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Issue 221 – July 14, 2010

Hey Andy,

About a year ago, I wrote to you about a pack that didn’t follow BSA rules in many areas, and your advice was “Get out…transfer now!” At the time, I convinced myself that, if I stayed, I could effect some change and get them to follow BSA guidelines on how a unit’s supposed to be run.

Wow! How wrong I was! Every time I spoke up and pointed out how the pack was not following BSA procedures, I was scowled at by the Cubmaster and Committee Chair both. After a year of frustrations and getting nowhere, we and ten other families transferred out to another pack.

What an amazing change! Our new pack immediately welcomed us in! We’re all happier, our families are more involved, and we’ve helped create a fantastic program—the way a pack’s supposed to work!

So here’s my recommendation to your readers: Don’t be afraid to transfer! Find a good pack or troop and move on. Don’t waste your time trying to change others, because life and your son’s time in Scouting is too short to waste on rogues! (Name & Council Withheld)

Thanks for writing again. I’m delighted that your story has a happy ending! Best wishes to you, your family, and your son—

Hi Andy,

Our pack went to Cub Scout family camp this past weekend and our bully leader pinned two Cub Scout from another pack to the ground during a game involving whacking each other with flour-filled stockings. He kept saying, “You better watch who you hit—I’m a lot bigger than you!” Then, the next morning, when all the Cubs were understandably still tired from the night before, he gave his nine year-old son one of those five-hour energy drinks. There were other incidents, to the point where I want to see if the committee would approve splitting off into another den, without him as the leader. Any thoughts? (Name & Council Withheld)

Starting a new den gets your son and his friends temporarily out of harm’s way, but only temporarily, and leaves other boys subject to child abuse. Yes, child abuse. Any adult who pins boys down is committing child abuse and needs to be immediately reported to your Scout Executive to determine if and what further action will be necessary. Make no mistake: This must be done or not only the pack’s leaders but the sponsor as well will be open to legal action if not police action.

Dear Andy,

My son will be attending National Scout Jamboree soon, and I’ve got to get his patches sewn on his Jamboree troop shirt. My son was lucky enough to have attended the 2007 World Jamboree and, according to BSA policy, can wear both the National Jamboree patch above the right pocket and the World Jamboree Patch on the right pocket; however I can’t figure out which World Jamboree patch he should use. He has both the round BSA contingent patch and the diamond-shaped participant patch (this is the patch that he currently wears above his right pocket as instructed by his World Jamboree Scoutmaster). I had assumed that it was this participant patch that I would move to the right pocket area, placing the 2010 National Scout Jamboree patch above the right pocket, but I can’t find out for sure. There is one other Scout in his Jamboree patrol who also attended the World Jamboree, and his mother thinks that the BSA contingent patch goes on the right pocket and then the 2010 National Jamboree patch goes above it. Can you help me out here? I’ve asked those in our council who I thought might know, but we’ve not had any luck finding the answer. Or is this considered one of those cases where it’s OK to wear both, but not actually considered cool, so I should just only put on the National Jamboree patch. I don’t want to do it one way and then have someone tell him it’s wrong. (Gayle Timaeus, East Texas Area Council)

The BSA’s Insignia Guide will tell you that the current National Scout Jamboree badge is worn above the right pocket and that the official participant’s badge for the most recent World Jamboree may be worn on the right pocket itself. The BSA’s contingent patch is just that—It’s a contingent patch and not a Jamboree patch.

Dear Andy,

I’m a fairly new Unit Commissioner. In visiting with one of the troops I serve, I’ve noticed a consistent problem with their courts of honor… they take forever! In addition to all the speechifying by various adult leaders (Scouts are “used” only as the master of ceremonies—which means usually 90% simply announcing who the next speaker will be—and to talk for a couple of minutes about a few hikes or camp-outs the troop’s been on), the major part of the “ceremonies” is passing out bags or envelopes filled with rank badges, merit badges, totin’ chips, and so forth, to the various Scouts who have earned them since the last court. One-by-one, they come up when their name is called and their advancements read off, collect their bags, shake hands with the Scoutmaster, and go sit down again. Isn’t there some better way of doing this, or am I worrying about nothing? (Name & Council Withheld)

No, you’re not “worrying about nothing.” What you’ve described sounds pretty stultifying, for the Scouts and the parent audience as well. There are definitely more exciting and interesting ways of managing a court of honor.

