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Denial at the Eagle BOR... How do you handle

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I've sat in on 3 Eagle BoR's recently, and the District Advancement Coordinator would like to see me start to sit on the BoR's.

 

I get to see the whole BoR, start to finish, and never leave the room. I don't participate in the discussion or interview process, just observe.

 

The Coordinator often schedules multiple scouts for a BoR (does them 1 at a time) - this appears to be a convience factor to a point... easier to find volunteers for 1 longer meeting than 2 or 3 seperate dates...

 

We had an incident at the last BoR (3 Scouts) where the last scout was denyed his Eagle (I'm not going to get into "why" he was denied, at least not in this thread.

 

I wonder... how do you explain what happened to the Scout? Do you acutually tell the scout WHY he was denied, or just say that the BoR feels he shouldn't be promoted to the rank of Eagle.

 

Also, if there are multiple scouts... how do you handle the announcement that "they got it" - espicially if 1 of (2/3/4) didn't get it??? I get the impression that my district usually just tells all the scouts, together, "This BoR... recomends to National...... congratulations"

 

 

Do you tell the Boys who got Eagle that XXXX Scout who they sat with earlier, and was in the room at the opening, didn't make it, or do you let them "figure that out on their own" Also, is there any expectation of Privacy about the descision of a BoR (pass/fail... not the discussion)??????

 

 

I'm basically trying to get a "crash course" in Eagle Boards, espicially "what do you do when something goes wrong"

 

Thanks,

 

Jon

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There's no real expectation of privacy, but there should be an expectation of courtesy and kindness. Bring the boy in as an individual and:

 

1) Tell him he's deferred. ("Not yet" is a better thing than "denied").

 

2) Tell him what he needs to do in order to come back and be successful at his next board.

 

3) Give him a good, reasonable suggested timeline to do #2, and a lot of encouragement to do that.

 

4) If #2 isn't possible (ex. he turns 18 tomorrow), let him know his appeal options.

 

The rules and common sense say that the board has to send the boy a letter with the above stuff detailed. I'd do that promptly, since the chances of him really "hearing" it are going to be low. Copy the SM on the letter. I think a board member should also do a follow-up phonecall to the SM as a courtesy.

 

There's no reason to tell the other boys... but that really suggests you should always bring them in one at a time to hear the results, not all at once. I'd think in terms of courtesy you'd want to tell them right away anyways, rather than make them stay around until all the boards were done.

 

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Second what Beavah said. This illustrates a disadvantage of having "multiple" EBORs, but it's not a show-stopper. One solution would be to have a 30 minute "buffer" betweeen them to give the scout and his parents time to leave before the next one comes in. I also participate as the District rep on EBORs, and they are handled much like any other BOR. The decision must be unanimous, and the Scout must be told the reasons why and what he needs to do to close the gap, if indeed it's possible. I also have had one "deferral" in which one of the troop committee members thought the "offense" was an egregious violation of the Scout Oath and Law (morally straight), there was no repentance, and there was no acknowledged effort to change the situation. The Scout appealed to district, got a new EBOR and is now an Eagle Scout. I still don't know in my own mind if the right thing was done.

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At our meeting "circle-up", if there were BORs, we announce who passed them. We do not mention it if someone was "deferred". Of course, you always risk that big-mouthed scout who says "hey, how about Billy???".

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I'd be interested to see if any council keeps any data on how many denials/deferrals were upheld on appeal and how many Eagles were awarded on appeal.

 

I've seen an Eagle denied because the BOR decided they didn't like the project (appealed and won on appeal). I've seen an Eagle denied because the BOR thought the Scout was too young(appealed and won on appeal). My best friend in high school was denied because a couple of members of his BOR didn't think he was reverent enough because he didn't attend church regularly (appealed and won on appeal - his home church is Church of England - how many Church of England branches are there in the US - and no, the Episcopalians don't count). My Eagle was denied because my BOR didn't like my religion at all (Wiccan(freely chosen at 15)appealed and won on appeal). In most of the above instances, the opposing members of those BOR's were not asked to serve again.

 

I suspect it's the norm rather than the exception that denied Eagle's are awarded on appeal.

 

When I was a Scoutmaster, I always liked to remind my unit's BOR members that it is a Board of REVIEW - not a Board of Inquisition. It seems that some adults in scouting don't understand the difference.

 

CalicoPenn

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Great comment - I'd heard the same thing - that, if someone appeals as far as National, they usually get their Eagle, but THEY HAVE TO APPEAL...

 

Anyone else heard or seen this?

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Our District holds District Eagle Scout BOR.

I know some Districts hold these with just one or two members of the District Advancement Committee present.

I don't have any idea why we do it this way other than we always have.

We do ask that one Committee Member from the Scouts Troop be present.

He or She can at times iron out the things that seem a little off base. Things that the Troop may have done a little tweaking with!

Last year our District Advancement Chairman wasn't able to make some of the BOR,so me being the helpful lovable chap that I am took his place.

The first one I attended there were four Scouts, after that we never had more than two.

I didn't know how long each one would take so I asked if they could all come at the same time.

Before we started I spoke with all the Scouts as a group and explained what was going to happen. I really did try to put them at ease. But I also explained at this time what the procedure would be if they were denied and how they could appeal. I did my best to make sure that the Troop Committee member understood this as well.

Sadly we did have to tell one Lad that he was denied. The facts were that he hadn't done a project it was all a big lie.

After we have talked with the Scout and done the review we ask him to leave the room, the committee member stays the board than has a chat and after they decide we ask him to come back in and inform of what was decided.

The board doesn't tell anyone other than the Scout and the Committee member.

If the Scout wants to tell the other Scouts that's up to him.

Eamonn.

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By the way, an Eagle BOR is not different than a Tenderfoot BOR wrt to the fact that if a Scout does not pass - if the board does not feel the Scout should pass, the board must let the Scout know the precise nature of the deficiencies and what must be done in order to be successful at the next Board of Review. The BOR Chair must send a written follow up, to both the Scout and the Scoutmaster, regarding the deficiencies and the course of action needed to correct them.

(This message has been edited by a staff member.)

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As another old member of this forum, who used to post here often, advised in the past, if the scout has met the requirements as written, he should be awarded the rank. Turning 18 tomorrow does not, by itself, eliminate the chance for completing the BOR.

I have been involved in several sensitive situations now where adults with strong opinions seemed to want to expand the requirements because they "just don't think he deserves the rank." So far I've been able to help the boys avoid appeals, they were awarded the rank. So far.

I hope I will continue to have the skill to show prejudice for what it is and to help boys achieve what they have in them to achieve.

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Two years ago we had a candidate who did not pass his EBoR. The reasons focused on his project but were conflicting and inadequate, and, IMO, obscured a bias against this particular boy. The Scout appealed and was denied at the Council level. He decided not to appeal to National. He vowed to complete a second project, but has made no progress in two years.

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I haven't heard of any BOR 'denials' being held up on appeal... Eagle projects should be thoroughly reviewed by the district and troop before, during, and after; a BOR shoudn't be the place a scout hears his project was insufficient... Eagle BOR can be after 18th BD, but requirements can not be redone.

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