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Issue 277 – November 19, 2011

Rule No. 41:

  • In a confrontation between emotion and logic, emotion will win.

Rule No. 42:

  • Either employ the Scout sign or simply shout, “Sign’s Up!” To do both is pointless.

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Dear Andy,

Let me be the first to provide you an optimistic letter on the new “active” requirement.   I was one of the “boots on the ground” Scoutmasters privileged to serve on the BSA national review committee that produced the new GUIDE TO ADVANCEMENT.  I’d like to give you and your readers a perspective on some of the reasons why we recast the requirements for “active” and “position of responsibility.”  The committee achieved consensus but obviously not universal agreement; there was a lot of healthy conflict but we were of the same mind: we wanted to make the program better for the Scouts.  The committee was by no means perfect.  A number of items I personally wished had made the final cut, didn’t. One of the subtle things that occurred was the title change: Changing it to GUIDE TO ADVANCEMENT, we agreed, would get a lot more people reading it, including parents.

The BSA national office’s large file of units who went out of their way to put barriers in front of Scouts trying to advance would make you cry, and would make you want to find those units and take some personal action.  This was the starting point for much of the committee’s work.  Why this was historically tolerated at the unit and council levels is beyond my comprehension, but, unfortunately, it is a daily occurrence that we wanted to work at correcting, because there was, in general, no way for Scouts to get past these bullies.  To avert of at least reduce this, we set up the language that allows for appeals at the Star and Life ranks as well as Eagle, under disputed circumstances.  I know there are also a number of Scouts who feel trapped since they may not have the alternative of changing troops, and certainly if the Scout and his parent aren’t going to use the new tools to assure they’re treated fairly, no amount of writing the new guide can fix that.  At the same time, we wanted to acknowledge the unit frustration with “phantom” Scouts showing up only at the last minute to “get Eagle”—most times because their parents are pushing them—and also to assure that results are happening for the position of responsibility requirement.

The definition rightfully begins with a Scout’s degree of activity with his troop, but then there are ways to provide responsible flexibility for Scouts unable to match unit expectations.  The key is in the definition of “reasonable,” and to establish that the board of review makes the call: troops can’t get to do whatever they want and just make up a definition; if they do, and it’s ultimately unreasonable, and the board of review accepts it, the Scout can appeal that criterion and decision—painful as it might be to go through that process. The district and/or council appeal board then has the responsibility to determine whether the unit’s definition fits the one in the guide, the hope her being that council advancement committee will be proactive in helping units who struggle with “reasonable,” and simultaneously to take to task those continuing to make Scouts’ lives miserable. Unit Commissioners can also be proactive here, too.  (I believe that councils already know which units will go off the deep end on this requirement.)

Some units will read the new definitions up to the point that suits what they want to hear, but units must also use the alternative to the third test: a Scout who lives his life by the BSA’s values can claim time spent in other worthy activity as active time in Scouting; he can also provide legitimate reasons for his apparent lack of activity (the guide provides examples) and if units abuse the opportunity to do things correctly, then we may well return to a national definition, or maybe even do away with the requirement entirely (we actually considered this as a future possibility).

We also took a lot of folklore and myths and restated the rules on merit badges, Scoutmaster conferences, Eagle project fund-raising, boards of review, two-deep leadership, etc.   The new Eagle project workbook was a direct result of the “gatekeeper” file I referred to earlier (the number of Life Scouts sandbagged on their Eagle projects actually far exceeds the cases involving the “active” requirement).

If we got it wrong, there are now ways to get your situation directly in front of the national advancement team—this was not available in the past without considerable effort.  Now, a Scout or his parent can contact: advancement.team@scouting.org, and, for merit badges: merit.badge@scouting.org. Thanks for your support here. (Matt Culbertson, New Birth of Freedom Council, PA)

Thanks for taking the time to write, and for describing the underpinning to what is certainly a fresh approach to these important issues.


