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Hi everyone I'm new to the forum. My son had his Eagle Board of Review over month ago, he was signed off and his paperwork was sent to the national office.I have a strange question, exactly when do you become an Eagle Scout? I've been told it's after you pass your board and others said it's when you receive your certificate from the national office.The reason I ask this question is that during our last court of honor while handing out ranks and merit badges our Scoutmaster did not mention him completing his board of review or congratulate him at all. He said he completely forgot about it saying anything about it because he didn't have his certificate yet. This is his first Scout to make Eagle, I thought he would be overjoyed. My son is deeply hurt and don't want to go back to the Scout meetings. I need advice, Thanks.

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Hi Bear12,

Welcome to the forum.

Please pass on my congrats to your son for reaching the rank of Eagle Scout.

As to your question.

The answer is a little daffy.

When your son receives his certificate it will be dated with the date of the BOR.

When your son completed the Eagle Scout Board of Review, the chairman of the board signed and dated it.

It was sent to your Council Service Center, where the local Scout Executive signed it, from there it went to the National Office where supposedly it was checked to ensure that everything was in order.

Once they agree that everything is in order, Junior is an Eagle Scout for sure.

When I serve as the chair of a ESBOR, I explain this to the Scout, but I then tell him that as far as I'm concerned he is an Eagle Scout and congratulate him.

Please tell your son, not to be upset with the SM.

I'm willing to bet my last dollar that he is as pleased as punch and it might be that he just got things a little mixed up. As you can see it is a little confusing.



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I've heard it both ways from two differnt district guys.

Eagle when he passes the EBOR. Eagle when National accepts the application.


Now for announcing it to the troop? As soon as possible in my mind.

We do recommend that the ECOH not be held until national sends the certificate. You can't get the "Eagle" kit from the scout shop without it.

It normally takes only about two weeks for national to process the paperwork and send it back to council.

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Bear12 - does your son wish to have an Eagle Court of Honor? Or, should I say did he wish to have an ECOH before the aforementioned incident took place?


This year, we had two boys earn the Eagle rank in February, had a "regular" COH in March and an ECOH for them in June. They picked the date of their ECOH. At the regular COH, we did not formally recognize them in any way.


Now the question comes up sometime of when can the boy wear an Eagle badge? Well, I think he may wear it as soon as he has completed the Eagle BOR and the national council has verified everything is in order and has notified the Scout's Scoutmaster (assuming the Scout is still under 18 years of age).(This message has been edited by acco40)

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Yah, Bear12. A good lesson for all of us to learn in our lives is not to be hurt or offended where no offense is meant. :)


An Eagle Award is not official until approved by National. That takes a few weeks up to a couple of months. They rarely turn one down in these days of electronic records and such. But I have seen SE's reject an Eagle Application even after a EBOR has been completed and passed. Those usually involve fairly serious policy violations that weren't caught earlier on.


So I think it's just fine and completely honest to tell your son that it's right and proper for the SM to wait until the Eagle Rank is confirmed before making an announcement. I doubt that any slight is intended at all; he's just bein' proper and respectful - it is up to National to grant the award, not the SM. The date on his certificate will be the date of his EBOR, which does make it a bit odd.


To your SM, I'd privately suggest gently that makin' an announcement at the regular COH that Bear13 completed the requirements for Eagle Scout, and, "pending approval from National" will be joining the ranks of our Troop's Eagles. But he's right in that he can't present the award until it is approved.




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Thanks for replying, Your congratulations is more than the Scoutmaster has given him. My son wants to wait until late spring for his ECOH, he plays varsity baseball. We have our COH and Christmas party together, it's our big event of the year, most parents and grandparents are there. All he wanted was some acknowlegement, a pat on the back a kind word or something. This would have been a great way to encourage all the other Scouts, seeing how all this hard work payed off.I wanted to see if I was in the wrong about asking the SM why he didn't say something, it was his excuse about not having the certificate yet but his main excuse was he just forgot. The SM was with him at the BOR two weeks before, how can someone forget something that important? I told the SM how hurt my son was and asked him to call and talk to him about it but it's been three weeks with no call. What to do, my son don't feel right about going back to meetings and I haven't been either. This should be a joyous time but so far it has not been.Until now we have all gotten along well. What would you do in a case like this?

