Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Scoutmaster Conference {Failed}

    Joseph assists Boaz in setting up a camp stove at a recent camp out.
Joseph failed his Scoutmaster conference for Life rank last night. Although he had fulfilled each requirement as listed in the BSA handbook (shown below), he was denied by the adult leaders at the conference, who probably meant well. During his conference one of the adult leaders (an assistant Scoutmaster) dismissed Joseph's troop leadership position (chaplain aid), saying that if the other leadership positions were like books, chaplain aid is like a pamphlet.  Had we known that his leadership position would not 'count,' we would never have encouraged him to seek out a Scoutmaster conference (and board of review). 
    Joseph has been elected twice and served as chaplain aid for over a year, leading the troop in prayer every day at summer camp; leading grace before community and patrol meals; and offering prayers when called upon by the senior patrol leader.  The actual hours of service as a chaplain aid may fall short when compared to a senior patrol leader or a den chief.  However, the courage, reverence, and discipline required of a young Scout to stand up and lead public prayer in a multi-denominational setting is admirable and worthy of respect and certainly something that develops his leadership skills.  Somehow, though, his elected term as chaplain aid was deemed 'not worthy' to be counted for the leadership requirement for Life Rank.
      Seriously committed to Scouts and to personal development, Joseph is currently serving his second term as patrol leader for the Burning Bullfrog patrol; recently served six months as the assistant patrol leader; and quartermaster.  We are grateful for every adult leader who has worked with Joseph and helped him develop his leadership skills.  Joseph recognizes that he needs to continue to grow and become a better leader.  He admits his weaknesses and willingly practices daily prayer, Mass, and regular confession (reconciliation) to grow in personal holiness (or put another way: to better live the Scout Oath and Law).  
        Set backs will happen in life, and it is our faith in God which allows us to put our hope in Him and not in the ways of the world.  The fact that the chaplain aid position is looked down upon should come as no surprise in a world that does not value prayer or union with God. Ultimately, the rewards of eternal life far outweigh the rewards of earning the rank of Life Scout.  
          Peter and Joseph at 8 Mile Camp outside Leavenworth, WA. 

          Life Rank Requirements

          1. Be active in your troop and patrol for at least 6 months as a Star Scout.
          2. Demonstrate Scout spirit by living the Scout Oath (Promise) and Scout Law in your everyday life.
          3. Earn 5 more merit badges (so that you have 11 in all), including any 3 more from the required list for Eagle
          4. While a Star Scout, take part in service projects totaling at least 6 hours of work. These projects must be approved by your Scoutmaster.
          5. While a Star Scout, serve actively 6 months in one or more of the positions of responsibility listed (or carry out a Scoutmaster-assigned leadership project to help the troop).
            • Patrol leader
            • assistant senior patrol leader
            • senior patrol leader
            • Venture patrol leader
            • troop guide
            • Order of the Arrow troop representative
            • den chief
            • scribe
            • librarian
            • historian
            • quartermaster
            • bugler
            • junior assistant Scoutmaster
            • chaplain aide
            • instructor
            • troop Webmaster
            • Leave No Trace trainer
          6. While a Star Scout, use the EDGE method to teach a younger Scout the skills from ONE of the following seven choices, so that he is prepared to pass those requirements to his unit leader's satisfaction.
            1. Second Class - 7a and 7c (first aid)
            2. Second Class - 1a (outdoor skills)
            3. Second Class - 3c, 3d, 3e, and 3f (cooking/camping)
            4. First Class - 8a, 8b, 8c, and 8d (first aid)
            5. First Class - 1, 7a, and 7b (outdoor skills)
            6. First Class - 4a, 4b, and 4d (cooking/camping)
            7. Three requirements from one of the Eagle-required merit badges, as approved by your unit leader.
          7. Take part in a Scoutmaster conference
          8. Complete your board of review.


        Anonymous said...

        Matthew 7:13

        "Enter through the narrow gate; for the gate is wide and the way is broad that leads to destruction, and there are many who enter through it."

        From our perspective, chaplain aide would be a prominent position for a scout, one with honor and obedience to put God first. That being said, I don't know many adults who can lead group prayer. We will continue to pray for Joseph's endeavors...these trials being a precursor to what he most certainly will find in the great big world when it comes to a steadfast faith.

        Persevere young holy warrior! The hand of God is upon you!!

        Blessings, The Gonnella Family

        Crystal in Lynden said...

        He was robbed!

        By Word of Mouth Musings said...

        Some knocks in life are SO very hard!
        I know we learn lessons but it is so difficult to get thro.
        Thinking of him :(

        Ryan O'Donnell said...

        Looks like the scoutmaster needs to review the rules. What an unfair disappointment.

        Anonymous said...

        This is just plain wrong and a misapplication of the whole concept of the scoutmaster conference. Chaplain's Aide is listed as one of the eligible leadership positions in the Scout handbook. There can be no deviation. Also, the scoutmaster conference is supposed to be an informal one-on-one meeting to get to know the boy. There should not be multiple adults present and there should be no way to "fail."

        I would take this to the district advancement committee. It sounds like the adult leadership in your son's troop is not properly trained.

        Colleen , NY said...

        Hi, I feel your pain and your son's disappointment. My son was just denied Star rank because he was not assertive enough. His leadership role was Leave no trace trainer. He, as your son, completed all the requirements and had them signed off. We were all shocked when he was denied. He was told to come back in October (denial was in May) for another review. I did go to my commissioner and my council's advancement chair who said at this level they could not intervene. They were each told a different reason why my son was denied. My son is special needs so I submitted paperwork to council regarding that so I am hoping and praying that he will be passed in October. I am an advocate for my son so I am used to bumps in the road. I expressed that a 4 month delay was harsh for an active, not behavioral, scout. Please all Pray for Ed , thank you.