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EdgeofThorns

Really need advice for my letters of recommendations please

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Well I've been in scouts since I was 10 and have really enjoyed the program and have made many lifetime friends and memories that I will never forget. I'm 17 now (18 in may) and have completed my project (did a supply drive for my local animal shelter), have all required merit badges and really just need to finish the paper work. One problem I have is that you need a letter of recommendation from a religious representative and I am not involved in any church and to be honest I am agnostic. I am very nervous for my board of review when they will ask me questions about my religious beliefs and do not want to be undeserving of the award because of my personal beliefs and I do realize that the boy scouts have a history of not being too kind to gay or atheist members. Any advice for me or people in a similar situation? I don't think I'm going to try and deny my lack of faith in the board because I don't think I should be ashamed of what I believe.

 

 

edit- Please don't get the wrong idea by this post. Even though I am an "atheist," I really do respect a lot of the morals and ideas that Christianity, Judaism, Islam, and even Buddhism teach many people. I just don't believe in God and I can't change that. If some here think I don't deserve the title of eagle scout I guess I can respect that since I technically haven't lived up to certain aspects of the scout law and oath.(This message has been edited by EdgeofThorns)

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Fellow Scouters,

 

Reminds me of the forum member that asked a question, and said "just give me one reason". This specific forum member received a few hundred answers and responses, but after every reason (a few hundred reasons) the forum member would reply "I don't believe it" or "I don't buy into that".

 

 

Edge of Thorns,

 

There is no advice for you. You have already made up your mind. You can find plenty of statements on Scouting.org that will confirm the BSA statement. Like scoutldr said, and I agree. Nice try.

 

 

Scouting Forever and Venture On!

Crew21 Adv

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Well, I am not too sure who told you need a letter of reccomendation from a religious representative but they are wrong. There is nothing on the Eagle Scout form that says anything about letters of reccomendation:

 

http://www.scouting.org/filestore/pdf/58-728.pdf

 

You will notice that requierment 2 says: Demonstrate that you live by the principles of the Scout Oath and Law in your daily life. List the names of individuals who know you personally and would be willing to provide a recommendation on your behalf.

 

First listed are Parents/Guardian and then Relgious, but remember this is not a letter and next, if your family or you are not active in a "traditional" church your parent or guardian may be listed with a note from them that your family does not participate in a "traditional" organized church.

 

Next, you may wish to decide if you are Agnostic or Atheist, they are quite different. If you are undecided and that's ok. some people spend there whole lives there.

 

The religious requirement states that you beleive in a higher power, doesnt have to be the God of Abraham that Muslims, Catholics or Jews accept. It can be many things, as varied as the religions on the earth

 

You said "do not want to be undeserving of the award because of my personal beliefs" yet you say you understand if the readers of the forum don't think you deserve the title of "Eagle Scout". Well, you know the requirments if you don't want to disavow your beliefs, don't.

 

Would you rather be an Eagle scout knowing you don't meet the requirments or would you rather declare your beliefs and not be an Eagle Scout. Such moments define a man's life.

 

I am not sure what you mean about scouts not being to kid to gay of atheist members. AS far as I know, there is no organizational movement to harras or physically abuse gays or atheists, lately a few posters here have advocated such actions and were roundly told they should do no such thing.

 

Individuals may do bad things, but if a member of the BSA does bad things to a gay or atheist, it is no different than if any member of a group does a bad thing, it doesnt meant the group is bad or the entire membership is so.

 

 

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Yes, I think you are a troll. But for the benefit of others who may read this:

 

It doesn't matter whether I think you are "deserving" or not. You have stated "I am an atheist". Therefore, you do not meet the BSA membership criteria, much less the criteria for Eagle Scout (that pesky "Scout Spirit" requirement, doncha know). The fact that you have X number of merit badges and completed a project doesn't matter. If you submit an Application for Eagle Scout and purposely mislead the Eagle Board about your beliefs, you are a fraud and a liar and certainly not "Trustworthy" or "Reverent". As OGE said, I will have much more respect for you if you stand behind your beliefs, even if it means never receiving the Eagle. If you are willing to lie to the EBOR, then what else about your life is worthy of trust and respect?

 

Let us know what you decide.

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If the scout is not a member of an organized religious institution, his mom or dad must write a letter to the attention of the "Eagle Board of Review" stating that the family has no church affiliation at this time and outlining the reasons why. The letter should state whether or not the scout has a belief in God, and how he fulfills his Duty to God in his daily life.

 

 

Also, councils may choose to use letters of reference in leu of calling references however they may not delay a board of review if the letters have not been recieved (this is on the back of the project workbook)

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Hadulzo...that may be true in your council, but it is by no means true throughout the nation. How Eagle candidates are processed is up to each Council Advancement Committee. In my council, the process is handled by the Troop Committee with a District Rep attending the Troop's Eagle Board of Review. How they handle the letters is up to them...all the scout needs to do is furnish names of people who would be willing to provide a reference.

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I beleive I specified that at the bottom of my post. Just to be clear though using letters is optional by council the procedure for using letters is not: (from the back of the Eagle Project work book)

 

When the completed application is received at the council service center,

its contents will be verified and the references contacted. The Scout shall

have listed six references (five if no employer, and parent if no organized

religious association). The council advancement committee or its designee

contacts the references on the Eagle Scout Rank Application by letter,

form, or telephone checklist. (The council determines the method or

methods to be used.) The candidate should have contacted those individuals

listed as references before including their names on the application.

