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  • #16
    Very long time lurker, MB Counselor, Committee Member, Den Leader, parent, and longstanding Eagle Scout and Order of the Arrow member who has heard of this situation one too many times to not finally express an opinion...


    "You understand this is going to get real ugly if you just go stomping around"

    To the careful reader/observer, the quote above from a prior commenter is very telling indeed.... this type of gleefully being primed for a fight should have no place in Scouting on any level by any adult, least of all a SM. Not very attractive nor honorable.

    If this young man has completed his requirements in good faith, has participated in good faith to the best of his abilities within the parameters of his physical abilities and other obligations, especially academic obligations which as a high school student may be exerting a tremendous pressure on him, then perhaps it's time for the Scoutmaster to move along and find other avenues within which to express his ego and need to dominate the underlings.

    Instead of giving him a hard time over exacting attendance requirements which he may simply be unable to meet at this stage of his schooling, look at him holistically - does he LIVE Scout spirit? Have YOU as his leaders been successful in instilling the VALUES of Scouting, as demonstrated in his everyday life? Does he set an example to his high school peers by maintaining good grades and lending a hand to those who struggle? Does he have good relations with his teachers and mentors? How easily can he get letters of recommendation, from how many people in the community outside of Scouting, and what are the contents of those recommendations - non-commital or impressively glowing - and how consistent are they? Does he regularly and willingly without duress attend to the obligations of whatever faith he may follow? Does he share his time and talent with his faith community? Does he have a job? Was his Eagle project thoughtfully conceived, significant and touch people's lives by serving a real need, whether it involved a million hours or not to complete? Not everyone has to build a bridge in the woods, clear fifty miles of trails, or involve fifty people to be "worthy". Look at the VALUE it brings and the depth of maturity it took to conceive instead.

    Has he done anything other than not meeting your stringent and most probably arbitrary attendance requirements to displease or dishonor the troop - such as have a driver license suspended, get a girl pregnant, do drugs, take alcohol or smoke pot where it is illegal, drop out of school without cause, have someone sue him, especially if these things have been very public or in the newspaper? Does he lie, steal or cheat his way to success? Has he used profane language when addressing peers or adults? Has he physically or verbally hurt or threatened another Scout or caused a safety hazard on a campout? Is he a bully? Has he been involved with the police or court system? Can the SM or other adult leaders answer NO to all these questions regarding their own behaviour in their past youth or now as adults?

    If the answers above are yes and no to the appropriate questions, then CELEBRATE the wonderful job YOU have done to help him become that honorable type of person, instead of looking to nit-pick technicalities and artificially stand in his way to make yourself feel powerful and important.

    With the year after year decline in overall Scouting membership numbers nationwide, SIX percent decline this year alone, wouldn't it be better for the survival of the organization you all claim to love so much to help an honorable young man achieve his long-term goal, deepen his love for the program and have him look with fondness toward the day he might have a son of his own to introduce to the program, perhaps becoming involved as an adult to lead the next generation of Scouting forward? OR is it better to take a good kid who may not be YOUR perfect, ideal Eagle and make him bitter and resentful forevermore?

    Having worked with a number of them myself, I acknowledge there are wonderful Scouters and SM's out there. Those Scouters are owed a tremendous debt of gratitude by the Scouts they work with selflessly and by their parents. Increasingly though, and very distressingly, I am more and more frequently running across narcissistic, egotistical, power-tripping, head-game playing, passive-aggressive, subtly-bullying, hostage-taking, gate-keeping, boy-leadership usurping SM's who have completely lost sight of who and what this program is supposed to be about. It is particularly infuriating when these behaviours are committed by a SM who is himself NOT an Eagle. To them I say, you should be ashamed of yourselves and the sooner you move along the better, for the good of the boys you are negatively affecting and the Scouting organization as a whole. I encourage you to re-read the guide to advancement - it is clearly stated you don't get to gate-keep a Scout from becoming an Eagle because he does not live up to some fantasy ideal you have of what a "worthy" Eagle is - that is not your prerogative. Particularly for older Scouts, it explicitly states that a Scouts outside obligations, accomplishments, and service are to be counted toward whether he is active and spirited.