Dear Andy,

A Scout in our troop went before his Eagle board of review. He subsequently received a report of board action stating that he was disapproved.  No reason was offered and he has yet to receive a letter describing his alleged shortcoming.  On inquiry, his Scoutmaster was told that this Scout “needed to show Scout spirit” but for an undetermined amount of time.  The Scout had, of course, met all the stated requirements for the rank, including completion of a fully approved service project, earning no less than 53 merit badges including all those required, was elected by his fellow Scouts to the Order of the Arrow and completed his Ordeal weekend, served as the elected Senior Patrol Leader for the correct tenure, was simultaneously a Webelos Den Leader, and was the only Scout asked to teach a session at the council’s University of Scouting (which he successfully fulfilled).  Among his references were two Eagle Scouts and the daughter of an Eagle Scout, all of whom highly recommended him for this rank and described the ways in which they saw him showing Scout Spirit.   However, when his “Eagle packet” was returned to him, it included an unsolicited letter—not from a listed reference—rife with racial slurs and gross inaccuracies demeaning this Scout’s character.  (We have no idea how this letter came to be included and shown to the board of review members: it was not from a reference).  We promptly sent a copy of that letter to the council office, and the Scoutmaster has requested a formal meeting with the Council Advancement Chair and District Executive, but there has been no response.  

Andy, we know that you take on tough cases, and this one is making us shake our heads in disbelief and anger. This Is Not A Drill; it’s really happening.   What do we do about this travesty? (Scoutmaster’s Name & Council Withheld)

Obviously, there are mistakes all over the map here.  First, who selected a person with an obvious vendetta to sit on this board of review?  Second, when that prejudice was revealed, the chair of the review could have shown the miscreant the door, but failed to take action: why?  Third, where did that unofficial letter come from and who permitted it to be introduced in violation of procedure?  Fourth, what was the district or council representative doing while this nonsense was going on besides rotating on his thumbs? (I’m also wondering who was sitting on the board whose own son was lagging behind, and so he or she tried chop this young Scout off at the kneecaps.)

The new BSA GUIDE TO ADVANCEMENT (available for reference and download at http://www.scouting.org/filestore/pdf/33088.pdf) provides the remedy and process for appealing this unconscionable result.  First, the BSA national council states that the Scout must be promptly be given a statement in writing describing the decision that must include an explanation of the appeal process.  Second, the appeal process is to be initiated by (only) the Scout himself or his parent or guardian. The 11 steps of the appeal process are described in detail in Section 8.0.4.1, page 49, of the GUIDE TO ADVANCEMENT.  (Personal note: Since the original letters of recommendation aren’t permitted to be seen by anyone other than the members of the board of review, it might be worthwhile for the Scout to re-request responses from his references, telling them what happened and asking them to write “open” letters expressing their views of his character and substance, and their opinion of his rejection and rationale for same.)  The task at hand is to bring a gun, not a knife, to this gunfight.  So my personal recommendation is that this Scout’s father, if available and willing, become his son’s champion, rather than placing the weight of the appeal process (and the emotions it will engender) on this young man himself—doing otherwise runs the risk of negatively coloring his view of Scouting forever.

Finally, on an equally personal level, it’s absolutely critical that this young man understand that there are people like this in all walks of life: Scouting has no “exclusive” on dunderheads and miscreants.


Hi Andy,

I’m puzzled about the definition of “direct contact” for adult BSA leaders.  I can see how uniformed leaders like Scoutmasters, Cub Scout leaders, Venturing crew leaders, and the rest would fall into the definition.  But don’t committee members, also, when they sit on a board of review or go camping with Scouts?  And what about Merit Badge Counselors when they meet with Scouts?  Don’t they fall within that definition, too?  (This question came up when I was looking into the “required training” for the specific jobs held by us registered adult volunteers.) (Mike Ingles, SM, National Capital Area Council, VA)

The BSA has a concise summary of what makes for a trained volunteer (scouting.org/filestore/training/pdf/What_makes_a_trained_leader.pdf) and if you check this out you’ll certainly notice that there’s training for unit committee members, merit badge counselors, and others.  Maybe what’s missing from “direct contact” is the word “regular” or perhaps “ongoing.”  Certainly unit committee members might have contact with one or more youth, occasionally, but this is certainly not on either a regular or ongoing basis, even in the context of Boy Scout boards of review.  Moreover, on the Cub Scout side, “regular” or “ongoing” direct contact with youth by unit committee members is virtually nonexistent within the context of their primary volunteer positions.  There’s more to this overall equation, of course, and I think that if you check out the resource I’ve provided here things will become pretty clear.

