GTA - Unit defined attendance percentages

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Re: GTA - Unit defined attendance percentages

Postby Fred Johnson » Fri Oct 14, 2011 2:53 pm

AquilaNegra2 wrote:... and it explains the last letter we received (which includes the 75% number for any POR). I have a 17 y.o., almost-Eagle Scout who is going to have trouble with this. I guess it will only take away Eagle palms, but that's crappy. It appears that it's also going to apply to campouts as far as our troop is concerned. Finding a free weekend in a 17 year old's schedule is like digging for gold. ...

I can almost understand attendance percentages for a POR, but I'd rather see it (as it is now) communicated as did the youth fulfill (or close to it) the responsibilities of their position. For example, the SPL makes sure the troop meetings and activities are planned and MC'ed (whether he is there or not). If the meetings are unplanned or no one is there to MC them, take the SPL aside and/or replace him. Quartermaster takes care of the troop trailer (whether he is there or not). If gear is not organized or nothing is happening, communicate expectations and/or replace the quartermaster.

As for active percentages, the more I think about it I'm sad. The previous ACPP statement not allowing units to require a certain attendance percentage was a real protection for the scouts. Units could ignore it, but at least it was there to be used when people were trying to fix things. Now, over zealous leaders have a green light to set their own higher reasonable standards.

I will go out on a limb now.

BSA should just eliminate the 1st requirement for Star, Life and Eagle. It's a 100% redundant and a big distraction with the rank POR requirement. The time frames are the same. Plus if done right, a scout automatically fulfills the 1st requirement when he successfully servers "actively" in a POR. I just don't see a situation where the scout can succeed at a POR and not be active. IMHO, it can only happen if a scout is given a POR, never shows up and is never called out on it. But then, it seems extremely ridiculous to ever credit 4/6 months of POR to a scout that isn't active for those months. Plus the whole "active member of the troop" debate is just (inappropriate word removed). Every time I see it brought up it's because of troop issues (program, leaders, ...) and not an issue with the scout.
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Re: GTA - Unit defined attendance percentages

Postby smtroop168 » Fri Oct 14, 2011 3:08 pm

Fred Johnson wrote:As for active percentages, the more I think about it I'm sad. The previous ACPP statement not allowing units to require a certain attendance percentage was a real protection for the scouts. Units could ignore it, but at least it was there to be used when people were trying to fix things. Now, over zealous leaders have a green light to set their own higher reasonable standards.

Fred..what page was that on?

Also everyone read the entire paragraphs...the scout used to have no recourse to unreasonable expectations...now they do. Whether or not they choose to use them or continue to put up with them is their action.
Last edited by RWSmith on Fri Oct 14, 2011 4:30 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Reason: Corrected BBCode error.
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Re: GTA - Unit defined attendance percentages

Postby Fred Johnson » Fri Oct 14, 2011 3:38 pm

smtroop168 wrote:Fred..what page was that on?

BSA published a rank advancement FAQ web page that said "The Scout is not required to attend any certain percentage of activities or outings." I got so used to reading the FAQ that I thought I read it in the 2010 ACPP I purchased before it was pulled from the scout shop shelves. I'll go home and double check tonight.

We used it for a year or two to discuss advancement while we couldn't buy an ACPP from a scout store. That web page is still there for reference if you want to read it.
http://www.scouting.org/scoutsource/BoyScouts/GuideforMeritBadgeCounselors/RankAdvanceFAQ.aspx

smtroop168 wrote:Also everyone read the entire paragraphs...the scout used to have no recourse to unreasonable expectations...now they do. Whether or not they choose to use them or continue to put up with them is their action.

I think having an appeal process is great. But, it will probably get ugly and frustrating for everyone involved. Do they use a district/council reasonable expectation standard (not listing national as I don't see one) or use the troop's reasonable expectations if there is anyway under the stars to justify them as reasonable. I'd hope they use the troops (as long as it can be somehow justified) as otherwise it will create big divisions and hard feelings. Also, it's a pretty big swing of the pendulum from no additional troop expectations to anything probably less than 100% perfect, on-time, fully uniformed with scout book in hand attendance.

I can only see the appeal process being successful if it's more of a "mediation" between scout and unit leaders and not a rubber stamp over ruling of troop leaders. Otherwise, the scout and his family better start looking for another troop.

