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

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But wouldn't it be nice if everybody, in every district, were following the same rules?


Nah. Too many different districts and councils out there, eh? Rural, urban, lots of volunteers, ones barely functional. We don't standardize da how to operate stuff in Scouting because all that would do is make it worse (and make people pissed off) everywhere.


I honestly don't get all da adult angst over letters, eh? I've yet to see a scout who had the least trouble with it. They're all gettin' letters for college or da military or whatnot. It's routine and easy. Lawyerin' the difference between step 6 & step 7 is to my mind just da province of adults with too much time on our hands.


If your area requests/requires letters, tell the lad to get the letters. He'll be just fine with it.




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"AHH OGE and your style is to use or abuse your moderator status to manipulate things to your line of thinking,"


Thats right, and only like thinking clones of myself are able to post here.


Such like thinking people such as Beavah, Brent, Ed, Lisabob, Packsaddle, John-in-KC, Kudu, Merlyn, NJCubDad


we are all such peas in a pod

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Here's where I'm a little confused (and can't remember what I did when I got my Eagle):


It seems there's a difference between what is in the ACP&P and what's in the Boy Scout Handbook.


The Handbook shows requirement 2 as "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, including parents/guardians, religious, educational, and employer references." Taken directly from the scouting.org website(http://www.scouting.org/scoutsource/BoyScouts/AdvancementandAwards/eagle.aspx).


This requirement says LIST. It doesn't say list and request a letter. It doesn't say list and obtain and turn in. Just LIST.


That to me means that all I (as hypothetical Eagle candidate) need to do is make a LIST of references who would be willing to provide a recommendation on my behalf. Granted, inherent in that is verifying that these people would be willing to provide a recommendation. And the requirement doesn't describe the form that the recommendation must take.


So, if a scout only needs to list the references, according to the Handbook (a Scout's main resource for advancement), why are there extra steps mentioned in ACP&P that the Scout is required to follow when he would not generally know about them? The only mention of ACP&P in the Eagle Requirements (on the website) is when it directs a Scout with a disability there to discuss alternate requirements.



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The 12 steps from Life to Eagle are in the Eagle Project Workbook which is now required to be used for Eagle projects has the complete procedure we have been discussing and is the same as shown in the ACP&P.




I personally dont have a problem with having the Scout send out a form or letter requesting a reference letter.

I do have issues with requiring the reference letters to be in before the council will sign that they received the Eagle App/Project Workbook and placing end-all-date for when the letters need to be in are required when it spelled out very clear what the National guidelines are.


This entire issue for me started when a couple of people on our district advancement committee told me that my son couldnt earn Eagle in a Crew.


I have a problem when I am told what National Policy is when its suits a persons (advancement committee) needs but ignored for their own made-up policies.


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Ah, thanks CNY. Didn't realize the Project Workbook contained all those requirements.


Although, I will say that I stand by what it says in the Handbook. If there is more added by the Project Workbook, then language should be added to that requirement in the Handbook. Perhaps along the lines of: "Your local Council will determine how those references are to be contacted and will indicate to whom the letters (if required) should be directed."


Or re-evaluate what's in the Project Workbook in terms of how the references are considered. Example: when applying for a job, I provide names and contact information of references, but I generally don't bring reference letters with me to the interview or attach them to the application. It's generally up to the potential employer to contact the references. I simply LIST the names and information of my references.


Seems to me this is what is supposed to be done when applying for Eagle.


And indeed, the ACP&P says "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.)" Step 6 in the Project Workbook.


This, to me, puts the onus on the Council to contact the references listed by the Scout as necessary. But I suppose an argument could be made that some Councils designate the Scout as the person to contact the references, since no qualifications are made about who may serve as the Council's "designee."


So, to the heart of the initial question, letters MAY BE required, depending on the Council.

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Well, Beavah, I guess we disagree. Or maybe we are talking about different things, which as I have said before, is a problem in this thread. If we are talking about the requirements for what has to be submitted to the council, and when, those are set by national and should not be changed by a council or district. In CNYScouter's example, I think it is simply wrong for the council not to accept the application before his son's birthday for the reason that the application is not accompanied by five letters. The national procedures do not say five letters, or any letters, have to be submitted before the 18th birthday. Now, it's easy for you to say "tell the lad to get the letters" and "he'll be just fine with it." But CNY's son's birthday is tomorrow. He doesn't have all five letters. Assuming that we don't learn from CNY tomorrow that the five letters did appear before the deadline, are you saying his son should not make Eagle because of a "local requirement" that his council decided to add to the national requirements?


What my council (or district) does is bad enough, by requiring THREE letters or the BOR will not take place, when national says the BOR cannot be delayed or denied due to a lack of letters. But that "local requirement" is much different than what CNY's son is facing. In my son's case, "tell the lad to get the letters" is what happened and there was no problem getting it done, because the BOR can take place 60 or 90 days after the 18th birthday with no questions asked, and an extension can be given after that. (Fortunately we did not need to find out whether it is 60 or 90, since my son passed his BOR three weeks after his birthday. Although one of the letters was not actually in the SM's hands until very shortly before the BOR. And, although I didn't ask my son, if I had to guess I would suspect that they didn't even look at the letters. Three of the BOR members have known my son much longer than two of the letter-writers anyway. In this case the letters were really a meaningless paperwork exercise, but far from the last my son will have to comply with in his life, so I'm not upset about it.)


