Parent Leaders - What is the Point?

Scout Badge, Tenderfoot, Second Class, First Class, Star, Life, and Eagle Palms.

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Postby commish3 » Tue Mar 15, 2005 9:33 am

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.


Your sons advancement should not include what you want to do. You agreed to be an ASM that means what you want and what you do has to be for the good of all not just YOUR son.

That is part of the obligation you agreed to accept when you took the job.
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Postby wagionvigil » Tue Mar 15, 2005 9:56 am

Merit Badges Are done this way around here. We have a list of approved Counselors in each district. A scout goes to the Leader that has that list( I made a copy for each scout) and the leader gives the scout a Signed MB Blue card and Counselors to choose from. The Scout then contacts the counselor to take the MB. WE always get the boys to have a buddy for the MB BUT if there is no one else interested in the MB then Mom or Dad go as the Buddy. I also have the Boys read the MB books Before they are given a Blue Card. That is why we have the Books. There is nothing worse then having a scout come to a mb session and have no idea of the terminology or other items used in that MB. I do several MB's If a parent is present I make it very clear that the Boys do all the Work, That the boy answers any questions at the session and that the parent is to be seen and not heard. If they do speak without being asked the session is over for that evening. When my son was a scout he did two MB with me Swimming and lifesaving as the council Aquatics director there was no question.
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Postby Chief J » Tue Mar 15, 2005 10:23 am

With respect to the merit badges, I do not see how or why the Troop is controlling how the badge is completed. The Scout should approach the SM or his designee and tell him I want to work on _____. After the SM signs the blue card and assigns a counselor, it should then be up to the counselor to determine the who, what, when, where, how, and why for the Scout to satisfy the stated merit badge requirements, not the Troop.

I think if the Troop is saying that you cannot attend a hike unless the whole Patrol is there or it won't count is completely out of line with the Merit Badge Program.

Just my thoughts,
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Postby optimist » Tue Mar 15, 2005 10:23 am

commish3 wrote:Your sons advancement should not include what you want to do. You agreed to be an ASM that means what you want and what you do has to be for the good of all not just YOUR son.

That is part of the obligation you agreed to accept when you took the job.


Boy Scouting is not communism. When he agreed to be a Scout leader, he did not set aside his responsibilities towards his son nor his expectations and aspirations for his son. As a matter of fact, he made a conscientious decision to support what could be an important part of the process, his son's Scouting career.

I've heard it said that the sons of adult leaders tend to earn Eagle more often than the National average. This would make sense to me. People who take an active part in their children's life, people who encourage their children, help them set high goals, and give them the resources they need to meet these goals, they are the ones who produce children who accomplish their goals.
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Postby wagionvigil » Tue Mar 15, 2005 10:26 am

This would appear to be a TROOP RULE which is not allowed to go against BSA rules BUT alot DO!
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Postby Scouting179 » Tue Mar 15, 2005 10:38 am

Ed:

I'm not sure what your focus is, but I agree that a parent should guide their son in the son's goals, not have the son do what the parent wants (an easy trap I once fell into myself).

If you son wants to move faster than the troop has things planned, merely have your son approach those who can sign off what he needs to work on; I'm sure most will gladly help.
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Postby OldGreyBear » Tue Mar 15, 2005 11:33 am

Ed,

Congrats on being Gung Ho and having a Gung Ho son. Our back yard may have been the only one in the neighborhood with a monkey bridge my son and I built. As we were constructing it he looked at me and said, boy, I am glad I have a dad like you, it brought tears to my eyes and I replied, Boy, am I glad I have a son like you as well. We are both Eagles, went to the 2001 national jamboree together, and have had a great time, treasure the moments scouting, they are some of the best.

If your son wants to advance on the fast track, I see nothing wrong with it if you are authorized to sign off on the requirements. I do think it would be quite nice if you could have your son find a like minded scout in the troop, doesnt have to be from his patrol, to be his buddy in all the activities. With the two of them working together, its more of the boy scout model, plus it gives you an ally in the buddy's father etc. Just a thought
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Postby commish3 » Tue Mar 15, 2005 11:48 am

Hi optimist

I don't think communism is a relevant term here.

My point was that acting as a parent he should not be giving extra services to his son that other parents cannot give.

He is not an ASM just for his son, heis an ASM for the troop. Should his services be provided on a preferential basis? I think that is asking to create dischord within the unit.

I think it is great that a parent encourages a Scout to advance. But Ed might find that acting as a dad with his son and as a Scout Leader with the troop without blurring the distinction will make things go a lot smoother for everyone.
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Postby ASM-142 » Tue Mar 15, 2005 1:11 pm

commish3 wrote:My point was that acting as a parent he should not be giving extra services to his son that other parents cannot give.


