY merit badge he has left that he needs for his Eagle rank. He has his ESLSP approved and scheduled for a few weeks out. He is leaving for boarding school in September and is eligible for Eagle in August. He wants to 'wrap' things up as he puts it so he can go to his new chapter of life with the Eagle behind him. There is a troop where he is going that he wants to be a part of - but he doesn't want to have to start over there and earn his Eagle all over. Besides, his brother crosses over soon and he wants to be a registered member of this troop so he can be there for his brother and go on camp outs when he is home and next summer, etc.

This, of course, is all a part of the other issue I raised with the other boy in prior post (not mature for ESLSP). Committee persons think they are too young (13.6-14 years), should not be 'moving so fast', need to slow down and 'it is a journey'. In other words, "why are they ahead of my son" is what I guess they are saying.

Again, noone wants to rock the boat. I think the ASM is standing up for these boys - but my son is trying hard to stay out of the controversy. He is afraid that the 13 week requirement for record keeping is the thinking of how to stop his progress. The ASM allowed him to start keeping his 13 weeks over a month ago when the 'older' boys were allowed to start this badge.

Do I just keep my lips sealed and keep biting my tongue? I have a Webelo who intends to join this troop next January, but I am seriously rethinking that decision. He says he wants to be Eagle like his brother (we hope), his dad, uncle, grandfather - but I don't think I want to play these games again. However, this SM is the DAC so that means we would have to drive 20-30 minutes to find a troop in another district and his best friends from Cubs are either already there this year or crossing over soon with him....

"Each youth progresses at his or her own rate. Advancement is not a competition among individual young people, but is an expression of their interest and participation in the program. Youth must be encouraged to advance steadily and set their own goals with guidance from their parents, guardians, or leaders. Just because a group of youth join at the same time, not everyone will earn the same awards at the same time. Let all members earn the awards at their own pace." BSA pub#33088, page 3

Have you ever heard of patrols having to ALL be ready for a merit badge for one person to open it???
What is it that we are 'holding these kids back' from? I really want the answer to that one.
"Leadership is the art of getting someone else to do something you want done because he wants to do it.
Dwight D. Eisenhower

"The supreme quality for leadership is unquestionably integrity."
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Re: what are we 'holding these kids back' from????

Postby wagionvigil » Fri May 01, 2009 3:24 pm

More fuel for my fire of a mandatory move to Venturing at 15 :twisted:
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Re: what are we 'holding these kids back' from????

Postby FieldSports » Fri May 01, 2009 3:44 pm

You already have the cite you need.
"Each youth progresses at his or her own rate. Advancement is not a competition among individual young people, but is an expression of their interest and participation in the program. Youth must be encouraged to advance steadily and set their own goals with guidance from their parents, guardians, or leaders. Just because a group of youth join at the same time, not everyone will earn the same awards at the same time. Let all members earn the awards at their own pace." BSA pub#33088, page 3


My favorite quote to use is the "12 points of the scout law" Obedient - mean anything to this SM?

Also point out the Scout Handbook page 187 bold type botton of page. Ask "how it is that he is not following what is written."
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Re: what are we 'holding these kids back' from????

Postby FrankJ » Fri May 01, 2009 3:48 pm

This is one reason why they should have never outlawed dueling. :evil:

Merit badges are part of a scout's personal journey and should not be worked on as a patrol anyway.

If the SM is part of the majority opinion in the troop, then I would find another troop. In the another troop the only issue would with the SM also being the DAC would be the eagle project & EBOR.
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Re: what are we 'holding these kids back' from????

Postby 9009scoutmaster » Fri May 01, 2009 5:45 pm

And this SM is district advancement chairman. I feel sorry for your district.
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Re: what are we 'holding these kids back' from????

Postby divermann » Fri May 01, 2009 7:29 pm

If this SM is also District Advancement Chair, what other "Bad Habits" is he fostering in regards to the rest of the District. I earned my Eagle at 14.5. My SM was concearned regarding me pushing to hard too fast, but he was very supportive. Is the District Commissioner aware of this SM running his own private Scouting program? This is wrong on so many levels, it's not even funny. I would slowly work my way up the District/Council ladder looking for friends along the way IF your son is really committed to this troop. IF he is not, I would suggest finding a REAL Boy Scout Troop that follows the Program the way it is taught! The only thing "holding these kids back" is this SM. Best of luck.
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Re: what are we 'holding these kids back' from????

