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starwolfmom

need to Vent (Eagle process)

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Get a copy of the current Advancement Guidelines and Procedures and look at item #6 of the Steps to Eagle (sorry, it don't have the page number). It clearly lays out the procedures for letters of recommendation. In a nutshell, the Scout is responsible to provide the names and addresses and to contact the people to make sure they know they will be asked to provide a reference. The Scout may be asked to give the references a form letter and return envelope. That's it for the Scout's involvement.

 

If the letters aren't forthcoming, it is the responsible of the district/council to follow up. In no case is the Scout to be penalized if the letters don't come through.

 

OF COURSE, our council doesn't follow this (or much else related to Eagle procedures). They require the Scout to collect at least four letters in sealed envelopes and include them with his application. If the letters aren't attached to the app, it won't be accepted by the service center.

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Twocubdad,

 

Welcome to the real world

 

As I stated earlier, in my Council, the youth is supplied the shells for his recommendations. His mission is to deliver the shells and a self-addressed stamped envelope to his references. They fill out the reference (or do a letter instead) and mail it to someone in the Troop or Crew concerned.

 

Is it what National wants? No.

 

Is it what our Council Advancement Committee mandates? Yes.

 

Is it worth the battle with senior volunteers and Professionals alike to change? NO.

 

Thus is the real world in one Council...

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This "letter of reference" requirement happens in my district. It got interesting with the last Scout I took for his EBOR. The advancement chair asked for the "letters of reference" to which I replied, "What letters are your talking about?" To which the advancement chair replied "The letters of reference that are required" to which I replied "The requirement is to provide the names & contact information of people that would be willing to give the Scout a reference. Nothing states any letters are required" to which the advancement chair replied "We can't have an EBOR without them" to which I replied, "Show me in the Advancement Procedures it states that".

 

The Scout had his EBOR & passed. The EBOR stated the references must be checked prior to sending this on to National. I stated that was fine as long as the Scout was not held accountable for this and as long as it didn't hold up the process. I don't know if the references were ever checked, but the final approval from National came in good time.

 

Here we go Steelers

Here we go!

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I did have 1 scout in my unit who needed to petition national his EBOR sicne it was more than 3 months after his 18th birthday. What was his excuse, district could not send a representative to the EBOR before the young man left for basic training. Upon his return from basic training, all arrangements were made and on the nite of the EBOR, that was whenwe were made aware of the 3-6 month rule. So no EBOR. HOWEVER, the EBOR did have anice little "chat" with the young man about what he's learned im Scouting and how he has applied it to his life. The district rep also explained the entire appeals process so that it could be expedited. the Dist. Advancement chair, troop committee members that would sat on the EBOR, unit leaders, and his reserve CO all wrote letters to national encouraging them to grant the EBOR.

 

He got permission from national, had an EBOR that lasted about 15-20 minutes, and passed.

 

My suggestion is start the appeals process NOW and document everything. I would also have the eagle candidate make the calls himself on a regualr basis, documenting thathe did so.

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Thankfully, our council complies with what is written in the requirements, nothing more. They have never, in my experience, asked for letters - only a properly completed application. They have never asked for the workbook. The only thing they have ever questioned is whether all the dates are correct for advancements and merit badges, and whether or not all the signatures are in order. I have never seen a boy who completed his requirements on time fail to earn the rank.

The idea that somehow by completing the requirements hours before the deadline, the boy has brought on himself this trouble - is unfair to the boy. It's called a 'deadline' for a reason. If he met the deadline then he has complied with that requirement. The deadline ISN'T for filing the application but rather for completing the requirements including the project. The EBOR and application can be completed any time within three months of his birthday without further question. I see this happen often these days and as long as the boy met the deadline for the requirements, and had the EBOR and filed the application within three months. he has always attained the rank.

 

A three-hour EBOR is an 'ordeal', not a review. It's absurd. I agree with the 30-minute idea although I've seen them go to an hour or so if the boy just wants to shoot the breeze (adults always seem to be eager to participate).

If I was the parent in this case, I'd be prepared to support my son in an appeal of a decision.

 

Edited to add:

I'd encourage him to make a meticulous record of every communication, what was said (hopefully written) and responses. For every phone call, also send a written letter. Print a hard copy of every email and response. You have the high ground, you just need to make sure you have the paper trail as well.(This message has been edited by packsaddle)

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Well, Matt's employer (who is also a Scouter) got his letter in--again--yesterday. Thank goodness he had saved a copy. The assistant principal at the high school said that he had sent his in ages ago. However, he said that after school today he would go to the scout office in person, get the form, and fill it out right there and hand it to a live human being to ensure that it was received this time. Fortunately, the high school is less than a mile from the council office, so this is not a problem.