    Ask yourself, who is truly living Scout Spirit? Who is truly making it ugly? Who is truly doing the stomping around? And more importantly, WHY?

    Original poster, if your son can look himself in the mirror and honestly know he EARNED that rank, then teach him to respect himself enough to respectfully not take no for an answer and pursue what is rightfully his without indulging the fancy of this SM's ego. Remind him this an opportunity to learn to deal with this type of difficult personality which he will certainly encounter in the real work-world. It is unfortunate he has to encounter it so early within the supposed safety-net of Scouting. Don't let it get him down. And certainly don't be intimidated by words such as "You understand this is going to get real ugly if you just go stomping around". Because that is what they are counting on and how they flourish in acting inappropriately. Oh, and anything you might agree to, GET IN WRITING with a specific deadline - concrete things that are not open to their subjective interpretation, so they cannot employ their favorite trick of all - running out the clock to the eighteenth birthday. Been there, done that, seen it all from both sides.

    Best of luck to both of you.

    - BoyLedMyEye
    Last edited by BoyLedMyEye; 02-14-2014, 06:06 PM.

    Comment


    • Sentinel947
      Sentinel947 commented
      Editing a comment
      I'm going to go to bat for Basementdweller.

      "You understand this is going to get ugly if you go stomping around "

      Basementdweller Isn't being gleeful about conflict , it's a fair and very justified warning to be careful with the situation.

      Since you are new here, (at least to contributing) feel free to create a new thread in the New to the Forum section. Introduce yourself.

      The situation is unfortunately more common than it should be. Glad you created a post to give some advice.

      Yours in Service,
      Sentinel947

    • Myboy
      Myboy commented
      Editing a comment
      Thank you for you very helpful post. My son is in contact with the district eagle advisor. I'm trying to stay in the background here. I recommended he try and negotiate with the sm, however, going on an additional 3 campouts puts him into the summer and getting close to his birthday. What then, the sm will be too busy at that point give him a conference. That will be 7 or 8 months after asking for a conference. As much as I'd like to get this done without any conflict, it seems that's not going to happen. It's unfortunate the sm doesn't attend any service projects, he'd see a different side of my son.

    • Basementdweller
      Basementdweller commented
      Editing a comment
      No need to defend my sentinel.....


      I wonder what your scouting linage has to do with the discussion. I am an Eagle scout and OA member as well I have held every position in a Cub Pack except COR and Every Position in a troop but CC and COR. District Day Camp Program Director as well....... So what???

      I have been on the receiving end of the ugly of scouting.......From the unit and district level. It is ugly and mean and folks hold a grudge and will seek vendetta upon everything your involved with in scouting.

      If your son remains in scouting after such an appeal.....there will always be whispering behind his back about his Eagle.....

      Just like the Boy who was at Jamboree when his Eagle project was completed by his parents.....or the SM's Son who Dad signed all his merit badge cards.....Or the Boy whose dad bought his Eagle. on and on..

  • #17
    It took me a couple passes through for me to figure out where you are coming from, BLME, but after letting your post sink in, I'm perfectly fine with your approach evaluating Scout Spirit. You've done a great job of describing those elements which should constitute Scout Spirit.

    But here's the rub, somewhere there is a parent -- actually probably a lot of parents -- when faced with their nearly 18-year-old son not being given the Eagle award to which they feel he is entitled, will describe your definition of Scout Spirit as "stringent and most probably artificial" or "nit-picking technicalities". Been there, done that, got the patch, hat and t-shirt.

    As a long-time lurker, you probably remember my old friend Beavah. Da Beav was not a band-wagon kind of guy. He frequently was the first and usually only poster to take the side of the person not participating in the discussion -- the Scoutmaster in this case. Devining the other side of the story usually required some between-the-lines reading and maybe a few assumptions. Beav's usual assumption was always that the person being tried in absentia was a reasonable Scouter with the best interest of the Scouts and the program at heart. I have a soft spot in my heart for Scoutmasters, not so much from having been one for years, but from having HAD ONE for years as a Scout. (My old SM is still a very dear friend). I take great exception of your description of egotistical Scoutmasters other than in extremely rare instances. I have met many Scoutmasters with who disagree on a number of programmatic issues, but never as you describe.

