Scouts-L Mail Archive for December of 1999: Re: Refusing a SM Conference CAN YOU??
Re: Refusing a SM Conference CAN YOU??
Sat, 4 Dec 1999 12:03:20 -0500
<David F. Delman wrote>
SM is refusing to have SM-Conferences because he doesn't feel that the 1st
Class and Star Scout passes the Scout Spirit test. The situation may or may
not be a personality and youth / adult conflict situation with piles of
adult/parent struggles thrown in for laughs and tears.
Without knowing any more details there are a couple possibilities here:
1) The SM may be refusing to SIGN Scout Spirit and the SM Conference, but
has counseled the Scout(s) on what they need to do to improve. This is the
2) The SM may be refusing to TALK to the Scout about his Scout Spirit, what
the SM expects, and why the SM won't advance the Scout. This is NOT the
The SM, or another leader assigned by the SM, has the responsibility of
conducting the SM Conference and evaluating Scout spirit. While the SM can
decide not to advance the Scout (approve him for the BOR), he has to be able
to justify his decision AND provide the Scout with an opportunity to show
improvement. That means the SM has to communicate with the Scout and should
communicate with the advancement chair if the Scout isn't being recommended
to the BOR. By not talking to the Scout (or anyone else) no one knows where
the problems are or how to correct them. This makes it impossible for the
Scout and set a horrible example.
In either case, the best course of action is for the CC or the advancement
chair to talk to the SM about these Scouts and find out the real situation.
While the SM has the responsibility of evaluating each Scout's process, the
troop committee (specifically the advancement chair) has the responsibility
of making sure the advancement process is being used fairly and properly. If
it's determined that the SM's actions are the result of a personality
conflict, the CC may need to arbitrate the situation to resolve the problem.
The SM-Conference sign off in this troop is holding up the BoR process where
by advancement can be denied with improvement actions suggested or
advancement can be granted since the adults see something different than the
SM and are as always Program allies.
The SM Conference is the proper place to delay advancement and suggest
actions for improvement. If a Scout doesn't satisfy the requirements in the
eyes of the SM, the SM shouldn't be expected to sign off the requirements
and send the Scout to the BOR. If the BOR determines that a Scout is not
ready to advance, it's as much a reflection on the SM as it is on the Scout.
It is vitally important that the SM and the troop committee understand their
responsibilities with regard to advancement and support each other. The SM
should see the committee as partners, not as adversaries, in administration
of the troop. The committee should see the SM as their "man in the trenches"
and support him in his efforts and ensure his efforts aren't detrimental to
the entire troop effort.
I know this has been discussed before YET PLEASE give your wisdom, and
knowledge(as Neil wrote) and practices for some of those new to us so they
don't think I am just from New York/OK/PA and living in the Wild !!
There's nothing wrong with re-hashing prior discussions. In many cases,
plenty of time elapses between the discussions that there's likely to be new
voices, new opinions, and new experiences to add to the discussion. There
are, of course, always new members to benefit from the re-hashing.
AJ Mako, Scoutmaster, Troop 381 http://www.scouts381.org/
Great Trail Council, Old Portage District