scouts-l Mail Archive for March of 2000: Re: Committee/Scoutmaster Questions
David Gottshall (Gottshalld@AOL.COM
Wed Mar 08 2000 - 15:50:03 CST
In a message dated Wed, 8 Mar 2000 2:36:37 PM Eastern Standard Time, James Walker <wwwalker@IX.NETCOM.COM> writes:
> I need to know what the "official" BSA policy is regarding the following
> issues.... I am not real interested in how individual Troops do this.... we
> have may flavors in our District... What I need is specific references....
> the Troop Committee Guidebook does not do an adequate job... I can find
> conflicting information in my training notes....
> I understand that the Scoutmaster is appointed by the Troop Committee.... It
> is my understanding that the Committee helps recruit the ASM's but they are
> appointed by the Scoutmaster.... Is this correct?
That is true, but to be appointed as an Assistant Scoutmaster, the Troop Committee Chair and the Charter Organization Head must approve the adult application / charter and the position assignment.
> I understand that the Scoutmaster assigns boys to patrols and determines if
> boys need to be moved from one patrol to another. The key issue here is who
> decides weather two patrols are merged... the Scoutmaster (with input from
> the PLC) or the Troop Committee?
There are two elements here. The issue of the merge is program (Patrol Leaders Council/Scoutmaster). The issue of a lost of patrol members necessitating the merge is membership and is a reasonable issue for the troop committee to take up with the Scoutmaster.
> I understand that the Scoutmaster assigns ASM's to work with the patrols.
> The key issue here is can the Troop Committee reassign an ASM or relieve an
> ASM of his position?
The assignment of an Assistant Scoutmaster is the purview of the Scoutmaster. The removal of an Assistant Scoutmaster from a unit is the purview of the Troop Committee and Chartering Organization Head.
> Can the Troop Committee establish additional requirements for Scouts to
> participate in the outdoor program and to attend Summer Camp?... The issue
> here is can the Committee require all Scouts (and Scouters) to complete a
> Class 3 medical when "some" could get by with a "class 2".
The Troop Committee Chair, under his "color of authority" as sole interpreter, at the unit level, of BSA regulations and by-laws AND with the assent of the Chartering Organization Head or Representative has wide discretion in matters of local unit rules making.
The short answer is YES, if the practice provides an additional level of comfort for the Chartering Organization and is not directly forbidden by National.
In some states, type and frequency of physicals for summer camps are dictated by state agencies.
> Also, can the Troop Committee require that all > registered adults that participate in the
> outdoor program or attend summer camp have completed YPT?
YES (see above). Some units require YPT before ANY interaction with youth members, not just camping.
> Can the committee
> require that all Scouts (and Scouters) maintain current adult CPR/FA
> certification to participate in the outdoor program or attend summer camp?
YES (see above again). If this causes a financial hardship on the participants, the cost should be included in the unit's annual budget and fundraising should be established to cover the costs.
> The approved merit badge procedure... It is my understanding that a Scout
> meets with the Scoutmaster. The Scoutmaster assigns a Merit Badge Councilor
> and signs the "blue card". It is then the Scouts responsibility to complete
> the listed merit badge requirements to the assigned Councilor's
> satisfaction. The Councilor then signs the card and the completion is
> recorded... The key issue here is that the Scoutmaster must sign the card
> before a Scout can begin a merit badge... AND the Scoutmaster can choose not
> to sign a card if he feels that the Scout is not ready to take the requested
> badge AND the Scoutmaster can assign a specific councilor..... Is this
No, not entirely. Scoutmaster must sign the blue card prior to any scout "officially" starting a merit badge. Skills, knowledge, collections obtained prior to "officially" starting can be used to complete the requirements of a merit badge, at the discretion of the merit badge counselor.
The assignment of merit badge counselors is a Scoutmaster function. Having said that, I've know units were Assistant Scoutmaster, Advancement Chairs, or Scouts themselves select the individual merit badge counselors.
A Scoutmaster can choose not to sign a blue card. But in doing so, he should explain to the scout why he won't sign. Maybe the scout already has too many started. If the scout has a grievence with the Scoutmaster, he should bring it to the Troop Committee for resolution.
> While we have operated smoothly in the past, we are having some problems
> with a few parents who, for what they think is in the best interest of the
> SCOUT... (ie their own Scout and not necessarily all of the SCOUTS) want to
> "force" the Troop to change long-standing procedures that have worked very
> well... Some of the pushing is now shoving... Note that the key word is
> "FORCE" not "Work it out".... Suggestions and comments??? Off group
> responses would be appreciated....
The reality is if the Scoutmaster, Committee Chair, and Chartering Organization are not on the same page...big trouble is in your future. I would offer the following advise. If a long-standing procedures is questioned, justify its purpose in terms of BSA by-laws, health and safety, or Chartering Organization requirements. Have those proposing new procedures go though the same justification. If there is no clear winner, atleast the three mentioned above must agree or bigger changes need to made that just some "procedures."
Remember most towns have more than one troop for a reason. This could be one.