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Why Do I Feel Like an Idiot?

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  • Why Do I Feel Like an Idiot?

    Ok long story short, I like the idea of youth teaching as I am old school. So when i did my last IOLS class, I had 2 youth staffers. Both did very well, and would use them again in a heartbeat. In fact I think 1 will be giving a class on camping to our pack's new Cubs and their parents as he will be the TC Den Chief, his cousin will be in the den and the Scout specificallya sked to work with them. And best of all, most of the adults got the concept of "Train them, Trust them, LET THEM LEAD!"

    Anyway it's the other one. Great guy, had him on CSDC staff and wrote the recommendation for him to be on summer camp staff. Great guy knows his stuff, and really didn't care about getting Eagle. Until recently. Now he is pumped and ready to rock and roll. Got a call asking to me an MBC for him as the regular MBC the unit uses won't touch him. Dad doesn't want it to look as if he is giving son the MB. Ok find and dandy. Then I find out which one it is: Camping.

    Why do I feel like an idiot for assuming the guy who left a troop because it wasn't camping enough,the guy who lives and breathes camping, the guy who served on camp staff would have Camping MB?

  • #2
    We have boys who spend entire summers at the public swimming pool that don't know how to swim....... My point, you have to make a bit of an effort to earn the merit badge...

    You should feel privileged he thinks enough of you and your expertise to call you.

    Comment


    • #3
      While one's activities, interests and participation are one thing, having done the paperwork is quite another. It's an easy mistake to make. Same for the fantastic GrubMaster that whips out fantastic food on the campfire. He's been having so much fun doing what he's doing he hasn't got the time to do the Cooking MB paperwork. Never assume a thing, when they are reviewing a scouts records for Eagle, they assume nothing but what's in the records, i.e. blue cards and registrar's report.

      This is why troop record keeping is so important so the boys don't get surprises along the way like you did.

      Stosh

      Comment


      • #4
        Not exactly the same, but you reminded me of something similar. The scoutmaster of one of the best troops in our district once told me that the best scout he ever had never advanced past second class. This scout was a better a camper, leader, and all around scout than any other scout or adult this highly respected SM had ever known. The scout just didn't care about advancement. A few years later I had a scout just like him. He is truely a natural leader and was an outstanding all around scout, but he had zero desire for any of the processes of advancement in the program. How could the best SPL ever not want to advance. He in my persepective was the epitome of the Eagle and I felt he needed the Eagle to represent the kind of person he is, even today. So I applied constant pressure for him to advance, and I hurt everytime when I think about how I drove him off. That SM was trying to teach me something, why didn't I listen? I changed my philosphy about adults setting goals for scouts after that. You know what the say about "assume". I bare many scares of its humily. Barry
        Last edited by Eagledad; 08-23-2013, 09:51 AM.

        Comment


        • jblake47
          jblake47 commented
          Editing a comment
          I never got past 2C for the same reason. After four years I went into Civil Air Patrol. I promised myself I would never do the same thing to a boy when I got to be a SM. I have been an avid outdoors person all my life. Eagle would have been nice but it isn't all that important as some make it out to be.

        • EagleScout441
          EagleScout441 commented
          Editing a comment
          Hey jblake47, my brother is a lieutenant colonel in CAP and served as the commander of his squadron for a year, He prefers military activities while I prefer camping. He's going into the Army Special Forces now.

        • Bando
          Bando commented
          Editing a comment
          The two best scouts I've known, two brothers, were the same way. One got to Star, the other got to Life. Couldn't get them interested in going any farther, and it was a miracle they got as far as they did. They were better campers than anyone, better hikers, spent their weekends building bikes and fixing kayaks... And they found advancement got in the way of doing the things Scouting gave them opportunities to do. They loved going outdoors with their buddies, and loved doing things like Philmont and Northern Tier. The older one was the best SPL we ever had. It drove the adults absolutely bonkers that they both just stopped advancing, but I'd argue they got more out of the program than any of us did. It's not what you earn, but what you use from the training Scouting gives you.

      • #5
        You can never figure them out... I had two brothers in the troop a while back. One is now a professional photographer. Never passed the photography merit badge. The other has an MBA in Music, and is the High School Band director. Yep - never got the Music merit badge. Go figure!!!

        Comment


        • Bando
          Bando commented
          Editing a comment
          And the funny thing is that the Music MB is one that a kid can knock out in about an afternoon (or less) if he's involved in a school music program or has any modicum of musical inclination.

      • #6
        Don't know why you would feel like an idiot. Your OP has the answer: he really didn't care about Eagle until recently. If you don't care about advancement, why waste the time jumping through the hoops of the MB?

        As to the photographer and band director -- that's the way we've evolved the merit badge program. Kids earn elective merit badges based more on opportunity rather than interest. If you can sit through a summer camp MB class rather than go through the whole process for meeting with a counselor and completing the requirements individually, who would? And given that most boys can complete nine electives in a couple weeks at camp, there is little incentive to earn more than the minimum -- even in a topic which interests you.

