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  • #16
    Basement, yes there is a central and standard requirement. It is the guide to advancement. That's what it comes down to. No unit runs completely by the book, because I have serious doubts any one person is both knowledgable and skillful enough to run it that way. However, we should strive towards those standards and seek guidance to find ways to do so.

    Also I have no idea what this means: "Locally skills knowledge are often asked.....such ask a base first aid question......"

    Comment


    • #17
      I have witnessed an EBOR ask a scout....this question......which the scout failed to answer correctly

      You enter a room your mother is on the floor bleeding from an unknown injury.

      What do you do????

      I appreciate that it is not supposed to be asked....but it was our district advancement chair asking(This message has been edited by Basementdweller)

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      • #18
        "You enter a room your mother is on the floor bleeding from an unknown injury.

        What do you do????"

        Is "Freak Out" an acceptable answer?

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        • #19
          rismith, what you posted from the GTA matches what I wrote. My point is, your claim that EBORs have to be conducted at the district or council level doesn't hold true everywhere. Some places do it that way; other places do not. There are pro's and con's to both, and we had a great discussion about that in a recent thread, which I am sure someone less lazy than me could locate and resurrect, if anybody is interested.

          Bigger picture: I don't agree with Seattle's suggestion that troops should be able to set their own standards, above & beyond national, for Eagle rank. I've crossed the paths of too many scouters who think they "know better" when in fact, they're pompous jerks with (often unacknowledged) biases and faulty memories of the "good old days." Sorry to be so cynical.

          Comment


          • #20
            That would probably be the most honest answer.

            That question, with possibly the personal nature of it aside, sounds ok in a BoR. It just depends on how it's used. There shouldn't be a right or wrong answer for the question, but should be a variety of ways to use it as a means to discussion. How would you prepare yourself for such an event? How could you calm yourself down enough to take basic action? There are a lot of directions you can take it, but as long as you give room to maneuver it can work. That being said, that question is probably not appropriate for every Eagle candidate. An older and more mature scout might be suited to handle it, but a younger scout would like not.

            Edit: Lisa, you're correct.(This message has been edited by rismith)

            Comment


            • #21
              Ris,
              As stated an EBOR "Not a Retest or Examination Though one reason for a board of review is to ensure the Scout did what he was supposed to do to meet the requirements...." And as someone who has sat on BORs, I've been sitting on BORs for over 26 years now, there are ways to tell if a scout has actually earned something or not without it being a retest. And BORs at all levels do have a responibility to insure that the requirements have been met.

              In the case I mention where the district advancement committee resigned en masse, the reason for the denial was that all the MBCs used by the young man were family members who basically signed them off. The EBOR when talking about the MBs he earned couldn't get answers from him. They felt he didn't actually earn them, and came up with a way for him to meet the requirements legitimately. Again this is what I was told by the DE, so you can take that with a grain of salt. He appealled their decision, won, and the advancement committee basically said the heck with it.

              BUT what I do know is that when I met the young man, I did not know who he was, and he was wearing his MB sash. One MB on it was the Indian Lore MB, one that I am extremely interested in and serve as a MBC. Since I had just moved to the area, I started a conversation by asking some basic questions on the local area Indians that he should have known. I got a deer in the headlights look. Funny thing is, I didn't know much about the area, and he could have made up stuff and I may or may not have fallen for it. But he knew nothing, not even on mor ecommonly used nations like the Cherokee, Sioux, etc.

              This raised some concerns to me, and I politely asked him about some other, local stuff that he should have known about in order to get the MBs worn on the sash. Still deer in the headlights. Finally our conversation ended and we walked away. It was then that my coworker came up to me and stated something along the lines, "So what do you think about the reason why my advancement committee quit?"

              Comment


              • #22
                I think the thread so far illustrates that BSA has become FAR too legalistic and bureaucratic in advancement in general and Eagle in particular.