OK, I looked at the reference.  I’m still puzzled.  Many of our troop committee members transport and camp with Scouts.  To me, that’s direct contact.  Scouts also regularly meet with several committee members when they also wear their MBC hats, which mean direct contact.  I can see how, many years ago, the committee member stayed at home and rarely went on campouts, and only uniformed adults went on campouts, but I rely on committee members to not only be transportation but also the other adults on campouts (many times, I’m the only trained-and-uniformed adult leader on a campout).  I’ve been a Scoutmaster for about 20 years and I see a trend to adults registering as committee members so they don’t have to take all the training that we uniformed leaders do.  At a week-long stay at a council summer camp, I was the only trained, uniformed adult, with three other men who were newly registered as committee members.  I had to go home mid-week, so one of our older Scouts took charge and kept the program on track (the camp staff was aware of our situation and kept an eye on our Scouts).  What would it take to fine-tune the “direct contact” definition?  I have adults registered as committee members and in my opinion, regularly spend time on campouts and working merit badges with my Scouts.   To me, this is direct contact on a regular basis. (Mike)

Before somebody gets strangled in their own undies, let’s keep in mind that Scouting has made this whole training thing real simple: Every registered BSA adult volunteer must take Youth Protection training, and there are position-specific training courses for virtually every registered BSA volunteer position.  Your own situation sounds like the troop may have some folks registered in the wrong positions.  That’s a “troop fix”—not a national issue.


Dear Andy,

My two sons recently earned Eagle Scout rank.  We performed “immediate” recognition at our troop court of honor a few months ago, for both my sons and three other Scouts who also earned Eagle over the summer (a couple of these Scouts were approaching their 18th birthdays and so I wanted to make sure they have at least a few months to wear the Eagle badge on their uniforms before they aged-out).  Now, we’re planning a joint ceremony so their families can come to town and celebrate my sons’ success with us.  Since I’m their Scoutmaster, would you recommend that I still emcee the ceremony like I usually do, or should we ask the Committee Chair or advancement coordinator to do this? (I’m not sure If I should just sit back and “be a parent” on this one.) (Joe Wertheim, SM, Crossroads of America Council, IN)

I’m at a bit of a loss here… If your troop had a court of honor at which your two Eagle sons and their three Eagle friends were recognized, what more is there to do?  That’s what courts of honor are for… Did their mothers not pin the medals on their sons while you handed them their certificates, and so forth?  To recognize all Scouts in the troop for their advancements since the troop’s last court of honor has historically been the purpose of these ceremonies.  That said, if you’re holding some sort of special event for your own sons, then how about asking your sons what they’d like your role to be!


Dear Andy,

As a member of my district’s advancement committee, I’ve had a question put to me that I can’t find a really solid answer to… We have a Lone Scout in our district who wants to know who signs off on his Eagle Leadership Service Project Workbook as representative of the unit committee.  Is it just left blank, with a district advancement committee member signing (assuming approval), or is there some other process this Scout must go through to receive approval? (Thanks for always providing the best answers.) (Ralph Rexroat, Great Lakes Council, MI)

My first question has to be: What is it about this young man’s circumstances that force him to be a Lone Scout?  Lone Scouts exist only where there are absolutely no troops he can reach, in order to enjoy the full Scouting program.  Is that the case here?  If it is, then the BSA national office has a process that can be followed, and your D.E. should be able to obtain it for you.  If not, I suggest he hook up with a troop.  (BTW, how did he get to Life rank?)


Dear Andy,

I read your column faithfully for the wealth of knowledge and inspiration for this journey we call Scouting!  My question’s about working on merit badges inside troop meetings.  Our Scouts have repeatedly asked to do this; they’re tired of the weekly game that’s included in the Troop Meeting Plan and have asked that it be changed.  The Patrol Leaders Council looking at this with the idea of having a 20-minute merit badge session once or more a month—time for Scouts to complete those merit badge requirements where it says “present…” or “show  to your troop or patrol..”  It would also better allow for the scheduling of guest speakers on merit badge subjects. (And some things are just more fun done together.)  Their points appear valid and I’m in favor of letting them try this, but some of the others with the troop are more of the mindset that merit badges are only for summer camp or weekend sessions at a local science center or “merit badge fair.”  (Name & Council Withheld)

Tell you what… If you or your Scouts can show one another where it says “work on merit badges” in the classic Troop Meeting Plan, fine. But until then, what needs to be changed is the game–it should be a new game every week!  This is a job for your Patrol Leaders Council, as chaired by the Senior Patrol Leader.

Merit badges are for individual Scouts (or Scout buddies, which is often a terrific bonding experience) to pursue, throughout the year, on their own time.  This is described in their handbooks, the handbook the Scoutmaster has, various training courses, and the Boy Scout Requirements book.  Stick to delivering the program as it’s written and you’ll never wander off True North!


