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starwolfmom

need to Vent (Eagle process)

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My oldest son just squeaked all of his paperwork in for Eagle hours before his 18th birthday. We knew from his friend's experience that it might be six weeks or so before we heard anything about when his EBOR would be set up. We received our packet from the council with the Eagle recommendation form for us as his parents to write our letter, and turned it back in by the October 28 deadline that was set. From some of the other people whom Matt had listed on his application, we heard that they had also turned in their letters. So we waited, and waited.

 

Cut to Christmas break. Matt is home from college and we had really expected that he would be having his EBOR when he was home. But still, we've heard nothing. So, I asked our Scoutmaster (new to the position, but not to the troop), if he'd heard anything about Matt's application and Eagle process. He asked around and heard from somebody that maybe it had to do with his letters of recommendation. It took until yesterday for him to get a definitive answer that the council had received 4 of Matt's 6 letters and was waiting on those last two before moving forward. It's been 10 weeks since the letter deadline, so why has no one at the council office mentioned this to anyone yet????

 

Last night, Matt called one of his references, who said that he HAD sent the letter in weeks ago, but he had a copy and would send it again. He also contacted his other reference and left a message about the letter.

 

I'm steamed and also confused. It's now nearly three months past Matt's 18th birthday. The district advancement chair told our SM (and he relayed it to me) that when EBORS are 1-3 months after the lad's 18th birthday, it's usually not a problem, but when it's 3-6 months after, people usually have questions and it becomes an "issue." Why would it be an "issue" if Matt had nothing to do with the delay?

 

Is this common? I am less than thrilled right now and so is Matt. I know he wants his Eagle, even though he's said, "I know I did the work, Mom, even if I don't get the badge."

 

End of vent.

 

Elizabeth

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1st off, Letters of recommendation are not required.

 

This is absurd! If I were you I would contact someone at council to get this moved along. Your son should not be held accountable for something the council is doing. And in my opinion, your council is way out of line. Ya might even want to call National & let them know what's going on.

 

 

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3-6 months is not an issue. It requires that a letter of explanation accompany the application but the application does not hinge on anyone's approval of the letter. When I was CC of my troop I wrote several of these for scouts who's BORs were delayed by college schedules.

 

Over 6 months requires approval from national; glad I never had to go there.

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starwolfmom,

 

Greetings!

 

We all need to vent sometimes, when policies and procedures become confusing, but I don't see (or read) a difficult issue.

 

Your son did limit himself by submitting his application hours before he turned 18. The application ask for references, but most councils ask for letters. An candidate does not have any real control over making other people sit down to a computer and writing a recommendation and filing out a form. That is why there is contact information for the reference on the application.

 

Most Troops and candidate families, keep in constant touch with the council service center to be sure all the documents are ready for an EBOR. (So, for the next few Eagle Scout candidates within your troop, recommend that they continue to track the preparation until the EBOR.)

 

Your son completed his requirement just hours before he turned 18.

Since the EBOR is after his 18th birthday, it will always be additional documentation to justify the late EBOR. (Some people may call this additional documents to be a small "problem" or huge "issue", but it is really synonymous.) The additional documentation or "issue" would have still occurred if he had the EBOR on the day after his 18th Birthday.

 

So now that you've vented (and its understandable to ask why? and is this correct?). It may have made the process quicker if you had kept up with all the candidate references, the council service center, and advancement chair. But now, your candidate should be ready.

 

So now, Go back to the Advancement Chair, and ask if everything is in order, and if you son is ready to proceed with this EBOR.

 

I'd expect your council advancement chair would request a statement about the delay in receiving referral letters, but your (son's) candidate's advancement requirements and application was completed when he was 17. It should be an easy enough to document. (Just additional paperwork though)

 

Good Luck to Matt on his EBOR!

 

Scouting Forever and Venture On!

Crew21 Adv

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Thanks for listening. I found it strange that the council felt it needed all six letters in order to proceed; I'm glad to know it's not required, but is just something our council wants. (Our District Advancement Chair is also one of those guys who insists on a project proposal so detailed that "if the Scout was hit by a bus, anyone could pick up the book and proceed with the project.")

 

Matt and I were told that it was only necessary to have the project done and paperwork in by his 18th birthday; that the EBOR could be done afterward. (that happens a lot in our district) But three months seems ridiculous.

 

Our SM has said that Matt's Eagle process has been a learning experience for him; hopefully future Eagle candidates will benefit from this.

 

I don't know whether to call them on the fact that they don't need all six letters to move forward; I'm afraid of jeopardizing Matt's chances somehow if I make a fuss. EBORs in our district are already traumatizing enough. I think that Matt's friend's EBOR was more than 3 hours long--and this was a kid who was gold-plated Eagle material, not somebody with iffy credentials.

 

I'm almost glad my younger son has decided to quit Scouts. He has an anxiety disorder and I'm afraid he would have a breakdown trying to get through the process.

 

Elizabeth

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The requirement on the Eagle Application states to "provide names" of people for references. There is no requirement to actually receive letters, which is beyond the Scout's control. Also, a THREE HOUR EBOR??? That's ridiculous. Ours are about one hour - max. Enough time for each Board member to ask about three questions. It's not supposed to be an inquisition.

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Hey SWMom, aren't you the free lance writer? It would be fun for you to put together an essay on your experiences and send it in to Scouting Magaizine, wouldnt it?

 

A three hour Eagle Board of Review? heck in the BSA Publication Advancement Committee Guide Policies and Procedure it says that Eagle Boards of Review should take 30 minutes, over 3 hours may be considered overkill.

