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I believe our district advancement committee is abusing scouts.


scout X submitted his initial write-up back in Oct 08.

He did not recieve any response. He sent emails, left phone messages, etc.


I got involved about December. Meeting with the committee at roundtable to try to work through it. They were very distant. They made statements along the lines of "your project will not be approved" but did not give any reason.


Eventually, in Feburary, after I contacted my DE and DC, the committee met with the scout, myself, and the scouts father(an ASM).


At this meeting the committee told the scout "make these changes and we will approve your project"


The scout spent 2 months working on his detailed write-up,

reviewing with me as he progressed.


Early April he submitted his write-up.

After 4 weeks without a response, he started to send emails and voice mails, without any response.


I got involved after 6 weeks of silence. I started with the DE, and was referred to council advancement. After voicing my concerns, they indicated they would look into it.


I was told by council advancement that it's my fault because I got involved.


The scout eventually got his project signed in early July.

When the adv chair showed up to sign the project he made some disturbing statements:

+ "I'm sorry you got caught up in all of this"

+ "National prohibits plant removal in Eagle Projects"

I believe the only reason for the signature was to make this problem go away.


What recourse do I have to force the removal of this committee ?


How can I force the committee to justify their decisions/actions ?


Should I get Child Protective Services involved ?



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What does Youth Protection train us to do if we suspect abuse within Scouting? Report it to the Scout Executive.


Personally, I don't see this as child abuse, but that would sure get the SE's attention.


I would, however, ask him if he intends to clean up this mess within the council of if you need to appeal the process to national?

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"What recourse do I have to force the removal of this committee ?"


Contact your council advancement committee and district leadership and complain.


"How can I force the committee to justify their decisions/actions ?"


Ask them. If they decline to answer, you can't force them to do anything.


"Should I get Child Protective Services involved ?"


Uhm. Huh? If you want to get laughed off the phone by CPS, go ahead.


Screwing up a procedural paperwork process is not "abusing Scouts." Calm down a bit, and then go take the district advancement chairman for a cup of coffee.(This message has been edited by shortridge)

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I am confused. Where is the abuse?


When I read the story at the very best I see a committee with poor responsiveness and poor communications. But the scout also took 2 months to make the suggested corrections. It seems he was not in much of a hury either.


At the worst maybe it is group of Scouter's on a power trip who intentionally put up road blocks to scouts.


If you have knowledge of any child abuse and you are a registered scouter then you are obligated to report it with the Scout Executive. He can handle from there.


If it is simply a performance issue then you need to discuss this with the District Chairman.

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I do not think I explained this very well...


here are some facts to clear things up:

The project started off as "invasive plant removal" covering about 6 acres of a city park. It evolved into planting over 100 trees and removing the plant removal from the write-up.


1. the scout was trying to get a verbal approval from the DAC before doing the detailed write-up.

2. The DAC had an open offer to do this at roundtable

3. The project was rejected without any reasons

4. Similar, but different, projects have been done at this park

5. The DAC, during my meetings with them, stated "we don't like repeat projects"

6. The DAC told the scout to proceed with his detailed write-up in Feb

7. The DAC told the scout "we are rejecting your project because of the reasons we told you in February"



The way I see it, an intentional, deliberate delay (by not returning messages) or any other intentional delay is mental abuse.


The behavior of the DAC is not unique to this project, or even my troop. It is not uncommon for them to instruct the scout to make changes, then at later meetings, tell him it needs to be changed back to the original.


One of the DAC members was having a general conversation about a project. She said "I have not read the project yet, but I am sure that I will find something wrong with it. We'll knock him down a peg or two"





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Can't help feeling that I'm missing something?

Here is what I'm understanding.

The Lad sent the paperwork in to get an Eagle Scout Leadership Project approved.

Did he use the BSA book?


This was in October.


When I have had to stand in for the District Advancement Chair and a Lad wants this done, I meet with the Lad and we go over what he has put down on paper.

Unless the project is something that I know will never meet the approval of the ESBOR or doesn't meet the criteria that Eagle Scout Projects should meet. (Yes this has happened.) I will offer my suggestions about what changes need to be made.

More often than not, working with the Lad we go about making the changes then and there.


While I know Districts do things there own way and each District can do things differently. I do find it a little odd that a District Committee would meet when a R/T was going on? I think the reason many of the District Committee Members may have sounded distant? Is because they more than lightly had no idea what was going on. I'm now serving on the District Committee as Membership Chair, I have no idea what the Advancement Chair or Advancement Committee are up to.

The write up was sent in October.

When in October? October 31st?

Where was it send?

People have send things intended for me to the Council Service Center. The nice Lady there has held them for me expecting that I will pop in and I haven't popped in!