Let’s begin here: No Scout should actually be receiving any badges at all at a court of honor! That’s right: None. That’s because all BSA literature on the subject informs us that badges of rank, and merit badges, are to be presented to the Scout who’s earned them at the very next troop meeting after his board of review or after he’s turned in his counselor-signed merit badge application (aka “blue card”). We don’t wait for courts of honor to present badges; we present them as rapidly as we can submit the advancement report and get the Scout his badge(s). So, if this alone were corrected, this troop’s courts of honor would not only speed up, but they’d actually have room to have all Scouts earning a specific rank come to the front of the room for public recognition, a short “good work-keep going!” pep-talk, and audience applause! Same with merit badges!

The second thing to consider is a completely Scout-run court of honor, with the only time an adult speaks is when the Scoutmaster delivers his “minute” (which should last just about 60 seconds!) at the close. Or, a variation on this is to have the brief “pep-talks” delivered by specific adult volunteers, like the Committee Chair, Advancement Coordinator, head of the chartered organization, and so forth. This, also, will not only speed things up but will make the Scouts the center of attention, which is what a court of honor’s supposed to be doing.

Now for a troop sufficiently entrenched in its historical way of doing things, change won’t come easily. And we know we can’t “lecture” at ‘em or—worse—wag our fingers at ‘em, so what to do… How about informally visiting some other troops’ courts of honor, till you find one that’s pretty close to the model you’d like these folks to aspire to, and then, next time around, invite whoever puts this troop’s courts of honor together to come with you to visit that other troop. Then, sit back and see if a light bulb goes on over his or her head!

Hi Andy,

These questions are about the Order of the Arrow camping requirements for Scout and Scouters. The long-term is understood; the questions are about the rest. Some say that camping trips countonly ifthey’re with a Scout’s own troop, while others say that they can be any Scouting-related trips, regardless. For instance, what if a Scout went camping with other troops, or volunteered at council camps for special events or training weekends and such? Some even say that family camping counts. This confusion has led to someScout being “de-nominated” for troop OA elections. Any advice? (Bob & Theresa Sehlmeyer)

First, let’s look at the exact language of the OA’s camping eligibility requirement: “3. In the past two years, have completed fifteen (15) days and nights of camping under the auspices of the Boy Scout of America. The fifteen days and nights of camping must include one long-term camp of six days and five nights, and the balance of the camping must be short-term (1, 2, or 3 night) camps.”

So, what does this tell us…? First, it tells us that family camping doesn’t count because it’s not “under the auspices of the BSA.” But it also tells us that any camping “under the auspices of the BSA” absolutely does count, whether with one’s own troop, with another troop, at one’s council summer camp or another council’s summer camp, a Camporee or Jamboree, or a special event held by a district or council (e.g., overnight Klondike Derby, etc.).

So, if everyone just reads and then sticks with the exact language of any requirement and doesn’t attempt to put any sort of special spin or further qualification on it, and doesn’t try to operate from a decades-old memory, all’s well that ends well.

Thank you for verifying what I’ve been trying to communicate. I will bring this back to the committee table again, and then to the district, to make sure Scout and Scouters aren’t incorrectly disqualified from next year’s OA elections. Greatly appreciated!