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"Until now we have gotten along well"


I think that says it. You should still get along well. The SM admitted his mistake, and he just plain forgot. You can't change that. He's probably embarrassed and hesitant to call. This is a good reminder that we are all human, we all make mistakes, and we all need to forgive those who hurt us unintentionally. A SCout is Kind. My advice is to return to Scouting and put it behind you. Plan a good ECOH and have a blast. Congratulations.

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The SM was with him at the BOR two weeks before, how can someone forget something that important?


Yah, until you've walked in a SM's shoes, it's hard to understand, eh?


The SM no doubt had to deal with Christmas for his own family. On top of that, he was a major player in coordinatin' the whole combined Christmas Party/COH thing. Wow that's a lot of work in a busy season. On top of that, he no doubt was deluged with SM conferences and BOR's and signing requirements prior to the COH, because we all know that's how kids work, right? :) Plus campouts, and working with other leaders, and meetin' with a few parents about their boy's behavior. Plus end-of year commitments at work. Plus tryin' to get stuff set for recharter and makin' sure things are ready for the January campout.


Then he shows up at the party, and spends every moment either dealin' with an issue or being social with people who come up to him. So he gets to da awards and he just follows the list the Advancement Chair gave him. Your son's not on the list, because the AC hadn't gotten confirmation yet. He doesn't catch it.


Bein' a SM in an active troop can be a 40 hour a week job, on top of your "real life." Dat's somethin' nobody really sees, eh? Because more than half of the job is in conferences and phonecalls and thinkin' about things at home when you should be listenin' to your wife. ;)


You and your son, Bear, need to trust us. It's an easy thing to do by mistake. For your son, Eagle is the biggest thing in Scouting. For the SM, it's usually gettin' through the next event and worryin' about the lads who still have a long way to go before anybody will recognize 'em as Eagles ;).


The SM gave your son far more of himself to get your lad to Eagle than almost all other humans on the planet who aren't family, eh? That's a level of love and commitment that yeh just can't throw away because of an error one night. Especially when there's a big party for your son to celebrate that accomplishment this spring.


Kick your lad in the behind and tell him to grow up and get his butt to a meetin' or he doesn't deserve that party in the spring. A real Eagle Scout honors his SM for the good he's done, and overlooks his occasional mistakes. Just the way I'm sure that SM did for him along the way. :)




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First congrads to the new Eagle - welcome to the Eagles nest ...


Most people I know go by the BOR date, once past they just assume they are now an Eagle I have heard in the news of cases where BSA rejects it, but it is very very rare and only for very good reasons.


My gut feeling is that the SM did just space it with everything else going on. I am one of those if I don't have something written in front of me I do not remember it. Maybe the SM use to having a certificate, a badge, a card for the COH that it did not occur to him there was some one else needing to be mention. Also traditionally new Eagles are recognized at their own Eagle Court that they plan out and setup themselves which is only for them.


However in all honesty I would also expect that a SM regardless if its their first Eagle or 20th would want to say something and make an effort to do so.


Ok now that I sound like a yo-yo ... just take this as my wacky 2 cents...



Scott Robertson


Helping leaders one resource at a time....

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What a wonderful job voicing the frustration I think a lot of SMs (and many other volunteers) sometimes have about our program!


I will always remember a day many years ago, not too long after my son and I crossed over to Boy Scouts. I had to stop by the SM's house before a Troop meeting. I got there about an hour and 15 minutes before the meeting start time. I was trying to discuss an issue with him, but he literally took 9 - 10 phone calls from the SPL, a few other Scouts, and a host of parents. My conversation with him should have lasted 15 minutes at most, but it took a full hour. I left his house, drove the 15 minutes to the meeting site, and made it just in time for the flag ceremony.


When I left the SM's house, he still needed to put his uniform on. Between that and one more phone call from a parent, the SM walked into the meeting about 5 minutes late.


At the next adult committee meeting, about a week later, three parents presented the CC with a formal, written request to reprimand the SM for being a bad example by be late to the meeting. No, I'm not kidding. They wanted a formal, written reprimand!