    Anyone who as been a Scoutmaster for more that a couple of years has faced the circumstance of a Scout who wanted to be a Eagle Scout but didn't particularly care anything about participating in the usual activities of being a Boy Scout. Any number of times I've had young men return to the program after a year or two or more absence looking to complete Eagle. My request of such situated Scouts is always to "get involved." This request is often independent of the Scout having completed the six month participation requirement. I will usually ask the Scout himself what level of involvement he can commitment. Clearly, I will have a number in mind but happily the Scout's commitment is usually greater than what I would have asked for. An added requirement? I'll concede some will say yes, but I believe it to be it a reasonable part of being a member of the troop. Frankly, BSA's instruction that we should remove inactive Scouts from the charter is, I think, disingenuous.

    I will admit the part of MyBoy's OP with which I'm most uncomfortable is the SM being unaware of his son's real participation in the troop due to the SM's frequent absences. I'm the kind of SM who is at the scout house whenever the lights are on, so it is difficult for me to wrap my head around that. I would like to hear the SM's side of that and hear what the other troop leaders have to say. (Insert standard language regarding the limitations of online forums here.) No matter how thin you slice the ham, it has two sides.

    Unfortunately, Basementdweller is all too right about appeals getting ugly. I've been screamed at by a sobbing mother, called a SOB during a troop meeting by a furious father and wasted countless hours which could have been better spent on actual troop programs (or work or my family or just about anything else.). Won't make that mistake again. The only way to win is not play the game. You don't like the decisions of the troop? (And yes, it will be a troop decision involving the SM, committee chair and COR). Then appeal or find another troop more agreeable to you point of view. The troop will not invest resources into defending an appeal. We understand that probably means the appeal will go against us, but that's okay. The remaining Scouts in the troop come out ahead. Of course that means the Scout will be working with through the council -- not the troop -- to complete and receive his Eagle.

    Comment


    • #18
      Originally posted by Twocubdad View Post
      Beav's usual assumption was always that the person being tried in absentia was a reasonable Scouter with the best interest of the Scouts and the program at heart.
      Unfortunately, my experience with SMs as both a youth and adult is of ignorance and ego as described by Myboy. There's a book--a few, actually--with 90% of this stuff in it. My opinion in my troop is always the minority and written off as "my way or highway" because I am literally the only person who has ready any of these books. The SM handbook, the PL and SPL HB, the Guide to Adv., and the Guide to SS, etc.

      Every one of these threads is situational, and this SM is ignorant--willfully or inadvertently, it doesn't matter--and his position is wrong. I don't care about his intentions, I don't care about his heart: He's wrong. He is either wrong on purpose, or he is wrong because he is no good at his job, whichever, same difference. If he's wrong because he's unfamiliar with the GtA, his heart isn't in it. If he's wrong because he refuses to abide by the GtA, his heart isn't in it.

      Next week someone might come around to pan their SM and if they're wrong and the SM is right I'll be right there by the SM. But in this situation, taking Myboy at face, the SM is a heel.
      Last edited by Scouter99; 02-15-2014, 03:06 AM.

      Comment


      • Scouter99
        Scouter99 commented
        Editing a comment
        The question is irrelevant, NCMount. The boy's PoR period ended 4 months ago and has been signed off. If the SM had an issue with the scout's performance, the time (as spelled out in the GtA) to address it was at least 8 months ago.
        Last edited by Scouter99; 02-15-2014, 12:49 PM.

      • Basementdweller
        Basementdweller commented
        Editing a comment
        We don't know if it was signed off in his book or troopmaster......All we have is the OP saying he held a position.....

      • Scouter99
        Scouter99 commented
        Editing a comment
        You'll have to pardon me for not assuming that the OP is a liar, BD.

    • #19
      One more thing. If it so happens that my son is given a BOR without a scoutmaster's conference, does that mean he'll be deprived of an ECOH. I'd hate to see that happen.

