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Eagle Letters of Recommendation is NOT a requirement. Time to clear this up.

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packsaddle, packsaddle, packsaddle...


First the references are listed on the Eagle application, along with complete contact information. Unless the application is lost, the council will have the contact information for the references. Have you looked at the Eagle application in the last decade? http://www.scouting.org/filestore/pdf/512-728_web.pdf


If the letters are lost, those people can be contacted again.


If you read the full text regarding the references, you will see (as John posted and highlighted), the council MUST make direct contact with those references. He cannot have his EBOR denied or postponed JUST because the letters didn't arrive, but this still does not remove the requirement that the council must have direct contact with the references. If the letters don't arrive, the council MUST make direct contact.

Are we clear?

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As someone said, a tempest in a teapot. Clearly, the ONLY reason for dumping this added duty on the Scout is that the adults are too lazy to do it themselves.


Hey OGE, you haven't figured out how to censor without leaving the telltale evidence "This message has been edited by a staff member"? The forums have been relatively clean for quite a number of weeks, heh, heh, heh!

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You are right, it isn't fair to "dump it on the Scout." Instead, let's dump it on the council, who will dump it on the volunteers. Do I see your hand going up to volunteer to go spend 8 hours a month calling references, just so we don't have to "dump it on the Scout?"


Or maybe we should have the councils spend their precious resources hiring callers to do this, so we don't have to "dump it on the Scout." I know that is what I would like to see. BTW, how much of your $10 dues goes to council?


Or dump it on district. This weekend I only spent 10 hours volunteering on Saturday to teach a WFA course for council, and then 1 1/2 hours conducting an EBOR on Sunday. I have plenty of time! And we would much rather burn out our volunteers than "dump it on the Scout." He's only going to be an Eagle Scout; I'm sure he can't handle the stress.

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So now we are back to using the actual application to make the contacts. Not the reference letter forms. I'm looking at the topic of this thread again. "Eagle Letters of Recommendation is NOT a requirement."


If the council MUST contact the references, and they do this using the information on the actual application, not the reference letter forms, what the heck does anyone gain by also requiring reference letters...since the council has already CONTACTED the references from the information on the application itself?

Please explain.

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making the request to have those letters takes minimal effort on the boy's part.


It really makes no difference how much effort it would take on the boy's part, Lisa. It's not his responsibility!


it would be quite illogical to put up a major fight over this matter. The potential costs are great, while the benefits are minimal.


I have pitched a fit about this in the past. I took a Scout in my unit for his EBOR and was asked about five minutes before the EBOR was to convene if he has his reference letters. He said no one ever told him he needed them? The Advancement Chair looked at me and I told her no one ever told me, either. She then proceeded to claim that is the way we always do it. I then asked her to show me where it states letters of reference are required to which she responded "Well we will have to get them before the paperwork is sent to National." My Scout had his EBOR then & passed with flying colors. I have no idea how they dealt with the references but we held his ECOH about six weeks later. Moral of this little story - It's worth it!


I totally disagree with you Brent. No where does it state that the references MUST be checked prior to an EBOR.

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Okay, once again Brent in John's post he cites National's policy in this matter which is very different from your interpretation, why won't you just admit that once again are wrong and leave it at that. It DOES NOT matter what you or anyone thinks a boy should do it what National has mandated and they have have stated ,"an EBOR can NOT be postponed or denied because of a lack of references." That is all she wrote people, CASE CLOSED. Time to move on to something more constructive.

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packsaddle, packsaddle, packsaddle,

Please see my post to TCD. The council must make direct contact IF the letters aren't received.


Who do you think in the council is going to be making direct contact with all those references? Volunteers? Paid staff?


Instead of dumping this on council, the candidate should "do his best" to make sure the letters arrive.


Are you going to volunteer to make all those direct contacts? Let me know how that works out for you.


Ed, Ed, Ed,...

Please refer to the ACP&P. You will see all this information about the reference letters appears in Step 6, including the directive that "council must make direct contact..." Directions for the BOR are in Steps 8 & 9. I probably don't need to point out that Step 6 comes before Step 8 & 9.


You will also note that in Step 7, "...and references will be returned from the council service center to the chairman of the Eagle board of review SO THAT A BOARD OF REVIEW MAY BE SCHEDULED. That looks pretty straightforward to me. The chairman isn't going to schedule a BOR until he has them.

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In response to BrentAllen:


According to The 12 Steps from Life to Eagle in the Eagle Project Workbook (these are also in the ACP&P) it is not the councils (paid professionals) job to contact the references.


It is already in the hand of volunteers, the council advancement committee, to 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.

This wouldnt amount to hours and hours for a volunteer but only to the references that do not send in a reference, which should be very few in numbers.


There are a few reasons why it really bothers me about the procedure our district has for Eagle Reference letters.