        Comment


        • #7
          The only MB I got was stamp collecting.... I have no idea where that collection ever went. I do coins and Boy Scout books today.

          Comment


          • #8
            The only MB I had left to do for Eagle was Cit in the World, and I was living overseas at the time....

            Comment


            • MattR
              MattR commented
              Editing a comment
              The sad part was I didn't even realize this until my son was close to Eagle. At the time I thought I had a long way to go. Totally clueless as a youth. Now, I fully support Eagle coaches

            • Basementdweller
              Basementdweller commented
              Editing a comment
              I don't care for coaches......doesn't put enough responsibility on the youth...... but as SM I have an SMC with every boy in the troop at least twice a year..... One of the topics is advancement....

            • qwazse
              qwazse commented
              Editing a comment
              We had 6 from the same den age out as Eagles this year. They did a lot in terms of coaching each other. We have a project advisor. That's mainly because the process can be unforgiving and you want one person on top of how the district wants things done. Also, our boys often go for these pretty challenging restoration projects, so getting a general contractor to review plans is never a bad idea.

              For my part, I make a point of just part of my chit-chat with 1st Class Scouts to be: "So, what's the plan?" After a while, they get an idea that I want them to be able to rattle off what they need for their next rank, and what they are working on now.

              That way we try to avoid the "cluelessness factor" without being an "Eagle mill."

          • #9
            I think you will find he is a pleasure to mentor through the Camping merit badge.

            Comment


            • #10
              Maybe it's because of the "non-camping" things you have to do, requirement 9b. Camping alone won't earn you the camping merit badge.

              Comment


              • perdidochas
                perdidochas commented
                Editing a comment
                9b, to me, is the real great part of the badge. It forces troops to do different things--not just plop camping and messing around.

            • #11
              Well here's an interesting update to the situation. Scout in question completed the 2 Eagle required MBs needed for Life in time for him to have a BOR at his 17.5 years old mark, Problem was the adults; they could not meet with him in person in time. Since the have worked with him over the past 3-4 years, have tried to encourage him to go for Eagle, etc etc, they did a BOR in absentia for him. Paperwork was signed off and sent in. He now has exactly 180 days to get Eagle.

              As I mentioned a lot of folks have tried to encourage him. FWIW, he did not see himself as an Eagle, yet he is one of the guys I would trust my kids' lives with in the outdoors if things hit the fan. Heck I used him for ITOLS staff b/c he knows his stuff and I thought he had Camping MB. But none of the adults motivated him.

              It was one of his buddies from summer camp staff, who got his Eagle recently, and basically said, "Dude, really? You don't want to get your Eagle? You know your $#!T better than most Eagles, and you are not even going to try? What's up with that?" Peer pressure can be a wonderful thing.

              Comment


              • Basementdweller
                Basementdweller commented
                Editing a comment
                "they did a BOR in absentia for him"

                Not sure I agree with that.......The adults could not meet with him in person.....Then how did they get together to hold the BOR???? Short of death in the family, or hospital if the lad is interested he should have been there.

              • qwazse
                qwazse commented
                Editing a comment
                We did one of those 17+179 day SMC's once. Same kind of kid as yours. Comfortable in the outdoors, solid citizen, no clue the bird was within his grasp. Don't remember how we did his BOR. I do remember his E-SMC was on the flight to Philmont, and the application Fed-Exed to dad who brought it to us at summer camp for the CCs signature a day before his birthday.

                For kids like that, boards will be extremely flexible. (Especially in troops where committee members do camp with the troop and observe the goings-on.) Obviously, that opens the door for a 17.5 y.o. slacker to fax in midnight blue cards insisting on an absentee BOR for Life, pointing to what you did for Johny Superscout, to which the troop needs a CC with some spine to say "Sorry, you ain't him! Show up or shut it down."

            • #12
              Base,

              Good question. He's involved extracurriculars at school, specifically soccer, and was not able to make the normal meeting nite due to a game. My understanding was that the adults were suppose to meet with him the next nite, but something came up last minute. The adults talked amongst themselves and decided to do it that way.

              Troop is interesting becasue the committee is basically the former SM and former ASMs. They go camping with the troop when they can. They know the scouts very well. Reason they are now committee and not active leaders is due to work commitment. While their CO is a church, most of the leaders work at one local company which has been expanding in the past few years. They want to be involved and support the troop, but cannot be more active.
              Last edited by Eagle92; 09-13-2013, 07:39 PM. Reason: Clarification on committee members.

              Comment


              • Basementdweller
                Basementdweller commented
                Editing a comment
                Ok, but that still fails to answer the question,

                If the lad is too involved in extracurriculars at school, too busy to attend a BOR for a Chance at his Eagle.....In my opinion it really doesn't matter to him.....


