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  • #16
    Hi everyone,
    I am the SM in question.

    A not so brief history of this mess:

    The scout contacted me in May 2011 (I was the AC at the time) to say he was wrapping up his requirements for Eagle. We had not seen this scout in almost 2 years, he dropped from the radar a couple months after his Life BoR (May 2009).
    I looked at his records and gave him a detailed list of what the record says he needed to complete:
    Eagle Project
    PoR
    5 MBs
    Be active

    I suggested we meet to discuss. 3 months go by, no scout.

    I receive an email in August 2011 Can the troop help me do the EPrep MB requirement (practice drill) I suggested he talk with the SPL.

    We had been corresponding by email (as he never came to a meeting so we could actually talk. His dad got involved and there was talk of going to another troop to finish. The other troop met with him and basically said he would need to do a POR and that they that require a high level of participation (like @80% of meeting and outing to be considered active).

    5 months went by and nn January 2012 the scout asked to meet. We agreed and he said he wanted to finish up with the troop and we reached a compromise on what he would need to do POR Historian, Active - 3 camping outings + as many of the meeting he could attend. We told him we would do everything possible to help him succeed but he had to want to be Eagle and do the work. He agreed that what we suggested was reasonable.

    I reminded him monthly, in person, to get his outing done. I suggested that he do them early so the kids in the troop could get to know him and as result he would probably get more help on his project. I reminded him in May, June July and August by email (as well as speaking to him in person) to get his outing done. He responded, every time, with a version of I am still aware of what we agreed on as part of my reactivation and I am very sorry that I have not fulfilled that part of our agreement. I told him he needed to decide how important Eagle was to him and adjust his priorities to get it done if he felt it was important. I stress to all my scouts that they are not entitled to Eagle, they need to earn it.

    We gave ample opportunity to do outing as we are fairly active as a troop.
    Feb outing No show, he did make most of the meeting (we meet 2x a month)
    March outing no show
    April outing no show
    May outing no show
    June outing 1 no show
    June outing 2 (a day hike) he attended
    July camp no show
    July outing - day hike no show
    Aug camp no show
    Aug outing no show

    Note that there were service project and other types of outing during this time as well. no show

    I suggested he could show up for the second night of an outing, or just do the first night. I worked with him on Eagle Project workbook, I was the counselor for the last MB he needed for Eagle. I had told him I would help him succeed and I feel I lived up to my part of the bargain.

    In August, after I reminded him yet again to get his outing done, I received an email that said . The marching band season is in full swing now and I am booked until mid November. Any way we can find a compromise?

    We meet last night. I suggested he could do the Dec and Jan trips to meet his part of the agreement as he was busy Sept, Oct and Nov. His response was he needed to get his collage applications done and that he would be too busy doing that and he really needed to get his Eagle done now.

    I explained that we dont earn Eagle just to be able to add it to a collage application.

    history off:

    Why do I bother? Frankly I dont care about the outings. I care that this scout cares enough, is responsible enough to do what is expected. To do what he agreed he would do and not try to slide by or wiggle out of what he agreed to do. to show us that he is not just using us to enhance his collage application. There are thousands of kids who wont earn Eagle because they did not finish all the requirements. If I sign off I am rubbing their faces in it. There are thousands of kids who managed to buckle down and get it done and if I sign I cheapen their accomplishments. Yeah, yeah, I know, boy that sounds pretentious, but I actually believe it. If I sign I am telling him that you can get away with not doing what is needed, not living up to your word. Last time I checked that was not what we are supposed to be teaching

    This scout has wasted 15 months. If he put in even half the energy that he has spent looking up reasons why he should be signed off, actually being a scout, I would not be writing this novel. Is he a bad kid? No, he is actually very pleasant and likeable. Do I hate him or am I angry with him. No, at this point I am disappointed in him.

    I really do appreciate the viewpoint of the people on here. That said, if he does not do his two remaining outing I will not sign his application. I dont care what council does or national. Let them sign and make him an Eagle. I will know and his troop will know and most of all, he will know otherwise.

    thanks
    Chris

    Comment


    • #17
      Many people think that Eagle is the the goal of scouting. Should be a goal of all (o most) scouts. And many scouters come at it from a minimum requirement, got all the boxes checked, here, you get the award, mentality. Somewhere, lost in all of this "there is no bad boy, only bad leaders" mentality, we forget that scout spirit is a huge part in the list of requirements on the trail to eagle. When adults forget that, it is no wonder that scouts try to skate and claim a right to an award with minimal effort.