Dear Andy,

My son is currently a Boy Scout in his first year. I was a Scout when I was younger. I’ve approached my son’s Scoutmaster and asked him if he’d be willing to accept me as an Assistant Scoutmaster. He agreed. I’ve taken the online courses and I’m now waiting for additional training dates to come up through the council. My question is, when would it be appropriate to wear the uniform and when do I put on the Assistant Scoutmaster patch? I’ve been to different functions with the troop already but not in uniform yet because I’m not sure if I need to complete allthe training first. I’d be grateful for any assistance. (Jason, Susquehanna Council, PA)

If you’re duly registered and on the troop roster, it’s time to wear the complete official uniform. As for the ASM badge, the best way for this to happen is for the Scoutmaster to present it to you, in a brief moment at the front-end of a troop meeting. Talk to your Scoutmaster about doing this. If he’s reluctant, then don’t hesitate to get the badge at your local Scout shop and sew it on. Best wishes and thanks for stepping up!

Dear Andy,

The Cubmaster of a neighboring pack asked me and my pack for help with household items for a local family in hardship. We agreed, and our pack gave the requested items. But then we found out that that other Cubmaster had given the items to a different family, instead. “A Scout is trustworthy,” and I’m having a problem with this. Am I wrong?

No, you’re not wrong in your beliefs, but you might wish to reach out and, instead of relying on hearsay, personally ask your counterpart what happened, and what lay behind the decision. Then, once you have it from the source, you can let it go; especially knowing at if not the original family, a family in need was nevertheless helped.

Dear Andy,

I’m hearing from others (but can’t find anything in writing) of “new” tour permit requirements, one even saying if your unit travels as few as five miles, you need a tour permit. Any insights on this? (Phil Malone)

Best to check with your council’s health and safety committee or risk management, committee… Personally, I’ve filed tour permits for over twenty years whenever our pack or troop, as the case may be, went anywhere other than to our usual meeting place, whether five miles or five blocks, and the councils never once came back and said “don’t file for that.” That said, TPs aren’t unreasonable bits of paperwork and, like the “other” TP, covers your butt!

Hello Andy,

First, thank you for being such a fine resource for us Scout Leaders. I must admit that I’ve wanted to send in a question for some time but, having read your back issues, most everything’s been covered.

I’m an Eagle Scout and now an Assistant Den Leader for my son’s Webelos Den. During this adventure, my own mother has been a wonderful resource for sewing on uniform patches, making a den flag, cooking for projects and B&G Banquets, and a whole bunch of other stuff. My question is, would it be appropriate to make my mom our den’s “Honorary Den Mother”? I know that moniker is no longer in regular use, but for someone like my mom, it would have a very special meaning. I can get authentic Den Mother patches and badges from online sources for her to display, and she could wear them to special occasions. I know the term “Den Mother” is no longer in official use, but feel this would be a terrific way to honor someone in Scouting for all she’s done. Do you have any thoughts on this? (Bradley Bullock, Longhorn Council, TX)

Wow, congratulations! And how special that your own Mom is helping out! You bet I’d make her an “Honorary Den Mother”—patch and all! Yeah, I know it’s not strictly “legal,” but there are times when someone like your Mom, who’s definitely “gone above and beyond,” deserves something very special, and your idea’s really dynamite!

Dear Andy,

I’ve just been asked to be Unit Commissioner for a unit in my area. My biggest issue right now is getting them ready for rechartering. They’ve been four to five months late for the past three years. How do I convince them to recharter on time? (JacksonGray, UC, Cornhusker Council, NE)

First, team up with your District Executive, so that the two of you can help this unit get up to speed. Typically, a good “persuader” is that, unless the charter and all registrations are current, should there be any sort of accident or incident, there’s no BSA insurance to back anyone up, and everyone including the sponsor is potentially liable for any damage or injury. If you get no action from the volunteers in the unit, go straight to the sponsor, and let them be the “bad cop”—not you.