It sounds like the service (going on hikes) was offered to all boys but they did not want to participate. In this case there should be nothing wrong with this Dad/ASM going on a hike with his son/scout and having it count towards requirements
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Postby ThunderingWind » Tue Mar 15, 2005 1:26 pm

Commish,

These are things he has brought to me since crossing over. He asked me to test him on the TF physical fitness. He came to me and asked to start the MB. That is when I went to the other adult leaders and asked how to get it done. That is when the can of worms was opened and I became an object of disdain.

All I want to do is help my son move faster than the other boys want to move because my son wants to move faster than the other boys want to move.

As far as acting as an ASM for the other boys, no problem. It was my task to give the oral part of the SCOUT badge test when they first came to the Troop. Well to all of them except my son. I even got to sign their books that it was done. I have shared my coin and currency collection with another boy who jsut started his and gave him some duplicates I had. I translate as much of the written newsletter and flyers that come out to Spanish to assist one of the families of a boy in my patrol.

So I do not feel I am giving more to my son because I am a leader at the cost of the other boys. I just want what my son does outside the training schedule because he wants to learn more, do more than the other boys at this time, to count in the books.
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Postby optimist » Tue Mar 15, 2005 1:29 pm

commish3 wrote:Hi optimist

I don't think communism is a relevant term here.


No, communism is very relevant. You didn't say "should be for the good of all", you said "has to be for the good of all". Communism is a system under which its members a required to do what is for the common advantage of all even if it is to your own detriment or to the detriment of your family and friends.

In case you feel that you aren't advising something to the detriment of edbloom's son, I point out that he said both of them were interested in accomplishing these things, not edbloom exclusively. So in denying edbloom you are also denying his son.

commish3 wrote:My point was that acting as a parent he should not be giving extra services to his son that other parents cannot give.

He is not an ASM just for his son, heis an ASM for the troop. Should his services be provided on a preferential basis? I think that is asking to create dischord within the unit.

I think it is great that a parent encourages a Scout to advance. But Ed might find that acting as a dad with his son and as a Scout Leader with the troop without blurring the distinction will make things go a lot smoother for everyone.


Most people don't join Scouting because they want to do things for the betterment of all. If they sought out Scouting, they did so for the betterment of themselves or their family. I know I did.

My decision to become a Scout leader came shortly after my son's birth. I wanted my son to grow up to be a better person than myself so I looked for a way to make that happen. When I picked up a Scout Handbook and read it, I knew I had found the way.

I first became a Scout leader when my son was two. Unlike many other boys in this day and age when Scouting is unfashionable, my son wanted to be a Scout before he was old enough because he saw the program through my participation in it. He turns twenty-one in a few months now and he would be the first to tell you how much he gained from Scouting and from a father that worked hard for him to make sure he got everything he possibly could from the program.

edbloom has every right to do everything he possibly can for his son and should do so. The people who argue against it in these forums seem to feel like he can't do that and help other kids at the same time. I seriously doubt that any Scout who has ever worked with me would say I shorted them, that I didn't give them 100% of what I had to offer. I simply gave my son 110%.
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Postby Scouting179 » Tue Mar 15, 2005 1:40 pm

Many good points have been made.

edbloom should be able to enjoy Scouting with his son. I would never say otherwise. All I'm saying is that if a parent isn't careful, too much scrutiny may be brought upon the family. I've seen it happen before. Based on what edbloom has said, I would venture to say the situation in his troop has been blown out of proportion there.

edbloom: isn't there at least one other Scout and leader that is willing to work with your son and your self? Go up to some and ask them in person. This approach would work better than waiting for them to come to you.

My son and I are both Eagles (he's still in Scouts) and I cherish both his and my Scouting days deeply. I truly hope the Scouting path leads you two that way too.
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Postby commish3 » Tue Mar 15, 2005 1:43 pm

Optimist,
I have not seen anyone argue with Ed. I certainly haven't. He wrote in asking for advice. In numerous threads on this forum advice differs from person to person.

How we view our responsibility as parents and scout leaders differs from person to person as well. All I was trying to explain (as have others in this thread who you have not taken exception with) is that a parents responsibility and an assistant scoutmasters responsibility are not the same.

We have all seen adults who have handled the balance better than others have. I was trying, at Ed's request, to help him with his dilema by suggesting he try to not let his responsibilty in one role cloud his responsibility in another.

