Parent Leaders - What is the Point?

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Parent Leaders - What is the Point?

Postby ThunderingWind » Mon Mar 14, 2005 2:08 pm

What is the point of having parent leaders if the parent can not sign the requirement blocks? I understand not being on BoR. However, this is keeping my son back.

We just crossed over and he wants to get moving. But because I am his parent, I can not sign his bok stating he scored whatever PU, SU, run time etc....

My son wants to earn the backpacking, while no other boys do not. He is ready for the challenge and can do the 10 miles with 10% body weight load. But I can not go with him because I am his parent, even though I am a registered leader.

So why be leader if I can not count the number of push ups my son completes or take him on a hike that he plans and presents to the MB Counselor all the documentation?

Frustrasted Ed
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Postby optimist » Mon Mar 14, 2005 2:24 pm

You have been misinformed.

  • A parent may serve as a merit badge counselor for their son provided they are a registered approved merit badge counselor in that subject and the Scoutmaster has assigned the Scout to work with their parent.
  • A parent may also sign off on rank advancement provided they have been given the authority to do so by the Scoutmaster.
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Postby Lynda J » Mon Mar 14, 2005 2:27 pm

You can act as a Merit Badge Counselor for your son, as long as he has a partner. I do for Kevin. But you have to be a registered Merit Badge Counselor to do this.

As far as signing off for Rank. I don't feel a parent should. I do not want to sign off for Kevin. Even though the SM does not have a problem with it.
I just don't want anyone along the way to get the impression that Kevin might not have done the work in full. So I don't. I sign off for any other boy in the troop. The SM or one of the other ASMs sign off for him.
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Postby wagionvigil » Mon Mar 14, 2005 2:52 pm

this is not Cub Scouts. The Scoutmaster has the authority to authorize people to sign off. It usually another Asst. SM or the SPL etc. I might have missed this BUT are you registered with the troop and in what capacity?
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Parent Leaders - What is the Point?

Postby ThunderingWind » Mon Mar 14, 2005 5:00 pm

I am a registered ASM and assigned to work with his patrol. There is another ASM with the partol.

I just want to be able to go with my son on his 4 ten mile and 1 20 mile hike and be allowed to vouche that he completed them. I want to be able to put my signature in his book that states "Today, Name, did his pre-test in Tenderfoot Physical Fitness and did 15 push ups."

Is this too difficult to accomplish? I understand about not being accused of cheating. However, I feel I am treated as guilty before proven innocent.

Part of the BoR is to check with the Scout and have him explain waht he has done with the items required.
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Postby Lynda J » Mon Mar 14, 2005 5:22 pm

If he is working on Merit Badges he has to have a registered counselor for that badge. This does not mean you can do the requirements with him. But it is his responsibility to get with the counselor. I also think it is important that boys not depend on their parents to counsel all badges. Kevin has earned 12 badges, only four of which I counsel right now Kevin is working on 3 badges that I do not counsel. We also have our boys go out of troop and find counselors. I also think it is better for boys to have someone other than a parent sign off on rank advancement. One of the main things I see scouting doing for Kevin is making him less dependant on me. And by having him work with others he learns more about dealing in the real world and understanding that he has to stand on his own and be responsible for himself. When he is telling me what he has done I understand him and know how his thought process. When he is having to explain it to someone else, they don't "read" him. It makes him communicate better with others. It is part of the growing up process.
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Postby Scouting179 » Mon Mar 14, 2005 5:36 pm

Ed:

First, backpacking is three 15-milers and one 30-miler. You're mixing this with Hiking, which is five 10-milers and one 20-miler. 10% is not much of a load; for a 150lb person, that's only 15lbs.

If you sign his book, you're opening yourself and him to all sorts of scrutiny. I never signed my son's book and only did 3 of his MBs.