      Comment


      • qwazse
        qwazse commented
        Editing a comment
        Some boys don't even want an ECoH. I hope that if your son earns his award, he will still want to have one. But be understanding if he's jaded on the whole process by the end of this. It really is up to him, and generally senior scouters in a district will do their best to help mend fences with no hard feelings.

      • packsaddle
        packsaddle commented
        Editing a comment
        Agree with Sentinel and Qwazse.
        In all the units I know, the ECOH is the responsibility of the family, if they even want to have one. Once you've made it to the point of presenting the award, you are free to do that any way you want.
        My ECOH consisted of about 5-10 minutes of recognition during a regular Sunday church service. There was nothing more. I was good with it.

      • Scouter99
        Scouter99 commented
        Editing a comment
        That's a political question. If the CoH is the Eagle's responsibility in your troop as in mine and Sent, Q, and Pack's troops, of course you could technically have one. But if going over the SM's head sours people to your son, then what you're really asking is if anyone will cooperate. We can't answer that because we don't know the personalities involved.

    • #20
      1- There have been a few blanket condemnations of the SM in this thread based entirely on the perspective of a parent with an agenda. 'MyBoy' wants her son to be awarded Eagle without having to participate in 3 camping trips. Some have accepted her viewpoint as a full and accurate description, and posters have jumped on the band wagon because they feel that all SMs are egomaniac power trippers.
      My experience differs. When an SM feels that he needs to CC the ASMs in his troop, I don't assume that he's beating down a boy. More likely he is in a situation where he feels the need for a documented chain of evidence.
      2- Should we start another thread to address SM egos? Does being selected to lead your troop's youth leaders MAKE you an egomaniac? If not, why are egomaniacs selected as SMs? Why do self-centered individuals (egomaniacs) give away so much of their time? Which came first, the ego or the shoulder patch?
      3- Is three camping trips really that big of a deal? Youth soccer and basketball trophies have devolved into 'Participation Awards.' Eagle is much more than a participation award, but how could a Scout possibly earn Eagle if participation is waived?

      Full disclosure: this is a current hot button for me. Last month a boy whose face was vaguely familiar to me wanted me to sign off an Eagle Project form. I've been the SM for 2 years (ego almost fully swollen) and I had to search in the paperwork to find out his name.

      4- It's not 'Mom Scouts'; it's 'Boy Scouts'. Even if 'MyBoy' went on the camping trips for her son, it shouldn't count.

      Comment


      • qwazse
        qwazse commented
        Editing a comment
        Yep there's a lot of painting with broad brushes, but these keyboards ain't made of camel hair.

        Not sure that 'MyBoy' specified being the Mom or Dad, and the SM may not have all that big of an ego. He is clearly bothered by a boy who has no time for camping asking for an Eagle SMC ... just like you're bothered by an fella coming out of the woodwork after a couple years.

        The parent is clearly bothered that service to others is not equivalent to camping in this SM's mind.

        I'm personally bothered that the boys troop/patrol can't slap together a camp-out in March. Last month we had our oldest scout cooking up a storm for us because that was the last thing he needed for Eagle. Advancement isn't just saying "march to the beat of our drum", it's giving the fella a stick and saying "lay it down for us so we can boogie!"

        Regardless of MyBoy's grasp of the situation, frets about hard feelings, etc ..., It's time for his boy to get a second opinion from his side of the internet. That's what district advancement chairs are for.

    • #21
      What make one think that Eagle Scout is nothing more than any other participation award? If you show up, do the requirements, you get the award. How is that any different than you show up, play the game, you get the award? It has nothing to do with winning the game, playing harder than the next guy, or accomplishing something special, like winning a championship.

      I get a bit off center when people make out EAGLE as if it is something more than just a participation award, rank attainment. It's great that you showed up for the big game, but even if you lose, you still showed up for the big game. Nothing more, nothing less.

      Stosh

      Comment


      • #22
        You guys don't like my Troops attendance policy.......

        Bottom line here is the OP's scout would not be granted a SMC or BOR because he does not meet our definition of active. Which is 50% of meetings and activities for scouts and 80% for youth leaders......... It is reasonable, the scouts are aware of it as it is posted in our Troops handbook and on our website.




