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Crossramwedge

Sign or resign

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As CC I am being asked to sign off on a Scouts Eagle project. I was there at the project and I really did not see him provide what I would call a leadership position to a great degree. His father has been the main thrust in the project. Besides that this kid does not care about scouting. His Dad bribed him with a car to stay in scouts. When he wears the uniform (shirt only) he kept it covered with a jacket or sweater. The day he helped with scouting for food he immediately removed his shirt and threw it in the back of his car when we arrived back at the church. I almost would rather resign as to see this kid get Eagle. He has done other things like vandalizing a fellow scouts vehicle, getting caught and arrested then never told or admitted to the other scout that he did it or apologized for it. He thinks he got away with it. His father has never even mentioned it either.There are other things. The point being that today is his LAST day before he turns 18 and I do not want to sign. I am literally thinking about resigning as CC so I will not have to sign. Drastic I know. To make natters WORSE I am also COR but I AM AT A quandary as to what to do. The vandalized kids father is livid that we would even think about giving this kid his Eagle. My son who is an Eagle says giving this kid his Eagle would be a disservice to him and all the other Eagles that did it the right way. The offended boys (vandalized) father is and has been the backbone of the troop for years and says he is going to back out. I do not believe this kid to be Eagle material and do not even consider him a good scout. Please spare me how did it get this far. I know we goofed up. My question is can the SM or anybody else sign off on the Unit Leader signature line on project completion and spare me from doing that.(This message has been edited by crossramwedge)

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My first question is (irrelevant to your dilemma, and I know you don't want to hear it), how in the world did a "Scout" who has had such blatant disregard for the Scout Law get this far?? Why did the Scoutmaster sign off on his advancement time after time? Why did the Committee sign off on his BOR time after time?

 

Ok - enough of that rant.

 

As to your current issue, Don't Sign!!!! Be transparent, let him know why, and be done with him and his father. Yes, his father with go berserk, and the "Scout" might be upset. But what message do you send to the other Scouts if he gets Eagle? Not a good one, that's for sure!! Far better they see that his behavior and disregard of the Scout Law has had significant consequences. You have a responsibility to the Troop, not this kid and his dad.

 

Where is the Scoutmaster in all this? Will he (she) support you in this? Does he believe this Scout deserves Eagle? Or is the dad such a bully that all have bowed to him?

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Honestly, I am with you on this. Except that today is the very last day until he turns 18, the project was already approved and completed, and the boy has (presumably) been in the troop and advancing for years. Whatever one's dismay or distaste, to suddenly raise the bar on the day before he turns 18 is probably not the right thing to do. Even if the bar has been ridiculously low up to this point.

 

Without knowing the boy/dad/situation it is hard to say if this might work, but what about having a heart to heart with the boy - just you, the SM, and the boy (leave "dad" out, at least for part of the meeting. This boy is nearly an adult and should be treated as such.) Tell him - "I have serious reservations about signing and this is why." Make him explain to you why he is ready to be an Eagle.

 

Explain to him why you are signing anyway (I think you should, if that isn't already clear), despite your reservations. Ask him to help you figure out how to avoid a future situation where anyone - boy, troop leader, fellow scouts - would be in a position like this. Make him talk it out with you, man to man. Be ready to own up to any constructive criticisms (implicit or explicit) about how the troop program has allowed this to come to pass, over a period of years, as well.

 

Of course, that could backfire. But I think it is better than simply resigning and ducking the real problem, which is that somehow, the boy got to be 17 years and 364 days, got to Life rank, with a project approved and completed, before a serious objection was dealt with in a serious manner. (hope that doesn't sound too harsh - I recognize that we don't all have control over every aspect and that these are complicated situations)

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>>My question is can the SM or anybody else sign off on the Unit Leader signature line on project completion and spare me from doing that.

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Hopefully the day B4 he is 18 is due to his just completing his project or merit badges just under the wire, and not due to you sitting on the paperwork for 3 months as you debated this issue.

 

There is an appeal process the boy can go throught when you do not sign. You letting him know your decision and letting him know that he has a right to contact his council and go through this appeal process ASP is fair to him..

 

Now, don't be surprised that the council will come down on you and ask you to think about it and reconsider.. This is because it is easier for them then dealing with an angry parent's ranting and raving, and going through the long appeal process.. You can just explain what was said here, they may try to make you reconsider, but just let them know you are fine with them going through the appeals process and makeing there own decision..

 

Be prepared to fill out paperwork, maybe show up to a few meetings on the subject etc. So the appeals board has all the facts in front of them to base their opinion on..

 

If the council does not approve his Eagle, he can then go through the process with National..

 

You should not have to resign over the issue. You can show the boys of your troop that there are consequences for his behavior.. If he does get his Eagle, it is not your troop who awarded it to him. Your hands are clean..

 

They may or may not over turn the decision. It will be up to them to weigh if the troop was wrong in letting him get this far without letting him know he was failing.. Or if they will see his behavior and lack of leadership for his own project as a reason to uphold your decision.

