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If we have a scout who is thinking of joining and comes with a member, we give him about three meetings and then tell him you have to register and pay your dues, or stop coming. He can't just keep coming to meetings forever. As much as we like, we are not a social club.
And how was the Internet Advancement used, since you have to load your unit roster each time you use it. If he's not registered, he's not on the council's unit roster.
"Mrs.Smith? Billy? Glad you could meet with us. Here, have a seat. Perhaps you know Jack Jones? He's our Charter Rep for the Upper Mudflat Church, and I think you know Fred Fergy our Scoutmaster and Jocylin Jockeson our Committee Chair.
"Good to see you, Billy, Billy? Oh yes you did, you attended Sticky Swamp Camp with the Troop. Did the First Class Trail with the Roadkill Patrol, right? yeah, I was there that year. Haha, yeah, that was fun...you earned your Lifeguard last year, didn't you?
"Well, Mrs. Smith , We have accepted your reluctance to register Billy as a Scout these last three years, but we really wanted to help Billy get the most out his Scout time so as he passed his Scout rank requirements, you realize we were "carrying" him all these years.
"Umm? Oh sure, we kept paper copies of all his records, but since you refused to register Billy as a Scout, they were never sent in to the Council office, so the only folks that know about this are you and us here.
"No, he was never a Scout anywhere except here at Upper Mudflat. That's the way you wanted it, so that's the way we held it. It did puzzle alot of us Scout people, but, the boys enjoyed Billy and he was an asset to his Patrol.
"Now, you've come to us and asked if Billy can be presented with the Eagle rank. We have talked together and come to the conclusion that, yes, he has fulfilled all the requirements. Almost. Theoretically.
"Well, I say that because one of the requirements is to "be a Scout". And , frankly, Billy has never BEEN a Scout. Oh, he played at being a Scout, but since he was never...
"No, that isn't true. We spoke about that many times, last month, in fact. We've spoken with the leadership at Council and National and they are all in agreement that since he has never been officially registered...
"We understand that, but you see, that was YOUR decision and you must admit we never pressed you for a reason, did we?
"Now, please hear us out. We want to be fair to Billy, and recognize his efforts and success. Council office has said that with the records we have, we can back date his membership and validate Billy's ranks and MeritBadges and his project. With the backdated, recreated records, we can go forward with the application for his Eagle.
"That's right, I said application. The National office approves all Eagle Scout applications. No, it certainly is not up to us. It may seem that way to you, but this is the only way it will work.
"So , here's what has to happen: You fillout this application and put in this date. Yes, that's three years ago, that's when you first started attending the Troop, we are estimating. And a check for $240 so that..... Yes, that's what I said. That's three years dues. Well, he didn't sell popcorn or participate in the wreath sales, did he? No, we never require anyboy to unless they want to. He did? I'm sorry to hear that. We have no record of any sales by him. He didn't have a Scout account.
" No, there is no other way to clear things up. Us local folks do not award the Eagle rank , National does, and they won't do that without Billy being an Oh-Fish-All Scout. Billy, maybe you and your mom need to talk about this.
" Any other questions? Well, I guess that's about it. Billy, will you be on the overnight on the 12th? Ok, I understand. When you and your mom figure things out, we look forward to talking to you again.
"Good luck , Billy. Thank you Mrs. Smith. Goodnight."
Eagle92 - No offense taken. I fully understand where you are coming from and I know the requirements very well. You are right. I'm just answering this from the drastically broken situation that it is. Both the unit leaders and the mom screwed up on this. I really think that many adults newly introduced to the BSA program don't realize how formal and detailed the requirements, process and record keeping can be. Heck, it can take many years to get up to speed on BSA requirements. So unit leaders focus on running and doing the best they can.
So here is a case where we have a youth being damaged by an over-protective mother and unit leaders who tried to do a good deed.
How do you make the situation whole?
--- #1 Recognize that you can't make the situation whole. Ultimately, the boy is not a scout, never has been and thus can't become an Eale scout ever. Perhaps the council SE or BSA national might be more flexible. Let them decide that.
--- #2 Work with the mother, scout AND THE UNIT LEADERS so they fully understand the situation. Essentially that all advancement recognition is from BSA national. Anything else is unofficial. Make sure that the scout knows that he won't ever be able to prove he was in scouts or that he earned any of the achievements that he might claim.
--- #3 I'd finish the course started with this youth. He should be proud of his achievements. Give him "unofficial" recognition as an Eagle scout and move on. Just do something to recognize him. That's the path his mother and the unit leaders brought him down. Now finish the path.
