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This question came up in a Troop committee meeting and I am not sure of the answer so help me out.

We have an active Scout who is 16 years of age. He attends the outdoor activities about 85% of the time. He has held several leadership positions and always done a good job. His rank in now Life Scout. He has never caused any problems in the Pack or Troop.

Several weeks ago, after he got his drivers license, he was pulled over and was given a DUI.

Will he be able to get his Eagle rank?

The best we are getting right now from Council is for us to call National. What do you all say? Thanks in advance.


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There's no prohibition on it. I'm not aware that National runs any kind of background check and automatically disqualifies certain people.


In practice, I see a couple of possibilities. One is that it doesn't even make it into the data that goes to the district Eagle board of review, they don't know about it, and there's no issue.


The other is that the district board does know about it or is told about it. Then the question is whether they will view it as disqualifying. This might depend very much on your district board.


Either way, I don't know that I'd start off with a call to National. How are your district boards held? Are you familiar with who runs them? Do you think they'd even know about the ticket?

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Much depends on how he has responded to his poor choices. He still has time to prove that he deserves to be an Eagle, though it may be that some additional time might be warranted to reinforce his demonstration of Scout Spirit, and to prove he has learned a hard lesson.


One poor decision is not grist for complete disqualification; but certainly it is reason for a serious discussion with him regarding his mistake and so on. And, it should perhaps be a point of discussion in an actual board, though diplomatically done as delving into his lesson learned.


We have had a couple of boys who made poor choices who became Eagle. One had plenty of time to prove himself prior to his completion. The other made his poor decision a few days before his scheduled board, as part of a group of graduates who pulled a stupid prank at their school that resulted in damage. He came forward immediately and admitted his guilt, and he made arrangements to pay his portion of the damages. But, it was a serious point of discussion in his board; but he personally breached the subject right at the start. He and I had had a very long discussion as to how he should handle the situation, and his bringing it up at the start was part of that counseling. He passed, and went on to spend a tour of duty in the service and has never had any problems since.


Just my opinion and observations from a long tenure as a Scouter.

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Let's back up. This youth member got his license and then got a DUI??? The least of his problems is will he get Eagle! Right now, depending on your jurisdiction, he may be well looking at juvenile hall or jail time. If he's worth the time and energy, and I hope he is, support him getting out of the jam first.


In addition, as Beavah and perhaps the Judge will tell you, if he has his EBOR before this gets cleared up, and he talks about it, well, those are people the prosecutor can call as witnesses against him.


When he's out of the jam, focus on a lot of mentorship about doing the right things ... because they are the right things.


Then, when he's got his head out from where the sun does not shine, and he understands the meaning of Obedient in the Scout Law, maybe it'll be time to talk with the DAC and whoever coordinates EBORs in your District.


Personally, today, if he (or his parents) insisted on an Eagle Board of Review (if he's otherwise ready), I'd be voting to defer six to nine months, and watch him live the Oath and the Law during that time.

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Let's not forget that he has been charged with DUI, not convicted. It doesn't sound like his EBOR is coming soon so I would suggest waiting to see what happens next. Let's not convict him in Scout court before he faces the judge. He may not be convicted. If he is, more details may emerge that will make the course clearer. After his day in court he will also be able to talk about the experience without fear of it being used in court.

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Definitely wait until all the legal stuff shakes out.


A lot is going to depend on the Scout and his parents and their attitude toward the whole thing. Hopefully they are contrite and willing to work with the troop. In an ideal situation I would suggest the Scout lay back for a while, keep his nose clean and take the time to show everyone he made a one-time mistake and has learned from it.


Whoever you spoke to a your council is chicken poop. If someone needs to call national, THEY need to make the call. Talk with your district or council advancement chairman, assuming that's not the same bozo you already spoke with. Ask them, hypothetically, if the troop delayed or denied the Scout Eagle based on a DUI and then appealed, how would the council handle it? What's their view of how national would rule on such an appeal.


Personally, I don't think a DUI at 16 is an Eagle game-stopper. My hunch is that the council and especially national would not support a denial. If that's the bottom line, then the troop's position needs to be how to make the most of the situation with the Scout.

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I'll make this easy for you. If the scout in question were MY son, there would be a lot more things going on that he would need to concern himself with than earning eagle or even scouting for that matter. He wouldn't be doing either as he would probably be detoxing in a clinic and then be meeting with a drug & alcohol counselor in a child and adolescent unit of a behavioral institution. Again, let's make this very clear. In the above senario I'm talking about what would happen if it were my son.


Do I sound like I rule with an iron fist - you are most certainly correct.


Since the shoe is on the other foot, I think I would add my two cents to the SM and committee if asked and tell them that the boy should concentrate on his legal battles and cross the other scout bridges later if he still has time.

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Apache Bob,



Earning Eagle and climbing that trail is more about character building. It is not so much about how many merit badges they can earn, nor is it so much about the rank. But that an Eagle has the foundation of a good citizen, leadership and communication traits.