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As a CC, you do not sign off for the "Approval for Completed Project". The only sign offs required are Scoutmaster/Coach/Advisor and Representative for the Benefiting Organization. (I'm looking at my son's workbook right now as I have just signed it for him as SM.

 

If you are referring to his Eagle Application, then I think it should be up to your better judgement. You could sign the application and leave it to the Board of Review to address the issues. Will you be sitting in on his Eagle Board of Review? I know in our troop, the CC almost always does. Then the entire Board can decide whether this Scout has truely earned his Eagle.

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The question really is - "Which fight do you really want to have?"

 

1. Fight#1 = "The boy did not satisfactorily complete requirement #2: 'Demonstrate that you live by the principles...'

 

2. Fight#2 = "I as the CC did not do my job to maintain the advancement records, provide sufficient Unit administration, or correctly hold Boards of Review." Therefore I quit, and I am leaving the entire unit in the lurch.

 

3. Or just sign it.

 

The person who had the responsibility to ensure the youth was given the oppurtunity to grow, had plenty of coaching, etc, etc, is the Scout Master, not the CC. You're job was to ensure the unit was administrated effectively.

 

The CC signature is there to say "Yes, I know the records are valid, his membership is valid, etc."

 

The CC signature is NOT THERE to pass judgement as to whether the boy is "Eagle Material" or not.

 

The only thing that will come of a non-signature would be unneccessary drama that runs through the District, and eventually it will elevate to Council, and chances are the boy will be successful in getting Councils' signature. The youth will be proclaimed an Eagle, the unit will be identified as a "problem" unit, and no one wins.

 

If this Eagle candidate is signed-off, he will never be allowed to wear the badge, only the knot. If he hates Scouts so much then he won't be continuing as an adult, and his memory will fade into the background.

 

Requirement#2 is always the toughest one to "verify."

 

If the boy did the neccessary work on merit badges and leadership, and even tried a "little" to live by the law, then he has completed the job. No where on the application does it say "completed to the random level of expectation by a few people in your unit..."

 

he could do a rotten job leading, as long as he tried and had appropriate coaching. He could do a rotten job writing his plan and report, as long as he tried and had appropriate coaching.

 

The concept of "Eagle Material" has gotten way out of hand, and all too often units and even district boards of review slowly lift the "bar" and allow the requirements to effectively "creep" up and up. This is wrong, and needs to stop.

 

Craig

 

 

 

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I wasn't sure so I went to:

http://www.scouting.org/filestore/pdf/512-927.pdf

I looked at the Eagle Scout Leadership Service Project Workbook.

On page 11 I see that the project plan has to be approved by four people:

Religious institution, school, or community representative.

Scoutmaster/Coach/Advisor.

Unit committee member.

Council or district advancement committee member.

This approval is needed before the project starts.

After the project is completed it needs to be signed off by the:

Applicants signature.

Signature of Scoutmaster/Coach/Advisor.

Signature of the representative of religious institution, school, or community.

 

So as CC there is no need for you to sign off on anything.

Eamonn.

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If you don't feel comfortable signing it then don't. Let the appeal process work it's magic, I would not resign over this. If I disagree with what is going on, I would not comprise what I feel or believe just to please a dad.

 

I would refuse to sign and provide him documentation on how to appeal.

 

The folks on here are gonna brow beat you into feeling guilty and signing it. I would not cave.

 

 

Just that simple, sounds like the kid is a punk.

 

Just asking here cross so don't take this personal.

 

This is within the realms of a Scout is Reverent and believing in god.

 

This is within the realms of Scout Spirit.

 

 

If WE look a little harder at these young men instead of merely rubber stamping them earlier on in their scouting careers we could prevent this sort of thing from happening.

 

I am going to talk with our SM, CC and COR are going to discuss this thread tonight. We have a couple young men who are on track to be in a position just like Cross described.

 

(This message has been edited by Basementdweller)

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Are you talking about the Eagle Project or the Eagle Application?

 

As the CC you do not sign off on the completion of the Eagle Project. That is done by the Scoutmaster and the representative of the organization for which the project was done. You may have approved the project plan, although this can be done by any Troop Committee Member.

 

You do sign the Eagle Application in the Unit Approval Section. You can refuse to sign. If it were me, I would do that expressly on the application along with my phone number. The scout would then go through the appeals process. I would submit a letter explaining your reasons to the District Advancement Chair and the Scout Executive. I would also show up at his Board of Review and request to speak to the Board. They do not have to hear you, but they likely will. Do discuss your concerns about the project, the vandalizing of the car and other issues with his not living the scout spirit. DO NOT go into the bit about removing his uniform, it makes you sound petty.

 

Where is the Scoutmaster on this? Did he approve the project and application? The two of you should be united on this.

 

As for it being his birthday tomorrow. Your signature is not required before his birthday. What needs to be completed prior to his birthday is: all merit badges, the project itself, his position of responsibility and the scoutmaster conference. Basically, everything about the CERTIFICATION BY APPLICANT line.

