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seems like skirting the bare minimum

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  • #31
    The fact that this candidate is so adamant about not completing the required outings (which would take a few months) indicates to me that he wants 'Eagle Scout' on his college applications, NOW!

    He doesn't want to earn Eagle.
    His father isn't interested in teaching his son to live to a higher standard.
    They just have an urgent need to pump up his credentials.

    Going on outings, national appeals, and to a lesser degree district appeals, will all push 'Eagle Scout' down the road beyond when he plans to submit his college applications. He may just go away if he can't get Eagle now, because the rank apparently only has value to him on his resume.

    Not the type of 'Eagle' you want to fly.


    • #32
      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.

      Oh fer cryin' out loud.

      There is no poor life lesson in usin' an appeals process respectfully and responsibly. As I said, given da information provided here, I would expect an appeal to be denied.

      But "might be creating a future family that avoids scouting?". I think you're mostly projectin' your own feelings into someone else, fred8033. I know all kinds of men who failed to "make Eagle" under tough circumstances and are proud Scouting alumni Life Scouts. They have regrets sometimes, but those regrets are their own for their own choice not to complete the rank, not animosity at the program. Many of them say they learned an important lesson about follow-through and commitment that they would not have learned otherwise. They are stronger scouting supporters as adults for that, even though they were once disappointed teenagers.

      More importantly, this goes beyond this one lad, eh? I have seen boys who quit scouting or talked about how scouting was "worthless" after a lad "got" Eagle in this way. I have seen good, supportive families and volunteers abandon scouting in favor of other organizations "that have real expectations for kids."

      People, especially boys, don't support organizations because they "get something" for minimal effort and paperwork compliance. They support organizations that accomplish things, that have high expectations, that really pushed them. They try to get into the colleges perceived as more challenging, more demanding. They look for employment in firms that demand excellence.

      There's nuthin' quite like the bad taste that is left in the mouth of every hard-working scout and his family when a boy "gets Eagle" in this way. Let alone hard-workin' scouters. It tells everyone that they were fools for workin' hard and doin' their best. I know scouters who still talk 20 years later about how much they regret passin' a lad like this along to Eagle. It gnaws at 'em.

      (This message has been edited by Beavah)


      • #33
        You really know people who have regrets about signing a kid off on Eagle 20 years later?



        • #34
          JoeBob - I'm sure your a good unit leader and a good person. But I must admit your reply reflects the exact attitude that I hope I can shield from my sons and the scouts in my troop and pack.

          Beavah - Connect back with reality and the case-in-point. Real expectations occur during the scouting experience. It's been two and a half years where this scout has been registered and in the troop. You've got a scout here who has (or is about to) meet all the explicit eagle requirements.

          Ya want real expectations, make it part of the program. Don't blame the scout after the fact and then pompously strut a meaingless diatribe not supported by BSA.


          rismith - Not sure about 20 years later. I know a guy who at the next roundtable bragged to me (friendly discussion) about how he refused to sign a scout's eagle paperwork because he just didn't have the right attitude and behavior to be an eagle scout. He knew he'd be over-ridden, but he wanted to make a point. I asked him what happened to create the bad attitude. The SM said the scout always had a bad attitude. I asked him why he signed off on Tenderfoot, 2nd class, 1st class, star and life. He said he shouldn't have but he always hoped things would improve. .... Well, the scout is an eagle scout now and the guy lost alot of my respect. High expectations occur during the whole journey, not just at the finishing line.


          The simple facts....

          It's not our job to spend time ... thinking about "Not the type of 'Eagle' you want to fly."

          It's not our job to spend time ... protecting eagle from being worthless.

          Our job is to support every scout and execute the BSA documented program.(This message has been edited by fred8033)


          • #35
            I'll take a stab at that answer. from my perspective - it is common to look back at "what I should have done, or what I should have said", when thinking of how we could have handled things better. I look back at one scout that I think I could have helped better by not pencil whipping the scout spirit requirement for 1st class and star. It doesn't gnaw at me, I don't think of it frequently, but it occasionally comes up when exchanging the inevitable war stories that scouters share when getting together in a social setting. Perhaps "regret" is to strong a word; though there is much to learn by reflecting on such things.


