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  • #16
    I think we are in a grey area here, and I was also thinking more broadly about other circumstances that might arise. For example, in the situation of Ryan Andresen (subject of a separate thread under "Issues and Politics"), Ryan could have requested an EBOR even though his SM had not signed his eagle application. Under those circumstances it would have been entirely appropriate for such an EBOR to request that the SM either show up to explain his reasons for not signing, or at least submit a written explanation. In Ryan's situation the entire process was cut short by the National Council intervening and removing Ryan from membership altogether.

    The point is well taken that the rule book places the burden of soliciting references, either orally or in writing, largely on the council. If no references were made available to an EBOR I think a responsible EBOR would be entitled to ask why this is so, and possibly defer a decision a reasonable time to allow the shortfall to be remedied. This is not the same thing as denying an award for lack of references. I would not see any barrier to the members of the EBOR itself assuming the burden of attempting a few telephone calls in such a situation. That would not be adding to the requirements, but merely following up on information already provided. There is no deadline of which I am aware for any EBOR to fulfill its responsibilities, except for those deadlines that revolve around the 18th birthday of the scout in question.


    • #17
      EBOR's may happen after the boy's 18th b.d., so I don't see how taking a little longer to chase down references could be an issue.

      It might bog down the board if they have a number of candidates whose references haven't replied. But that's not the worst problem to have!


      • #18 should never, ever get to an EBOR where the scout is there and defer a decision due to lack of something the scout has no control over.

        In your 1st para, the procedure in that case is par Requesting an EBOR under disputed circumstances. I'm in the middle of one of those right now.


        • #19
          I shall go back and re read the advancement guidelines.


          • #20
   References Contacted
            Council advancement committee membersor others designatedcontact the references appearing on the Eagle Scout application. This may be done by letter, form, or phone call. For reasons of privacy and confidentiality, electronic submissions are discouraged. It is acceptable to send or deliver to the references an addressed envelope with instructions, and perhaps a form to complete. The Scout may assist with this, but that is the limit of his participation. He is not to be responsible for follow-through or any other aspect of the process. It is up to the councils designated representatives to make every effort to collect the responses.

            If after a reasonable effort no response can be obtained from any references, the board of review must go on without them. It may not be postponed or denied for this reason, and the Scout may not be asked to submit additional references or to provide replacements.

            So, Eisley, based on the policy a kid could, in theory, submit fictious references or fail to deliver the council request form and be totally unaccountable when the letters don't materialize. Of course it is unthinkable that a youth would do that. And it is completely unreasonable to ask a young man of Eagle caliber for assistance in contacting four or five individuals who will attest to his character. We must always guard against the old reprobate Scouters serving on Eagle Boards who only seek to create impediments to a low drag, high speed path to Eagle.

            Frankly, we should just drop the reference ruse completely. They mean nothing. Who's going to list a bad reference in the first place? And if one sneaks through, what could they say which would change the outcome. If the requirements are complete, if the boxes are checked, it's a done deal. Asking for reference is clearly adding to the requirements.


            • #21
              Frankly, we should just drop the reference ruse completely. They mean nothing. Who's going to list a bad reference in the first place? And if one sneaks through, what could they say which would change the outcome. If the requirements are complete, if the boxes are checked, it's a done deal. Asking for reference is clearly adding to the requirements.

              FYI...I did recommend that as part of my GTA review. I will say I received one so-so recommendation was fromt he parents!! Go figure.


              • #22
                One could take it a step further and ask what purpose the EBORs really serve. If the EBORs are going to be a serious part of the process they need to have some authority. Otherwise it would make more sense to dispense with them altogether. Look at all the adult volunteer time you would release for better use elsewhere in the program.


                • #23
                  Given the current direction of things, E., you're probably not far off.

                  OBTW, Nacap, I'm being totally sarcastic here. Eagle boards SHOULD be given more weight, boards SHOULD be able to defer Scouts when issues arise. Scout Spirit SHOULD be made a meaningful

                  I really think BSA is headed in the wrong directions with its low-drag, high-speed advancement process. Why in the heck CAN'T a 16-, 17- or 18-year-old Eagle candidate be responsible for making sure his references follow through? Sure, maybe somewhere all the EBOR volunteers try to make life miserable for Eagle candidates. Maybe all the adults in some kid's life are morons and incapable of writing and submitting a letter of reference in a timely manner. At some point there needs to be policy and procedure in place to make sure kids aren't screwed by their references. But current policy LEADS those assumptions.