Hi Andy,

What’s the proper placement of the NYLT patch my son earned this past summer?  Is there anything “official” out there for its placement? (Patricia Hoyt Orange County Council, CA)

Yup, there’s absolutely something “official” about where this particular badge goes: It’s in the category of “temporary” (which really means “at the wearer’s discretion”) and therefore goes on the right shirt pocket (and nowhere else).  This is in your son’s handbook and can be further verified by the BSA Insignia Guide (available at www.scouting.org)

Thank you for your quick response.  I don’t have a copy of the BSA Insignia Guide so I hope you don’t mind if I send you a picture of the patch (and where I’ve placed it) because I can’t imagine that (1) it’s a temporary patch and (2) I think you might be thinking of the red-and-blue patch they use to use.  I saw this patch placement on some other troop’s website.  I was also told that it should go on the bottom of the sleeve in the “trained” area.  I know that they have been sort of revamping the NYLT program to make it more consistent nationally, so I would think that the BSA would address this on a national level; not a local level.  Any thoughts? (Patricia)

I looked at the photo; here’s the problem: Since the troop’s numeral emblem is a “custom” job and of a size inconsistent with the official BSA numeral dimensions, it’s creating a ripple-through effect.  It’s supposed to go immediately below the Council Shoulder Patch, but since it won’t fit there, it’s been put where it’s not supposed to go, and as a consequence the NYLT “trained” patch is miss-placed (it should go on the flap of that little pocket) as well.  Good luck with this mess!  And BTW, the Insignia Guide is available online at the BSA website and, even better, Google “boy scout uniform inspection sheet.”


Dear Andy,

Our troop has a new Scout who was just elected Patrol Leader by his patrol of Webelos crossover den.  His parents are divorced and his father has visitation on alternating weekends. Turns out that all of the father’s fall right on our troop’s camping weekends.  He refuses to let his son attend these camping trips, because they’re “his” weekends (he doesn’t personally support his son in Scouts, but he “allows” it, since he’s not the custodial parent).  Is it possible for his patrol to have camping weekends? What would be the necessary adult involvement? Several of us who are parents and qualified leaders would be able to assist this camping activity and teach the skills necessary for rank advancement (I feel that by missing the camping trips, he and his patrol will be unable to advance, and we may lose some good Scouts).  Or, would it be possible for him to camp with other troops that may have trips when he’s not with his dad? (David Pottorff, UC)

Tough situation.  I can certainly understand the father’s unwillingness to virtually “lose” his son weekend after weekend, and without question that parental contact and the father-son relationship must always supersede.  That said, Scouting definitely makes provisions for patrol camping… Just follow the GTSS provisions (two-deep leadership, etc.). Further, outdoor activities are fundamental “tools” of the Scouting program, regardless of advancement.  Ultimately, perhaps the troop might reconsider its camping schedule (lose a Scout…lose a patrol or save both the Scout and his patrol), OR maybe the boy and his parents need to find a troop that has a different schedule.  Finally, this dilemma might be solved most easily if the boy’s two parents can cooperate with one another for his sake, by shifting their weekends so that he can visit with his father (apparently the more limiting of the two parental situations) while his mother gives up some of the time she has, as custodian (and supporter of her son’s Scouting involvement) so that he can camp out with the troop on some of her weekends.  Of course, if there’s rancor and animosity between the parents, then the only person truly penalized by this triangle is their own son!  I’d like to believe that they’re capable of seeing beyond their own needs.  Bottom line: some eggs are going to be broken here, no matter whether we’re going to make an omelet or a soufflé.


Hi Andy,

Have you ever heard of the one-to-four (one adult to four boys) leadership for Webelos overnight camping? If Webelos Scouts go camping with a Boy Scout troop to complete that requirement for Arrow of Light, must they have one-on-one adult or parent supervision, or can they just come with the troop as a recruit? (Jerry Kazanjian, DC, Old Colony Council, MA)

Youth registered in the Cub Scout program will camp with a parent or guardian. The ratio is one youth to one parent/guardian.  Webelos Scouts are registered in the Cub Scout program; not the Boy Scout program, so whether or not they’re with a troop while camping is moot.  That said the requirement states “Boy Scout outdoor activity,” which certainly does not mandate an overnight experience.  Inter-troop games and activities in the out of doors fulfill the requirement in letter and intent.