                Which kind of troop do you suppose has the most trouble?


                1. The Eagle mill that routinely lets boys be carried into the Eagle's nest by parents and other adults or

                2. A Scout troop that expects Scouts to learn a skill well enough to use it but has a Scout and parent who expects to earn Eagle by doing as little as possible every step of the way?


                How often are Scouts from Eagle mill troops denied Eagle despite having minimal skills?


                I would imagine that the typical Eagle Mill troops has the real experts on the technical language of the Guide To Advancement. They might well have a lawyer guiding the process, carefully researching the absolute minimum that can be done at every step and advising the Scouts and Scoutmaster how the absolute minimums can be achieved as rapidly and easily as possible.

                Once the minimums have been determined, the process of watering down requirements can REALLY begin! [Let's see now, that fifty mile bicycle ride can include the auto trip to the start of the ride--- right?].

                I'm guessing that these troops will rarely have advancement issues that go to the council or national.



                Seattle Pioneer

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                • #23
                  Eagle,

                  I can actually relate to your anecdote. Several years ago had a scout from my troop whose parents had ambitions for him to be the youngest Eagle ever. Parents signed off on every merit badge and almost every requirement for ranks. After his BoR, the board unanimously rejected him because they didn't believe he had actually done everything.

                  When I first heard the story, I agreed with the board. The council overruled and was ticked until I heard their logic. If, after the first few merit badges we had approached the parents and told them that unless they were approved by the council to be merit badge counselors and for that rank, they could no longer continue to do that. However, up until that point, everything they did counted. What actually happened was that far after the fact, the BoR took it upon themselves to retest the requirements, which they aren't supposed to do. It really came down to while the parent's actions were reprehensible and probably unethical, we don't punish the boy. If we had taken proactive action a long time ago, it would have been fine, but doing so after the fact isn't ok.

                  For schadenfreude, he was the youngest eagle - for about a week.

                  Comment


                  • #24
                    rismith says "Eagle boards of honor are done at the district level or higher - it is NOT appropriate for a troop to conduct them on their own"

                    Our EBORs are administered by our Troop Committee in accordance with the 2012 BSA Guide to Advancement section 8.0.3.0

                    There's also plenty of room for a troop to determine if a candidate is "active" and has appropriate "Scout Spirit" to become an Eagle.

                    Comment


                    • #25
                      DANG ... There is so so much bad attitude in this thread that it's almost impossible to respond sussinctly. Yet another BSA program bashing thread.

                      ...

                      SeattlePioneer - I guess it's point of view. What some see as legalism, others see as clearly stating expectations so that scouts can control and be responsible for their own advancement. The GTA is entirely needed to protect scouts from bad leaders.

                      --- Bad leaders that just don't get it.
                      --- Bad leaders that sit in their starched underwear pompously stating things such as "protecting the eagle rank", "paper eagle", "unworthy scout", "eagle mill".
                      --- Bad leaders that label "the requirements" as "the bare minimum" and then libel the scout for only hitting the "bare minimum".
                      --- Bad leaders falsely asserting it's once-and-done versus "actually learning something".
                      --- Bad leaders falsely asserting it's a choice between GTA requirements producing poor quality and troop empowerment needed to produce high quality.
                      --- Bad leaders that penalize scouts for long running unit failures.
                      --- Bad leaders that package plain old meanness as teaching a life lesson.

                      Simply stated, BSA's advancement program has become what it is because there are many leaders with their own agenda and damaging scouts to achieve that agenda.

                      ...

                      Eagle732 - "There's also plenty of room for a troop to determine if a candidate is "active" and has appropriate "Scout Spirit" to become an Eagle."

                      Yeah, but if you think BSA appeal would over-ride you, then I question if you have as much "room" as possible.

                      ...

                      Lisabob/rismith - IMHO, district versus unit EBOR is just a scheduling and staffing issue. The district representative on unit EBORs is just to ensure quality and that EBORs are done right as eagle ranks are very visible and well known. But this goes to my next point ...

