Purpose of "Position Approved" in Leadership?

We have a Life Scout that has, over the last several years, been elected to three leadership positions and not fulfilled his responsibilities for any of them (the youth leadership instituted attendance/participation requirements that he did not come close to fulfilling). Each time the positions were added to Scoutbook with the relevant dates (for recording purposes) but the “Position Approved” box is not checked. Our assumption was that, like Merit Badges, the position would not count until it was approved by the Troop.

However, Scoutbook shows that he has 500+ days of PoR toward the rank on the “Leadership Positions” page. Further, he used Scoutbook to generate his Eagle Application and it populated the Leadership positions on the Eagle App.

Is this how it is supposed to function? If so, what exactly does the “Position Approved” button actually do? More importantly, how are we supposed to manage situations like this so as to avoid confusion?

Here are several relevant sections of the guide to advancement:
4.2.3.4.3 Meeting Unit Expectations. If a unit has established expectations for positions of responsibility, and if, within reason (see the note under “Rank Requirements Overview,” 4.2.3.0), based on the Scout’s personal skill set, these expectations have been met, the Scout has fulfilled the requirement. When a Scout assumes a position, something related to the desired results must happen. It is a disservice to the Scout and to the unit to reward work that has not been done. Holding a position and doing nothing, producing no results, is unacceptable. Some degree of responsibility must be practiced, taken, or accepted.

4.2.3.4.5 When Responsibilities Are Not Met. If a unit has clearly established expectations for position(s) held, then—within reason—a Scout must meet them through the prescribed time. If a Scout is not meeting expectations, then this must be communicated early. Unit leadership may work toward a constructive result by asking the Scout what he or she thinks should have been accomplished in that time. What is the Scout’s concept of the position? What does the Scout think the troop leaders—youth and adult— expect? What has been done well? What needs improvement? Often this questioning approach can lead a young person to the decision to measure up. The Scout will tell the leaders how much of the service time should be recorded and what can be done to better meet expectations.
If it becomes clear that performance will not improve, then it is acceptable to remove the Scout from the position. It is the unit leader’s responsibility to address these situations promptly. Every effort should have been made while the Scout was in the position to ensure the Scout understood expectations and was regularly supported toward reasonably acceptable performance. It is unfair and inappropriate—after six months, for example—to surprise someone who thinks his or her performance has been fine with news that it is now considered unsatisfactory. In this case, the Scout must be given credit for the time.

There’s more than that. I’d read the whole section. But the part I want to call out is that it should have been addressed during the term. Why was the scout left in the position if they weren’t fulfilling their duties?

The purpose of the approval in Scoutbook is to ensure that it was a legitimate position entered by an authorized leader within the unit (as opposed to the scout or parent).

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This has been discussed before internally - never in direct relation to the Eagle Application. The issue is units would not want the positions to show on the Needs Approval Report for months while it was being decided; but if it did not show on Report, users would think Eagle App is broken for NOT showing the positions. We will discuss it again.

This can easily be argued either way.

  • Not having unapproved leadership flow to the Eagle App could be an initial check and alert the Scout that there may be a missing requirement so this may be a positive.
  • Not all units use Scoutbook but any Scout can. These Scouts would never have leadership approved even though the requirement was complete. In these cases, members would complain that leadership was in Scoutbook and should have been on the Eagle App.

The Scout must edit the Eagle App with Acrobat because there is information on it that Scoutbook does not have, for example, the list of references. The Scout could easily add any leadership to the Eagle App this way. Since the Scoutmaster must sign the Eagle App, even if the unit uses Scoutbook, the leadership positions should be checked before signing. This is a final check and the actual check that leadership was approved.

As Donovan said, we have discussed this previously but will do so again. I suspect whatever we do, there will be members that are not happy.

So “Position Approved” is a flag that is only visible on the specific Leadership position for a specific Scout and does not have any other functionality or visibility anywhere else in the system? If so, might want to figure out a way to clearly mark it as such. I’m probably not the only user of the system that assumed that selecting/unselecting the box controlled something downstream.

Ultimately, I am just trying to understand the recommended workflow for this situation. How do the designers of the system expect/want us to use it? Once we realize that he is not going to get credit for the position, what steps should we take in SB?

@GeoffreySelzer

The flag was added at the request of leaders who wanted a way to distinguish between leadership that they “approved” vs. what the Scout may have entered. Since leadership does not flow to ranks, except to be displayed on the Eagle app, it is just a visual check for all leaders to be able to see if the position was correctly entered so it can be credited for Star and Life ranks.

In your case, you can either just leave it unapproved and possibly with a note saying the Scout did not fulfill the requirements of the position so that you have the history, or you could remove the position entirely.

I hope you have counseled the Scout so that the requirement can be fulfilled for Eagle.

My suggestion would be to change the dates to what you determine the scout deserves credit for.

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