      And the unspoken message sent to all the other scouts is "you get praise and awards for being the sloth of the troop; that the troop rewards those that focus soley on themselves, ignoring the needs of their patrol and troop mates; that you're a schmuck and a sap if you put forth effort".

      The whole advancement methodology is curious. It is an individual award that purportedly rewards both self initiative (learning, OK, to some, doing once, various skills), and service to the group (POR's, scout spirit demonstrated by being helpful, kind, courteous, etc.). If the people responsible for approving the awards, (i.e., the adults), have such low standards for scout spirit that a scout that is never seen is brought up in front of the troop and lauded as the best of the best, as an example of what they should aspire to, the whole thing becomes a joke to the boys. The award becomes the goal, everything else be damned.

      Stand up for what you believe is right. Stand up for what you believe is in the best interest of ALL the boys in the troop. And if that means that you don't sign the eagle application because you have not seen the boy demonstrate scout spirit, and he cannot adequately explain exactly how he has demonstrated scout spirit, so be it. Explain the appeals process, and let him pursue it. Should the council or national approve giving the award, so be it. That is there perogative. Your responsibility is to the ENTIRE troop, and part of that is teaching and demonstrating standing up for principles. We want our boys to learn that in scouting. The best way to teach it is to let the boys observe you living it. Sure, it is a difficult decision. Let the boys see that is OK to stand up for principles.

      GKlose, I hope that one of the lessons learned is that in the future, when a scout is not seen for a period of time, he is contacted for a conference, and if he is not interested in actively participating, then his membership is not renewed. Many adults are reticent to do this, thinking that membership in BSA is a good thing, even if a boy isn't active. As you have seen, this comes back to bite you. And serve as a negative example to all the other boys in the troop. You have to ask yourself if you are willing to sacrifice the lessons that scouting can provide to all the boys of the troop to serve the desires of an individual boy and his family.

      It is s hard decision, and many here have provided well reasoned responses from the other opposite viewpoint as well. You and the other adult leaders are the ones that need to consider arguements from both sides, and ultimately be able to look yourself in the mirror and believe that you are doing the right thing for all the boys in the troop.

      Comment


      • #18
        It's not a hard decision. It's an easy decision.

        * Uncompleted requirements

        * No Scout spirit

        No Eagle.

        Not unless he changes those things in the time he has before he turns 18.

        Not even close.

        Comment


        • #19
          Thank you all -- I've been reading through the responses, and I really appreciate the time you've taken to read through the "bloviation" and help analyze the situation. I'd like to add just a few more comments.

          First, I would like to corroborate Chris' response. The email responses that he quoted were email that I was CC'd on, and his quotes are accurate. His additional facts are true, from what I have observed.

          I'm aware that this can go to appeal, and most likely win. I would like to avoid that situation. For reasons that I have not stated yet, I really do want this Scout to succeed, and not appear like the adult gatekeeper preventing him from an original goal.

          A couple incidents since the Tuesday evening conferernce -- I sent the Scout email with a link to the Guide To Advancement, and he responded, trying to work around some of the exception (to the "reasonable expectation" rule). I responded to that email, with a request for the Scout to take a couple of days, reflect on what he would really like to have happen, how he would like to earn Eagle, if this is the way he would like to earn Eagle, and if Eagle is really important to him. I told him that after that, I would have a conversation with him, by phone or in person (not by email), and would outline the different ways I could see this heading. In that conversation, I would of course outline the appeal steps, and then also tell him that is a direction I would prefer to not travel.

          A little later that same morning, I thought about his insistence that he'd be too busy this fall to attend any fall outings. My oldest is in the same marching band, and so I checked the band schedule -- I pointed out, in an email to the Scout, that by attending portions of some of those outings, that might be an easy solution. For example, leave a Saturday morning rehearsal, drive the half hour to where we're camping, and finish the rest of the outing (20 hours or so).