=================

UPDATE - Just looking further. I think the BSA FAQ was just a natural explanation of the active definition. I'll still check.

Question: For the Star, Life, and Eagle Scout ranks, how is "Be active in your troop and patrol" defined?
Answer: A Scout is considered to be active in his unit if:

- He is registered in his unit (registration fees are current).
- He has not been dismissed from his unit for disciplinary reasons.
- He is engaged by his unit leadership on a regular basis (Scoutmaster conference, informs the Scout of upcoming unit activities, through personal contact, and so on).

The unit leaders are responsible for maintaining contact with the Scout on a regular basis. The Scout is not required to attend any certain percentage of activities or outings. However, unit leaders must ensure that he is fulfilling the obligations of his assigned leadership position. If he is not, then they should remove the Scout from that position.
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Re: GTA - Unit defined attendance percentages

Postby smtroop168 » Fri Oct 14, 2011 4:15 pm

Most appeals for anything are not pleasant. Look at the paragraph we had to put in on EBORs on pg 48 to address unit leaders who refuse to sign the Eagle app or even hold a SMC.

Hopefully all the units will take a deep breath, assess the boy for who he is, what he's done and his future and decide to move forward without an appeal. Since BOR appeals for Star and Life are a new thing, all councils will need to put out some sort of guidelines on what their expectations are to even have an appeal get to their desks.

If I had any faith in the effectiveness of the Commissioner Program, I would say these unreasonable units need a visit by the Commissioner to meet with the COR and/or IH.

I asked to put this in at Wagion's request: "If a leader is being a jerk, he shall have his registration revoked" :)
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Re: GTA - Unit defined attendance percentages

Postby Fred Johnson » Fri Oct 14, 2011 4:34 pm

smtroop168 wrote:If I had any faith in the effectiveness of the Commissioner Program, ....
This is my 11th year as an adult in scouts. Two packs. Two troops. 1st pack CC for two years. 1st pack Webelos den leader. Current 2nd pack CC for six years. 1st troop MC for five years. 2nd troop ASM for two years. Current 1st troop CC for two years. 2nd pack COR for five years. 1st troop/pack COR for three years. 1st troop/pack charter executive officer for two years (while they searched for a new head baptist minister, weird as I'm a KofC). District committee for three years.

In the last eleven years....

I've never seen a unicorn. I've never seen a flying pig. And I've never seen a unit commissioner.

Huge topic for another discussion chain someday.
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Re: GTA - Unit defined attendance percentages

Postby AquilaNegra2 » Fri Oct 14, 2011 10:00 pm

smtroop168 wrote:
AquilaNegra2 wrote: The previous GTA had a specific section detailing that troops should not expect high schoolers to maintain the same attendance. Has this now gone away?


It did? what page?

Not the GTA, sorry. It's on the BOR page (http://www.scouting.org/scoutsource/boy ... ining.aspx):
The Scout before you will have accomplished much and will be approaching his 18th birthday. You should encourage the Scout to remain connected to the troop in a visible way. You should not be discouraged if a high school student is less able to devote his spare time to Scouting. Thus you may find that this Scout's activity with the troop is less than you would desire. However, you should be able to tell if a Scout is living up to the ideals of Scouting outside the troop as well as inside it. Again, always conclude these boards of review with words of encouragement. Eagle Palm boards of review are opportunities for you to have a give-and-take discussion with the very best in Scouting. Enjoy it.

This is under the Eagle Palm review. Maybe it only applies after they have Eagle.

*sigh* Will be interesting to see what happens...
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Re: GTA - Unit defined attendance percentages

Postby razor_strop » Sat Oct 15, 2011 3:02 pm

AN2,

I think your interpretation is also supported by the fact the the leadership requirement for Eagle Palms isn't related to troop POR's as are all the other ranks, but rather require a Scout to "develop and demonstrate leadership ability". The generic nature of the requirement, when compared to leadership requirements for the other ranks, indicates to me that BSA understands that older Scouts have other commitments, and wants to keep them involved even if troop activity attendance is spotty.
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Re: GTA - Unit defined attendance percentages

Postby FrankJ » Sun Oct 16, 2011 11:36 am

You have to be careful taking what is posted on scouting.org as actual policy. Some of it is not well vetted. Other parts are old & have not been updated when policy has changed. Most documents are not dated so it is difficult to know which is the later revision.