                I appreciate the sentiment from the committee........BUT????????

            • #13
              What is a board of review?
              From the Troop Committee Guidebook:
              When a Scout has completed all the requirements for a rank, he appears before a board of review composed of at least three and not more than six committee members.
              The review has three purposes:
              I. To make sure that the work has been learned and completed.
              2. To find out what kind of experience the Scout is having in his patrol and troop.
              3. To encourage the Scout to progress further.

              The board of review is not a time to retest the Scout, but to determine the Scout's attitude and his acceptance of Scouting ideals. It is also important to review those Scouts who are not advancing. The guidance and care shown could motivate these Scouts to further achievement. The review should be conducted at a convenient time and location, such as a troop meeting, summer camp. or the home of a member of the troop committee. Scoutmasters and assistant Scoutmasters do not participate in the board of review.
              . . .
              Because many boys are ill at ease when talking to adults, it is important that the board of review be held in a relaxed atmosphere. A certain amount of formality and meaningful questioning should be used during the review. Use questions that require a narrative answer.
              Examples of the kinds of questions that might be asked are:
              • What do you like most in troop outdoor activities?
              • What new things did you do/learn on your latest campout/service project/troop meeting?
              • What did you learn/feel in giving service to others?
              • Why is being a Boy Scout important to you?
              • What are your goals in Scouting?
              • How will fulfilling requirement number help you?
              These types of questions will help the Scout to see the value and practical application of his efforts.
              At the conclusion of the review, the board should know whether a Scout is qualified for the rank or Palm. The Scout is asked to leave the room while the board members discuss his achievements. The decision of the board of review is arrived at through discussion and must be unanimous. If members are satisfied that the Scout is ready to advance, he is called in, congratulated, notified as to when he will receive his recognition, and encouraged to continue his advancement or earn the next Palm.
              (emphasis mine)

              A board of review by definition involves the scout; it is not possible to conduct a board of review in absentia. The boy did not appear, he was not questioned, his attitudes and character were not ascertained, his experiences in the troop were not discovered. It's not nice that the committee rubber-stamped him, it's a sham.
              Your committee can review what a board of review is and how to conduct one in the Guide to Advancement for free at www.scouting.org/filestore/pdf/33088.pdf‎
              Last edited by Scouter99; 09-15-2013, 12:33 AM.

              Comment


              • Basementdweller
                Basementdweller commented
                Editing a comment
                Old 92 knows the rules or guidelines. He probably has more total years active in scouting than I do....

                He or his troop is cutting the lad a huge break.......Which is ok, But......if he is that busy, not sure how he will ever get a project planned and done.

              • Scouter99
                Scouter99 commented
                Editing a comment
                Maybe the adults will do his project for him, too.

              • Basementdweller
                Basementdweller commented
                Editing a comment
                according to national the average is 130 hours for the eagle project.


                Just saying...

            • #14
              Yep I know the rules and was surprised when I found out what happened. And I admit I cut the guy some slack when it came to camping MB since i and everyone who knows the scout were surprised he didn't have camping already. I made him do the paperwork, but only asked a few questions about his expereince as related to specific activities that I didn't know about, i.e. elevation on a backpacking trip, when he did the climbing repelling, etc. I've seen the kid grow up from Webelos to now, and have served as an MBC for him, Elangomat advisor for his Ordeal, recruited him to teach IOLS to adults, etc. I watched the kid grow up. I tried to talk him into getting both Brotherhood and Eagle. So not only know a lot about him, but also I have very mixed emotions on this matter.

              In regards to the service project, believe it or not he was coming up with ideas for it before getting Life. When asking his dad a question, dad's reply was "I'll get you the number for you to call." The adults will not be doing anything except what they are told to do by him. My understanding is that he will be formalizing the project and hopes to execute during the Christmas break.

              Comment


              • #15
                This boils down to "letter" vs "spirit" kind of thing. If you've endured Eagle mills all of your life (or even a small fraction of your life), you switch into a bean-counting MC to prevent one more unfit candidate from skating by. If you are used to high caliber boys who are Eagle material letting an opportunity for recognition slip by, you are going to stretch the definition of BOR (or whatever single technicality is in the way) to make it work for that boy. There is little love lost between "bean-counters" and "stretchers" so don't expect the one camp to praise the other anytime soon. We probably endure one another more than actually win one another over. But if in the end every boy makes the most of his scouting experience, we all win.

                Comment


                • Basementdweller
                  Basementdweller commented
                  Editing a comment
                  No argument the lad sounds deserving. But deserving just isn't enough.

                  For all of the lads who participated in a high speed low drag program and receiving Eagle at 13 or 14. This young man seems completely opposite of that.

                  For that reason I am rooting for him to finish the last set of hurdles.
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