I've made the mistake it saying and typing before too. But let's not say "get" and "his", as in "will he be able to get his Eagle rank". The decision if he will earn the rank of Eagle will be the EBOR, based off of his performance as a good Scout and citizen.


I have also commented before. There are a few Scouting magazine articles over the years, that have illustrated Scout troops and Eagle Scouts inside of juvenille detention centers. Some of these boys have hit rock bottom, and bounced back to become outstanding citizens and respectable adults. On the opposite side of the coin, there are also, maybe just a handful of adult Eagle Scouts, that have made bad decisions as adults, and maybe some serving the public for a few bad adult decisions.


I have not met any Eagle Scouts with an underage DUI; but I have known a few different Life Scouts, that have been caught with hard liquor, cigarettes and/or even narcotics over a few years. Most all of them were not only punished, but changed their performance and still earned the rank Eagle. Though their future life is still left to be told on how positive an effect Scouting had on them becoming model citizens.


As for this 16 y/o active Life Scout in your troop. I would enjoy sitting in the EBOR and hearing about how he made a mistake, how he owned the mistake, and then he improved his performance and character from it.


Good Luck to him. Hopefully he can pick himself up, confess that he made and error and get back on the Scouting trail.



Scouting Forever and Venture On!

Crew21 Adv

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Will he be able to get his Eagle rank?


Not right now.


First, let me say that when a lad is caught using drugs or excessive alcohol it is almost never the first time. Kids get caught only after they've been usin' for a while and started gettin' careless.


Hopefully, all the adults in the boy's life recognize this, and respond like Eagle007. Otherwise, sadly, it is often those of us in the legal system that are left to deal with such things as best we can. For juveniles, it's always best if those whose trust was broken take the lead in the response.


Now Apache Bob, yeh might be one of those special scouters for whom this lad is the equivalent of a son to yeh. In that case, I think yeh should act that way for him. Go to court with him. Lay down the law with him, because that's what love demands. If not, yeh wait and let the parents and the others in the boy's life do their thing. And yeh wait for the court to do its thing. If an EBOR was pending, you postpone it indefinitely. If a project was pending, yeh postpone it as well.


Then, down the road, when the lad is clean and when the lad comes back to you expressing a desire to pursue Eagle rank, yeh sit and have a SM conference with him. Yeh discuss where he's at, whether he's met all the terms of his sentence and probation, whether he's done his community service and then some. Yeh discuss how he restores his position in the troop and the respect and example that an Eagle should be. Maybe he teaches the second class boys about the dangers of drugs and alcohol. But he should do somethin' to acknowledge that he disappointed his fellow scouts, and to restore his honor in their eyes.


Only after that... after contrition, after restitution, after all debts are paid and commitments to the future secured... only after that should Eagle be back on the table. Then yeh tell him it will be hard, others may ask him questions, but that you'll support him. No promises, but whatever level of commitment and character he demonstrates between now and when he turns 18 will count in his favor.


If he lives up to that, then I reckon most EBORs would approve him for the rank. More than that, Scouting will have done its part in helpin' him learn one of life's important lessons.


But now is not the time. Deal with da other things now, because they are far more important. Eagle can wait.




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The problem you may have is you may never know the outcome of his DUI due to his age.


At 16 in most states the records are going to be sealed, so unless you ask him and he is willing to talk, you won't know. Speaking strickly about NY laws here, a 16 yr old would be a Youthful offender and his first conviction on a Misdemenour would be set aside and the record sealed.


At this point I wouldn't ask him anything about it, because you may cause him future court issues if he confesses anything to you, plus like others have said, Innocent until proven guilty.

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doubtful he will have jail time. More likely he will have his license suspended for a good long while. He may get some community service such as speaking on the topic of drinking & driving (good for communications mb).

A single DUI is insufficient to prevent a Scout attaining Eagle, especially if his near-term behavior is now exemplary

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I believe much depends on the Scout in question. Scouts cheat on tests, get girls pregnant, drink alcohol under age, take illegan drugs, lie, etc. - so does a vast majority of the population. I don't condone that type of behavior but I don't think it is fair to expect perfection either.


I the Scout willing to get help (if needed)? Is he combative to authority? Did he slip up just once?


To me, this in and of itself, is not a show stopper. How he responds to the incident will reflect on his character. Underage drinking is an issue. The fact that he got into legal trouble because of it - to me - does not make it more of an issue.


Another thing to look at, in my judgment, is if the Scout does show improve judgment and character going forward, will the awarding of the Eagle rank help or hurt this individual?

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Mister T:


As you said, Requirement 2 is the hurdle.

Demonstrate that you live by the principles of the Scout Oath and Law in your daily life.


Right now, that's a huge stretch. OBEDIENT is the seventh point, and that includes the civil law. Here's what Troop Program Features has to say:


Leader: Life is filled with things that we must do whether we like them or not. One of the marks of growing up is to willingly accept responsibilities.


Scouts: A Scout is obedient.


I'd have a very tough time at this immediate juncture accepting his demonstration of living this point of the Scout Law. The good news is there's between a year and two years to see how he reacts to this moment in his life.

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