I have to admit, I have used this to my advantage at times. :)
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Re: GTA - Unit defined attendance percentages

Postby smtroop168 » Tue Oct 18, 2011 9:19 pm

Yep...policy is contained in the publications not necessarily on Q&A on the site. That why I asked what page in the #33088 he was referring to. I think I have the darn thing (old and new) memorized after looking at them over the past few months.
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Re: GTA - Unit defined attendance percentages

Postby Fred Johnson » Wed Oct 19, 2011 12:15 pm

Ya know. I never got to checking the 2010 ACPP that I have at home. Need to still do that. :) But the BSA web page saying that percentages are not allowed does seem like the natural result of the 2010 ACPP saying a scout is active if...

- He is registered in his unit (registration fees are current).
- He has not been dismissed from his unit for disciplinary reasons.
- He is engaged by his unit leadership on a regular basis (Scoutmaster conference, informs the Scout of upcoming unit activities, through personal contact, and so on).

The 2010 ACPP called it out in a nice big way just like that and made it clear that that was the criteria for if a scout was active. Nothing else.
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Re: GTA - Unit defined attendance percentages

Postby FrankJ » Wed Oct 19, 2011 2:03 pm

That is the old definition of active. The last few editions for ACPP had that in it. The new definition in the GTA supersedes it. One day the web page might be changed. No longer registered=active. Glory days. Units may have a defined reasonable definition of active. Might be different from the unit next door but the underlying principle needs to be the same. Scout will have a chance to provide an alternative definition for active, but he will have to make the argument that his actions meets the requirement.

We have 4 unit commissioners in our troop (they serve other units) Two of them are former scoutmasters. I see my unit commissioner generally about once a month. She will be about the only reason I fill out the JTE paper work. :) It take a lot a work and continuous recruitment to make to commissioner corps work.
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Re: GTA - Unit defined attendance percentages

Postby smtroop168 » Wed Oct 19, 2011 2:50 pm

The ACPP never had any language that prevented units from setting expectations for attendance and for other aspects of participation, like paying dues, etc. But if a Scout did not reach them, this could have nothing to do with passing requirements. Units that prevented advancement because Scouts were below some participation percentage were adding requirements in violation of BSA procedures.

GTA takes a different approach. It allows the consideration of reasonable attendance expectations and then provides other methods for meeting the active requirement should attendance fall short.


BREAK...BREAK....If you see other pages that appear to be in error or in conflict with the new GTA/EWB, please shoot them to me and I'll get them fixed.
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Re: GTA - Unit defined attendance percentages

Postby Fred Johnson » Wed Oct 19, 2011 3:05 pm

FrankJ wrote:That is the old definition of active. The last few editions for ACPP had that in it. The new definition in the GTA supersedes it.
Agreed. We were chatting about if the old ACPP allowed units adding requirements for "active" and whether attendance could be one ... in the past.

FrankJ wrote:No longer registered=active.
For some. "active" expectations and SMC/BOR enforcement will be all over the map. Our unit's not going to mess with attendance percentages or other unit expectations. I'm sure some units will define 75% attendance, calling ahead or bringing a note excusing absences. On the flip side, we will probably clean up our POR expectations and work with the SPL to make sure PORs are actually doing something or remove the scout from the POR. For "active", if a scout can get the other rank requirements done, then they have fulfilled any "active" expectations we might define.

smtroop168 wrote:The ACPP never had any language that prevented units from setting expectations for attendance and for other aspects of participation, like paying dues, etc. But if a Scout did not reach them, this could have nothing to do with passing requirements. Units that prevented advancement because Scouts were below some participation percentage were adding requirements in violation of BSA procedures.
Well said. Essentially the old "ADVANCEMENT committee policies and procedures" did not prevent defining unit expectations for things that don't affect ADVANCEMENT. I think we are dancing around saying the same thing then about the old standards. I agree that units could always set expectations on attendance. They just should not have tied it to advancement ... in the past.
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Re: GTA - Unit defined attendance percentages

Postby FrankJ » Wed Oct 19, 2011 4:48 pm

BREAK...BREAK....If you see other pages that appear to be in error or in conflict with the new GTA/EWB, please shoot them to me and I'll get them fixed.