 

The applicant should be told in writing why you are not approving his application along with the steps he needs to take to appeal.

 

Then get ready for a battle. Stopping it will take a great deal of effort, especially if you and the Scoutmaster are not in agreement.

 

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First the good news - it's found in the "fine print" in "The 12 Steps from Life to Eagle". It reads "If a unit leader or unit committee fails to sign or otherwise approve and application, the Eagle candidate may still be granted a board of review. The failure of a unit leader or unit committee to sign an application may be considered by the board of review in determining the qualificaton of the Eagle candidate".

 

In other words, if all the requirements are completed (note I said completed, not completed to your satisfaction) and the only thing missing is your signature, the lad still gets his BOR. You can simply punt this to the BOR and let them make the decision. So you can not sign this with a good conscience - you've not approved of this, but you've also not yanked the rug out from under the Scout at the last minute.

 

Ultimately, the Scout may still be awarded the Eagle rank - that's now going to be a matter between him and the BOR (and potentially National if he's turned down and appeals.

 

If I were you, I would not sign, explain to the Scout and father that the lack of your signature doesn't mean he can't get his BOR. In fact, I'd make sure that I contacted the District Advancement Chair and let him/her know you've not signed, but that the lad is still entitled to his BOR and facilitate that.

 

Now the bad news. I would also "fire" the "backbone" of the unit for delivering what is essentially a "him or me" ultimatum or resign as CC and let someone else deal with him from now on. Yes, he has legitimate feelings of hurt and anger - but making a "my way or I'm gone" threat isn't very helpful, friendly, courteous or kind to you. This isn't about the other Scout, this is about this leader not trusting YOU to do what's right, and to handle this situation properly. I would personally find it most discourteous of someone to come to me with this kind of threat. Frankly, I'm the type that takes them up on it the moment they make the threat. I would have told him as soon as he said he would back out that you were sorry to see him go, his service was appreciated, and his resignation was accepted. But that's up to you - you might be able to live with that. I know I wouldn't want to.

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We had an issue similar to this a few years back. But scoutmaster has the final sign off.....scout spirit/scoutmaster conference......and he refused to sign it off.

 

The boys father got so pissed he took it all the way to National and our SM was getting calls left and right about it but he wouldnt back down because he knew very well that he didnt deserve the eagle scout. National didnt over ride him.

 

The scoutmaster did make a deal with the boy that if he showed scout spirit for a year or something like that hed sign it off.....and the boy did just that but then we never heard from him again.

 

So Troop has the power to stop somebody from making eagle and if the boy doesnt deserve the rank and they should do that.

 

The eagle scout rank is a recognition of high moral character .the army recognizes it employers recognize it, schools recognize it, even some insurance companies recognize it.if we have too many eagle scouts walking around that sour the name then it wont mean as much when decent eagle scouts want to get somewhere.

 

So dont leave because you sound like you are on the right track and thinking of scouting and everybody else involved. But defiantly dont sign the form.hold your ground.

 

So the answer is neither sign nor resign. Best answer is to just hold your ground and prepare for some phone calls and this boys angry parents. It will also show the other boys that if they want that rank they better deserve it.

 

Worst comes to worst council or national will over ride you.... but its better then sitting arond and letting it happen. and if you have a solid argument then they probably wont. One of the other posters were right though....try to get the SM on your side. have a talk with him and see if he'll stick with you.

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Heck, don't sign it, this is covered here:

 

http://www.scouting.org/scoutsource/boyscouts/guideformeritbadgecounselors/rankadvancefaq.aspx

 

Question: How is the information from the Eagle Scout Rank Application assessed by the board of review?

 

Answer: The unit committee reviews and approves the Eagle candidate's record before his application is submitted to the local council. If a unit leader or unit committee member does not sign or approve his application, the Eagle candidate may still be granted a board of review. However, the failure to secure such a signature may be considered by the board of review in determining the Eagle candidate's qualifications.

 

Now, this reference has been impugned in the past, but if you want a reason not to sign and still be CC, then don't sign it and pass it on to COuncil and reference this website. It is in the BSA website.

 

At the Board of Review have all the things mentioned that you listed and then see what happens, at this point its what you can do

 

Next, Eagledad, I must disagree with your statement

 

"When it comes down to judgment of a scouts character, if the scout has completed all the other requirements, National generally sides with the scout."

 

National does not side with the scout, not do they oppose the Troop, they follow the rules . If the scout has records showing he has passed all the requirements, exhibited scout spirit, passed a Board of Review for Eagle, and now somebody says the kid was always a rotten egg, I can see reticence on the BSA's part to beleive someone would go this far thorugh the program and be the pond scum these youth are portrayed.

 

Crossramwedge says he knows the unit messed up, I would hope he wants to work to assure this never occurs again because if it does then he should resign, but not now

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I agree with artjrk, Eamonn, and Jet526. Your signature is not required.

Unless it was not approved in the first place in which case THAT is a problem. You can't be asked or required to approve something after the fact when the procedure is clear that it must be approved beforehand.

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