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About Rayburn

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  1. Hi all. Sorry for the delayed follow up. I've had a lot of other matters to deal with lately, both in and out of scouting, and I didn't want to write again until I could give this the attention I think it deserves. The punch line is that the board advanced the young man to Eagle. The board included an Annapolis grad and Eagle Scout who's been with the troop over 20 years and who's sat on more EBORs than anyone else, the committee chair whose three sons are all Eagle Scouts here, and an Eagle Scout dad whose son is no longer in the troop but is the same age as the young man in question. Plus the district rep, of course. I was very pleased with the make up of the board; lots of perspective and context, and, especially in the case of the Annapolis grad, a pretty hard-core understanding of and respect for what the rank means to others and should mean for the young man, and for what the decision, whichever decision was made, would say about the troop. Many of you have offered thoughtful, I think wise counsel and I thank you for that. That is why I use scouter.com and what I hope I contribute when I comment on others' posts. Some of you have written some pretty harsh statements and have made some pretty harsh judgments without knowing all the facts, or, apparently in some cases, ignoring the facts I have reported. The board members told me afterward that this was the most difficult decision they'd ever had to make in an EBOR. They took the matter very seriously, I think, but in the end came to the same conclusion I had; that the young man's actions, although impulsive and stupid, did not warrant denying him the rank. They reached their decision in part after listening to a seven minute statement I took two and a half hours to hand write earlier in the day setting out all the facts I could muster about both the incident and about the young man's actions afterward, both good and bad, plus the widely divergent opinions of the other eight in our scoutmaster corps. I told the young man and his father I was going to do this. I also spoke about the young man's history, in the troop, developmentally, and his emergence as a strong leader in his patrol and in the troop. Now I know that many of you will say that any of the young man's positive attributes were negated when he brought marijuana on the trip, and that for many of you that fact trumps everything else. I understand your point of view but I do not agree with it, and neither did the board. I'll recount a few key points to close out this report: (1) the young man brought the marijuana on the trip but DID NOT use it, (2) there is no evidence this was anything, but an isolated, impulsive, stupid act on his part, (3) there is no evidence he has ever used marijuana in any setting, (4) he admitted his act, apologized for his mistake, and appears truly repentant. And perhaps most importantly he appears to have learned important lessons from this incident. He learned how uncomfortable it was for him to have the marijuana on the trip. He was nervous about it all weekend. He learned to trust that admitting mistakes is better than covering them up. He learned the cleansing power of confessing and apologizing for what he did and asking for forgiveness. And he learned to trust in the judgment and fairness of others. I think, in the end, that these lessons and this outcome will serve the young man better over his lifetime than denial of the Eagle Scout rank would have.
  2. Ironic you would ask today. His BOR is tonight. The scout admitted to having the marijuana on the trip, although it took some coaxing to get him to do so. There was no evidence this was part of any pattern. In the end everything I could learn has me likening it to him finding a girlie mag in his dad's chest of drawers and bringing it on the trip, not knowing quite what to do with it. The CC decided on one month suspension and one month "probation." He turned 18 on the last day of the second month, April 30. I spoke with the DAC and the CAC early on, both of whom I knew reasonably well before. They advised that because his Eagle app had been submitted PRIOR to the incident he would get his BOR. I briefed the district rep and plan to address the board before it convenes tonight, sharing all the details. Stay tuned.
  3. Thanks to all of you who have offered input. Here are a couple of clarifications. First, I said the other two witnesses didn't want to get involved. I didn't say they refused. I've since spoken with both of them and they shared what they witnessed without hesitation or reservation. I spoke with them individually and their reports were consistent. Second, I wrote that the scout in question was seen with "what appeared to be marijuana." We don't yet know for certain what the substance was. None of the three witnesses could identify beyond doubt that the material was marijuana. They left the scene as the material was being lit and were not close enought to smell the smoke. It's still possible that the scout in question was faking marijauna use. The next step will be for the CC and me to meet with the scout in question. We'll tell him an incident was reported involving him and ask him to tell us what happened. We'll meet with the second scout immediately after meeting with the first scout and do the same. We don't expect to be able to meet with them before our next troop meeting next week. We'll then determine next steps based on what we learn next, how the scouts react, and how the parents react. I plan to update this thread as I have more information.