The DE has seen that there is something there for me and taken it saying that he will see me at a meeting. Then one of us isn't at the meeting. Or he adds it to the pile of stuff that lives in the trunk of his car and only remembers that he has it after I have left and we have a high speed chase which any James Bond movie would be proud of.

November is a strange month! (I was born in November!) We have Veterans Day, a holiday and we have Thanksgiving a holiday and the Friday after Thanksgiving another Holiday for some (Me anyway!). That entire week is a "Lost Week".

December can be hard on Scouting. Not only do we have the holidays, but in our area we can have snow. After a rough ride to work, a hard day at work and then a rough ride home, I'm happy to stay home, put my slippers on and pet the dogs. Dealing with Scout stuff that might entail me leaving my nice warm cozy home defiantly takes second place.

January? It takes about a week to get over the holiday, take down the tree and get the house back to where it should be.

It's still cold and chances are there is more snow then there was in December.


I'm really lost when I read:

"The scout spent 2 months working on his detailed write-up,

reviewing with me as he progressed."

I don't have a project work-book at hand. But if the Lad wrote six words each day for sixty days? He'd have ran out of space.

My feeling is that it wasn't so much the detailed write up that was at fault? But more what was in the details? Of course I don't know that.


"I was told by council advancement that it's my fault because I got involved"

Maybe just maybe? When the "reviewing with me as he progressed." Was going on the project became more your project and less of the Scouts?

The project is an Eagle Scout Leadership Service Project, when adults take over the leadership part of it is lost.


I have no idea what ""National prohibits plant removal in Eagle Projects"

Is about? Maybe if you posted more details?


What recourse do I have to force the removal of this committee ?

Not sure which Committee you want removed?

But each and every COR can attend the District Committee Meeting. He can voice the concerns about anything he feels unhappy about at this meeting. Once a year a new slate of Officers is voted in at the Annual Meeting. He or she has a vote.

"How can I force the committee to justify their decisions/actions ?"

Again the COR can ask this at a District Meeting or at the Council Annual Meeting.


"Should I get Child Protective Services involved ?"

Clearly you are upset.

But if you look up the services that Child Protective Services offer I think you will find that clearly nothing that has been done to this Scout is anything that comes under the services they offer or can do anything about.

While it does look like some things and some areas do need looked at and could be improved upon.

You also need to look at things that you and the Troop might do differently.

I would suggest that:

1/ Always use the Project Work Book.

2/ Never send the book anyplace. When a project needs signed off make an appointment (Have the Scout make it!) To meet with the person in charge of doing the signing.

3/ Allow the Scout to do everything. - It might not be perfect or the way you or his Father might have done it, but it's his project. He is the one showing his leadership ability.

4/ Be very careful about using the word abuse.

For most of us volunteers it is a word we hate to hear. It makes us think that a child has been physically or sexually abused or harmed.

5/Be even more careful about talking about involving outside agencies who really do not and can not do anything.

Scouting is all about relationships.

If I think that you are a nice fellow who has gone out of his way at time to help and do things for me? There is far more chance that I'm going to put decorating my Christmas tree on hold and leave my nice warm house to go and meet with a Scout from the unit you serve. Than if I think your the guy who at one time wasn't very nice.

6/ If you do want to follow up on what you think has been done wrong here. Provide your COR with the full details and allow him to present it all to the District Committee.

Allow what comes from this meeting to be whatever it is.

If you decide to make some kind of a "Cause" Or a vendetta?

My guess is that nothing good will come of it.







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Our District approves Eagle projects at roundtable as well. This seems to work in that the DAC is there, and can have the projects presented to a panel rather than one person for approval. They have recently instituted the process of having the initial project presentation being very detailed, in order to get a better feel for the project.


The communication issue in your post disturbs me. How was the DAC contacted? By phone, email, letter? If the DAC is not returning messages, then you should go have the proverbial cup of coffe with the District Committee Chair and/or the DE, just to clear things up. Also, I agree that a write up should not be sent out or left in the care of someone, as it can get misplaced. The Eagle candidate should have control of the project and its details at all times.

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As a rule someone who can go over projects is at the R/T meeting.

In fact we hold ESBOR's on the night of the R/T.

But this isn't when the District Committee meets.


Most times I have found that when someone isn't returning my calls, messages -Whatever? There is a reason.

Maybe not always what I might think is the best of reasons! A reason never-the-less.

I have at times had to deal with people who are shall we say "Less than helpful"? When this happens I have found the best way to deal with them is to kill them with kindness!

Sure it means at times having to bite your tongue. But a big by-product of doing this is for me, a way of rubbing their nose in it. My way of telling them "Hey buddy even if you have chosen not to live up to the Scout Law, I'm not going to go down to your level."

It is a sad fact that many people in our organization do tend to make up rules as they go along, or are given the wrong information. We see that a lot here in the forum.

