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New Eagle Certificates

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Was at our local office this afternoon and saw a new batch of Eagle Certificates. There is now no signature of the Honorary President at all. It is simply not there anymore. Earlier this year, they still had Bush on it; so guess they were using the older ones up. The cert itself actually looked pretty good, as did the latest card version.


So, is this the latest trend; or is it simply a stop gap, and the Honorary spot will be returned at a later date?

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Our DAC was telling us that over the years the parents or boy get upset over who the honorary president is, some people even request new creds when new president is elected. Guess this is the result of that, and it doesn't matter what party is in power.



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Is this a certificate that automatically gets sent by national to council after the application is approved, or something you have to order separately? (I ask for personal reasons, as my son's "Eagle packet" is supposed to be arriving from national "any day now", I'm just not sure what's in the packet.)


Either way, it's a shame. I would have liked my son to have had a certificate with the President (of the U.S.'s) "signature" on it. I would hope everyone would feel that way, regardless of who the president happens to be at the time, and how one feels about that particular president. This is a ceremonial, not a political document, and the signature of the president as Honorary President of the B.S.A. is really a symbol of the country that adds something to the occasion.


On a somewhat related note, I know that letters come from the "President" if you send a request, but I have observed that different administrations handle this differently, and the letters aren't always actually in the name of the President. My brother thought he was getting a letter from President Reagan, but instead he got one from Vice President Bush. (Actually my brother didn't care, but my father was annoyed about it, and he was not a fan of the President in question.) And I noticed that the Scouts who made Eagle in the G.W. Bush administration received letters not from "President George W. Bush", but from "George and Laura Bush." A separate letter from Michele Obama would be fine, but I'd like to see my son get one from her husband as well.


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From what little I've read, there was an article from a Grand Junction newspaper that mentioned an apparent "snafu" at the White House level that was going to be corrected immediately. Sites that linked to that article (or maybe was quoted in the original article - not sure) included a quote saying "the Preseident refused to add his signature". I have my doubts on the last part - as much as I'm against Pres. Obama and his policies, I doubt Mr. Community Organizer would be looking to alienate large swathes of the general public over something like a congratulatory certificate.


I hate to say this, but I'm giving the President a little leeway on this on - coming into office and trying to hit the ground running (GWoT, recession, stimulus, health care, etc.) probably pushed "add automatic signature to BSA Eagle Certificates" down towards the bottom of the list. Particularly in the White House offices (and with a different party from his predecessor), there is likely a large amount of turnover in WH staff. Unless I see more solid information, I'd put this in the "soon to be corrected" column.


Sure there may be people who don't like which President "signed" their certificate, but even with recent Bush and Obama hatred, was it that different from the feelings of those who have Nixon on their certificates? I would hope the BSA doesn't cave in to the perceived pressure and remove the Presidents signature in an attempt to "please everybody". We can't have it both ways and choose who the Honorary President is, and then choose whether we want his (or her!) signature on our certificates. (Oops - "Yes we can" - see 3rd paragraph in pasted material below).


OK - looked into this a little further - found the following October '09 reply to a message posted at http://www.boyandgirlscouts.com/recognition/clarifying-president-obamas-policy-regard-boy-scouts-of-america/. The post is from Mike Walton (aka Settummanque), whom some of you may recognize (and probably know) from the Scouts-L listserv and other sites:


Settummanque (Mike Walton) Says:

7 October 2009 at 10:04 am.


Heres the information about the Eagle Scout certificates:


The question/concern was: This is more of a question then innovation. Several of my volunteers has asked why the Eagle Certificates has GW Bush as the Honorary President and not President Obamaa signature. Is there an answer that I can give them?


Its a printing issue more than anything else. The White House has to authorize the usage of the Presidents signature on various BSA certificates. As of today (7 October 09), the printing has not been approved.


As with the issue with those not wanting an Eagle Scout certificate with the signature of former President Clinton while he was in office, Eagle Scouts can receive a certificate WITHOUT the signature of the Honorary President of the BSA (the President of the USA) on the certificate by request from the BSAs Eagle Scout Service.


I personally dont know why the disconnect between the White House Office of Public Communication (the office which handles, for instance, the Eagle Scout and Gold Award letters of commendation) and the BSA I had thought that after the Presidents acceptance of serving as the Honorary President of the BSA that everything has been smoothed out and like in prior years, the neccessary approvals have been made for the certificates and other items. I guess things are different with this administrationor the fact that they are STILL working short-handed in many offices and those offices whereby the folks are not short-handed, they just dont get it and understand the importance of a little thing like insuring that national organizations like the BSA has the proper stuff




Sorry to make a long post even longer - this is from "Innovation Engine", a msg board that looks like it's part of the official BSA site. This was under "Moderator Comments" to the same question:


From: James (Jamie) K. Shearer, Department Manager, Program Impact Department


The process of securing the signature of the President of the United States to be used on the Eagle Scout certificate is a complicated process. Dialog to secure the President's signature, begun shortly after the inauguration, continues. Concerning not receiving congratulatory letters from the President when asked, I would encourage your Eagle board chair to contact his/her Senator or Representative.



"And that's all I've got to say about that."



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It appears that the obama administration (mr. community organizer), wants the Eagle CEREMONY date and doesn't care when the youth actually EARNED his Eagle. I checked another site and this is the response people are getting.

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Seeing how National has been going ever more on the cheap, it wouldn't suprise me seeing that Certificate eventually becoming down loadable from the net. Maybe they'll have a collection of Presidential sigs to photo shop from, also. Wouldn't mind having my updated with John Adams' as the Honorary...LBJ was too much of a scoundrel for me. ;)

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  • 5 weeks later...

not worth spinning off into a new topic -


Eamonn - does the award itself change with the monarch? Is it a different emblem for the Queen's Scout vs. a King's Scout award? (I think I have the terminology right).





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Yes, Eamonn, we'd still have the Queen's Award. And I guess the certificate would be signed (in recent years) by Brian May, CBE. Oh, wait, does that refer to a different Queen?


On a more serious note, as I said when this thread was first active, I do wish my son's Eagle certificate (received about a month ago) had the Honorary President's signature on it. Oh well.(This message has been edited by njcubscouter)

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The award changes, It's a Quuen's Scout when we have a Queen and King's Scout when we have a King.

My certificate is signed Elizabeth R.


I can see reasons why President might Obama might not want his name attached to a BSA certificate.

I was kinda hoping that he might be able to find a way, but it seems not.

I'm wondering if he will attend the next Jamboree?


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I am not from the area I live in now, I met a fellow Eagle and we work together on many Council events. Ever since he received his Eagle back in the 60's, at every change of president, he gets a new Eagle Card. it has his name and date of Eagle, but it also has the then president on the card. So, he has cards with Kennedy, Johnson, Nixon, Ford, etc on them. Cool idea


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