You did not say you're a MB Counseler, only an ASM, so you can't counsel his MBs anyway. If you do become a MBC, only work his MBs in a group, not solo. Please trust us on this one. It is not Cub Scouts.

Your post made me think you and he did his hikes alone, outside the troop, if this is so, this defeats the purpose of having a troop. Also keep in mind 2-deep leadership. This would also alleviate your problem of no one else seeing him do his quals. This 2nd adult could sign his book.

How is this holding him up? Are none of the other young Scouts working on Tenderfoot?
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Postby Lynda J » Mon Mar 14, 2005 6:20 pm

So why be leader if I can not count the number of push ups my son completes or take him on a hike that he plans and presents to the MB Counselor all the documentation?


I am in Scouting to work with all the boys not just my Kevin. It isn't important to me who signs his book just as long as he learns the skills and has a good time. If I had to walk away from scouting tomorrow I know that he would continue and keep advancing. Hopefully his advancement in scouting isn't tied to me being there. I would hope he could do this without me.

My wonderfully wise grandmother use to say we should raise our children like the birds. "Hatch them, feed them, teach them to fly and then push the out of the nest and force them to use their own wings." She was wonderful and was leading weekly hiking with kids trips up the river behind her house when she was 75.
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Did he or didn't he?

Postby riverwalk » Mon Mar 14, 2005 6:34 pm

:) Your Unit is probably trying to control Advancement by asking you to observe their procedure(s). Otherwise, certain parents would be getting their son advanced, without doing the work. Two deep issues wouldn't apply to your own son, except for the good practice of following our Policy, and limiting any question as to what was accomplished. The good ols days may be gone, where Patrols could be active outside of Troop gatherings. But the world has gone around some since then!
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Just Frustrated

Postby ThunderingWind » Mon Mar 14, 2005 6:40 pm

I am just frustrated that I can not do things with my son even though I am a registered leader. And forgive me if I got the two MB requirements crossed. And a 10% load is all the MBC will allow for hiking, BackPacking is 15%. I carry abput 40 (Army training helps).

My son wants to earn the Hiking MB, his patrol does not. Yet I can not go with him and have it count. The MBC stated he (the MBC) does not have to come on the hikes. We already hike quite a bit. So my son wants to puts his experience to work and earn a MB.

So again I ask why be a leader if being a parent blocks me from doing anything with my son?

I understand the requirements for being an MBC, and that is not really the issue. It is that if I am present at the activity with my son, it does not count for him.
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Postby Scouting179 » Mon Mar 14, 2005 7:01 pm

Being a leader does not block you from doing things with your son. My son and I did virtually all our outings together -- and since we follow 2-deep, there was always someone to sign his book.

As for the TFoot exercises, get as many kids together in your unit as need it and one other ASM and that problem would be solved.

There is almost invariably another Hiking MBC in your council besides you. Have your son (not you) contact that person and go from there.

It also appears that his hikes may have been done before he joined the troop, and if I'm not mistaken, you're not supposed to count things done prior to the Scout joining the troop.
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Re: Parent Leaders - What is the Point?

Postby hacimsaalk » Mon Mar 14, 2005 7:28 pm

edbloom wrote:What is the point of having parent leaders if the parent can not sign the requirement blocks? I understand not being on BoR. However, this is keeping my son back.

We just crossed over and he wants to get moving. But because I am his parent, I can not sign his bok stating he scored whatever PU, SU, run time etc....

My son wants to earn the backpacking, while no other boys do not. He is ready for the challenge and can do the 10 miles with 10% body weight load. But I can not go with him because I am his parent, even though I am a registered leader.

So why be leader if I can not count the number of push ups my son completes or take him on a hike that he plans and presents to the MB Counselor all the documentation?

Frustrasted Ed

1. this is so that a parent doesnt sign his boys book without him doing it, virtually putting him years ahead in scouting.

2. nin our troop, as long as the parent goes along and can vouch that he did it, our mbc's will accept it. why not tell the mbc to go?