Hi Andy,

My son and I just got into Scouting this last year and have had a blast. I was asked and quickly said yes to be the Tiger Den Leader, and I continued on and am now the Den Leader for his Wolf den. As the year progressed, my son and I just got more and more enthusiastic about Scouting.Our Cubmaster noticed this and has asked me to take over for him when his son crosses over next year. Is this OK? Can I continue to be my son’s Den Leader and be the pack’s Cubmaster at the same time? What suggestions might you have for my situation? I’d love to do both, and it would be a very difficult choice between the two. (Josh Henderson, DL, Sam Houston Area Council, TX)

Page 2 of the BSA Adult Volunteer Application specifies that a person may hold only one position in a Scouting unit, the sole exception to this being that a Committee Chair (code CC) may also hold the position of Chartered Organization Representative (code CR). There are no other exceptions. Which one of the two positions you decide on is, of course, up to you; however, I’m going to step into the breech and suggest you consider, first, the position that keeps you closer to your own son and his friends.

Hi, Andy,

A Scout in our troop going up for Star rank is an Assistant Patrol Leader. Does this position count for a leadership role in the troop? The Boy Scouts count it as a leadership role, as they have a patch and a position that called Assistant Patrol Leader. Any advice on this matter would be much appreciated. Thanks. (Frank Graffam, ASM, Aloha Council, HI)

You and the Scout already know, from having read the requirement in the Boy Scout Handbook and the 2010 Boy Scout Requirements publication, that the Assistant Patrol Leader position doesn’t qualify for Star rank req. 5, Life rank req. 5, or Eagle rank req. 4. Consequently, my advice is to respect the precise language of these requirements.

Dear Andy,

The fundraising underpinning for my son’s Eagle project yielded more money than he actually needed in the end. The leaders of the troop learned how much money he’d actually raised, and now they want him to use a portion of the excess funds (it’s a number in the hundreds) to support another Scout’s Eagle project, and, on top of this, the Scoutmaster wants other project money to be used to buy a troop trailer. What should happen here? (Name & Council Withheld)

Let’s get your son off the hook here… Per BSA policy, he’s simply not permitted to give any excess funds raised (after all expenses, obviously) to anyone but the original contributors. In other words, he is obligated to return any unused funds to the donors, in proportion to their original donations. The BSA firmly states (refer to the project workbook) that he’s not permitted to give that money to anyone other than the original donors.

Dear Andy,

Can a Boy Scout wear the Arrow of Light square knot, plus his Arrow of Light badge below the left pocket? (Mike Bowman—the other one)

Nope. A Boy Scout wears the badge itself, and the inside front cover of his handbook tells him where it goes.

Dear Andy,

We have a Cub Scout who’s also a member of our church. He and his parents have asked me about a merit badge that has an emblem for the Church of Christ, which I imagine is earned by doing service for the church. So, if there’s any information that you can give me as to what he needs to do to earn the badge, and how and where to get it, we’ll get him started on his service here. (Rev. Allen Tolliver, Shiprock, NM)

What a wonderful question—and opportunity! Just for brief clarification, this isn’t a “merit badge”—It’s a religious award program separate from, but recognized by the BSA. For detailed information on how a Cub Scout may earn the religious award for his faith and denomination, based on his level in the Scouting program, go to either and do a “search by faith” or go directly to

Dear Andy,

A troop in our area that meets at a LDS (“Mormon”) church has an age restriction, we’re told: A Scout can’t go on a campout until he’s 12 years old. This means that some Scouts will miss out on going to summer camp for up to two years as Boy Scouts. Is this accurate? (Name & Council Withheld)

The best way to get the answer to your questions is to call and schedule an in-person meeting with the LDS Ward Bishop, or—if you want to go up the chain a bit—the Stake President. Either of these good people can describe to you exactly how the LDS church handles its Boy Scout youth program (which is their right to do, by the way, per the BSA-to-Chartered Organization agreement). Once you know how it works, you can develop a troop outing and camping program taking into account any LDS members and the practices they will be expected to follow.

