Re: Need insight into new by-laws
Strommen, Randy (RLSTROMMEN@DOWAGRO.COM)
Wed, 1 Apr 1998 10:17:56 -0500
Be careful what you ask for. Here are my opinions. Note: I have been
an Advancement Chairman for 2-3 years now. I have a much more relaxed
attitude about many of these issues. I am a procrastinator by nature,
so if a boy finishes a merit badge before I go to the Scout Office, I'll
pick it up for him for the next Court of Honor. I never prepare the
program until 3 hours before the Court anyway.
My perspective on Boards of Review: These are times for the boy to
present his completion of the requirements necessary for the next rank
advancement. The board checks that the paper work and dates are proper
and appropriate, however, this SHOULD have been done by the Advancement
Chairman before the Board is held. The BoR is an opportunity for adults
to reach out to the boy through thoughtful questions about his
motivations, his life choices, his goals for the short term.
Boards of Review are NOT final exams for rank advancement.
>* All Scouts must schedule their Board of Review at least two weeks in
>advance of the desired date.
This requirement is pretty demotivating during the two troop meetings
before a Court of Honor. Far better to have regularly scheduled Boards
of Review each month. One troop I was with experimented with doing this
on PLC night (meeting after a campout). Those not involved with the PLC
could come to that meeting and there would be two to three BoR ready to
meet with them. Those involved in the PLC made arrangements to do the
Board before or after the PLC. Good plan, no one had to schedule
anything, just show up. There were always 9-12 adults hanging around to
>* The Scout s Boy Scout Handbook must be turned into the Advancement Chairman
>at least one week prior to the scheduled Board of Review.
Totally disagree with this one. The Advancement Chairman should have
all the records necessary and up to date. (i.e. Merit Badges, service
hours.) This is the BOY's record. He should never give it away. (see
the note below).
* Specific individuals cannot be requested to sit on the Board of Review
>by either the Scout or other adults.
Requested is fine. Compliance with the request is at the discretion of
the Advancement Chairman and the Troop Committee. I think adult
intervention for a particular boy is important. Provided the adult acts
like an adult. A request from Scout should be considered because the
person he selects may just be a role model for him and he wants to
demonstrate his proficiency to that person.
BTW, if specific adults cannot be requested to sit on a Board of Review,
how does the AC get anyone to sit on a particular board. Is this a
random draw situation. Or is the AC not an Adult or a Scout?
* Scoutmasters and Assistant Scoutmasters cannot sign off or perform the
>Scoutmaster s conference for their own child.
ASMs don't do SM conferences. That is the sole domain of the SM. It is
his primary job. And he does it for his own boy. He is the SM.
>* All dates and initials in the Boy Scout Handbook must be clearly legible
>and complete. Dates must include the month, day, and year (i.e., MM/DD/YY).
Well, nicely done, but realistic? How about this one - The Advancement
Chairman will maintain current and active records. These records are to
be up to date after each campout. Failure to keep the troop records up
to date will result in the Adv Chairman being replaced. The Advancement
Chairman must use a Year 2000 (mm/dd/yyyy) ready process so that no
scout could confuse advancement requirements being fulfilled in the year
1900 vs 2000. (Oooh, my cheek is hurting with my tongue in it.)
There. That seems to go along with the other requirements.
>* All Boy Scouts will be required to recite the Boy Scout Oath and Promise at
>the beginning of each Board of Review. Failure to correctly recite either of
>these will terminate the Board of Review. A future Board of Review will be
>scheduled for the Scout.
I don't have a problem with properly reciting the Oath and Promise.
However, use the time to make sure that the rest of the boy's work is
ready so that he doesn't fail the Board of Review twice.
* When or if we get an actual position paper from the BSA on God and the
>Scout, this paper will be provided to all parents and new parents. This is to
>prevent any hard feelings or misunderstandings in the future. (This last one
>is in reference to declining an Advancement on the grouds that the boy
confessed, after in-depth questioning, that he did not believe in God.)
A boy's personal relationship with God is his own business. Boys at
this age often go thru struggles in understanding their own faith and
relationship. However, if the boy promises to do his Duty to God, then
he has met the requirements of the BSA.
Now, in my troop, a boy who is clearly not obeying the gospel principles
may have his advancement recognition done privately. He is still
allowed to advance, because he is still part of the church. Working out
your transgressions is part of the gospel experience. But the honor and
the recognition are no longer public. The loss of the public
recognition is the consequence of the sinful behavior. Also, the
opportunity exists for the SM to delay the advancement through the Scout
Master's conference. I don't think that these kind of issues are the
>domain of the Board of Review.
Terry Howerton Sakima Group, Inc. SCOUTER Magazine Kansas City