Postby Trigirl » Fri May 01, 2009 10:12 pm

Thank you again FieldSports.
Boy Scout Handbook, page 187
"Scout advancement lets you move ahead in your own way and at your own speed. Rather than competing against others, you challenge yourself to go as far as your ambition will carry you. Your rate of advancement depends upon your interest, effort and ability."

Which makes me realize why my son has loved Scouting so much. He is bored with the standard middle school curriculum - no electives at this school and everyone moves at the same pace... He spent the last year totally disengaged from school but really into scouting. Because he can 'move ahead at his own speed.' (At least until he gets too close to Eagle and some adult feels threatened.)

It is such a great program the way it is written!
"Leadership is the art of getting someone else to do something you want done because he wants to do it.
Dwight D. Eisenhower

"The supreme quality for leadership is unquestionably integrity."
Dwight D. Eisenhower
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Re: what are we 'holding these kids back' from????

Postby Cowboy » Sat May 02, 2009 6:35 am

It does happen all the time. See my other posts about my sons Eagle project. The most recent in his saga: He is scheduled to meet with the benefiting organization on Tuesday. They have told him verbally that they will contribute $200-300 to the project. He has only $212 left to raise. He called the DAC last Wednesday to schedule his appointment with her for final signature. She refused to SCHEDULE the appointment because he does not HAVE all of the funds. He is in a similar situation as your son in that he is not available all summer. He will be working at summer camp and on HA all summer, then school and sports , then prep and going to Jambo. He is actually eligable for his EBOR this July, and has had all of his ERMB's since before he hit Life. Bear with it and upport him.
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Re: what are we 'holding these kids back' from????

Postby biglou » Sat May 02, 2009 5:43 pm

OK, my decision about this SM is made. He needs replaced in both jobs. It sounds like to me he doesn't understand the program or is unwilling to follow the program. He needs to be told follow the rules or be gone! Period. I hate this crap!

As for the mandatory move to Venturing at 15. This has my support. I have said this before, the program is underused and underserved. Enough of my rants!
Big Lou

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Re: what are we 'holding these kids back' from????

Postby ThunderingWind » Sun May 03, 2009 9:10 am

Cowboy wrote:It does happen all the time. See my other posts about my sons Eagle project. The most recent in his saga: He is scheduled to meet with the benefiting organization on Tuesday. They have told him verbally that they will contribute $200-300 to the project. He has only $212 left to raise. He called the DAC last Wednesday to schedule his appointment with her for final signature. She refused to SCHEDULE the appointment because he does not HAVE all of the funds. He is in a similar situation as your son in that he is not available all summer. He will be working at summer camp and on HA all summer, then school and sports , then prep and going to Jambo. He is actually eligable for his EBOR this July, and has had all of his ERMB's since before he hit Life. Bear with it and upport him.
And here I thought that doing the money raising was part of the work involved in an completing an APPROVED and SIGNED PAPERWORK Eagle leadership Project.

I pray the Army does not move us to any of these errant Councils as I will raise such a stink if any of the youth I am lucky enough to work with have these problems. National will be told of the problems as a CC to my letters to the local media about these individuals' improper and unethical application of the BSA rules.

I may not know all the rules, but I know when a kid is getting the shaft. These adult sneed to be removed immediately and all units told why they were removed. Then the SE needs to step up with solid, positive reeducation of the leaders that are left so that every one is on the correct page.
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Re: what are we 'holding these kids back' from????

Postby wagionvigil » Sun May 03, 2009 9:24 am

The sad thing is most SE's know this stuff is going on and choose not to get involved because they are afraid to loose leaders and units. Sad but true. nowif approaced in the right manner they would have to take action. In my professional opinion (for what it is worth as an educator)some if these things fall under abuse or hazing and in the BSA that is not allowed.
I am going to add something to this. ALthough not out and out abuse it is Bullying and WE do have an anti Bulleying Policy. I truly think even the suggestion to a SE would get results. They would really be unhappy with the publicity it would get

Ok adding some more if a teacher would keep changing the rules for a grade they would be in front of a hearing board. Johnny here is what you need for a passing grade> Johnny does everything he is to do. Teacher no Johnny you are not ready even though you did everything correctly. BSA has rules and Guidelines and Leaders cannot add to them.
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Re: what are we 'holding these kids back' from????

Postby divermann » Sun May 03, 2009 10:43 am

WV, very interesting perspective and excellent point!
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Re: what are we 'holding these kids back' from????

Postby smtroop168 » Sun May 03, 2009 5:06 pm

See my post from Trigirl's other issue. Ask the CAC if he thinks the council should be following what's on their website. also sometimes the Council VP for Program can make things move in the right direction
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