Hi Andy,

My son began the Lifesaving merit badge, with me as the Merit Badge Counselor, in a group setting a year ago. Since then, the other Scouts lost interest.   My own son has two requirements to complete.  Our troop’s new Scoutmaster is requiring that my son turn in his partial merit badge card for reassignment to another Merit Badge Counselor for completion. The Scoutmaster is saying that its “unacceptable” for a parent to be his own son’s Merit Badge Counselor except in unique and extremely limited circumstances.  Does a Scoutmaster actually have the authority stop the merit badge work in progress and reassign a Scout to another MBC when there’s no written policy on this in the troop? The Scoutmaster believes that my son will somehow be under special scrutiny if his parent is his Merit Badge Counselor. Is this true?  Would, say, an Eagle board of review scrutinize my son for this? (L. Willie, ASM & MBC, Los Padres Council, CA)

First, this has nothing to do with “troop policy.”  In fact, there’s literally no need for any “troop policies” on anything—the BSA has all the policies in place that any Scouting unit should ever need.  This situation is an excellent case in point, because the Scoutmaster, by insisting on this change in counselors for the reason he’s stated, is himself violating a BSA national policy: Merit Badge Counselors are expressly permitted by the BSA to counsel relatives (sons, nephews, step-sons…) and no Scoutmaster (or anyone else) is permitted to override a BSA national policy.  The policy will be found in the GUIDE TO ADVANCEMENT, and the Scoutmaster needs to read it, if he continues to be adamant.  If necessary, reach out to your district’s advancement committee for support on this.  Meanwhile, finish your son, sign the card, and give it to your son to turn in for completion (while you—from a distance—observe, to make sure he doesn’t get sandbagged).  Finally, no board of review with any brains will challenge your signature.


Hey Andy,

What’s your take on a “Life service project”—sort of mini-Eagle project, prior to the Scout earning his Life rank? (Name & Council Withheld)

That’s a big NO.  Service time is what the requirement for Life says… A project akin to what’s required for Eagle—“mini” or otherwise—is absolutely the wrong way to go.  This isn’t my opinion; this is what the BSA states.  Somebody needs to read the bloody handbook.


Hi Andy,

Is it the responsibility of the troop, the Eagle Scout candidate’s parents, or a combination of both, in planning and carrying out an Eagle Scout court of honor? (Jim Weinschenker, SM, Laurel Highlands Council, PA)

Let’s back up just a bit here… The seminal event is a court of honor, which troops typically have about four times a year, to recognize all Scouts in the troop and publicly acknowledge what they’ve earned and accomplished since the last court of honor.  Troops usually find that courts of honor in late September to acknowledge ranks and merit badges earned at summer camp and since the last court (usually last June), then again in December just before the holidays or right after them in early January, followed by the third in late April (often corresponds with charter presentation!), and finally June, just before the Scouts head off to camp again.  Since courts of honor include announcements of rank advancements (often with ceremonies, which is always best), there’s no reason why the rank of Eagle wouldn’t be included, whenever the troop has one or more new Eagles to recognize.  This, in fact, would be the highlight of the court of honor, because that’s the top rank in Boy Scouting!  So, getting around to answering your question, whoever’s normally in charge of your troop’s courts of honor would quite naturally be in charge of a court of honor that includes one or more Eagles.

If this sounds like I’m advocating courts of honor that aren’t exclusively for Eagle rank, you’ve read me correctly!  These represent the best opportunity for all Scouts in the troop, and their parents, too, to see what “the top of the mountain” looks like, overall attendance will be better, and the Eagles themselves receive the most positive feedback from their fellow Scouts (despite all those nice cards and letters that someone else has gathered on the Scout’s behalf).

Yes, I know that the BSA itself makes mention of “Eagle Scout courts of honor,” but they’re certainly not mandatory.  So here’s a case where I absolutely have a point-of-view, and I’ve just stated it, based on long personal experience with both types.


Dear Andy,

How can a committee member officially be removed from the troop roster? (Name & Council Withheld)

Before we talk about how to drop the guillotine, how about a little description of what the problem is?

Ten months ago, in response to his volunteering to do this, we gave a then-new committee member the role of webmaster for the troop.  Ten months later, he’s done nothing except destroy our original website and then create a new one that only he has access to, for which he won’t share the password yet at the same time he’s not keeping it up to date.  We want our website back, so it can be current and useful to the troop again.

