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Religious reference letter for Eagle

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  • Religious reference letter for Eagle

    The question was never answered from a previous thread about a year ago. Could a parent or other family members (grandparents, uncle, aunt, etc) write the letter of recommendation for the scout if they (the family) practice the religion within the home? We have a case where the middle eastern scout is Buddhist and he and his family practice Buddhism at home. They do go to the Temple from time to time on the main Buddhist Holiday, but other than that it is kept within the home. The scout is reverent from all appearances. He practices fasting, etc. Even I could vouch for his religious belief. I'm fairly sure that the other scouts with other religious beliefs that we have in our troop (Hindu, Islamic, and so on) may also have the same question.

    So Advancement Chairs ... what is the acceptable religious letter of recommendation and from whom? Thank you in advance.


  • #2
    In the COuncil in which I reside, a letter from the parents qualifies as a relgious reference


    • #3
      I'm not on an advancement committee, but I seem to recall a discussion - maybe it was on Scouts-L - that pointed out that while the Eagle app. suggests a letter from a religious reference, one is not required. Is this correct?


      • #4
        [I'm not on an advancement committee, but I seem to recall a discussion - maybe it was on Scouts-L - that pointed out that while the Eagle app. suggests a letter from a religious reference, one is not required. Is this correct? ]

        That is what our Troop told us.

        My son still submitted 4-5 letters from school, religious, and other adult acquaintances.


        • #5
          Actually, the Eagle Application does not suggest letters at all . . . from anyone. Well, requirement #6 demands that the Eagle Candidate provide a write-up about himself and his service to others.

          I understand that some districts and councils require the candidate to provide reference letters. I don't have a particular problem with that, but I do feel that it's a short-cut on the part of whichever advancement committee is requiring them.

          Quoting from the Eagle Scout application:

          "Requirement 2. Demonstrate that you live by the principals of the Scout Oath and Law in your daily life. List the names of individuals that know you personally and would be willing to provide a recommendation on your behalf."

          Please read the above carefully. You might not agree with my interpretation. I'm fine with that. I can also tell you that having a letter could be a very good thing . . . it would save someone the trouble of checking the references.

          I note that the application requires "list the names." It doesn't say "letter."

          I note "Know you personally." And "Would be willing to provide a recommendation on your behalf."

          It doesn't demand a written recommendation, but if someone calls those references, I think there had better be a positive response.

          Having said all that, when I applied for Eagle Scout, I made sure I had provided reference letters. In fact, the district provided return envelopes so those providing the recommendation didn't have to share their letters with me. I wish they HAD shared them with me . . . my understanding is that they were all very positive



          • #6
            In my Council, a scout does just that, provide a "list of names". The Troop Advancement Committee then uses that list and sends a letter to each of the people named for a letter of recomendaton. These are then sent back to the Advancement Committee who forwards them to the BOR. The scout does not have to provide letters, and he does not see what others wrote about him so they can be perfectly honest.


            • #7
              Our district does it similar as TheScout's, only it is the District Advancement Committee that requests them.


              • #8
                I love this forum, you get so many different people talking about what they council/districts do so those of us that do it for our council/districts get ideas on what is happening.

                I have never had a canidate tell me he didn't have a believe in God. I have had some talk about how they are trying to figure out how they feel about it. I have had some tell me their family doesn't attend church regularly, and had those young men tell me that they don't think church attendance is a way to show reverence. I have had young men that were refused for advancement get glowing letters from their church leaders, that reflect the fact that these leaders had no idea who the young man was.

                If a young man sat on the other end of my BoR table, and tell me that his family handles church at home (for whatever reason), I would not even bat an eye. I would ask him about his religious involvement and why he thinks it matters to the BSA.

                I really don't think it matters what involvement is occuring, I think it matters that our Eagles feel they are religious (which may be a subtle difference, but a very valid one)

                Good luck with this. You know a phone call to the person that does my task, with an explanation may go a long way in smoothing the road...


                • #9
                  Wow, there seems to be a lot of variation in how different councils do this. I agree with Unc. To my knowledge, this council does not normally ask for letters, just the names listed on the application. In fact, they don't ask for anything more than the signed application, no project information or anything.

                  Hey, maybe local option is in effect after all!


                  • #10
                    Yeah, I'd say local option is in effect - my son and I just did the Life to Eagle seminar in our district. He needs to ask four to six people to provide reference letters which will get sent directly to the people who will organize the BoR. A form letter providing the suggested format was provided along with return envelopes.