 

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I think what she is referring to are the pre printed survey's (as I call them) that come with the Eagle pack. At the top you print the candidates name and then there is listed each point of the scout law and besides that a line of boxes that from poor to excellent. After that is a question Do you approve this scout for the rank of Eagle Scout? Yes or No (circle one) then a little area for any comments that you may have on the candidate. Then list your name and whether you are parent, scout leader etc. I know some councils don't use these but ours does. If this is why it was held up that is a disgrace.

These are reviewed by the members of the board before they actually sit with the candidate.

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Sorry to hear about the difficulties. I will admit to completing my Eagle under the same time circumstances back in 1976. But my BOR went very smoothly and all was done within several weeks.

 

I do have a young man in my troop who is closing in on his Eagle. Just last night I had an informal Scoutmaster's Conference with him to encourage him to step it up a bit. He will be leaving Michigan for college in August. So I encouraged him to have all done and submitted no later than June 1.

 

Can I ask where in Michigan you are from? I am in beautiful Warren.

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Ed,

 

Not quite true. Read ACP&P #33088. The Scouts requirement is to furnish names. The Council and/or District Advancement Committee has the mission to actually contact the references and obtain information.

 

Now, how many Councils actually push the form down to the Scout and have him give it and a self-addressed stamped envelope to the reference? More than a few, no matter what the book says. We've seen that time and again here.

 

What gets me is the 3 month delay between paperwork and EBOR. That's bad management imnsho. It shouldn't take the Council Registrar more than a couple of days to process an Eagle app and cross-check data against ScoutNet. Most SM and unit advancement folk I know have back-up documentation ready if something is lacking.

 

Two things I did as a unit advancement guy: As a Scout was approaching Eagle, I went to Council and asked for a copy of his ScoutNet advancement info. If there was a gap, I got an Advancement Report and closed that gap. Further, I extracted every critical event from the Scout's career and put it on a consolidated advancement report. That went with the SM when he or when I would drop off the Eagle app.

 

The last stages of the Eagle Process, leading up to the Eagle SM conference and EBOR are bureaucratic in nature. It's the Scouter's job to be their blocker downfield, should the occasion arise, and should they have done their share of the work.

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Our troop has always had the candidate give a SAE using our CC's address to the people that the scout chose to write the letters. The letters are sent to the CC. If a letter has not showed, then the CC is able to inform the scout to check into it. This way it takes the guessing game out of whether Council has received the letters or not.

 

3 hours? Sound like they wanted to drill him a little over something, or really wanted to hear and discuss this young mans views and perceptions on the scouting program. Our district's EBORs are usually an hour, occasionally an hour and a half.

 

If your district is like ours, they have set dates for EBOR's every three months. There is a deadline, usually four weeks ahead. This gives the DAC time to gather everything that is needed and make copies. Two weeks before the EBOR, anyone sitting on an EBOR receives a packet for the EBORs that they will participating in, to give them a chance to look everything over. The four week deadline also gives the DAC an idea how many EBORs he is going to have to run that day, how many people he will need, etc. On occassion, the DAC will convene a EBOR at another time for special circumstances, such as college students home on break like your son.

 

Good luck to Matt. Tell him to keep an open mind, and be ready with some witty comebacks to break the ice, if the occassions arise.

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What would happen if all of the ref. letters come back negative, that is to say, none of them can see the candidate being an Eagle Scout.

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Well it's hard to imagine a candidate would select people that would give him negative recommendations, at least not all of them.

 

I have heard of instances where maybe one of four or five letters gives a less than glowing recommendation or even a qualified recommedation that generates some discussion during the EBOR. The BOR makes the final decision. The letters are only one small part and unless a letter includes evidence a scout did not complete a specific requirement I don't see how advancement would be denied based on a letter alone.

 

Our council requires letters. This is so they don't have to go through the effort to contact the references. The minimum is 1 from a parent, 1 from a teacher, 1 from a religious reference(this can be a parent), 1 from an employer if the scout has a job, 1 from an at large reference(neighbor, relative, coach, fellow scout, anyone else.) So if a scout doesn't submit one from an employer, he has to come up with 1 teacher that will give him a positive recommendation. The rest can be from parents, or relatives or anyone else the scout is confident will give him a positive recomendation.

 

In the unit I serve, the letters are sent to the unit Eagle Advisor(me) who turns them in with the completed application and workbook. The scout never sees the letters. Only the BOR sees them. I have had candidates have to track down a late one now and then. So far, I have yet to miss an 18th birthday, although it did come down to within a couple of days for one candidate.

 

I meant to add congratulations to Matt. I'm sure it will work out. My experience is that the vast majority of volunteers are working to help scouts through the process. Sure every now and then you run into a minor road block but they are not very frequent.

 

 

SA(This message has been edited by scoutingagain)

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PeteM: In that case, the EBOR members have a hard decision to make, based on the Scout's answers to their questions. The SCOUT should never see the letters.

 

Eagle77, I have seen similar forms, and I think they are Council-specific. To my knowledge, it is not a National thing.

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I concur with the other posts that your son should not penalized for the lack of diligence at the council level.

 

All of this takes place at the district level where we live. We are fortunate that our council service center is readily accessible so it is fairly easy to resolve diffrences in advancement records and things like that.

 

As the eagle coordinator for our troop, I would have to say that most eagle candidates I have dealt with have gone smoothly. I do counsel the candidate's parents and the scout himself, that one of the lessons the scout will be learning is how to deal with a bureacracy which is itself a valuable lesson.

 

I am not aware of any nationally used form for references. We do letters in our council. The letters come to me and I marry those up with the rest of the paperwork and deliver the package to the district advancement chair who looks them over and schedules the EBORs. Our district normally runs boards monthly. It is just a matter of getting on the schedule.

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