I just looked at the site… Actually not bad!  Looks like the calendar’s current, nice photos, pretty decent layout.  You’re sponsored by a church, I see… Maybe the Pastor there might have some weight, and can ask him to provide the needed login information?  Meanwhile, has anyone sat down with him and explained that there’s a new qualified Scout leadership position called “Webmaster” and that now what has to happen is to transition site management and updating to the Scout selected to do this?  To do this, obviously the Scout will need (1) a mentor and (2) access to the site (via username-password login).  See if this doesn’t wake him up… It’s sure worth at least one more try.

But, if all reasonable efforts fail, then the Pastor and the Chartered Organization Representative for your troop, and the Committee Chair (or a combination of any two of these), will simply need to tell him, in person (no email if you can possibly avoid it—because there’s no guarantee that the message has been received and you have absolutely no control over where he might send it or how he might choose to “edit” it) that his name is being removed from the troop roster and the council registrar will be notified that his relationship with the troop is ended effective immediately.  Then, the same two people who told him this in person will write a brief letter (again, not an email message) to the council registrar with a copy to the council Scout Executive stating that this gentleman is no longer a registered volunteer with your troop, and request that he be removed from the troop roster and rechartering documents.

That’s it.  And, just so you know, he has no recourse.  He can’t force his way back in via the district or council, because the church literally owns the troop and has final say as to who the adult volunteers are, and aren’t.

I guess I didn’t fill you in on the details.  This person has been contacted in-person several times within the last month with no results.  That’s when he provided what we thought was the password for the site, but subsequently discovered that it was only for a portion of the site.  We do have a Scout holding the position of Webmaster, but there’s no communication between this guy and the Scout, and this erstwhile committee member has missed nine of our last ten monthly committee meetings.

We’re now in process of drafting a letter to him, to be signed by our Chartered Organization Representative, which we’ll send via registered mail.  Can you please let us know what you think about this?  We’re hoping we’re on the right track. (Name & Council Withheld)

How about a letter that simply points out that he’s missed important meetings for the past ten months, names the date, time, and location of the next committee meeting, and simply says that his absence from that meeting—regardless of the reason—will be taken to mean he has resigned from his committee position.  This way, he either opts out or shows up.  If he doesn’t show, then it’s over, and if he does show up then you all can talk to him about the need for him to be there regularly and if he can’t, then he needs to resign and let somebody who is able to show up take over his responsibilities?  This way, nobody’s being “the bad guy” and he has no other recourse than show up or take a hike.


Dear Andy,

I need some reference about the new shirt.  Last week our Senior Patrol Leader did a uniform inspection.  He told the kids that have the new shirt but red shoulder loops and troop numerals that they where wrong, and that that shirt takes the green shoulder loops and numerals.  I corrected him by explaining that you can’t mismatch red with green but as long the kids are all red or all green it’s OK and the insignia are in the correct place.  Do I have this right, or did the rules change? If so do you know where the reference is? (Jorge Lugo, MC)

Confusion is certainly possible, but not insoluble.

The BSA’s most current Boy Scout Uniform Inspection Sheet (scouting.org/scoutsource/Media/InsigniaGuide/06A.aspx) states that the shoulder loops are green and is silent on the numeral colors.  The most current INSIGNIA GUIDE (scouting.org/filestore/pdf/34283.pdf) states that the shoulder loops are red and the unit numeral is red and white.  The INSIGNIA GUIDE also makes this important statement: “The Boy Scouts of America…uniforms help to create a sense of belonging… Wearing a uniform gives…members a sense of identification and commitment.”  We also know, from the BSA’s most current GUIDE TO ADVANCEMENT that a uniform, although encouraged and—we hope—supported at the unit level, isn’t mandatory to be a Scout. Putting all of this together, and understanding what’s truly important, uniform inspections need to praise the positive and spend as little as possible time and energy gigging minor hiccups…like wearing red shoulder loops when green ones are available and the BSA says either color is OK, and wearing a red and white troop numeral when the only color combination cited in current BSA uniform and insignia publications matches what’s being worn, but the current BOY SCOUT HANDBOOK shows green shoulder loops but then goes on to say (see page 33) that wearing an “experienced” uniform is OK, too.  In short, let’s lighten up, shall we, please.  Is there a troop numeral in its correct locations?  If yes, praise the positive.  Are shoulder loops worn?  If yes, praise the positive.   Got it?  Good!

Oh, yeah, one more thing: Your troop has no “kids” in it; it has Scouts.

 

HappY ScOuTing!

Andy

(November 19, 2011 – Copyright © Andy McCommish 2011)

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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.

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