                      Eagle is a national awarded rank ... but all ranks are really national awarded ranks. It's just that Eagle is treated significantly more special than any other rank. IMHO, this is a key problem. Ya have all the requirements for (S),T,2,1,S,L opportunities to hold scouts accountable and BORs for T,2,1,S,L to check that things are being done right.

                      I get extremely sensitive when I hear some scout has made it all the way thru that process to only have others judge him unworthy of Eagle after completing the eagle requirements.

                      I think rismith's example of the scout who used mostly family MBC. Yeah, the scout was wrong. But the troop ignored the problem way too long. You don't penalize the scout down the road for something you choose to ignore in the past. You hold to high standards during the whole journey, not just at the finish line.

                      ...

                      I am so glad that national has setup a strong eagle appeal process that has been supportive of the scouts because, IMHO, scouts need that support. There are way too many adults with their own agendas and their own failings that get between scouts and that final rank.

                      ...

                      On a side note, I always find it funny that it's a discussion of Eagle. Where's all the outrage at unworthy tenderfoots, 2nd class, 1st class, star and life scouts?

                      IMHO, there's many more things to learn and achieve going from a new scout to 1st class than going from 1st class to Eagle scout.

                      Plus the step from Life scout to Eagle scout is really not that much. Ten MB versus the already earned eleven. But the first eleven were probably harder as MBs were a new idea back then. .... Six more months in a POR? No problem, already have done 10 months of PORs. Just six more months. ... PLUS ... If you complete six months in a POR, you are automatically "active". So the big difference is an eagle project. The big effort there is usually the self-starting effort.

                      I'm just saying, Eagle should NOT be respected that much more then all the other ranks.

                      Comment


                      • #26
                        The EBOR is not for retesting. If the scout has the advancement signed off, then that's it. He's qualified for that advancement. You can not add to or subtract from the requirements, period. I don't care if the scout's little brother signed off on the blue card, if it was accepted at the troop level, then that's it. Once it's done and in the system, there's not a thing that you can do about it.
                        If there is a question about a scout's ability or level of knowledge, or whether he actually did the merit badge, that belongs at the unit level and the Scoutmaster conference. Why, if there is any question, did the Scoutmaster sign off it? It's the responsibility of the troop to watch for boys/parents abusing the system. Not the BOR. If an Eagle scout candidate cannot tie a square knot, well, that's pretty sad, but that's not sufficient ground for denying him the rank of Eagle.
                        Eagle Scout is the pinnacle of Scouting advancement. Yes, as scouters who sit on the EBOR, it is our responsibility to ensure that the boy has met the requirements and exemplifies the leadership that sets an Eagle Scout apart from others. But we are not the gatekeepers to some Holy Grail. It is not our job to deny someone the rank of Eagle just because we don't think they earned the Indian Lore merit badge 6 years ago at camp. If he has received the award, then it's a done deal.

                        Fred8033 said it best :"You don't penalize the scout down the road for something you choose to ignore in the past. You hold to high standards during the whole journey, not just at the finish line."

                        We don't penalize the scout for OUR mistake. If there's a problem or a question, it should be caught at the time it happens, not years down the road at a EBOR.

                        Comment


                        • #27

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                          • #28
                            This thread ticks me off on a whole bunch of levels. Ya It isn't right for leaders to sign off at tenderfoot, second class, first class if the scout doesn't meet the requirements hoping he will grow out into the rank....


                            The scouts expecting cub level sign offs....
                            The parents expecting cub level sign offs
                            The leaders for giving cub level sign offs
                            No spine leaders caving in to pressure from the parents.
                            Parents shopping for troops that are easier to advance.
                            Troops accepting Star or Life Transfers to let the boy get eagle.....