So I guess what I am saying is, sure, try to follow the local rules. Make every effort. But if it turns out to be impossible, and the national rules have been complied with, then the council should just back down and process the paperwork rather than make the Scout (now an adult) go through an appeal that, according to national's rules, should be a slam-dunk.

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Perhaps this is another example of 'local option' but in this council, the Eagle application does not have to be sent to the council prior to the 18th birthday. As long as all of the written requirements, including the entire service project and SM conference, are completed prior to the 18th birthday, the rest of the process may be completed during the 'grace' period. From reading some of the other posts, I'm liking our council more and more even if they might occasionally, you know, lose records or accidentally scramble the boys between troops. I mean...when they're that busy just trying to find their cheeks with both hands, maybe they're too busy to add requirements.

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I'm in the same council as Packsaddle and while I've never had the experience he describes in sending in the Eagle app after the 18th birthday, ours does not require letters. Frankly, I'm not even sure they bother to check the references the scout puts on the application.

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You can stand by the Boy Scout Handbook or BSA Requirements all you want; at the end of the day they derive their authority as BSA program literature from ACP&P. It's the governing document.


Advancement is the Borg; you will be assimilated ;)

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Assuming that we don't learn from CNY tomorrow that the five letters did appear before the deadline, are you saying his son should not make Eagle because of a "local requirement" that his council decided to add to the national requirements?


Hiya NJCubScouter!


As a CubScouter, yeh may not be aware that there is no requirement that a BOR has to be held before the lad's 18th birthday. Also no requirement that all da paperwork has to be in by the birthday either. It's completely routine and ordinary for Eagle paperwork and reference letters and Eagle Boards of Review to be conducted after a lad turns 18.


So what you're worried about just ain't an issue.



(This message has been edited by Beavah)

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You can stand by the Boy Scout Handbook or BSA Requirements all you want; at the end of the day they derive their authority as BSA program literature from ACP&P. It's the governing document.


That would be incorrect.


ACP&P is just program literature, same as da Boy Scout Requirements book and the Handbook, eh? They all derive whatever "authority" they have by virtue of being authorized print jobs from Irving. And in that scheme, da Boy Scout Requirements book is the official text on advancement requirements (because it has the shortest revision cycle).


Da document from which "authority" is derived is the Rules and Regulations of the Boy Scouts of America.


But AMulls, I gotta wonder whether yeh think it's also too much to ask da poor, overworked boys to fill out an Eagle Scout Application, eh? That's not listed in da requirements either.




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The letters come up again:


ACP&P, Religious Principles, pg. 45,, item #4:

If a boy says he is a member of a religious body, the standards by which he should be evaluated are those of that group. This is why the application for the Eagle Scout Award requests a reference from his religious leader to indicate whether he has lived up to their expectations.


Notice it doesn't say "list who the religious leader is" but says the application "requests a reference from his religious leader." I guess this is just more "reading between the lines."

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Heres an update-


I suggested that my son contact the DAC about his concerns about the reference letters and the App signature. I also suggest he contact the SE asking the same questions.


So far no response from either.


When by 8:30pm he did not get a response he gave a call to the office manger of the summer camp where he worked.

This person is the DAC for another District in our council and does the Life to Eagle seminar every week during summer camp.


He told my son that the Eagle Clerk should have stamped the date on the application he turned it in and his letters of reference do not have to be in by his birthday.


So far we have been told 4 different procedures by 4 different people none which match up to the 12 steps from Life to Eagle in the Eagle Project workbook his Crew leader told him to follow.


Everyone seems to be following there own set of unwritten rules.


He received an email for one of the people he asked for a reference. She is the program director at the summer camp where he worked. She was in no big hurry to send in his reference as the district she is in does things completely different.


My son is completely frustrated with the whole process and cant understand why everyone has a different set of guidelines even in our own District.


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It sounds to me as if we are discussing two separate (though related) issues here.


On one hand, we have the specific case of CNY's son. From what CNY describes, his district is not of one mind on how the Eagle application should be handled. I think everybody could probably agree that there needs to be a clear and consistent set of guidelines to follow, and that this doesn't appear to be happening in CNY's district. They would probably benefit from getting all of the principles together to figure things out and clarify for the entire district.


On the other hand, we are talking about the general idea of expecting Eagle candidates to ask their references to provide a letter of recommendation (or a rec. form). This more general idea, I don't have a problem with, as long as the district (preferably the council) is clear and consistent in its expectations.


Scouts should not have to have a super secret decoder ring to discern the process. But nor should they balk at an otherwise reasonable request that is designed to help the process work more smoothly in their favor.


CNY, I wish your son the best of luck.

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