3.you can. write down the #of pushups he does, and then have him go to someone else to have it signed off
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Just Frustrated

Postby ThunderingWind » Mon Mar 14, 2005 7:36 pm

The hikes to this point have been for fun. We just want some furture ones already scheduled (Grand Canyon) to count.

The patrol is moving to slow for both of us. We had a great weather weekend and live next to a 1/4 mile track. It was a perfect time to score the base line. As it was we used it as a "know what it will be like" in the future when the Troop will finally gets it on the schedule.

I will glady work with him on things (safety checks, general guidance), I will not and have not done them for him (except glue something once when he had an allergic reaction to the glue).

It is the whole "guilty until proven innocent" mentality that really bugs me.
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Parents As Leaders

Postby ThunderingWind » Mon Mar 14, 2005 7:42 pm

Replying to Micah:

I understand about protecing against just signing the book when nothing was done. That is not my point.

My point is why as a registered leader, can I NOT sign his book?

What happened to a Scout is truthful? Already my son and I are being called liars just because we are trying to complete in a reasonable timeframe the requirements for promotion.
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Re: Parents As Leaders

Postby hacimsaalk » Mon Mar 14, 2005 8:26 pm

edbloom wrote:Replying to Micah:

I understand about protecing against just signing the book when nothing was done. That is not my point.

My point is why as a registered leader, can I NOT sign his book?

What happened to a Scout is truthful? Already my son and I are being called liars just because we are trying to complete in a reasonable timeframe the requirements for promotion.


i suggest you either sit down and talk with the sm, or if things become extremely bad, go find another troop.
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Re: Parents As Leaders

Postby Scouting179 » Mon Mar 14, 2005 8:28 pm

edbloom wrote:Replying to Micah:

I understand about protecing against just signing the book when nothing was done. That is not my point.

My point is why as a registered leader, can I NOT sign his book?

What happened to a Scout is truthful? Already my son and I are being called liars just because we are trying to complete in a reasonable timeframe the requirements for promotion.


Actually, you CAN sign his book BUT if you over do it, you're setting himself and yourself up for problems, especially at an Eagle BOR. The advancement handbook says..."No Council, District, or individual has the authority to add to or subtract from any advancement requirement....A Scout may be tested on rank requirements by his patrol leader, SM, ASM, a troop committee member, or a member of his troop. The SM maintainsa list of those qualified to give tests and to pass candidates...(goes on to say MBs must be done by MB Counselors, which approved by districts)" So, in other words, you can IF your SM authorizes you to. People will flat out tell you parents can't sign for their kids, but they can with SM approval. The reason people say that is that this is probably the single most common rule SMs come up with and the reasons have already been stated....it simply gets too many questions asked as there are too many overzealous parents who have "gun decked" their sons requirements (that's a Navy term).

If you are being called liars and yet have been truthful, then one can only question the others who are calling you that. I don't know how bad this situation is, but you could always move to another troop.

One thing national WILL revoke an Eagle award for is they find out a Scout got some of his MBs used for Eagle by someone not on the approved MBC list. So, if you want to do MBs, turn in the form and get approved.
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Postby cballman » Mon Mar 14, 2005 11:31 pm

as being a ASM now for about 5 years the way our troop does this is as follows the only way you should sign off a req. is that you do not do it for family. but if you have just crossed over then one of our seasoned leaders normaly takes the new boy patrol and would have put you with another patrol so that you can learn just the same way just not together. I have seen where a parent cannot let their son go out with a group unless they are in the middle of it. all we ask is that when you go on a outing sit back and let the boys do there things. once you get the hang of it then you can sign off on the other boys, just not your own son. Now the big question how large is your troop? how many leaders? How many boys? do you have outings planned for each month? why is the other leaders not taking interest in the new boys? what is the older boys doing? if you cannot answer most of these questions is your troop active or do you need to find another that is. there should be another leader or older scout who can sign off if not I see problems.
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Postby commish3 » Tue Mar 15, 2005 1:39 am

ed I believe you are mixing up several different responsibilities and rules into one vexations. If you would allow me to separate them.