        Every time we have this discussion on this board I think less and less of Eagle........as blake said it has become a participation award.

        Comment


        • packsaddle
          packsaddle commented
          Editing a comment
          Somehow I was under the impression that ANY time a boy asks to have a conference with the SM for ANY reason, there should be an SMC. When did we start using denial of this kind of communication as a punitive measure?

        • Basementdweller
          Basementdweller commented
          Editing a comment
          Ahhhh, Pack the slippery slope and games begin.

          Your right, a boy can request and SMC for any or no Reason.

          The games being played by all parties.......

          That is why our units expectation is communicated clearly up front....If you want to advance, well you need to at least attend regularly.......

        • fred johnson
          fred johnson commented
          Editing a comment
          The trouble with attendance policies is that they need to be followed with an recommendation such as "as soon as you fulfill advancement requirements, we strongly recommend submitting for your advancement."

          IMHO, that is really where many of these failings happen. The scout who thinks he's completed the requirements and the adult leaders who are asking what have you done for me lately.

          Scouts that are problematic are scouts that are usually busy and get distracted with other activities. They've already fulfilled "requirements" but then are asked to re-fulfill them later. Leaders ask for the requirements to be fulfilled "now" even though the scout had the right to submit his advancement paperwork earlier.

      • #23
        The Eagle Scout award means different things to different people. I have encountered people that see eagle scouts as a really impressive, and others that see them as no big deal. I think one of the things that shapes our view of the award, is what were the eagles like that we knew when we were scouts.

        In my old troop, we had only one scout make it to Eagle while I was there (no, not me). He was our SPL at the time, and a great scout (if you wanted a great example of kind, courteous, helpful, etc. He was it). I remember his eagle project. It was a conservation project at a county park, and the whole troop showed up to help. I spent the day with a pick in my hand digging a drainage ditch in hard ground ("are you sure that isn't concrete?"). Others in the troop laid out matting on bare hillsides and erosion channels. It was a project he (and all of us) were proud of. We saw how much he put into the troop, and how much he put into the award. To us it meant something because of the scout that held the rank, not the award itself.

        Later that year when I met my first 14 year old eagle at summer camp, I was kind of shocked. How did he finish everything so quickly? I chatted with him a while about it. His troop turned out to be an eagle mill troop (though I hadn't heard the term back then). His project was a joke (he collected newspapers for recycling by giving twenty homes a paper bag, asking them to fill it with old newspaper, and collecting it the next week. He collected about a 100 pounds, that was it. Our troop did a newspaper drive every year, and we collected more than that per scout). His troop also ran a merit badge "clinic" the weekend after summer camp because summer camp didn't give out enough merit badges. He had gotten something like eight merit badges at the previous year's clinic (enough to finish his eagle). He boasted that over half the scouts in his troop were eagles (I didn't believe him, so I went by their camp later. I didn't count them, but there were a lot of scouts with eagle patches). Basically, his eagle award wasn't worth much (unfortunately this encounter has colored my view of "young eagles" to this day - something I have to watch out for).

        So I can see both sides.

        Comment


        • Basementdweller
          Basementdweller commented
          Editing a comment
          Just as Rick is making assumptions. So are you Pack.

          Not every 14 year old Eagle scout spends the next 4 years giving back his unit, just as in the same manner every 17 9/10 year old Eagle spent the previous 12 years enjoying scouting.

        • packsaddle
          packsaddle commented
          Editing a comment
          BD....think sarcasm.

        • Basementdweller
          Basementdweller commented
          Editing a comment
          Somethings are just lost without the ability to listen to tone or see facial expressions.

      • #24
        Guide to advancement: 4.2.3.5, pg 29, states clearly that leaders do not have the authority to deny a Scout a unit leader (SM) conference that is necessary for rank advancement.

        There is nothing for the SM to sign off on other than the fact that a scoutmaster conference was held. If the scoutmaster won't hold one, then the SCOUT should ask for a board of review, as the G to A says.

        Comment


        • Basementdweller
          Basementdweller commented
          Editing a comment
          That is why the CC and SM need to be on the same page and actually talk.