          The next step is that I receive email from the Scout's dad, asking for details about our decision at the conference, and what I would term "Scout Litigation" language, asking for corroboration on specific points of the troop's position of the Scout's inactivity. The Scout Dad said that he was disappointed by results of the Scoutmaster conference of the previous evening.

          I responded that I didn't really prefer to go down this "Scout Litigation" path at the moment (by the way, I know the timing of our district advancement committee -- if this Scout gets an application in by the first Thursday of September, he would probably be able to do the EBoR on the third Thursday of September). In some ways, this has the feel of them taking it to the last desperate measures, when in fact all possible avenues have not fully been explored yet.

          I also responded that I asked the Scout to take a few days and reflect, and then we would discuss options.

          I responded in private email to just the dad (and Chris is hearing this for the first time) that I am more sympathetic to their position than he knows. I was a Scout, and a high school band member, and I am not an Eagle Scout. I have been down exactly this path before, and that directly leads to my contention that I want to help make sure this Scout succeeds. In fact, I know deep down inside, he will succeed -- he doesn't really have to worry -- this is only a matter of choosing the method by which he will succeed.

          In that same private email to Scout Dad, I gave the BSA mission, which of course includes language about preparing young men to make ethical and moral choices over their lifetime. I told him that we have a singular opportunity *at this very moment* to help this Scout learn something about himself, and that was what this program is all about. I asked him to allow us to follow this path for right now.

          Sent that at 9pm last night, and as of 2am, right now, there has been no response to either message. The fact that I am writing this now at 2am should help you know that yes, I am losing sleep over this :-).

          One more time -- I really appreciate all the thought all of you have put into this, and the time you've taken to crafting responses. I've read all of them, and will be reading them again and again. I have thought through multiple solutions, and I haven't really told anyone yet my personal feelings.

          Since I always love a good story, I will return the favor to you by promising to follow up as this situation develops.

          Guy

          Comment


          • #20
            I should probably address some specific questions that have been out there, but my mind is pretty muddled at the moment.

            Calico -- Chris outlined the reason behind the request for three outings (at the time, it was posed as a request of attending half the outings over a six-month period, so at least three -- we had nine, but three would have made this a moot point). We could argue the "active rules" all sorts of different ways, but I am sorry, but I am more fixated on the agreement between SM and Scout, and the idea that one of them is arguing a position of not living up to that agreement.

            Oak -- I haven't been thinking about October 2009...from my point of view, the Scout "went dark" between August '09 and August '11. Chris adds other interim dates. In some ways, I view the interval as beginning again with the spring '12 PoR offer, and the agreement between Chris (SM) and the Scout.

            Another factual reference -- this incident started with a request related to an Eagle app. When I checked our Troopmaster data, I saw a PoR ending with the April '09 Life board, and no other PoR being held after that.

            So the PoR Troop Historian proffer in spring of this year? I can add details about that -- I just checked the email trail -- but please just suffice it for me to say that this Scout did what I feel is the bare minimum -- it appears the Scout made the agreement in late February and the next time I have contact from him is late May.

            Thanks -- I'll get to other questions later this morning :-).

            Guy

            Comment


            • #21
              One more thing before going back to sleep ...

              Like NJScouter, Lisa and da Beav have pointed out, there is at least five more months to go, so I don't really thing it is necessary to resort to the desperate measures of the appeals process at this very moment.

              In fact, after this reflection exercise I've asked the Scout to go through, I was going to identify at least 3 paths --

              - living up to the agreement, getting the signatures
              - pushing for the EBoR this next month, without all of the required signatures (the District appeal, more or less)
              - not doing anything more, waiting out the time, and then filing the Council/National appeal

              and then point out positives and negatives of each. Then I'd ask him to perhaps think about those and then decide which path would be his preferred path (see -- I'm devious -- I'd be asking him to make an ethical/moral choice). Of course, on any of those paths I would support this Scout in any way that I can.

              I am not sure at the moment, but what I am afraid of is that in the last day or so, the Scout and his Dad have been pushing for an uncompromising position of "we will not be happy unless we get this signature now" so they can make the September deadline for a September BoR. That deadline would be the first Thursday, Sept 6, and so there is enough time, at the moment, for this reflection and discussion exercise.

