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  • followup to "seems like skirting..."

    Hello all -- I felt a should post a followup to this well-hashed topic from last fall. Results have been made public, although the District Advancement Chair or Committee, or the Scout in question, haven't contacted me.

    (oversimplified summary: Scout doesn't participate for about 3 years, wants signature for Eagle application, doesn't get it, and files appeal with the council)

    Back at a November roundtable, I saw the DAC, and he told me that the CAC had decided to allow the District Advancement Commitee to go forward with an Eagle Board of Review. That board happened in mid-December, and the Scout was awarded Eagle.

    Of course, there's a lot of missing detail in there (before and after), but I think it is probably best if I keep that private. My own personal feelings? I'm not surprised in the outcome, and while I did get a "you must be pissed" comment, that couldn't be further from the truth.


  • #2
    Now that troops have the ability to set participation standards, comes the hard part in tracking and implementation. Step outside the lines you've drawn ONCE, and the 3 year absent scout gets his award.
    It's not worth the effort to me (to try to prohibit advancement).

    If a scout that didn't participate for that long can wear that award and look himself in the mirror, well.....he's the one that has to live with himself.

    The truth probably is that he wanted it as a resume enhancement, and nothing more. It probably won't be thought of again, or be mentioned in his obituary.

    Work with the ones that are interested and involved, and try to keep them all engaged. It keeps your mind off this stuff.


    • #3
      A shame this stuff tarnishes it for the boys who put in the effort to actually earn it.


      • #4
        Yah, I'm with Basementdweller, eh?

        It's hard when readin' these tales not to conclude that da BSA advancement system is just broken at any level above da local unit (and as a result, at many local units as well).

        Probably time for someone to come in with a competitor system of awards for all da units who want to do scoutin' for real. Either that or just do away with appeals at all levels, not just T-2-1. Close as I can tell, they're not value added.



        • #5
          Thanks for the update Guy. Nice to know the king is dead, long live the king. I'm gonna go try to polish some of the tarnish off of my bird.

          I sincerely think you did the right thing. Maybe the BOR saw something worth salvaging that you ignored. And maybe that's why you have no hard feelings. It's just unfortunate that the boys who put their heart and soul into your troop will probably never see it that way. Good luck if they bring it up around the next campfire. (Might be a good year to practice that 300' foot rule.)


          • #6
            Been down the same road and know what a burden it can be.

            Thank you for your conscientious service.


            • #7
              Thanks, guys -- I think this was the last of the "old guard". We have three Scouts coming up for district Eagle Boards this month and next, and all three had been addressed at one time or another about their participation level. All three also made some tough priority calls, and made changes. Two have already aged out, and I don't really expect to see the third much before his 18th birthday this fall. He is attending a very rigorous parochial school.

              Had an interesting conversation on Saturday. It was a district "recharter day" and I met our COR/UC there (he fulfills both roles, and is a former SM of our troop -- very nice guy). He didn't know the story about the controversy, so I filled him in. Along the way, he told me that when he was Scoutmaster, he was approached by a Scout who hadn't been around, but it was about 4 months before his 18th birthday. The Scout did not have a PoR. The SM/COR/UC told me he refused to sign the application, and that it had been a very unpopular decision. Seems the Scout was a son of a former Scoutmaster of the troop.



              • #8
                Yes the BSA system is broken. I see a goodly of boys/parents gaming the system and it is all I can do to throw my body in the way. Golly we had a boy going for Life who hadn't camped in a year, didn't even know who was in his patrol, or the Oath and Law.

                Our fault for not recording our attendance more carefully. You know you try to be a bit flexible for the boys who are really, really trying and the skirters take full advantage.

                I have this discussion with my sons all the time. They lag behind some of their peers because I want them to do things right. But the system says they could just go to a Merit Badge Academy and pretty much knock off a couple in one Saturday. They do not see this fair; they also know that some of the higher ranked boys are posers. I think that their sense that cheaters can get away with it undermines the program in the long term. You would think that National, whom seems to have a lot invested in the Eagle Brand, would see this coming.


                • #9
                  Some of us would say that the system worked the way it's supposed to work.


                  • #10
                    How is the system supposed to work???

                    Mom and dad rush a boy thru to get his eagle before he's 12.

                    or the troop that just keeps rechartering an inactive scout......Now honestly if he was truly inactive for three years, why was he kept on the charter.

                    How often have we read stories hear about misguided, scouts, scouters and parents either playing eagle guardian or trying to scam the system.

                    The only thing I know about advancement is either the boy does it as written on the page or he doesn't. A guy who is a jerk isn't going to be elected patrol leader and no I am not going to assign him a project or intervene on his behalf. The boys know what they are doing.


                    • #11
                      I guess the real question is what is being done to prevent this from happening again?


                      • #12
                        You ask why Inactives are kept on Rolls...

                        AWARDS FOR UNIT


                        • #13
                          Two emails, and two phone calls is what the inactives get. If there's no response, they're dropped at the next recharter.

                          I'd rather have 5 enthusiastic, participating Scouts than 20 slackers. (And both have happened!)

                          Keeping inactive boys on the rolls year after year only accomplishes a few things: Makes your unit look bigger. (and, who cares?) Makes your DE look good. (Is HE paying for reregistering the "dead weight"??). Oh yeah, and gets you those nifty patches for your sleeve and ribbons for your flag. (Whooooopeee ding!)

                          Quality always wins over quantity, in my mind.


                          • #14
                            I wish there was a way we could drop a scout mid year. We just finished recharter, and today a boy told me he is quitting, 8 days into the year.

                            The way the system works, he'll stay on the roll all year.


                            • #15
                              Well, there is some method to only fiddling with your roster at the end of the year. Boys quit in January, but can change their mind once summer camp rolls around. Nobody needs the extra paperwork for tings like that.

                              Anyway, it's better to have a boy tell you outright. Just put a note on your roster: "quit as of 1/8/'13 per conversation with Mr. 2C" and let your committee know. Whatever POR he's held should be counted up until that date.

                              The OP's problem stems from a boy who considered staying active as merely keeping his name on the roster (on the troop's dime, evidently) for three straight years -- a behavior that was encouraged by the previous SM.