          Sure he can have his SMC but the CC could deny the BOR based on a SM recommendation to do so

        • fred johnson
          fred johnson commented
          Editing a comment
          Basementdweller ... Really? BSA GTA 8.0.0.2 "Boards of Review Must Be Granted When
          Requirements Are Met
          A Scout shall not be denied this opportunity. When he
          believes he has completed all the requirements for a rank,
          including a Scoutmaster conference, a board of review
          must be granted. Scoutmasters—or councils or districts in
          the case of the Eagle Scout rank—for example, do not
          have authority to expect a boy to request or organize
          one, or to “defer” him, or to ask him to perform beyond
          the requirements in order to be granted one. In a case
          where there is concern the Scout has not fulfi lled the
          requirements for a rank as written, it is appropriate to
          advise the young man that he might not pass the board
          and to make suggestions about what he might do to
          improve his chances for success. It is, however, the Scout’s
          decision to go ahead with a board of review or not."

          It even says it is not the responsibility of the scout to make the BOR happen or to even request it. It's the adult leaders responsibility to make sure it happens. But if the scout has requested it, it is his right to have a BOR.

        • Basementdweller
          Basementdweller commented
          Editing a comment
          Never been in the situation........

          If that is the case then the CC can fail his BOR or pass him....


          So is it better for the CC to tell a lad up front he isn't ready or to hold the BOR and then deny him????

      • #25
        There is ALWAYS more to the story. For example, I recently participated in a discussion with a scout preparing his Eagle application where the scout's Life advancement date was in 2009 and his last leadership date was in 2008. (He thought he was ready for his EBOR!) This was not a surprise to me considering my knowledge of his virtually non-existent troop as well as his personal activity in this "troop". Luckily he had six months until his 18th birthday so I offered him the suggestion of either requesting a leadership position in his troop so he could work to bring it back to life or if that didn't work out to request the position of Den Chief with the local pack. After the conversation with the scout these ideas were also shared with his current Scoutmaster, his former Scoutmaster (from the 2008-2009 era) and his mother. Instead of this scout actually working to complete the requirement, this entire group of people ended up trying to push it up and through the council without the requirement being completed because the scout didn’t want to deal with doing any more than he has already completed. They are saying that what he has completed is enough. There is much more to this story than I'm sharing here, but this is enough to set up my point:

        In this case “Myboy” has presented, it seems to appear that the SM is adding requirements. The reality very well could be something completely different just as those involved in my local situation are currently suggesting that additional requirements are being heaped upon them. This situation has certainly made me a lot more skeptical about stories like this floating around. Frankly, I would think that the best assumption would be that the trained SM would have a better grip on what is proper over most parents. I can’t say that this would always hold true, but this may be the place to start working through a problem like this.

        Comment


        • SSScout
          SSScout commented
          Editing a comment
          Well said, Scoutetr99. Altho I too have had to remind folks of BSA guidelines, I have had to bend them on occasion to meet the conditions "on the ground". More than once, I have had to serve on the BoR of the Troop (I am an ASM) when there just weren't any other adults able and willing (yes, we've had folks refuse when asked) to so serve. The CC usually chairs the BoR, since we don't have an official AdChair. "The work gets done by whomever shows up".

        • JoeBob
          JoeBob commented
          Editing a comment
          Scouter99 : Please read this carefully. Even though you quote me fairly well, you're still not understanding.

          "Take JoeBob--completely insulted that I and others say SMs are ignorant and egotistical, yet just a couple months ago when he included pistols (which are not allowed) in his ideal Boy Scout camp"

          Scouter 99, just because pistols are not allowed now does not mean that they could not / should not be considered for inclusion in an ideal camp. Regurgitating the G2SS gives you no control over the future. Watch this space for LaserTag and paintball.

          Bureaucratic paperwork can easily be overcome by more paperwork:
          "This program involves pistol shooting, it is only available to Venture Scouts. Boys over the age of 14 or who are 13 and have completed the 8th Grade can attend as Venture Scouts if they simply fill out an application (there is no additional charge)."
          http://www.campjosepho.org/boy-scout...g-sports-camp/
          Last edited by SR540Beaver; 03-07-2014, 04:44 PM. Reason: Mind your manners JoeBob. - SR540Beaver

        • The Blancmange
          The Blancmange commented
          Editing a comment
          Nice to see so many examples of the Scout Law in practice.