If desired by the council, the candidate may be asked to deliver a blank

reference form and envelopes to the listed references. The candidates

should not be involved personally in transmitting any correspondence

between persons listed

as references and the council service center or

advancement committee. If the initial reference letter or form is not

returned to the council in a timely manner, the council advancement

committee must make direct contact with the reference(s) listed on the

Eagle Scout Rank Application on its own, by follow-up letter, phone contact,

or other methods as it chooses. The candidate shall not be required

to make a follow-up contact with the reference or submit other reference

names. A Scout cannot have a board of review denied or postponed

because the council office or council advancement committee does not

receive the reference letter forms he delivered.

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#5 on the back of the workbook states. Emphasis mine.

 

5. When the completed application is received at the council service center, its contents will be verified and the references contacted. The council advancement committee or its designee contacts the person listed as a reference on the Eagle Scout Rank Application either by letter, form, or telephone checklist. The council determines the method or methods to be used. The candidate should have contacted those individuals listed as references before including their names on the application. The candidates should not be involved personally in transmitting any correspondence between persons listed as references and the council service center.

 

Letters are not required unless asked for.

 

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To my young Life Scout questioner:

 

Read, very closely, what OldGreyEagle said. I can say it no better.

 

To hadulzo:

 

May I recommend you procure a copy of Advancement Committee Policies and Procedures #33088, as well as a copy of the guidance your Council Advancement Committee has published, implementing ACP&P.

 

No two council have the exact same implementing procedures. There are things that are regulatory, things that are policy/program, and things that are local.

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I am generally concerned when someone says they are both agnostic and athiest.  The two terms are mutually exclusive.  To be an athiest, one must believe that there is no God, whereas an agnostic acknowledges only that it is impossible to prove the existence of God.

It is important to understand the meaning of the words on chooses to write, just as a reference should carefully choose the words used when submitting a letter of recomendation.

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EdgeOfThorns: don't listen to those who call you a "Troll" or belittle you because of your lack of explicit religious beliefs. Those who hold others to their strict interpretation of "God" represent all that's WRONG with the BSA. It's unfortunate that the national organization is held captive by the bible belt, but know that there are many thousands of scouts, leaders and parents who share your dilemma. Those who believe that a strictly defined religious belief is a requirement to leading a "moral" life and to membership in this organization are themselves acting immorally, and intolerantly.

 

Many of us believe that any intelligent being would have questions about the world and the universe, it's origins and their place in it. Whether your concept of God is an actual separate supreme being, a higher power, or a spirit that binds us all together with the universe and it's evolution, you can be said to be a spiritual person. If you believe that people and other creatures are more than physical beings, then you can see yourself as a spiritual person. If that sense of yourself leads you to follow the moral guidelines -- the best part -- of the world's religions, then that should be enough. No physicist truly knows the origin of the universe, and if you need to use the word "God" to describe the mystery of creation, then you don't need the trappings of organized religion. In fact, if you believe there's spirit in all things, but not a single specific God in control of everything, why then, you're much closer to the beliefs of Native Americans that the BSA likes to celebrate so much!

 

If that spirit leads you to have reverence for life, and for our world, then you're reverent, and no follower of any specific religion can tell you otherwise.

 

The BSA as a whole is made up of MANY different kinds of people, good people who want to do what's right and what benefits others and our planet. Remember that only a small percentage of BSA members are religious fanatics -- the rest of us are with you. Go ahead and think about whether you question how the universe, life and conciousness came to be, whether you feel there's a mystery in it that science is unlikely to every fully explain, and whether the spirit of humanity leads you to act in a moral fashion. If so, then you can describe yourself as a spiritual, moral person, and that should be more than enough for this requirement.

 

The main dictionary definition of reverent is:

 

adjective feeling, exhibiting, or characterized by reverence; deeply respectful: a reverent greeting.

 

If you're deeply respectful, then you're reverent. End of story.

 

PS: to the poster who said that EdgeOfThorns IS a troll: shame on you! You don't define what reverence is for every person, and a "godly" person would never say anything like that. With those words you proved YOURSELF unreverent! (Disrespectful of others).

 

PPS: My son is also 17, also working on his Eagle project, and facing the same dilemma as EdgeOfThorns. Thanks to this forum for letting me vent a bit at the national organization and religious extremists who believe they own the organization, and use their intolerance to keep those with different beliefs out.

 

 

 

 

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Fellow Scouters,

 

 

EdgeofThorn said "I am an "atheist," and "I'm assuming you think I'm a troll"

It seems Edge started the name calling. Edge even offered the idea.

 

ahofer said "that only a small percentage of BSA members are religious fanatics -- the rest of us are with you"

 

I wonder where these statistics and percentages are from?? I guess ahofer has become the spokesperson for whoever "the rest of us" are, and their entire Scouting population.

 

Equally, isn't calling Scouts that make a declaration of religious principal a fanatic disrespectful? A "godly" person would never say anything like that. With those words you proved YOURSELF unreverent! (Disrespectful of others). Shame on ahofer.

 

Scouting Forever and Venture On!

Crew21 Adv

 

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