              Guy

              Comment


              • #22
                I'm not 100% sure which side I'm on with this one. But as to his last Eagle rank requirements....

                Eagle Project --- Clear cut. Either gets them done or not.
                5 MBs --- Clear cut. Either gets them done or not.
                scout spirt --- see below
                Be Active --- see below
                POR --- see below

                The two interesting ones are the POR and "Be active". If his life BOR was May 2009,

                Scout spirit - that's about how the scout leads his life. It is not about a certain number of meetings or how involved the scout is with the program. It's mainly something the scout himself answers.

                BE ACTIVE - This scout is not subject to the new GTA "reasonable expectations." His active tenure was completed six months after his Life BOR. So if the life BOR was May 2009, he completed the BE ACTIVE requirement in December 2009. Under the advancement guide in effect at that time which measured his advancement, he was active per BSA published "active" requirements.

                You can ask him to do now more (certain number of camp outs, activities, etc) to demonstrate his desire to be an eagle scout and dedication to scouting and your troop. Fine. That's your personal choice. But it's not something that he is strictly accountable too. I don't think national or district would support you. I don't think you can create an arguement to stand that he did not already fulfill the active requirement in December 2009.

                POR - I do not fully follow the POR issues written earlier. But ... if he currently has a POR and he's doing the minimum expected (i.e. you have not removed him from the POR), he gets time served credit. When six months pass, he's completed the requirement. You can remove him from the POR if you don't think he's meeting minimum POR expectations.

                ...

                Your really only option is to just not sign his Eagle application because you don't think he deserves Eagle. Some would see that as petty even though you might feel your justified.

                Comment


                • #23
                  Your really only option is to just not sign his Eagle application because you don't think he deserves Eagle. Some would see that as petty even though you might feel your justified.

                  Pefectly justified and nothing petty about it, given the facts as presented here. Let's reiterate why Guy isn't satisfied with the scout's performance: he hasn't lived up to the agreement he made. The scout was absent from the troop for two years, wished to get the troop's support in completing his Eagle application, and the Troop - as represetned by Guy and Chris, reached an agreement with the scout for what that would take. The troop has lived up to it's side, the scout has not yet done so. Until he does, Guy and Chris are perfectly justified in not signing off. Neither "added to the requirements" so let me head that argument off at the pass. They simply clarified, in partnership with the scout, what the "Active" requirement meant.

                  Now, regarding a point that was made by several folks, which Eagle732 put the most bluntly:

                  Oh, and he'll be an Eagle irregardless of the SM signing off or not.

                  That, while quite possibly true, is irrelevant. What badge the scout has on his shirt or puts on his college application is - in the grand scheme of things - meaningless. The experience he gained while earning (or not) whatever rank, whatever badges, whatever bling, that's the real thing. I can buy an Eagle Scout badge right now off the internet for five bucks. It's just a piece of cloth, there's no magic in it. But I can't buy the experience that comes from really earning that award. The rank itself is nothing. What honor there is in it comes from what it took to earn it. If the earning is cheap, the honor is too. And that's an individual thing for every single Eagle Scout. Your Eagle rank is as valuable as what you did to earn it. It's neither cheapened nor made dear by what anyone else ever did for theirs. To the extent any of this discussion is even about the rank it's off track.

                  Guy and Chris are doing the right thing here, and I applaud them. They are doing their best - amid a fair amount of stress I imagine - to give this young man the opportunity to grow and mature, using the rank as a carrot to help him focus and find motivation. It's hard, they have to fight with him, they have to fight with his dad, they have to suffer slurs about being petty (sorry fred, perhaps you didn't mean it that way, but it was a callous remark). It would be a lot easier for them to just sign the paperwork and send the kid on his way never to be seen again.

                  But he wouldn't learn anything that way, or worse would learn the wrong things. The easy thing for all of us is to just hand out free candy and wave everyone through with a big smile on our face. But that doesn't do anyone any good. Might as well turn in our own patches and go fishing. Someday this young man is going to be in a situation where there isn't anyone there to wave him through, maybe not even anyone there to reach a compromise with. He'll either have to sink or swim on his own with no shortcuts to take and no district committee to appeal to. If he's never had to do that before, it could well be tragic. Guy and Chris are trying to give him a chance to learn to swim now, where the stakes are low. If having "Eagle Scout" on his college applciation gets him into a good school and he tries to skate through his courses the way he's trying to skate through here, he's either going to flunk out our gradutate with a worthless degree that opens no doors. In ten years, if this young man tries to hold down a job with the work ethic he's shown towards his own rank advancement, he's going to either starve or have Dad paying his grocery bills. If, on the other hand, he learns a little bit of perserverence, a little bit of self-discipline, learns to indulge in a little less self-pity, that will serve him, his family, and his community very well over many years.