  4. Today a scout reported that on our troop campout last weekend he and two other scouts stumbled onto another scout and his buddy with some sort of pipe and what appeared to be marijuana. While I applaud the first scout for reporting the incident I also want to respect that he doesn’t want to be found out as a snitch. We haven’t yet had an opportunity to talk with the other two witnesses so the allegation has not yet been corroborated, but I doubt the first scout made up this story. The other two witnesses reportedly don’t want to get involved. Our troop is made up of scouts who are, in my opinion, exceptionally well behaved, and if true this incident is very, very unusual. I shared the report with the committee chair immediately and he and I are going to meet tomorrow to plan our course of action. I believe we should confront the matter by interviewing the other two witnesses (individually) and then tell the scout’s parents before meeting with the scout (maybe only a few minutes before talking with the scout). If corroborated would you suspend the scout from the troop? Put the scout on “probation†and defer rank advancement for six months based on not living according to the Scout Oath and the Scout Law? (Trustworthy and Clean come to mind.) Oh yeah, one other thing. The scout’s Eagle Scout rank application was submitted last week. The scout has no prior history of misbehaving. He was “scattered†as a young boy scout but has shown tremendous personal growth the last 2-3 years and great enthusiasm for scouting. Some other aspects of his behavior have been exemplary. His eighteenth birthday is later this year. If corroborated should this incident torpedo his hopes of becoming an Eagle Scout, or does a probation “teach him a lesson.†What do you recommend? I am the scoutmaster.
  5. Is there any good reason that a U.S. flag should not be raised on a flagpole indoors? One of our ASMs is trying to work with our scouts to put a little more "pomp & circumstance" and "ceremony" into our courts of honor that are currently very much boy-led, but candidly a little blah. One idea the boys liked was to have a flag raising ceremony indoors, using a flagpole lashed together and erected by the scouts rather than posting the colors in a flag stand. Another ASM has said that an outdoor-style flag ceremony where a flag is raised on a pole is not "allowed" or is at least not appropriate. I know that there are a lot of urban legends surrounding U.S. flag protocols, but I have never seen or heard of this one. It's admittedly unusual to do it this way but I can't understand what would be wrong with it. Can't find any relevant language in the U.S. Flag Code either.
  6. Update - First of all, thanks to all of you for your replies to this thread. I decided to ask a good friend (another ASM and Arrowman) to feel out the Scoutmaster to find out whether or not the SM would be receptive to nominating me. I learned from that that the SM was thinking about it already, so I approached him by saying that I would like to help him (by helping with our scouts' OA events, etc.) but that to make that happen I needed his help first. Got it right out in the open. Not an honor; no need for secrecy. An announcement was made that if any adults were interested in OA membership they should let the SM know. Two of us were recommended and the paperwork was submitted. I was then interviewed by the district adult OA nominations guy, and today I was notified that I have been approved for membership. I plan to sign up for an ordeal next month or in June.
  7. Whether or not you are overreacting I can't say for sure, but as in so many other instances our society has surely overreacted. Nonetheless I think you are correct to raise this instance with your ASM, not because you believe he did or would do anything inappropriate but rather for HIS protection. My original YP trainer pointed out that YP rules are as much for the protection of the adults as for the youth. You should make this point with your ASM.
  8. My response to this thread has to be, "So what?" As the previous poster notes, segregation was an accepted fact in most of the United States throughout first half of the 20th century. I have to wonder what purpose it serves to bring up the subject now, when the movement is clearly not racist today nor has it been in my lifetime. Most scout leaders I know would bend over backward to help out a minority troop, and minority scouts in our troops are treated the same as other scouts.
  9. Is the adult nomination process for OA meant to be as secretive for adults as it is for youth? Or as secretive as it is for District Award of Merit, Silver Beaver and other honors? Ive read a lot about how adults may be nominated to OA, but what if the process is simply not working or used in a unit? It sounds like the process for adults is a little more transparent in other troops than in mine. The situation in my troop is a little different. We have just under 100 scouts and this year 6 were elected in January. That is about average for the last 4 years with which I am familiar, but in those 4 years no adults have been nominated. A large percentage of our adults who would meet the eligibility criteria are already Arrowmen from their youth. So far as I know no more than one or two take any active role in the local chapter or lodge. Most still wear their pocket flap from their youth lodge. The only adult to have become a member of the OA as an adult is the Scoutmaster, who has been in the role 7-8 years and who was not a scout as a youth. (Are there any Scoutmasters who are not OA?) So far as I can tell neither the SM nor the CC ever give any thought to nominating adults and I have never heard it mentioned or discussed. It may be that the SM and CC do not believe any of us are worthy candidates but if that is so their standards would appear to be far, far more stringent than most other troops in our district and council. There are a handful of us (including me, admittedly) who are not in the OA but who are stalwarts in the troops camping program, going to summer camp all week every year and going on most of our monthly campouts. We would all meet the requirement that we have the ability to perform the necessary functions to help the Order fulfill its purpose, the camping requirement, and the requirement that we would provide a positive role model for youth. I clearly understand that Scoutmaster Award of Merit, District Award of Merit, Silver Beaver and other adult awards are not to be sought and that the prospective recipient is not to be told they are being considered, but is that also the case with prospective adult OA members? Would it be inappropriate to express an interest?
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