Dear Andy,

How would you handle a Cub Scout den that only comes to pack meetings maybe twice a year, just to pick up all of their patches, pins, and belt loops, but is otherwise conspicuously absent from pack meetings and events? Aside from a pack participation requirement, how do we stop certain dens from using the pack as nothing more than a “bling” source? (Name Withheld, Central Florida Council)

The fact that this is happening points up two possible weaknesses in the Cub Scouting program your pack and its dens are delivering…

In the first place, at every pack meeting, every den is supposed to have a specific role in the program that puts them center-stage (refer to the Program Helps booklets describing how to carry out the monthly themes), and this will be especially true in the new Cub Scout program that will begin in September. So, when you have every den involved in its own unique segment of the pack meeting, with all of the Cubs in the spotlight (and parents looking on), this may correct itself naturally.

Second, advancement isn’t by lock-step. As each Cub advances in rank or earns Arrow Points or Activity Badges, and such, these are to be presented at the soonest available pack meeting and not held back for some special event (e.g., B&G Banquet, etc.). When this is done, all dens will want to be present, so that their Cubs can receive their newest badges, pins, belt loops, and so on. So, when your pack’s leaders understand how this works, and follow it by turning in advancement records each and every month, they’ve just provided their own incentives to showing up.

Couple these two key elements together and you’ll have all dens there, at every monthly pack meeting! If this isn’t happening still, then the wayward Den Leader(s) will need to be replaced with folks who get what’s supposed to be going on!

Dear Andy,

What’s the BSA’s position on Scoutmasters conferencing their own sons or nephews? (Kenneth Fox, Greater Cleveland Council, OH) If the BSA were opposed to the idea of Scoutmasters conferencing with their own sons, you’d find a policy statement; the fact that there isn’t any tells you the answer: The BSA has no position one way or the other on this topic, meaning that it’s the Scoutmaster’s sole decision. So, if he’s comfortable with doing this, then he should proceed; if he’s not, then actually that may be even more reason to proceed! Since the purpose of the Scoutmaster’s conference is to review with the Scout how well the troop is doing in meeting the Scout’s needs and to help the Scout get ready for his board of review—in other words, it’s not possible to “fail” a Scoutmaster’s conference—who better to confer with as a young man is getting ready to advance than his own father. So, to anyone who would be so ill-advised as to use the expression “conflict of interest” in such a context I’d ask: Just what is the nature of the purported “conflict”? Remember this: We are all here to help our sons through the Scouting program; we’re not here to be their watchdogs.

Dear Andy,

Our troop has had a climbing program for a few years now. We are fortunate to have three climbing instructors in our troop. As Scoutmaster, I believe that all participants should have a current medical form and that they be registered, which includes adults whose sons are Scouts in the troop. What’s the BSA’s position on this? Is there a publication I can find the answer in? (Pat Lewis, Patriots’ Path Council, NJ)

Your two primary resources will be the Guide to Safe Scouting, and the Climb on Safely training course.

Dear Andy,

I once heard that the Eagle Scout rank is the only civilian award that’s authorized for wear on a military uniform. Do you have an answer on this? (Trey Blum, former USMC & BSA, Santa Rosa, CA)

Yeah, for years I’ve heard the same thing; but I’m told that what really happens is that Eagle Scouts who identify themselves as such, and have the paperwork to support it, are immediately upped one pay grade. (They’re also often put in charge, but this is, of course, at the officer’s or NCO’s discretion.)

Dear Andy,

I recently returned to Scouting after many yearsaway,to be the newCubmaster for a local pack that was seriously suffering under weak leadership. Fortunately, things are starting to come back together, with almost all new leaders,and your columns have helped me guide some of the new Den Leaders in the right direction. The online training offered by the BSA has been helpful, but the new Den Leadersoften look to me for answers to questions, especially since we’re also rebuilding the pack committee and there isn’t much experience there, either. My challenge is that, aside from counseling one Scouton a merit badge years ago, I haven’t done anything in Scouting since I was I was an Eagle Scout and Junior Assistant Scoutmaster over 17 years ago, and my Cub Scout experience was so far back that I don’t even want figure out how long it’s been!