            • #36

              Tend to take the same attitude. Have run into more than my fair share of the red jacket crowd who remembers how they did everything twice as well and with twice as much enthusiasm. The goal isn't to make getting to Eagle merely signing off on paperwork, but the time to ensure that happens is when the scout is coming along through the program. "Making a stand" at the last moment comes across as borish and vendictive, rather than doing something to improve the program.

              A lot of this attitude comes down to how people see the role of adults in scouting. A lot of the posts I see believe that the adults are the "gatekeepers" and that it is up to them to enforce the standards. Even where there is no specific standard, it is their role to make sure that whatever standard they deem appropriate is met. If this were a safety issue I would be fine with this, but it isn't. Not even close.


              • #37
                Kind of funny, my experience on this subject occured about 20 years ago. But I don't have any regrets because I was a new SM and looked at the expereinces as learning how to do it better next time.

                Fred is right, these problems typically start way back at tenderfoot. That is the lesson learned, but the application still isn't as simple as it sounds.



                • #38
                  Hey Fred,

                  I appreciate your desire to 'shield' you boys from paper-pushing bureacrats.

                  But if you don't maintain high expectations for the HIGHEST award from the best nation's foremost character building oraganization for young men, what do you have? A participation trophy?


                  • #39
                    High expectations occur during the whole journey, not just at the finishing line.

                    Yep, this is true, eh? Da program needs to have expectations all along the way, and I would have had exactly the same conversation with da fellow you mention as I'm sure you had with him.

                    At the same time, if you're runnin' a race and you go great guns on da first 3 laps but then collapse on the 4th, yeh don't win the race. Havin' expectations all along the way includes havin' 'em at the last lap. GKlose's case is a different one than the example yeh gave, and deserves to be approached differently.

                    Now I appreciate how yeh want to give the lad da benefit of the doubt, but your interpretation of da requirements is more bizarre than I have ever heard. You're about a 4-sigma outlier on this among da scoutin' community. Claimin' that he met "active" in 2009 by never showing up ... it's hard to say that with a straight face, isn't it? Perhaps if he had filed for Eagle in 2009 that would have made it on appeal to National, though I doubt it even then. Certainly it would not now. This lad hasn't met scout spirit by anyone's reasonable definition. And technically, he hasn't met da POR requirement since this was a solo effort more along da lines of a Scoutmaster assigned project. That's allowed for Star and Life, but not for Eagle. That was da SM's mistake, though, so none of us would hold it against the boy.

                    But it's not about all that, eh? It's never about that in Scoutin'. It's about what is best for teachin' this boy and the other boys in the troop about character and responsibility. All interpretation of advancement must harmonize with that goal, eh? That's the Rule, spelled out in da Rules & Regulations of the BSA.

                    Da only question that matters is what example do yeh want to set for this lad and for all the other boys and families in the troop? Our example speaks far louder than our words.

                    Now, I wouldn't have kept the lad on the roster, given him a SM-assigned history project as a token POR, or agreed to such low expectations for bein' active. But that's where these folks are at, eh? So da response is easy. Da SM just says, "I'll be happy to talk with yeh about Eagle stuff after the campfire on da third outing you agreed to. Now, we could really use some help with meeting instruction and planning da next outing..." And the CC backs him up.



                    • #40
                      JoeBob, Eagle may be the highest rank in Boy Scouts, but it isn't the most important - that would be first class. So while I appreciate the "best of the best" feeling, it's a tad misplaced. In BP's words, scouting is "a game with a purpose." The ranks are a means to an end, but they don't really mean anything. As much as we all love to talk about being proud of being an Eagle scout, that's really beside the point. The point is to give boys an opportunity to learn and to encourage them along the way. It's not for the benefit of adults, it's for the benefit of the boys. I frankly don't see how punishing the boy really adds any benefit. Trying to determine why a boy wants to become Eagle and judging him based upon it - as the college resume gripes have been doing - reall doesn't serve any real purpose. If the kid thinks it's a good idea, who am I to tell him he needs a better reason?

