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."
Dwight D. Eisenhower