                            I expect mastery nothing more or less....
                            Pitch a tent....do it.....Plan a menu....do it.....buy the grub....do it......make the menu....do it.....tie the basic scout knots as requested......do it.....


                            I am ticked off at all the scout leaders who pass a scout spirit at the first 3 ranks hoping it will get better.......I won't do that........

                            I am ticked off at the Leaders, youth and adult who sign off on skills unmastered....one and done???? not in my troop.


                            old rismith is pushing my buttons thinking his way is the only way and completely correct.....NO.
                            Been an Adult scouter for a long time, never seen anything ever done by the book. Irregardless of how many time you cut and paste you have no clue about what your talking about. your local solution is exactly that a local solution.

                            Time and time again we see what a joke Adult scouters let the program become.....

                            Sure it is boy led but the adults shouldn't just turn a blind eye to whats going just because the boys don't want to learn knots or how to use a compass. my intention is bullet proof basic scout skills, but the boys will enjoy ATV's and wave runners, Video game lockins.....Pro sport games.....

                            I want the poor boys from the hood to beat the rich boys from the burbs at the spring camporee. The first for our district in memory.

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                            • #29
                              fred,
                              My troop maintains certain standards. District, Council and National are free to award Eagle to anyone they want. They don't need our approval.

                              Comment


                              • #30
                                old rismith is pushing my buttons thinking his way is the only way and completely correct.....NO.
                                Been an Adult scouter for a long time, never seen anything ever done by the book. Irregardless of how many time you cut and paste you have no clue about what your talking about. your local solution is exactly that a local solution.

                                If I'm pushing your buttons, frankly I think that's good. If you have NEVER seen anything ever done by the book, then I would say your units are in desperate need of training. Safety especially. If you think I'm annoying about rank stuff, just wait for national to bring the hammer down on you when you don't follow safety standards and refuse to honor the insurance claim. What I am copy and pasting is national policy. I have been in scouts for a long time, but I'm not arrogant enough to believe that my way is best or that I know everything. I am telling you what national says, no more, no less. It's not local, it's national. Repeat reading that as many times as it is necessary.

                                "Sure it is boy led but the adults shouldn't just turn a blind eye to whats going just because the boys don't want to learn knots or how to use a compass. my intention is bullet proof basic scout skills, but the boys will enjoy ATV's and wave runners, Video game lockins.....Pro sport games..... "

                                Advancement is NOT the end all be all of scouts. It is a method. As is the uniform, outdoor program, leadership development, adult association, ideals and patrols. The point isn't to "pump out Eagles" or to do anything of the like. The point is to use the program to teach life skills. If a scout doesn't learn things beyond what's written on paper, that may be a failing of a scout. If scouts don't learn how to use a compass or tie knots, that is indicative of a failure of a program. So when I say I'm not going to penalize a boy, it's because I know, from experience, that you can't win every battle. If a scout thinks advancement is the end all be all of scouting its because we're providing a program that emphasizes it beyond it's necessity. Overly elaborate coronation CoH, idolizing the Eagle, etc. don't help either. And when it comes down to, I can't force them to do more than is required. It reminds me of the old joke. What do you call the med student who did the bare minimum to pass? Doctor. Now there are Eagle scouts who did more to impress me than others, but that doesn't make them anymore an Eagle than the others. They just happen to be Eagle scouts who did more than was required.

                                If you believe that scout skills are the most important thing to know, then worry about emphasizing it in your program - teaching scout skills as a part of scout meetings, incorporate games into meetings and outings, encourage creating camp devices and involve boys in maintenance of equipment. When you start doing those things, it doesn't really matter if you "mastered" the skill when you signed off on a requirement, because they will be brought up again and again and again. There will be opportunity to use those skills again because the program encourages their use.

                                I want the poor boys from the hood to beat the rich boys from the burbs at the spring camporee. The first for our district in memory.

                                Great goal - how are you going to help them?

                                Edit: I accidentally a word(This message has been edited by rismith)

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