And never let a situation like this occur again. The sad part is there is no way this youth can claim to be an Eagle scout. The best you can do is help him understand so that he can explain the situation cleanly to others for the next seventy years.
"Unofficial Eagle" is a terrible, terrible idea, Fred.
I do like your last thought, however. How about "Your mother has made the decision not to register you as a member of the Boy Scouts therefore you cannot be an Eagle Scout. Both the troop and council have offered to do everything we can to fix this and try to get you the award but your mother said no. "
Yeah .... I tend to agree it's not the best idea, but it's in line with what has happened so far and it works to smoothly close the door. It's unofficial and everyone knows it. Perhaps instead of calling it "Eagle Scout", call it the "Spirit of the Eagle" award. Doesn't really matter what it is called as it's unofficial and such.
The end all is that there is nothing that can be done to fix the situation.
What can be done is to find a way to recognize the youth and make him proud and glad for the time he has been in scouts. It sounds like he has learned and benefitted from scouts. Hopefully, he will do the same for his own kids ... and also register them.
How about: "Your mom was an idiot and cost you a wonderful award so after four years of work you have nothing to show for it" Award
To give the kids ANYTHING -- unless he joins, pays back dues and goes throught he process -- is a mockery of all those other hard working kids who work their butts off every week to actually follow the rules.
At some point in this country we have to try to stop fixing people being stupid and let the consequences fall where they may. Otherwise we will be wiping this guys butt for the next 30 years or more. No thanks! No Eagle. Move on.
Agree with Krampus a million-fold!!!! No registration, no advancement. If this is not a written policy in your troop, make it one NOW (NEVER assume everyone will just automatically "know" this--case in point: this mom didn't.) No tickee, no washee. As for the current situation, if the council wants to finagle this: fine. It's out of the troop's hands at this point.
Yeah, I must disent though. While Krampus may have successfully wiped himself for 30+ years, it is cold hearted bad advice that adds more damage to an already bad situation. Of course the unit on it's own can't give the "scout" official advancement. The council/BSA needs to fix that. But that's only part of the problem.
The problem is that the "scout" is many years down a scouting path and has effectively completed it. AND the problem is only partially the mom's fault. Even more at fault are the unit leaders who are supposed to know the program, know the rules and know what will happen when you have a youth participate for years without registering. It might be a fun fantasy to be the hard a##, but that is almost always bad advice. AND I fear someone would actually take that advice. Would you really tell the scout: "Your mom was an idiot .... ????" If you did that, the only thing you end up creating is a kid with a grudge against mom and against scouting. Not only that, but you take a kid who has achieved and slap him in the face and only focus on the negative. *** AND *** you might as well continue at that point and say that all the previous unit leaders were morons too as they were in the same boat and they were the captains of the ship and running the tiller. ... But it doesn't help anyone and as such it's not real practical advice.
The original poster is now representing the unit that led the scout youth astray and has responsibility to participate in fixing the situation. I'll leave it to the SE, council, BSA to figure out if they want to go so far as to formally credit and recognize the scout. There is not enough info to judge that here and the poster doesn't have authority to decide that.
The key is that we are supposed to be teaching leadership, character, citizenship, etc. To have led someone and treated them as a scout and taken them thru the advancement program FOR MANY YEARS and then only at the end draw a hard line is completely wrong. We are not the guy yelling: No Soup For You.
Find a way to recognize the scout that is on par with what he achieved and don't dimminish his achievement because of adult screw ups. It is sad that it will probably be unofficial due to his mom and his unit leaders. That is already unfair enough. Don't damage the youth / scout any more.
Fred, I think we all agree that we try to fix the situation. But that fix is to register, pay the back dues and complete all the paperwork that makes you a legitimate Scout. Barring that being done ANY other action is against BSA policy and is an insult to the kids and adults who DO follow the process. Of course no one is going to tell him his mom (and previous troop leaders) were clueless and caused this issue. But Eagle cannot be handed out unless process and rules are followed. To do otherwise sends the message of "Don't worry about the rules, Timmy. Someone will always fix it for you." At some point we have to draw the line.
The mom is being unreasonable. I was never in Boy Scouts as a lad but I could have completed each and every requirement on my own somehow up to Eagle and while that might make me "good as a boy scout" I would be neither a Boy Scout or Eagle. What kind of lesson is this lady teaching? How are they gonna handle College applications?