                  Here's another rediculous example, Section "Scoutmasters, for example, do not have authority to expect a boy to request" a board of review. Why the heck not? If one of the objectives of the merit badge program is to allow youth the opportunity to contact an adult, make and keep an appointment, why can't that goal be met by a Scout arranging for his own BOR? Not to mention the fact it is perfectly reasonably for the two people primarily involved in a conference, the Scout and the advancement chairman, to be the two who make the arrangements for the conference. Why the Scoutmaster as middleman?

                  Far too much of the new G2A seems to have been written on the assumption that all Scout leaders are a bunch of grumpy curmudgeons who have to be controlled. Or maybe it was written in reaction to every problem any Scout ever encountered. Anything which has ever resulted in a Scout/parent complaining to national now has it's own rule.

                  While the advancement team may be pleased their afternoon naps are no longer interrupted, they don't realize the cost of these policies. So many opportunities missed for young men to take responsibility and control of this little piece of their lives, to be treated as responsible adult instead of children incapable of solving problems; so many missed chances to have meaningful interaction with adults of good character.


                  • #24
                    eisely...EBOR serve a great purpose to me. A great chance to sit with a stellar young man and have a conversation with him about goals he's achieved and goals on his horizon and beyond. In other words the EBOR makes me feel good about our country's future. Can it get to be a bit too much of an administrative nightmare with references, absolutely!

                    2cub...yes some of the GTA was worded in the way that favors the youth and gives them a chance against so-called leaders who think they are and should be barriers to keep scouts from passing through the gates instead of being on the other side of the gate pulling their scouts through. If you had the chance to see the large number of cases of so-called leaders who claim to be helping their scouts when in fact they are doing just the opposite, steam would come out of your ears. Scouts were sort of helpless if the SM said you can't have a BOR even if they had completed all the requirements and had a SMC until I say so and were extremely unlikely to take him on.

                    Please don't forget to read the rest of the sentence you refer to in can't defer a BOR or add to the requirements to keep the scout from having one. Since SMs are charged with determining if a scout is ready for a BOR at the SM conference, he is naturally the one who would pass this info on to the AC for scheduling.

                    If you have a better way to word any of the GTA, please forward them to Thanks.

                    (This message has been edited by NACAP)


                    • #25
                      My issues with the direction of the advancement program are of philosophy, not wording. I have no doubt there have been abuses (I, too, hear the war stories) but we've thrown the baby out with the bath water.

                      Your analogy of a Scoutmaster "being on the other side of the gate pulling their scouts through" is anathema to my way of thinking. Coaching, encouraging, mentoring, helping, guiding ... but I ain't pullin' nobody no where.

                      Seems to me we're getting away from the idea of Scouts "earning" advancement. Now they only need to complete In my mind earning something suggests individual effort and initiative. But "completion" simply means getting across the finish line (or through the gate to continue your analogy) by any means -- whether your mother pushes you through or your Scoutmaster pulls you through matters not. Just check the box.

                      Strikes me as a huge disconnect between the mission, aims and the other seven methods. Although they are fairly small examples, it is especially difficult to reconcile the aim of character with a policy which PROHIBITS a Scout from being asked to follow up with his own references or to take responsiblility to arrange a meeting which is for his own benefit and advancement.


                      • #26
                        2cub...I am of the same philosophy about the gate. I didn't mean to imply that I grab my scouts around the neck and force them through the gate. Your words...coaching etc are right on.

                        Our unit by no means checks the box and we have a number of scouts who take their own initiative to bring their books in every meeting, ask for blue cards, hit the library to get a MB Pamphlet and yes even request a SMC and BOR.

                        Advancement is clearly the most emotional of the scouting methods as it's probably the one that folks feel they can "control". You do not see this approach in the Cub/Venture program's advancement.

                        Have you sent your recommendations to


                        • #27
                          I like the EBOR Process, references and all.

                          We are preparing Boys for life as adults. Part of that is job interviews. They will need to sit down with someone they haven't met and they needed to submit references for their job application. I think it'd perfectly reasonable in my opinion.

                          I enjoyed my Eagle Board of Review and none of my references had a problem writing me reference letters.

                          Yours in Scouting,