Tenderfoot to First Class requirements only.
These can be signed by anyone that the troop determines to do this. I personally let the PLC determine who those people are and it is the Scoutmasters responsibility to maintain a list of approved testers.
The Scoutmaster training materials and the SM Handbook recommend that the Troop guide and the Assistant Scout master for New Scout Patrols be approved for signing the new scouts on these requirements.

If I had a dad in this ASM role I would allow him to sign anything his son did during a troop or patrol function, but since other parents cannot sign their Scout's book at home It would not be proper for the ASM to do so.

BUT what a parent can do is provide evidence to the scout leaders that a requirement was completed outside of scouting and if that evidence was substantial I would expect any reasonable leader to accept it ands sign the book.


The same goes with MB. While only a registered and approved MB counselor can sign the blue card, nothing says they must be present when the scout completes the requirement. If the scout can present substantial evidence that the task for a requirement such as a hike was completed according to the requirement any reasonable counselor will accept it.

So go hike with your son. Have him map the route, take notes along the way, snap some shots of key landmarks. You can write a note saying you were there if you feel it is needed. But let the counselor do their job.

In Cub Scouts the parents can sign anything, until Webelos. In Webelos it is the Webelos Leader only. In Boy Scouts it is different specific people for different portions.

If you want to sign your sons advancement stay within the boundaries of the program. When acting as an ASM DURING troop and patrol activities , or as a REGISTERED MB counselor.

The SM is just trying to follow the rules, your assistance in that would make both your lives easier.
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Postby Eamonn » Tue Mar 15, 2005 1:41 am

Ed,
you can sign off on the requirements that your nipper has completed. You could with the approval of the District Advancement Committee become the Merit Badge counselor for merit badges that he may want to work on now or at some later date.
I trust you, not because I know you. I trust you because you are a Scout. I wish we had a couple more million Dads that would sign up as adult leaders or volunteers. God Bless You.
Now for the other side of the coin.
When I think about the ASM, I of course see the words Assistant Scoutmaster - Yes even I'm that bright. The Scoutmaster leads the Troop and you are there to assist. Your role is to aid the SM and help him with leading the troop. As hard a pill as it may be to swallow, as far as the Troop goes it comes first. You are not on the unit charter as Ed Jr's Dad.
Sure go and do this hiking and other good stuff, but do it with all the troop members.
You might want to stop looking at the Ranks of Scouting as "Promotions". Scouting is all about the journey. Participating with the other Scouts is a huge part of what Scouting is all about. Lads making errors and learning from them is also important.
Leaders Kids have a rough time, some people don't live up to the Scout Law and forget about being Kind. Comments like "He only got that because his Dad is the ASM" can be very hurtful. Hurtful to your son and I hate to see any Lad hurt. One sure way to keep these wicked and not so nice people in their place is by pointing out that you never did anything for young Ed, that you didn't do for every Lad in the troop.
I am happy that you have come on board and I wish you and the little Lad nothing but happy trails. I would love to see the look on your face when all the Lads in the NSP that you are working with make their goals and you can say that they are your Lads.
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Postby ThunderingWind » Tue Mar 15, 2005 9:03 am

It is not that I can not sign his book (and this is in troop rules that no parent signs the book at all), it is the attitude of being treated like I am trying to cheat the other boys.

All my son and I want to do is complete a few of the Tenderfoot requirements faster than the schedule has it planned (target August Court of Honor after summer camp). Additionally, we want to work an a MB or two that the other Scouts do not.

But I am being told that if I attend any of his MB functions, it will not count unless the whole patral is doing it or a group of boys from the troop is doing it. Just my presence, because I am a parent and registered leader, is being used against us in his progress.
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