                      Also, Beav, 4-sigma comes out to about 99.4% percent. Using a sample size of say, this thread, you don't even have a 2-sigma confidence.


                      • #41
                        Beavah - The "advancement" race is not measured by time. Otherwise, the smartest eagle scouts are the ones that close-out eagle by age 13/14.

                        Advancement is measured by completing requirements and those completed requirements don't expire because too much time has passed.

                        As you well know, the 2009/2010 effective BSA ACPP (advancement committee policies and procedures) had three criteria for (1-registered, 2-not dismissed from troop and 3-engaged by his troop leadership). Unfortunately, it's not Beavah's active definition as the whim of the scoutmaster.

                        So, here's a scout that waited until 17. He completed the active requirement Dec 2009. It's too late now to use BSA requirements to justify asking for more. The situation is a remnant of lower expectations from years ago. But that's water over the dam. That requirement is complete and advancement is measured by completing the requirements.


                        JoeBob - Keep your high expectation for the unit program and it's leaders. Don't penalize the scout at the end-game for past failures of the program and it's leaders.


                        • #42
                          In 2006 a Scoutmaster for whom I was AS didn't approve a Scout's Eagle during a Scoutmaster conference. I fully supported that decision, unfortunately the Scout was a whiner and had adequate Scout skills for a Second Class Scout.

                          How did he get that far? Well, the SM had refused to sign off on the SM conference as Life Scout, too. The Dad was the Committee Chair and turned in an Advancement report approving the award anyway.


                          • #43
                            He refused to sign off on a scoutmaster conference? A scoutmaster conference isn't supposed to be a stamp of approval or a test; it's supposed to be a time to discuss how the scout is coming along, talk about goals for the future, and ask about how the scout is doing personally. The only reason I can honestly see for not signing off on a scoutmaster conference is it not being completed. NOT because the scoutmaster refuses to give one or because he doesn't think a scout is "ready."


                            • #44
                              Newest information -- I was contacted via email this afternoon by the Scout. He asked to meet with me with his dad attending as an observer only.

                              Beav, saw your previous note about stepping on the SM role. I understand. Now I feel awkward. I will be talking with Chris about what has gone on.

                              After the Tuesday evening conference, the dad contacted me via email. Maybe he now views me as an intermediary. You're certainly right that I didn't do anything to discourage the impression, and it is not a position I should be in.

                              I think what I will do is meet with him this time -- he'll probably tell me he really wants to be an Eagle Scout, and I can outline to him the three paths I think he could take:
                              - live up to the agreement, get the signature
                              - turn in the application without the signature, deal with the DAC/EBoR
                              - stand pat, wait for a council/national appeal at a later time



                              • #45

                                Frankly, you have to be a Scout lawyer to understand all the complicated rules surrounding Eagle advancement ---- and the Scoutmaster wasn't a lawyer.

                                The complexity of all the rules is ABSURD!

                                I notice that you skipped right over the part about the Committee Chair/Father ignoring the Scoutmaster and signing an advancement for to promote his son to Life. The Father also acted as the Merit Badge Counselor for most of the Eagle required Merit Badges without the approval of the Scoutmaster, too.

                                At summer camp just before this boy applied for Eagle, he REFUSED to get out of the sack to help pack up the camp to go home. I finally wound up literally pulling his sleeping bag out from under him.

                                Earlier at summer camp he left to take a shower and didn't come back. When I went to the Scout shower, he was trapped inside, unable to get his pants on.

                                Another time he got lost in the evening at a state park. At the behest of his father, we organized a search party to find him. He had wandered off to talk to people at another camp site.

                                As I mentioned, his Scout skills were about up to the Second Class level in my estimate.

                                On camping trips he regularly complained about camping in tents, suggesting hotel stays instead.

                                Don't tell me about Eagle....

                                Seattle Pioneer