                  It's those lessons that this is all about. It's not about some stinkin' badge.

                  Guy and Chris, thank you.

                  (This message has been edited by JMHawkins)(This message has been edited by JMHawkins)

                  Comment


                  • #24
                    Back after a little more sleep :-) --

                    "GKlose, I hope that one of the lessons learned is that in the future, when a scout is not seen for a period of time, he is contacted for a conference, and if he is not interested in actively participating, then his membership is not renewed."

                    Venividi -- in some ways, we sort of do this. We have an annual registration fee that we collect just prior to the end of the year. Our recharter is usually complete by Jan 15. That is kind of like a touchpoint for most of our Scouts. If they are continuing in the troop, they pay the registration fee. If they aren't interested any more, that's usually when we get drop outs.

                    For the ones that reregister, and still don't show up, we have Patrol Leaders making contact and giving encouragement.

                    So the root of this thread, and the root of this "problem" -- we are shifting from an advancement-oriented troop (where frequently Scouts were "pencil-whipped" through requirements) to a much more active patrol-oriented troop. Chris, first as Advancement Chair, and now as Scoutmaster, has been something of a lightning rod for making this transition happen. So we've been transitioning from Scouts that were given free passes on many, many requirements to actually following requirements.

                    Background: in the last three years (2010-2012) we've had 9 Eagles, and we currently have 3 that are in final stages of their applications (this one included). Most of the 9 had Eagle applications with the prior SM's signature, under the "old rules" (if you'll allow me to call them that). I can think of two that were pretty much extraordinary candidates (in another thread, I talked about sitting in on the EBoR for one of them). Seven were kind of flirting with not only their 18th birthdays, but also with that bare minimum line. If I were to explain some of those details, this thread could get really tedious :-).

                    In some ways, this candidate is expecting treatment like the old guys got. But during the time he was largely absent is when we were going through the SM transition, and now the CC transition. We are definitely in a spot now that we are trying to set up equal treatment for all, meeting the requirements as written, with plenty of activity and support. Consider this particular case of when this candidate was active, it was under the "old regime", and this would be Chris' signature (the "new regime"). He has set a standard, so to speak.

                    Comment


                    • #25
                      Chris mentions: "This scout has wasted 15 months. If he put in even half the energy that he has spent looking up reasons why he should be signed off, actually being a scout"

                      Since this young man is about to turn 18 in January, is a senior in high school and applying to colleges (of the type where he seems to think having Eagle on his apps will matter - so probably fairly selective & competitive) - put it on the table and tell him exactly this. Share your thoughts about how adults view each other when they make agreements and then one side tries to weasel out. Yeah, it happens more often than we might like, but it takes a real toll on people's relationships and reputations.

                      I don't think anybody should shield this almost-adult who aspires to positions of leadership, privilege, and respect (admission to Great Reputation University or whatever) from the fact that people will judge him by his actions and attitudes, not just the short-term results of those actions. What sort of man does he want to be? And when does he think he's going to start being that man, if not now?

                      However: The "3 outings" thing might have seemed logical 15 months ago, but at this particular point and from an outside perspective, right now it sounds more like a pissing contest.

                      Good luck with this one. And thanks for the hard work you're doing.

                      Comment


                      • #26
                        Fred, I'm a whole lot closer to your point of view (and thank you for your analysis) than you might think. Chris would attest to this -- I don't move fast. I think about things, then make decisions, then take action. I'm not in a rush to judgement in this case.

                        Let me clear about another point: at this time, I have not been asked for a signature, and I have not denied a signature. My hope is to try and guide the Scout through making a decision that will work for him. That's why I asked for his reflection on this matter, and why I wanted him to think about it for a couple of days. I think by Saturday or so, I'd be ready to talk with him. I think I want to make some notes too, to guide myself through what I want to say to him.

