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About griffsmom

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  1. Congratulations! I just completed my ticket a couple of weeks ago and received a similar email. I can only describe the sense of relief I felt by comparing it to how I felt in college when I would finish a really long paper or exams.
  2. You make a valid point; communication is key! But this isn't the first scout to earn Palms in our troop, just the first scout under this SM's tenure. I don't know how the requirement was interpreted by our former SM, but I certainly don't recall any Eagle scouts doing any kind of separate projects or performing any special leadership roles to earn their Palms.
  3. Barry, you could very well be right that it could be the SM's pride. On more than one occasion, he has said that our troop is "the best of the best," so maybe he thinks interpreting this requirement rigidly and making a scout really earn a Palm supports or upholds his perceived status of our troop? I think his heart is in the right place, in that he doesn't want scouts just checking off boxes in order to obtain rank advancment; he wants the scouts to actually do the work required and learn the skills. In fact, he and I have disagreed before when he wanted to ask scouts to perform a skill during their SMC or BOR and I told he couldn't quiz or retest the scout if the requirement had been signed off. But as to why he's choosing to approach this loosely-worded Palm requirement this way with this scout is beyond me.
  4. @Krampus: That's how I see it too. I'm one of those that believes strongly in applying the requirements as they are written--not adding anything or taking anything away. I think our troop sometimes suffers from an ego problem: "we're a high caliber troop and we hold our scouts to a higher standard." It's not uncommon for me to share my opposing opinions when leadership has wanted to implement something for our scouts that isn't required by National, e.g., a scout who earned Eagle rank had to attend two ECOHs before he could schedule his own ECOH. (It was a thinly disguised attempt to increase attendance at ECOHs.) I am hopeful that our District advancement chair will come back with an opinion that is the same of yours and this scout can have his SMC and BOR.
  5. @desertrat77: I agree that the SM is viewing a palm award as being on the same level of a rank advancement. He may be right, but I can't find anything that supports his perspective. of course, I can't really find anything that supports mine either. @Eagledad: Thanks for sharing your experience. It's interesting that it was the BOR panel that was unwilling to signoff on him. Overall, our SM is a good guy and means well, but he is an engineer and sees the world in black and white. My profession requires me to look for shades of grey. Despite these differences, he and I get along well. If I had to guess, I think he is strictly construing the requirement because of a possible perception that if he didn't, it would somehow "dilute" the achievement of the award. Again, that's just a guess, but I feel pretty confident that I'm in the ballpark. @NJCubScouter: I agree with you. Perhaps our SM forgot that when he shot off the email to the scout. In fact, the scout was ASPL during the time that qualified for the Palm and was active in that position, given all of our summer outings. (It does sound like title inflation, but there actually is a practical reason why we diversified the position. We are a high adventure troop with about 100 scouts. We had to split the ASPL-Quartermaster position into two: one for camping and one for backpacking; otherwise, if one scout had responsibility over both, he (read: his parent) would be run ragged driving out to the troop trailer and troop storage unit (not anywhere near each other) to get equipment for scouts going on outings.)
  6. Thanks to all for your comments. I didn't initially provide the details because I wanted to find out if there is an objective, hard and fast rule on this (perhaps I should have known better), but the gamut of your comments illustrates the problem quite well. A 17-year-old scout who earned his eagle rank a few months ago has the sufficient number of merit badges and time being active with the troop for a Bronze Palm. He contacted the troop's SMC/BOR coordinator to schedule an SMC with our scoutmaster. When she requested a date from the SM, he told the scout that they had never met to discuss the leadership activity that he had accomplished or whether such activity would even qualify. He then told the scout that they would need to meet discuss this before they could proceed on anything in regards to an SMC. I did a quick search and couldn't find anything in the Guide to Advancement, Eagle application materials, or online that explains what is envisioned by this requirement. I even looked at our troop's Policies and Procedures document, and there is nothing in there that describes or explains what is meant or expected for this Palm requirement or indicates that whatever activity is used to meet it must be pre-approved by the SM. I have to come to know this scout as he has progressed through scouting, and he is a great kid. He has significant learning challenges and had to work extremely hard (much harder than those scouts for whom learning comes more easily) to earn his Eagle rank. After he achieved that goal, he didn't drop out of the troop but stayed on to go on summer Sierra backpacking trips and assist with our troop's 50-mile bike ride for the cycling MB. He is also the troop's ASPL of camping equipment. As I'm sure you can imagine, his mom is upset, and I can understand where she's coming from. Palms are not ranks; they are awards for MBs earned beyond the minimum number required, in conjunction with tenure and leadership requirements. I see them as an incentive to retain older scouts who might otherwise disengage from the troop once they earned their Eagle rank. I fall on the side of interpreting the requirement more loosely, especially given its ambiguous language and the fact that the scout just completed an Eagle project. The language says "satisfactory effort" not completed project or position of responsibility, and seriously, do we really want to require another project out of the kid for a non-rank award? I think that would work to discourage scouts from continuing to participate with their troops after they had earned their Eagle. Our SM, however, apparently interprets it more strictly. Mom has a call into our District advancement chair to see if he can clarify the confusion. I'm very interested in what he will have to say and will be sure to share it with you. Barry--Given my SM's perspective, I'd be interested to hear your story.
  7. One of the requirements for earning Eagle Palms is that the scout "make a satisfactory effort to develop and demonstrate leadership ability." Does anyone have any BSA resources that explain what is meant by this phrase and what kind of actions will fulfill this requirement? Do those actions have to be pre-approved by the SM before the scout can begin them in order to fufill the requirement? Any light you can shed on this is appreciated!
  8. Thanks for the welcome! @Stosh: yeah, I guess I did jump into scouting with both feet. Unfortunately, I was working crazy hours when my son went through cub scouts and so I missed most of it. I promised him I wouldn't be a parent in absentia as he continued on through boy scouts.
  9. Hey everyone, I'm the mother of a 14-almost-15-year-old son who will be sitting for his Life rank SMC and BOR in the next couple weeks. He has been in scouting since he was six years old and saw a presentation that showed cub scouts throwing hatchets. That's all my boy needed to be all in. :-) My son doesn't do organized sports, so scouting is his thing. My husband and I are both ASMs with our son's troop; I also wear the New Scout Parent Coordinator and District Roundtable hats and am a MB counselor, while my husband is a Life to Eagle advisor. Oh, and because I apparently thought my life had too much spare time in it, I also went through Wood Badge (W4-39-14-1) and just completed my ticket a week ago. Whoo-hoo! Anyway, I'm enjoying reading all the information and differing perspectives on the boards and just wanted to introduce myself and say hey!
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