scouts-l Mail Archive for February of 2000: Re: What Sayeth the List?
Anthony Mako (ajmako@NLS.NET
Tue Feb 15 2000 - 02:11:59 CST
<Paul S. Wolf wrote>
In fact, if he has served as SPL for 6 months since becoming a Life Scout,
you can NOT deny the advancement because he didn't meet YOUR definition of
"active" by not going on campouts. He has met the requirement already. BSA
has stated numerous times that no one may apply any subjective or
quantitative criteria to that requirement, except "Has he served in one or
more of those positions for the required period (6 months or more) while
registered as a member of the unit and BSA, and after reaching the rank of
Life Scout?" How well he served is not a criterion.
First off, let me say that in the situation Bruce wrote about, the SPL _did_
serve actively since he was at nearly every meeting. I agree that Bruce
shouldn't use the Scouts absence from campouts against him. However, I have
to agree with one part of your statement above.
How well a Scout serves in a position of responsibility SHOULD be a criteria
for advancement. But, as I've stated many times on this list, it shouldn't
be applied ONLY at advancement time. A Scoutmaster can define expectations
for a particular position, and evaluate performance based on those
expectations. The qualifier is that the SM ***HAS TO COMMUNICATE THOSE
EXPECTATIONS*** (not yelling, just emphasizing). The expectations have to be
known by the Scout BEFORE he takes on the position, they have to be
realistic, and fairly evaluated over the course of the period of office. The
SM (or BOR) cannot discount any time a Scout actively spent in a position of
responsibility, so it benefits both the Scout and the Scouters to make sure
the responsibilities and criteria are understood.
We go through this discussion of what "active" means often on this list.
There are almost as many opinions on the subject as there are members of the
list. The important thing to remember is you can define "active" any way you
want. There are, however, a couple stipulations. Your definition has to be
realistic. It has to be applied fairly. It has to take into account an
individual Scout's personal situation. And, most importantly, it has to be
communicated and understood by everyone it effects. The folks in the
trenches - SM, SA, DL - have the perfect opportunity every week to make sure
Scouts understand what the expectations are.
In the end, your interpretation of the various requirements is much like
voting. If you don't vote, you can't say much about your leaders. Likewise,
if you don't communicate your expectations to your Scouts, you can't say
much when it's time to advance.
AJ Mako, Scoutmaster, Troop 381 http://www.scouts381.org/
Great Trail Council, Old Portage District
The requirement, which actually reads, "While a Life Scout, serve
actively for a period of 6 months in one or more of the following
positions of responsibility:" does NOT require LEADERSHIP at all.
Leadership is required ONLY for the project, where the requirement
reads, in part, "While a Life Scout, plan, develop, and give leadership
to others in a service project ..."
Also, remember, for EAGLE, the Scout lists the various requirements on
the application. "Signing off" in his book, really isn't necessary. So
he can list the position, and how he met all the other requirements,
meet with you for his SM Conference, and then ask for your signature on
the application. If you REFUSE to sign, he can appeal, and would be
allowed to advance anyway.
Paul S. Wolf, PE mailto:Paul.S.Wolf@alum.wpi.edu
Advancement/Safety Webmaster, USSSP http://www.usscouts.org