                        Mr Hawkins, I'd also like to thank you -- you hit many nails on the head in your response. The one thing I would like to correct is the "Guy isn't satisfied with the Scout's performance" statement. It is really more of a case of I am encouraging the Scout to live up to his end of the Spring '12 agreement, as a first pass. Kind of like I would really like to give him a chance to do the right thing first. I guess that could be considered judgemental, but this is one that I can live with.

                        I've never wanted to be the "gatekeeper" type, or be put into that position. I've always reacted negatively when I hear stories about Scouters who act that way.

                        The type I want to be is the "yes, let's make that happen!" kind of Scouter. So am I seeing things wrong if I think of this as a case of an inactive Scout becoming active again, him saying "I want to be an Eagle", us saying "yes, let's make that happen!" and then him kind of just fizzling just a little bit...just...before...getting ... to ... ... and then us trying to give just a little bit of encouragement for those last few remaining steps?

                        --
                        Just read LisaBob's response, before hitting "Submit". Duly noted. Yes, this does feel like it has degraded into a self-inflicted pissing match (about the 3 outings -- which is actually just two more). My wife sent me a note about 20 minutes ago that said "hey, the service project on 9/9, and then show up for an overnight on 9/15, after band practice, then he's done." But I responded to her that I don't think is what the candidate and his dad are thinking. I get the feeling they are posturing that they feel he has done enough, and will not be fulfilling any other requirements.

                        In email to me, the dad had said "I am disappointed in the outcome of the Scoutmaster conference". What is the outcome of a conference? Two people have had a discussion. I wasn't really expecting any other kind of outcome. I think dad, and Scout, were expecting a fully-signed Eagle application.

                        Thanks all -- we'll see what develops today -- I probably won't be back online until late tonight.

                        Guy

                        Comment


                        • #27
                          LisaBob -- just re-read your response from yesterday, with a clear(er) head. Wow. Bam. Direct hit :-). Thank you.

                          Guy

                          Comment


                          • #28
                            If only I had a dollar for every hour an adult leader spent agonizing .... G&C, I could give you a list of other things to spend loosing sleep about, but I reckon the Mrs. already has one for you.

                            I love your "let's make it happen" attitude, but that implies that both parties hold up their end of the bargain. The boy has until his 18th birthday to show he's holding up his end. SM Chris, let him know you will be happy to hold his eSMC on the night of his third activity.

                            If he wants to push it through without signatures, I'm sure he can take it up with your district AC.

                            For college apps now, he can put "Life Scout". There's no shame in that. When he gets his bird, he can send each admissions rep a postcard announcing the accomplishment and asking to add it to his file. (Same applies for any recognition for any hard work he put in band.)

                            Comment


                            • #29
                              Yah, hmmm....

                              Thank yeh all for sharing.

                              I'd make just a couple of observations.

                              The first is perhaps the most important. GKlose, you and your SM cbowe need to get on da same page and get clear about roles. As CC in this, your role is to represent da views of the Committee and support the expectations and goals of the program. Your role is NOT to work with the boy, to help the boy succeed, to be sympathetic, to have back door conversations with the parents. The job of workin' with the boy belongs to the Scoutmaster. The job of dealin' with the parents on a program issue belongs to the Scoutmaster until he kicks it to you as a problem that requires a more firm response.

                              Yeh absolutely have to get out of Scoutmaster mode, and stick to your role. If there are any "exceptions" to expectations to be made, then those must be made by the Scoutmaster. Your role is to back the Scoutmaster up by being firm about the committee's and program's expectations for the troop as a whole. What you do as CC sets the general expectations for all the boys. Stick to that. Only if da SM feels that there are special circumstances because he knows extenuatin' details from workin' with the lad should the Scoutmaster make an exception.

                              Right now, you're strayin' way too far into da SM role.

                              Da second observation is that it seems you're strayin' way too far into being advancement-focused. All of your language is about tryin' to help the boy get Eagle. That's not why we're here. We're here to try to help all the boys learn about character and citizenship. From everything you're saying, da proper approach right now for this lad should be on a few of the other Methods - youth leadership, values, outdoors. It should be "hey, we really need your help teachin' XXX for the next set of meetings, and doin' the checkout at the next outing". Nothing about advancement.

