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This topic contains 1 reply, has 1 voice, and was last updated by  Ed Polito 6 months, 2 weeks ago.

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  • #185999 Reply

    Ed Polito

    Hello fellow Scouters,

    I have Scout that barely shows up for Troop meetings and activities, was elected as a Patrol meeting when the school year started and has held about 4 patrol meetings so far. From what I can tell he spends a lot of time going to as many merit badge fair as he can and this is based on how many blue cards he has asked me for over the past 2 years. Now he is looking to advance to Star and I feel he really has not lived up to the being active in the unit portion of the advancement requirement.

    I am still a green Scoutmaster, but I have sat him down and explained that he needs to put a little more effort in to his position of leadership and attend a meeting once in a while. I don’t feel right recommending him for advancement when I have other boys that have been showing up on a regular basis and show more enthusiasm then this scout has shown in the last few years.

    So my question is, should I sit a scoutmaster conference with him or should I not and cite to him and his parents why he is not ready to move forward. Or should I leave it be?

  • #186261 Reply


    A Scoutmaster conference can exist before all other requirements are completed, and can be to discuss struggles as much as successes and accomplishments. You can use it to discuss plans for correction, and for future success. You can have a SM Conference with the scout, discuss specifically the issues you have with attendance and performance in his position of responsibility, and come to an agreement as to the path forward which should include when you would be willing to approve those specific advancement items. You would then sign off on the Scoutmaster conference portion of his Star rank requirements, but perhaps not on the requirements to be active or hold a position of responsibility.

    As to the position of responsibility and the being active portion, check out the Guide to Advancement sections (Active Participation), and (Positions of Responsibility). Each of those sections have specific guidance for your scenario.

    Related Anecdotal Story:
    Recently we had a similar scenario with a Scout who had come to us for final sign off on Life. He had been elected Patrol Leader for 4 months of his six months since he completed Star, but had not attended a single PLC meeting to represent his patrol. He also didn’t attend the majority of outings with his patrol, and the patrol meeting portions of troop meetings were unorganized and unplanned. He would routinely show up late (his father’s fault generally as he is not driving on his own), and would immediately seek out one of the Scoutmaster corps to get advancement signed off, or work on a merit badge with one of the adults present who are also counselors, rather than participate in the troop meeting, and would usually leave early. To wit, that evening we had to tell him what time the meeting ended, though he had been a member of the troop for 3 years and our usual meeting day, time, and location has not substantially changed since at least the 1980’s when I was a youth member of the troop.

    He asked for a Scoutmaster conference and expected to get the position of responsibility portion signed off as well, and then immediately go into a Board of Review since we generally have a handful of committee members sitting around. We held his SM Conference and discussed our issues with his performance as Patrol Leader. After a discussion about expectations that were given when he took the role versus how he had handled the role we asked him, “If you were us and another scout was asking for a sign off based on how you’ve done the job, would you approve it?” He said he would not, and we then discussed a path forward that would give him the opportunity to put in the required work on his position of responsibility to allow him to succeed at the role. Which extended his time as a Star rank by several months. We still signed off on the Scoutmaster conference but not the Position of Responsibility requirement. He then spent the next several months stepping up his game and did an excellent job, and is currently our Senior Patrol Leader.

  • #186329 Reply

    Ed Samsen

    My gut feeling was to have a talk with him about being active in troop and patrol activities . Being in a leadership position sets you as an example for others. If the you as a member of the PLC were to review a scout who acted in the manner you did would you approve his advancement? It seems different when looking in from the outside doesn’t it. You made teriffic advancement on things as an individual but let your obligations to your patrol slide. I want you to take two months and come back for your troop committee review and have the PLC do a review on your performance at that time.

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