No one is arguing, we are all simply giving our advice based on our personal experiences and understanding of the program.
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Postby optimist » Tue Mar 15, 2005 3:15 pm

commish3 wrote:(as have others in this thread who you have not taken exception with)


commish3, the above statement is a personal attack which is not allowed in these forums, saying that I am somehow treating you different because I happened to quote you instead of someone else.
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Postby commish3 » Tue Mar 15, 2005 3:44 pm

He asked me to test him on the TF physical fitness.


I completely agree with you here Ed. Anyone should be allowed to record the number of pushups and situps. I cannot imagine anyone having a problem with you doing that.

He came to me and asked to start the MB


This is different. Unless you are a registered counselor for this badge this is something the scout should be starting first with his SM to get the blue card, and then with his counselor to see how to get started. If his counselor accepts him going on qualified hikes with you (I I don't see why he or she wouldn't then the Scoutmaster or the other adults have no say in the matter.

But is your son came to you first then that is out of sequence from the instruction's he has in his handbook as to how to begin a merit badge.
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Postby Lynda J » Tue Mar 15, 2005 4:10 pm

I require any boy asking me to counsel them on a merit badge to contact my via phone. This includes Kevin and any other boy in our troop. It is simply a matter of respect. If a boy is going to work with a counselor outside of your troop this method of contact is what they should use.

Merit Badge request go this way in our troop.
1)Discuss with SM the need for a Blue Card for badge,
2)Check list for counselor,
3)Contact counselor and make sure they will work with you on the badge.
4)Tell SM who counselor is and fill out your Blue Card.
5)Contact Counselor, set up a meeting and present them with the Blue Card.
6)Work with counselor as necessary. If a requirement has more than one option contact counselor as to which you will be doing. (you don't have to get their approval just we ask that they let the counselor know)
7)When badge is complete and the card is signed off return card to SM and send counselor a thank you note.

The main thing to remember is that working on the badge is the boys responsibility, not the parents. As good as Kevin is about badge work right now he has one laying on his desk that the only thing he lacks having it complete is finishing the paper work. I have mentioned it twice and won't mention it again. It is his responsibility to complete the work and get it back to the counselor. Not mine.
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Postby teepeeayy » Tue Mar 15, 2005 5:27 pm

Ed, we have the boys do virtually all of the "approving" for rank advancements. For Tfoot through 1st class, a boy can have his requirements signed off by any of the senior staff (PL, ASPL, SPL, former SPL, JASM). Our SM even assigned one young boy the approvals on outings. Although he's relatively young compared with the senior staff, his scouting knowledge is very high, and no one in the troop ties a knot like him. Our SM's style is that the advancement chair is to hear from the senior staff member that a requirement was done satisfactorily, not the boy by himself. The rationale is that the boy must do, then take the responsibility to demonstrate, then ensure his requirements are properly recorded as done. I was kind of accused of doing things for my son, but this method keeps me from any appearance of guilt. I agree that as parents we should not approve rank requirements, fortunately in our troop, its addressed.

The hiking/backpacking merit badge thing intrigues me. I should read before I ask this, but is there a requirement that the hikes be done as a troop? If not, what is the MBC's stance on your son taking the initiative, finding 2 leaders, and going for a long walk?
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Postby West » Tue Mar 15, 2005 5:41 pm

There is nothing that says the hikes should be done as a troop. In fact there is absolutely no reason that a dad couldn't go with his son on the hikes, or that some boys just couldn't go out and to it (you need a buddy, but adults are not required).

As long as the councilor is satisfied the hike has taken place, and a buddy went along (followed the safty rules) it dosn't matter who the buddy is. Same with cycling MB.

The key point is working with an approved councilor.

On the doing things for your son topic, my dad was a MB councilor for a few of my MBs. He was about twice as hard on me as any of the other kids (and there were always at least 2 others takeing it at the same time). But I liked it that way, because no one could doubt that I was actually meeting every requirement (and then some). It also ment that I was really quite profecient by the time I was done with a MB he taught. He also worked on Camp staff so that I could go up there a couple extra weeks every year. He didn't teach any of my badges up there, but he went out of his way to make sure I had the oppertunity to be there. He didn't do that for every other kid in the troop.
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Postby Lynda J » Tue Mar 15, 2005 5:58 pm

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.


If this is what you are being told then you need to speak to the SM or the Committee Chair. You can not be excluded from your sons activities.
Though I do not sign Kevins book I am there when things are done. He gets full credit.
There is no rule in Boy Scouts that a parent can't take part in the activites of their son and the boy get credit. Troops can not set rules on advancement. You son should get full credit for any requirement he complets and it should not matter if you are there or not.
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Postby Chief J » Tue Mar 15, 2005 6:11 pm

To take this one step further the Youth Protection training says that all Scout activities are to be open to attendance and observation by the parent if they desire to take part.

This holds whether they are registered leaders or just concerned parents.

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