                              Now, if I were da SM, I don't think I'd have another conversation with the lad about advancement until after he'd come out and really participated as a Life Scout on the outings and at PLC meetings the way he agreed to. Don't argue this, don't discuss it, don't honor the whining by the lad or his parents with your time. There's really nuthin' to discuss. "I'll talk to you about this after campfire on your third outing. Right now, we're working on helpin' the PLC get the plans straight for the next trip. How are you going to help?"

                              Spend your time workin' on helpin' the boy develop his character. Take da emphasis off advancement.

                              That having been said, let me just say if yeh give this lad Eagle at this point, you are doin' all of us a disservice. For advancement to work as a method, da awards have to have some meaning. Some meaning for the boys, some meaning for the community. When yeh dole 'em out for carryin' a lad across da finish line with no effort on his part, you wreck the method for everyone else.

                              Right now on my card he has not really met a POR. A POR is somethin' that involves showin' up at PLC meetings and workin' with others to advance the troop. SM-assigned projects like goin' off on your own and buildin' a troop history are not allowed for the Eagle rank. You established expectations for "active" (really minimal expectations that I think most scouts would find entirely lame), and he has not met them. He is not bein' trustworthy and loyal in terms of living up to his agreements, by making repeated promises and not followin' through on a matter he claims is important to him. So he has not met Scout Spirit. So right now by your own (very low) standards he has not met da requirements.

                              In my council, an EBOR under disputed circumstances would not approve this boy for the Eagle rank. I've only seen one of those go to National from here, and the appeal was denied. In da future, though, yeh need to drop inactive lads from your roster at recharter. Haven't seen 'em? Not a member.

                              Beavah

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                              • #30
                                JMHawkins - I only applaud Guy & Chris in that they are trying to figure out what the right thing is. In scouts, it's sometimes difficult to navigate the path of BSA versus Scouts versus parents versus other leaders. Doing the right thing is not always easy and very often not clear.

                                "Head that arguement off at the passs" - huh? Ya know ... there are some agreements that you can't ask people to enter into. There are definitely some things we should not ask of our scouts. Is this one? I'm not sure. But I'm pretty sure it does NOT reflect anything related to being active. I certainly hope it does not reflect quid-pro-quo (i.e. do this and then we'll support your eagle). Scout leaders are to support all scouts in their troop.

                                The big challenge is that the scout met the BE ACTIVE requirement in December of 2009. Well before the "reasonble" expectations were added to the GTA. Even with the new GTA, it sounds like the scout could strongly arguement for active via involvement with other activities (band, school, etc).

                                Could you use the negotiated agreement to measure POR completion? If anything, that's the place where you could hold expectations and then it would be hard for council or national to over ride you. *** BUT *** if the scout completes six months in the POR and can argue he did anything, I don't think national or council would support you. The only sure way would be to remove him from the POR before six months is up. And that assumes he did not have any partial time in a POR from just after May 2009.

                                I think key here is the scout should not have been re-registered in the troop. Though it is difficult (not impossible) to defend participation standards for advancement, you can have standards for troop membership.

                                But to keep him on the roster and the later expect more when he wants to advance is not really kosher.

                                ...

                                Guy & Chris - Good luck. Your trying to resolve a less then idea situation.

                                Strictly speaking, if the scout meets the Eagle requirements, he deserves the Eagle. It's that simple.

                                ...

                                I also agree with Lisabob in that don't shield the scout from the debate. Bring him into it so that he knows what's going on and why it's so difficult for people.

                                When we talk life lessons, I think this is key. I think there is a poor life lesson if this scout has to challenge it at council or national to receive his eagle. I think there is a worse lesson if he does not get his eagle. You might be creating a future family that avoids scouting or yet another family that has bad taste for scouting.

                                The life lesson to talk with the scout about is by not shielding the scout from the debate and then by the leaders in his troop doing right by him even though there is such a strong debate. If the scout can participate in a process that was fair and true to expectations, that's a HUGE HUGE lesson.

                                Participating in a lesson where his own scout leaders are over-ridden later (or could be), that's a lesson about not trusting others and that some people who are there to "support you" are not always acting in your "best interest".

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