My first question involves uniforms. I immediately wanted to set the right example for the boys and other leaders, and I still fit in my old Scout uniform, so I removed all the old emblems and added in the correct square knots and other insignia. But when it came to headgear, I’m stumped. I looked at the uniform inspection sheet and Cubmasters can wear the Cub Scout leader’s hat, but neither of the two council Scout shops in our area carries them—the only hats they carried were boys’ sizes. shows only the hats that Cubs wear, and nothing specifically for Cubmasters. Can Cubmasterswear the new centennial olive caps that Boy scouts now wear? What about other traditional Scouting hats, such as the campaign hat or classic garrison caps? I’ve tried looking online, and there seem to be opinions all over the place.

My second question has to do with the Eagle Scout Mentor pin. This is a really nifty addition to the Eagle Scout Award kit, but it wasn’t available when I earned Eagle. Would it be verboten to purchase one of these pins and give it to my Eagle Mentor after all these years, to honor him for helping me along the pathway to Eagle? (Jason Orton, Sequoia Council, CA)

Uniform headgear: Many Scouters don’t typically wear headgear. In the first place, most meetings are indoors, so everyone uncovers anyway (that’s right, headgear off when indoors, always). But, for outdoor meetings or events, a ball-cap style works just fine, and the BSA sells a bunch of different types, so just pick one you think is cool and wear it. (This isn’t a “biggie.”) (BTW, just about nobody wears “Smokey Bear” hats or Garrison caps anymore.)

Eagle Mentor Pin: Yes, you can certainly buy one and present it to the one person—not a family member—who helped you most along the trail to Eagle. Frankly, that’s a lovely idea!

Dear Andy,

Our troop’s Life Scouts get very frustrated with the District Eagle Advancement Committee, and even their parents have shared some strong words. The problems include long response times with inconsistent intervals or no responses at all, losing Scouts’ paperwork, incomplete project reviews, and seemingly unending revision cycles (in one instance, the review-revision process on one Eagle project had already gone back-and-forth for three months when the Scout was told that he should to add travel directions to the local hospital).

I know the district-level people, I personally like them and enjoy their company, and I have respect for their many decades of service. In my view, the problem is twofold. First, there’s a manpower shortage, and that’s the easy fix. But the second is more difficult, because it’s a historical philosophy having to do with the notion of “protecting the Eagle brand” by exercising judicial- or Solomon-like judgment in “making sure that all Scouts are good Eagle candidates.” My own viewpoint is that we, as volunteer adult leaders, support the Scouts, that our time and energy should be used to guide and help Scouts, and that no energy should be spent trying to trip them up, slow them down, or make sure they’re “worthy in our eyes.” Scouts earn the Eagle, and all other ranks for that matter, by completing the requirements—When they complete the requirements as written by the BSA, then they’ve earned the rank, simple as that! Scouts should have a positive and supportive experience at the district level, just as they do with their troop—the district advancement committee needn’t and shouldn’t be a hurdle to jump or a pound of flesh to deliver.

I can find substantiation of this viewpoint in BSA publications, including Advancement Committee Policies and Procedures, the Eagle Scout Leadership Service Project Workbook, the Boy Scout Handbook and the Scoutmaster Handbook, but how do I make a difference for the Eagle candidates of tomorrow and beyond, when there’s a tight-knit committee of folks who take a polarized point of view? (Name & Council Withheld)

First, let’s get this said: You’ve got it exactly right! We’re all here to help Scouts advance; not to lob grenades in their pathways! And we know that some folks get it right, and others don’t (for reasons we may never know or begin to understand). So, what to do…

Well, one approach is to get yourself recruited to join the district advancement committee. “Sell” this on the basis of your availability for boards of review, understanding of the significance of the Eagle Scout rank, being a team player, already knowing these guys…whatever will work to make it happen. Then, once “inside,” keep your mouth shut as much as possible and your ears and eyes wide open. Learn who leads by authority and who leads by influence. Learn their backgrounds and listen carefully to their war stories. Only when you’ve figured them all out will you know where and how to begin. Maybe it’s with the guy who almost believes as you do but is reluctant to speak up: Make yourself his ally, so that you’re now a team of two. Maybe it’s with the biggest curmudgeon, to find out what’s behind all his bluster, so that you can eventually de-fuse it without turning him against you.