      • #26
        This is silly. By making him get close to his 18th Birthday, it's denying him the opportunity for Eagle Palms that he's earned with his service and merit badges. The SM is making up his own requirements. The parent needs to request a meeting with the Committee Chair.

        The SM might want more of him, but that's for the Palms, he's earned his Eagle.

        He's already lost out on one Eagle Palm with this nonsense.

        We had two 13 year old Eagles presented at Roundtable last night. The opportunity to earn Eagle Palms (and all their excess merit badges), was proudly pointed out by the EBOR leader, the Scoutmasters, and the Scouts themselves.

        Comment


        • #27
          Thank you for considering my perspective on MyBoy's situation. My Scouting history/positions were included only to show I am not an inexperienced outsider looking in, but someone who has worked through the system as a youth and then contributed as an adult leader, which might be important to some people as they consider my viewpoint, as there are not only leaders posting in these forums, but also non-involved Scout parents and also perhaps people just learning or curious about Scouting, but who have no actual Scouting experience or contributions from which to draw, which might render their opinions less valuable in some peoples' eyes.

          I am glad for those who have been able to encounter more reasonable Scouters along their path, but there are the rare Scoutmasters, as was mentioned, who do give Scouting a huge black eye, and unfortunately, I have encountered this with increasing regularity. I did state, and I reiterate, that I have also been very fortunate to have worked with many wonderful, generous Scouters through the years who are owed a tremendous debt of gratitude by their Scouts and Scout parents.

          But there is a reason for the saying - One bad apple... The damage they can do is disproportionate and long lasting. All it takes is one less than benevolent leader in a key position to make a Scout's time in Scouting absolutely miserable. They do not see the emotional damage they create and the pain, nor do they want to. All they care about is letting you know they are the boss. They do not see the turmoil in a Scout as he struggles to decide whether to stay with his troop and his friends, or make the excruciating decision to join a new troop to get away from the emotional bullying of the adult(s). No teen boy will share this vulnerability at SMC, but the misery is there, and the anxiety induced, from not ever being able to please and the inability to hit a moving target, ever present.

          But thank you for considering my experiences, whether you agree or not, and for sharing your own input as well.


          I am sincerely interested in hearing many viewpoints on these situations:

          The gate-keeping SM who declares "There is no way you will be allowed to be a 13 year old Eagle Scout"

          and

          "We don't believe Eagles younger than about 16 have the maturity to be what an Eagle really is supposed to be"

          or one that tests and retests requirements at future SMC's long after a skill has been signed off, and makes repeated testing a requirement to "pass" the CURRENT SMC (testing is not the stated purpose of SMC - testing is completed at individual requirement sign-off, no?).

          When asked to see justifications for the above in writing, SM falls back on holding hostage "Scout Spirit and Active" sign-offs to delay rank advancement, because those are the subjective ones, without taking into account any of the questions regarding evaluating true Scout Spirit I listed in my original post.

          Without quoting chapter and verse of the GTA, NONE of this is supposed to go on, but it does, very often, to the adults' ego and control, and the Scout's detriment.

          IDK, maybe I just got lucky encountering the rare SM or two. Maybe I should play the LOTTO at this rate. :-)

          BoyLedMyEye
          Last edited by BoyLedMyEye; 03-05-2014, 09:22 PM.

          Comment


          • JoeBob
            JoeBob commented
            Editing a comment
            I don't mind the young Eagles at all. If they have satisfied the requirements, get them Eagle ASAP in order to set an example for the other boys!

            What sticks in my craw is the boys, young or old, who do just enough to barely argue that they have completed the work.

            Packing your footlocker for camp does not qualify as:
            "b. Pack your own gear and your share of the patrol equipment and food for proper carrying. Show that your pack is right for quickly getting what is needed first, and that it has been assembled properly for comfort, weight, balance, size, and neatness."

            If I have to look at your Eagle paperwork to remember who you are, chances are good that you haven't met the troop's expectation of 'active'.
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