The GTA link on this page links to an old version of the ACPP :oops:
http://www.scouting.org/sitecore/content/Home/BoyScouts/Youth/Awards.aspx

Could you get them to put revision # in the title so you can tell them apart? :)
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Re: GTA - Unit defined attendance percentages

Postby smtroop168 » Wed Oct 19, 2011 5:50 pm

FrankJ wrote:
BREAK...BREAK....If you see other pages that appear to be in error or in conflict with the new GTA/EWB, please shoot them to me and I'll get them fixed.


The GTA link on this page links to an old version of the ACPP :oops:
http://www.scouting.org/sitecore/content/Home/BoyScouts/Youth/Awards.aspx

Could you get them to put revision # in the title so you can tell them apart? :)


They know about it.
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Re: GTA - Unit defined attendance percentages

Postby smtroop168 » Wed Oct 19, 2011 9:26 pm

smtroop168 wrote:
FrankJ wrote:
BREAK...BREAK....If you see other pages that appear to be in error or in conflict with the new GTA/EWB, please shoot them to me and I'll get them fixed.


The GTA link on this page links to an old version of the ACPP :oops:
http://www.scouting.org/sitecore/content/Home/BoyScouts/Youth/Awards.aspx

Could you get them to put revision # in the title so you can tell them apart? :)


They know about it.


Fixed!!!
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Re: GTA - Unit defined attendance percentages

Postby Fred Johnson » Thu Oct 20, 2011 1:41 am

Fred Johnson wrote:Ya know. I never got to checking the 2010 ACPP that I have at home. Need to still do that.
Okay. This is probably beating a dead horse. aka a moot point. But, smtroop168 asked what page and I said I'd look.

Page 21 of the 2010 ARPP (pub 33088, Advancement and Recognition Policies and Procedure) said ...

Pub 33088, ARPP, page 21 wrote:A scout will be considered "active" in his unit if he is
- Registered in his unit (registration fees are current)
- Not dismissed from his unit for disciplinary reasons
- Engaged by his unit leadership on a regular basis (informed of unit activities through SMC or personal contact, etc.)
- In communication with the unit leader on a quarterly basis.
(Units may not create their own definition of active; this is a national standard.)
It's the last line (my bolding) that I was remembering from the 2010 ARPP that I interpretted as explicitly saying units could not set attendance percentages for advancement. It's as explicit as BSA ever got before.
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Re: GTA - Unit defined attendance percentages

Postby Fred Johnson » Thu Oct 20, 2011 1:52 am

smtroop168...

GOOD - The SCOUTING.ORG "Awards" page has a good link to the new GTA.
http://www.scouting.org/sitecore/conten ... wards.aspx

BAD - The SCOUTING.ORG "Advancement Resources" page has a good link to the new ESSPW, but calls out the old ACPP and does not have a link to it. It needs to call out the GTA and link to it.
http://www.scouting.org/sitecore/conten ... urces.aspx

Interesting that they went in and major a major edit (adding ESSPW and text), but left the old ACPP title and did not add a link.
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Re: GTA - Unit defined attendance percentages

Postby smtroop168 » Sun Oct 23, 2011 9:51 pm

Fred Johnson wrote:smtroop168...

GOOD - The SCOUTING.ORG "Awards" page has a good link to the new GTA.
http://www.scouting.org/sitecore/conten ... wards.aspx

BAD - The SCOUTING.ORG "Advancement Resources" page has a good link to the new ESSPW, but calls out the old ACPP and does not have a link to it. It needs to call out the GTA and link to it.
http://www.scouting.org/sitecore/conten ... urces.aspx

Interesting that they went in and major a major edit (adding ESSPW and text), but left the old ACPP title and did not add a link.


In the pipeline to be fixed as part of the "GTA Cleanup Process". Interesting how many places items are referenced on web sites and how a single change ripples through all of them
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Re: GTA - Unit defined attendance percentages

Postby FrankJ » Mon Oct 24, 2011 9:57 am

Best practice for equipment specifications & drawing development is to specify something once & point all other references to the specification for that very reason. Easier said than done.
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