When this happens, asking where the BSA has stated such a rule? Is the best way to deal with it. Ensuring that the information given is indeed from the BSA, not something that some guy has posted on the net! At times even I have been guilty of posting stuff that I thought was true, only to find out later that I was way off course.


As I read what has bee posted it seems to me that this is a case of adults who never learned how to play together. Each is trying to score points and the poor kid with his project has got stuck in the middle.

If it wasn't against the Scout Law? Maybe bashing the adults heads together might be the best thing to do! Of course that is never going to happen (I hope!)

We all need to be aware that what we do is seen by the youth we serve, what we say is heard. When we put down another adult or making threats? We are not showing a good example or any kind of true leadership.



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The project was submitted via email with a followup phone message.


The DAC insists that each email be followed by a phone call because he "does not get every email"


After 4 weeks, the scout repeatedly sent emails and left voice mails for the DAC.

Not one of them was answered.


Bouncing back to January, I met with th DC and DE. This is what prompted the meeting in February.


It seems that the only way to get a response from this committee is to get either the district execs or council execs involved.


The council advancement committee "researched" what happened beginning in June, and determined it was "a communication breakdown". Council blamed the whole problem on me, stating "you just piss people off when you get involved". However, they fail to acknowlege that the scout gave the DAC ample opportunity to respond BEFORE I got involved. I did not instigate the problem. I simply went up the chain when the scout was left out in lala land, waiting for a response that will never come.


How is it that the DAC does not have to live up to the scout law ?

I do remember courteous and kind, but I must have missed rude and disrespectful.


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Stripping out the emotion,


The issue of trust by a unit that a District Advancement Chair is trained properly and is supporting units belongs to two people:


- The Chartered Organization Representative of a unit which is questioning the DAC, AND


- The District Chairman.


May I suggest your unit SM and CC visit with the COR to prep him, then have the COR ask for a business meeting with the District Chairman?

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That process certainly sounds unpleasant. Makes me happy for our district, as goofy as it can be sometimes.


If you get your Eagle proposal to the Eagle guy by the X day of the month (near the end), then your project will be reviewed at the monthly meeting that happens early the next month.


I think you generally have the right to a more predictable process. But you're more likely to get it by being friendly. All these people are volunteers. I've found my life to go much better once I started to assume that everyone wants to do a good job as a volunteer, and just try to figure out how I could help them do it.

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Yah, what Oak Tree said, eh?


District folks are volunters, just like unit folks. Often district folks are also scouters in other troops. They have their own lives and schedules and commitments. Sometimes, if they've been in a long while without relief, they can get slow and disengaged. Solution might be to get some fresh folks from your troop to volunteer at da district ;).


Whatever this is, it is not child abuse. Child abuse, both mental and physical, has a very specific meaning in da laws of your state. To falsely accuse someone of child abuse is defamation (aka slander or libel). Not only is it not in keepin' with da oath and law, it's somethin' that provides them with a legal cause of action against you. So yeh need to stop repeatin' that nonsense, it's just plain wrong. I reckon despite how poor their communication has been, take da feedback about your involvement as a gift, eh? Yeh might find a different style gets yeh better results. More flies with honey than vinegar, eh? ;) Better yet, have someone else in your unit who is good at that sort of thing handle it for you.


Now, to push for some new blood on your district advancement committee, da magic person to talk to is your COR, eh? He/she is your voting member at the district committee. Annual meetings for districts where new officers and committee chairs and such are approved are usually a month or so before da council annual meetin'. Your COR needs to go to those monthly district committee meetings and start havin' some conversations with folks. And participate in the nominatin' process and da votes on positions.



(This message has been edited by Beavah)

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Now, with the possible exception of Beavah, most of us here aren't attorneys, and we didn't sleep last night at HoJos... but...


Abuse has specific terms in statute law in your state. You will have to ask an attorney licensed in your state for exact meaning and for how your situation fits. At $100 an hour, that should lighten you wallet a bit.


Or ... you can listen to the friendly fuzzy critter...


You've not said who you are in the Scouting food chain. From where I sit, District Committee staffing is a matter between CORs, the District Chair, and the DE. Your COR is the right man locally to push any objections. If you have a neverthere COR, well, you've just learned a lesson in blood about why units should cultivate relationships with their Chartered Partners.

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"The fact the they are volunteers is irrelavent."


OK. Now I'm confused. Who is it that you're saying is being abused here, you or the Eagle candidate or both? My first impression was that the District was nonresponsive, then I got the impression that they were ticked off at you specifically, and now I get the message that you feel you're being abused.


I think there is more to the story than we're seeing, and it is hard to give good advice when you're not given a full picture. Is there some history between you and the Council we should be made aware of?

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