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Leadership Days

In Scoutbook, any Scout can be listed as having more than one leadership position. However, if a Scout had 2 leadership positions over a course of 180 days, Scoutbook would count that as only 180 days of leadership. I believe that, in addition to this, there should be a separate number that tracks the number of days for each position combined.

For example, if a Scout were to be PL for 6 months and a Troop Guide for a full year during the year of 2020, Scoutbook should generate 2 numbers, which would be (approximately) 547 and 365. The number that would currently be displayed in Scoutbook is 365 days, and this number should still be used for rank advancement and merit badges and such.

However, having the 547 days figure would be nice for those Scouts that have taken on multiple leadership positions at the same time. It would allow them to easily and more accurately see how many days of leadership they contributed to the Troop at each rank.

I’ve had Venturers who were crew officers and had a position of responsibility (PoR) in their troop at the same time.

Do any scouts actually need this? Certainly they don’t for advancement or any scouting application that I’ve seen. But beyond that? I think National Honor Society likes to know a youth’s hours of service - and scouting leadership can be a grey area. But I don’t think what you’re asking for would help them be more accurate.

For example, a PL might be leading his/her patrol every meeting night and every campout. A TG might be mentoring first-years every meeting night and every campout. A scout holding both positions might lead his/her every other meeting night, and half the time on every campout on the opposite nights and times, that responsibility would be handed off to the APL while he/she fulfills the role of TG. If it were put into equation format it would be: 1/2 PL + 1/2 TG = 1 PoR. Over time the proportion fulfilling one or the other position may vary, but it’s still just so many days in at least one PoR.

I guess there are some scouts who really would do double the effort if they were given two patches, but even with my highly functioning venturers, they realized that one or the other position wound up being compromised because they’d always let something slip. So I can’t imagine a position-days calculation helping me understand how much a scout really took advantage of the Leadership Development method of scouting.

Aside from @Qwazse’s comments, what’s the actual benefit to this, though? It’s trivial to calculate for Scouts that may be interested in it, but it doesn’t correlate to any advancement requirement or recognition award for the Scouts, so…

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While I do agree the uses of this might be limited, it could still be useful in some cases. For example, if a Troop with a large number of Scouts wanted to see how many leadership days each Scout has served, this would be very useful because it would take many hours for one person to calculate this for dozens of Scouts.

This suggestion was meant to be a simple addition that would not require much effort at all that could provide a useful tool for Scouts, their families, and their Troops.

Generally, it’s a bad idea to ask a piece of software to present a statistic of extremely limited usefulness. I’ve done it for the one or two people in my job, nobody else understands it, and then a year (sometimes even a month) later they use it, don’t understand it, and are mad at me that I put it in there in the first place. So, don’t be surprised that this drifts to the bottom of the request pile.

It really does sound like yours is a solution looking for a problem. Those aren’t always bad. Sometimes we have a problem and don’t even realize it.

For example, In my mind, the problem is quantifying the scouts use of the leadership development method of scouting. The one measures that I believe quantifies using this method is:

  • number of SM-assigned and other service projects performed

Part of my hang-up may be that I consider Positions of Responsibility, to always be more for personal growth than leadership development. (The ones that have “leader” in the title may quatify a little use of leadership development, but not much. Just my opinion.) Becoming helpful in your troop translates into being helpful in your community. So, to quantify a scout’s use of the personal growth method of scouting I use two other measures:

  • number of positions held (for at least a term)
  • number of months serving in any position

Other scouters might look at things differently. Regardless of that, these three numbers are the conversation-starters I need to talk to a scout about his accomplishments as a member of his troop. And I think that’s what most scouters want.

So to pitch counting time in concurrent PoRs for twice the “responsibility time,” you need to sell how it will help scouts. Have you had your scouts do that already? How has it improved their personal growth? What encouragement as it been to your families? Etc … In other words, what problem do we have that we don’t know about that your stat solves?
One downside to this stat: a Star scout who has had two positions for three months might see this stat and think he/she should qualify for his Life rank. So, what are the upsides?

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I see your point as to why this stat might not be that useful. I do agree that having the other two stats you mentioned would be much better than the stat I proposed.

However, I disagree with part of your critique with the stat that I suggested. You suggest that:

a Star scout who has had two positions for three months might see this stat and think he/she should qualify for his Life rank.

If a Star Scout is likely to confuse 3 months of concurrent service with 6 months service total just by adding the stat that I suggested, then I find it hard to believe that they wouldn’t do this otherwise. I don’t see how adding such a small stat would greatly confuse anyone who would’ve understood the situation had the stat not been there.

I still agree that the stat does not seem to serve much purpose, but this particular critique of it doesn’t make much sense, considering that my suggested stat would not replace the currently displayed stat. Also, if any Scout would be confused by this stat, I’m sure that they find the progress bar for days of service for any particular rank much more confusing, considering that it has no bearing on the number of days required to satisfy the requirement.

There are already Scouters that think Scouts can have 2 positions for 3 months concurrently and meet Life reqs.

Even if a Scout has 2 positions on the same day, it is just a day.

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Yes, I understand that. My point was that I can’t see how any more people would be confused by the stat.

You have a much higher opinion of people than I do, apparently. In my experience, anything that can be misunderstood, will be misunderstood.

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Yes, but my point was that many people already misunderstand leadership days. I’m just saying that someone that doesn’t have any misunderstandings regarding leadership days with the current design would most likely not be confused by the addition of one small stat.

I will add this request to the backlog but I doubt it will ever bubble to the top of the priority list to be implemented.

How would you expect this to work if the start/end dates are not concurrent? This is not as simple a problem as it first seems.

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I assume that the current calculation to figure out a Scout’s number of served days is done similar to this:

The system would check if, on a given day, the Scout in question served in at least one leadership position. If so, the system would add one to the Scout’s running total for leadership days served. The system would then do this for all of the days that the Scout has been enrolled until the system has accounted for every single day.

The stat that I am proposing would (I assume) be calculated in a similar manner:

The system would check if, on a given day, the Scout in question served in at least one leadership position. The system would then check the number of leadership positions that the Scout served on that particular day. If any leadership position was held on the day in question, the system would add one day for each position served to the Scout’s running total for leadership days served. The system would then do this for all of the days that the Scout has been enrolled until the system has accounted for every single day and the number of.

Or it could be done by finding a running total for each leadership position and taking the sum of those totals. I don’t see how the leadership positions having nonconcurrent start/end dates would affect the calculation if it was done in either of these ways.

I don’t think the calculation logic is that complex. Probably more like

If
 end.date=true
  leadership.days=end.date-start.date
 else
  leadership.days=today-start.date
endif

You’re right. This makes much more sense then what I had posted.

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