Re: Help on BOR go/no go
Joseph Alessi (JosephAlessi@COMPUSERVE.COM)
Thu, 2 Apr 1998 08:36:31 -0500
Gladys Jenner wrote:
>> Please help us on this as need something that will stand
up to appeals! <<
I'd hate to say it, but it is almost impossible to be upheld
on appeal on either of these two points.
First, the scout spirit requirement, which actually reads as
Demonstrate Scout spirit by living the Scout Oath
(Promise) and Scout Law in your everyday life.
Being disruptive at meetings is not considered grounds for
withholding approval of this requirement. In fact, BSA =
reworded this requirement several years ago to make sure
that we focus on activity outside of Scouting. Now the
fact that the boys have been in trouble at school might be
factored in, but it will be hard to argue at an appeal. If
the boys appeal, what would happen is the appeal board would
first meet with the SM. The SM would be asked to describe the
overall situation. He would be expected to provide specific
*NON_SCOUTING* examples of the boy not following the Oath and
Law. They should be recent, and not things that happened
a year ago. He would also be asked if he held SM conferences
at the time these came to light to counsel the boys, and if
he explained to them the possible effect on their advancement.
He would be asked for any documentation.
Next, the appeals panel would talk to the boy. They would ask
him how he lived the Scout Oath and Law in his daily life.
He would be asked about the incidents that were provided by the
SM. He would be asked to explain how he reconciled this with
his previous statement. He would be asked if he met with the
SM, and if the SM counseled him. The panel would then discuss
the issue and come to a conclusion. IMHO in order to deny
the appeal, the infraction(s) must be recent, and either very
serious or very numerous. The SM had to have previously
counseled the boy, and there should have been written =
documentation, preferably with a written plan of improvement
that was not followed by the scout. The more of these elements
that are missing, the more likely that the appeal would be
One thing to look at is the nature of advancement. It is not a
"reward" for good behaviour. It is one of our methods. A troop
should not use the threat of withholding advancement as a "club"
to get the boys to do what the leadership wants.
This does not mean that "anything goes". There should be a "Code
of Conduct" for the troop. The Oath and Law do fine for this.
The only issue is what should be the consequences when a boy
shows "less than acceptable behavior" at meetings or campouts.
Rather than withholding rank, there should be other consequences.
For example, at meetings: first offense: a warning. Second
offense: sit out game and activity. Third offense: call parent
to take him home. Do the same thing on campouts. If a boy gets
sent home more than once, have a procedure where he needs to =
"earn" his way back into participation in the activities.
Focus on solving this problem rather than trying to figure out
ways to hold up advancement. In my experience, there are boys
who don't really care about advancement, anyway. You can't
reach these boys by withholding advancement.
This is a tough issue, but one that is faced at one time or
another by almost every troop. You can get through it. Just
remember to be fair. Include the PLC in setting up the policy
(the best thing might be to discuss the overall issue of
behaviour with the PLC. Hopefully, they will also feel that it
is a problem, and will come up with some good solutions).
Make sure that the troop policy is applied to all (if an ASM's
son acts up, make mom come and pick him up!).
Joseph A. Alessi in Ozwin 2.14
Vice Chair - Program, Lafayette District
ASM Troop 313
Advisor to the Treasurer, Unami Lodge
I used to be an Owl
Terry Howerton Sakima Group, Inc. SCOUTER Magazine Kansas City