Once you’re on the committee, offer to tackle a problem area (even if the others don’t see it as a problem. For instance, be the lead guy in reviewing project proposals and develop a system of responding to all submissions within a short, specific, and consistent time-line. Or, head up the board of review process, making sure it’s in place, philosophically, to support the Eagle candidates and moves away from being an inquisition. You get the idea…

You see, your eventual goal here is to become the District Advancement Committee Chair, because this is the seat of all authority and—more importantly—influence. It’s where you can effect the greatest change, not only by insisting on change but also by bringing others onto the committee who, like you, get what advancement’s really all about.

This won’t happen overnight, of course, but if you’ve got the stamina, smarts, diplomacy, and patience, you can ultimately affect the positive outcomes for young men for generations to come! Think it over…

Dear Andy,

Last year, a group of us started a new Cub Scout pack, formed from the ground up, with the blood, sweat and tears (not too many tears!) of our neighborhood’s parents. We’re rockin’ along and things have been going swell. The other day my wife (who is our Committee Chair) was at the Scout shop and saw the new Founder’s Bar and she bought a batch of them for all the original people who started our pack. However, our Council Executive now tells us that our pack number was used long ago by another pack in this area that ultimately folded—the pack dissolved so long ago that there’s not even a record of it on the council’s books, but word has it that it did exist at one time (some of the old-timers in our neighborhood remember it, but no one who was involved in it is still around). So, here’s the question: Are we considered a “new pack,” entitled to wear the Founder’s Bar, or does the fact that this pack number existed at some time in the past preclude us from wearing it? (David Scott, DL, Atlanta Area Council, GA)

First, go here to see the exact requirements for wearing the Founder’s Bar:

My own opinion—which, along with a buck or two will get you a cuppa coffee somewhere—is that in light of the distance in years (and memory) between that defunct pack and yours, you can be considered a new pack and legitimately qualify to wear the Founder’s Bar, especially since you’ve indeed founded a new unit and haven’t revitalized an “old” unit (that few can remember ever having existed in the first place). Besides, it’s only the arbitrary assignment of a number by the council that’s made this an issue at all, so if this issue is a road-block, then simply ask for a “virgin” number and convert to that, thereby making you a truly new unit! Check again with your Scout Executive—I have to believe you’ll get a green light!

Happy Scouting!


Got a question? Have an idea? Send it to (Please include your POSITION and COUNCIL NAME or TOWN & STATE)

(July 14, 2010 – Copyright © Andy McCommish 2010)

Letters to AskAndy may be published at the discretion of the columnist and the editor. If you prefer to have your name or affiliation withheld from publication, please advise in your letter..


About AskAndy

Andy is a Board Member of the U.S. Scouting Service Project, Inc.

Andy has just received notification by his council Scout Executive that he is to be recognized as a National Distinguished Eagle Scout. He is currently serving as a Unit Commissioner and his council's International Representative. He has previously served in a number of other Scouting roles including Assistant Council Commissioner, Cubmaster, Scoutmaster, Den Leader, and--as a Scout--Patrol Leader, Senior Patrol Leader, and Junior Assistant Scoutmaster. His awards include: Kashafa Iraqi Scouting Service Award, Distinguished Commissioner, Doctor of Commissioner Science, International Scouter Award, District Award of Merit (2), Scoutmaster Award of Merit, Scouter's Key (3), Daniel Carter Beard Masonic Scouter Award, Cliff Dochterman Rotarian Scouter Award, James E. West Fellow (2), Wood Badge & Sea Badge, and Eagle Scout & Explorer Silver Award.

Read Andy's full biography

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