My son dragged his feet about his Eagle Project and sending out his reference letters. Hes 18 on Nov. 12 and did his project and sent out the Ref letter requests 2 weekends ago.


When he was told that all his reference letters had to be in by his 18th birthday he was going to scrap the whole idea of getting Eagle as he didnt think that all his reference could get the letters in on time.

I told him to get the requests out and he could deal with any issues after his birthday.


I have to wonder how many other Scouts have done this. Most parents dont know or bother to learn what the procedure is and would have no idea that could appeal the fact that a Scout was denied an EBOR because they didnt get a reference letter in.


Another thing that bothers me about our districts procedure is that very few people know about it.

Our District has documents that outline their steps from Life to Eagle.

In our District each troop is supposed to have an Eagle Mentor who understands the Eagle project and the process for getting the Eagel paperwork in.


Not a single Scout or leader in my sons Troop/Crew have ever seen the District documents and the Eagle mentor for my sons Troop/Crew is on the District Advancement Committee.

All the scouts are told to follow the steps in the Eagle Project workbook.


How can a Scout follow the procedure when very few even know it exists?



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Gee Frank, I guess I don't know how to moderate/edit posts without leaving the tell tale script, I guess I have been remiss in my attendance in the monthly Moderator Educational Series.


To keep our Moderator status we have to accumulate 12 hours of education but since its expected that we all do more than required, its actually 15. But if its known that its 15 then doing 15 is just doing the expected so I guess I have to bump it up to 18 just to be sure... Oops, since I said 18 that will be expected guess that makes it 20, aww heck I better quit while I am ahead

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Sticks and stones. Whatever you believe Dunwoody but my scouting experience is not only much more diverse than yours it is at least up to date versus your prehistoric ideas. It must be tough on you Brent to not only be proven wrong but to go on believing and arguing you are right as your ship continues to sink, lol. Oh and for the record, as a former scouting professional I can tell you from first hand experience that a council does not waste any of their employees time ever checking references on an Eagle application, all they look for is that the application is complete and then they send it in, and that is the policy from National that all councils follow.(This message has been edited by BadenP)

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CNYScouter, I feel your pain. My son's birthday was about a month before yours and he seems to have followed a similar time-line. The difference between my district's "local procedures" and yours is that my son's letters did not have be in before his birthday. They only had to be at the BOR, which as you probably know, can take place after the Scout's 18th birthday.


I think that whatever the rules are, they should be the same for every council and district. Why should your son have had to get the letters in on one date, when my son could get them in by a later date, and when a Scout in a different district might not have to worry about them at all? And why should my son (and yours) have had to get the application in before their 18th birthdays, if that is not what national requires? (I say "if" there; I do not think it is required, but I am not positive.)


I realize that to some, this may not seem like a big deal. And in an ideal world, it wouldn't be: Every Scout who goes for Eagle would plan well in advance and get everything done in plenty of time without having to rush around at the last minute. This would leave time for the "extra added" things that you find out about at the end (as I had told my son, starting around his 17th birthday.) But it's not an ideal world, and when your son's Eagle comes down to a single piece of paper that may or may not be able to be completed or submitted in the next three days, or whatever, it becomes a big deal. It's a shame to see years of work not produce the intended result because some local person decided to add to the requirements -- even if, ultimately, it's the Scout's fault.

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Ed, Ed, Ed,...

Please refer to the ACP&P. You will see all this information about the reference letters appears in Step 6, including the directive that "council must make direct contact..." Directions for the BOR are in Steps 8 & 9. I probably don't need to point out that Step 6 comes before Step 8 & 9.


Brent (I'm only using your name once),


You are referring to the following are you not?


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.


You are correct regarding contacting the references but no where does it state that this MUST be done prior to the EBOR! So it's #6! Show me where these must be done in numerical order! Heck, the requirements for rank and merit badges, in most cases, can be done in any order!(This message has been edited by evmori)

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Sorry to hear about the lack of communication in your district.


At the council level, we have an "Atlanta Area Council Life to Eagle Guidebook" for Scouts, Adult Leaders and parents (found here: http://www.doubleknot.com/openrosters/DocDownload.asp?orgkey=1456&id=14281)(you might want to look at the flow chart on the last page of that document). It can also be picked up for free at the Volunteer Service Center. It is 32 pages long, 8 1/2 x 11, very informative.


At the district level, we usually conduct at least one Life to Eagle Seminar at Roundtable each year. We see the largest crowd all year at this Roundtable. I believe a similar program is also offered at Summer Camp by council. Our Troops aren't required to have them, but most have several Life to Eagle Counselors. We have a PowerPoint presentation of the Life to Eagle program on our district web page, found here: http://hightowertrailbsa.com/program.html You might want to look at slide 54.


Hope this helps.

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