Now I'm a pretty big fan of being on time. But I witnessed a SM dealing with the demands of his position BEFORE A MEETING STARTED, and then got criticized because those demands caused him to be late. Never again was I going to criticize this guy for being late.


Within a few weeks of that incident, I recall being at the SM's house until almost 2:00 in the morning preparing to leave for summer camp. We were there because all of the Scouts who had responsiblity to prepare to leave - the SPL, the Patrol Leaders, the Patrol cooks - all were taken home by their parents before the work was done because they had to get up to be ready to go so early in the morning. Never mind that the guys who were going to be DRIVING their precious cargo were going to have to finish up the work that night and then get up early and make the 9 hour drive to summer camp. But all we got was grief the next morning because we were less than chipper as parents wanted last minute information and to provide those last little golden nuggets of wisdom about how to deal with their son.


I wish I could take credit for coming up with this line, but alas, it was not me. However, I have become fond of reminding people that "no good deed goes unpunished." Yes, it is sad that the SM didn't make a big deal about the new Eagle Scout. In hind sight, I am sure he wished he had. But I am sure this doesn't represent the warm feelings and sense of pride the SM has for this Scout. Perhaps if we tried to imagine what it must be to "walk a mile in the SM's mocasins", we'd all have a bit more tolerance when he doesn't quite live up to the Normal Rockwell imagine of the perfect Scoutmaster.






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I don't have much to add. I think Beav and Mark have said it.


I'll add my congradultions to Bear's son. I agree it would have been nice to recognize the lad at the COH. In our unit we have done as Beav suggests. As the candidates begin to reach the end of the trail we provide occaisional updates on their progress at meetings and COH's. i.e. John completed his project last week and is preparing his application and paperwork. We expect to have an Eagle COH next spring! and/or John had his EBOR Tuesday and his paperwork is on it's way to National! Let's have a yell!.


I'll admit that there are times I get frustrated with the SM as well. I think he could provide more leadership coaching to the youth, be a bit more organized, etc. I have observed other units with SM's that I think are better. However, he's a single guy who volunteers his time and if he didn't I'm not sure we would have a Troop. I am not, and have never been in a position to honestly say I can put in more time and effort into the postion and could do a better job. He's a bit younger than I and I sometimes try to provide some polite wisdom here or there in the form of a suggestion or question, but always defer to him as SM. I volunteer to help as much as my personal and professional life allow.



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Thanks for all the advice and letting me voice my frustration. It will all work out. I know how much time and effort it takes to be a SM, I've been the head of a good size volunteer organization and worked at my job five to six days a week. I went everywhere with a cell phone,a notebook and two pens to keep up with all my responsibilities. I know how easy it is to make a mistake. I thank the SM at least 2 or 3 times a month for all he is doing because I know how hard it is. I"m always there to help and go on at least 3/4 of the trips. I said this because I"m not one of the dads that just drop my son off and let everyone else handle it. I learned a long time ago that no one is perfect but when you make a mistake you need to fix it immediately. It wasn't just the lack of mention at the COH, the SM has had time before the COH to congratulate him or just talk but for some reason we can't understand he has not chosen to do so. It's possible he's going through something we don't know about and it's bothering him. Beavah my son has been let down by adults before and he is not easily offended and is very forgiving.He don't need a kick in the rear, he needs a pat on the back.My son will have no problem forgiving him, all he has to do is ask. Thanks again, I will take the first step and talk to the SM so we can work it out. Hopefully this will be a good learning lesson for him.

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"My son will have no problem forgiving him, all he has to do is ask. Thanks again, I will take the first step and talk to the SM so we can work it out. Hopefully this will be a good learning lesson for him."


The hardest thing to do in the world is to forgive someone who hasn't said they're sorry (and may not think they need to apologize or that they already have). Your son (and you) need to forgive the SM without the SM asking him to - that's the lesson here. That's what giving someone the benefit of the doubt is all about. Withholding your attendance at meetings will hurt you the most. It's time to suck it up, get to the next meeting, and forget about it. Life's too short.


Other than that, I'll just echo what Beav and Mark have said.




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