 

Thank you all for your support. By the way, to answer a couple of questions: yes, OGE, I am the freelance writer, but I don't think I'd write about this. Narraticong, I live in Lansing.

 

I'll let you know when Matt has his EBOR and earns his Eagle.

 

Elizabeth

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Good luck to Matt. I'm sure he'll do fine.

 

Our Council is similar to others. Letters are requested, usually by the Unit CC who chairs the EBOR. (Our EBOR are run by the units with a District rep present). In most cases letters are received, but I know of NO case where an EBOR was postponed or a Scout denied Eagle because of the lack of them. They are considered just additional information that the EBOR can consider in their deliberations.

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If the EBOR is 3-6 months after the 18th birthday, the scout needs to appeal to National?

 

My oldest turned in his packet the night before his 18th birthday, Nov. 6th, missing the deadline for the Nov. EBOR day. The next EBOR day was in late February, falling in the 3-6 month zone. We never were informed that we had to appeal to National for an EBOR. He had his EBOR without incident. I wonder if the DAC contacted National about why the EBOR was held after 3 months, instead of making us appeal? If so, I guess our district is blessed.

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Unless this has changed in the last five years (when I moved from CC to ASM) the policy is:

 

0-3 months after 18th birthday: No explanation required. Normal EBOR.

 

3-6 months: A letter explaining the delay accompanies the application. This is a formality, they do not approve or reject the letter. I used to keep a form letter on my computer because I had to send the letter for at least three scouts.

 

Over 6 months: Need permission from National to hold EBOR.

 

 

I believe this info is all in the Advancement Committee handbook but I cannot find my copy to verify it.

 

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Page 29, but it's not a formality:

 

"Boards of review conducted between three and six months after the candidate's 18th birthday must be pre-approved by the local council. A statement by an adult explaining the reason for the dealy must be attached to the Eagle Scout Rank Application when it is submitted to the Eagle Scout Service."

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I stand corrected.

 

It is pretty much a formality in our district. Our council delegates that approval process to the district advancement committee's Eagle board which essentially delegates it to the the Eagle board member working with the scout. Approval has been close enough to automatic to not be noticeable.

 

Our district does expect letters of recommendation. In our troop the SM sends out a form to the references. We have held EBORs with as few as three letters having been received.

 

In our district the EBORs are scheduled and organized by the troop with one or more Eagle reps. It seems to facilitate the process of getting the EBOR done in a timely manner.

 

Hal

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Yah, I never quite understand the adults who feel it's such an awful burden for a lad who is applying for our highest award to ask a bunch of people he knows for reference letters. He's got to do the same thing for college applications, many job applications, etc. No responsible lad would think twice about it.

 

Just for the record, the council sets the means of contacting the references, and it is perfectly OK and completely within the rules for the council to specify that the boy should request letters of recommendation be mailed to 'em. And for the council to wait for responses. At least in bigger councils and districts, it's the norm.

 

I reckon it's da helpful thing to do, as otherwise the lads goin' up for Eagle BOR's are expectin' a busy district tryin' to get 40+ people on the phone and scribble notes, eh? That burns a lot of volunteer time, and doesn't offer as much insight for a good BOR as the letters do. A Scout is Helpful.

 

Beavah

 

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I've never been on a job interview where I was required to bring four sealed reference letters with me as a condition of sitting for the interview. The process spelled out in the policy is more in line with what normally occurrs in a job situation.

 

You're right, John, this is real-world. It's too bad that real world Scouting doesn't include following the rules.

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Don't think of Eagle as a job interview. Think of it as the home stretch of "employee of the year" for a moderately large business.

 

Yes, in my company, for employee of the year, there are about 10 letters of reference required, and yes, the employee has to make sure they're in play.

 

As I've said before, I have only so much energy. I choose the issues worthy of battle. This is not one of them.

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The process spelled out in the policy is more in line with what normally occurrs in a job situation.

 

Yah, just depends on your line of work, eh? In my line of work where yeh have a lot of applicants for a given job, if yeh don't have reference letters you don't get the interview. We're not goin' to spend our time doin' the work for a lazy applicant.

 

B

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