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GKlose

seems like skirting the bare minimum

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Thanks, all -- I am fine with the decisions on both sides, and if asked, I'll submit a statement that lists my point of view, and I think I know enough about what has gone on in the past to give what I think is an fair and unbiased look at this situation.

 

I had my own personal dilemma -- as CC, do I sign or not? At this point, I have not been asked for my signature on the application. I did some basic research, such as "what does signing this form mean?" (that I approve of the Scout advancing to an Eagle Board of Review, with a completed application) and is it my signature, or my signature representing the committee (just my signature, near as I can tell)? I was wondering, in case it came up, if this should be discussed as a committee.

 

Ultimately, I decided that I most likely would not sign the application. I fully support Chris, with everything that he has done to support the rebuilding of this troop. We are, in fact, on the same page.

 

All that being said, I'm disappointed that the Scout didn't just come on two more outings (starting sometime back around February -- the troop had 10 outings between then and now, and one more which was cancelled).

 

50 hours? Not even -- I proposed, since I know the HS band schedule, that he make an appearance at our September and October outings, which is exactly what my older son will be doing. After the band season is completed, we have at least 3 more outings on the schedule, prior to his 18th birthday.

 

One odd thing the Scout said at yesterday's "conference" -- he said that he had stopped coming on outings because he didn't feel like he needed to any more. This was kind of like the "old guard" of the troop. Everything was about advancement, and when Scouts no longer needed outings (say for Camping MB), they didn't attend. We literally were down to 6 to 8 Scouts on an outing, out of a troop of 28. Two years at regular summer camp, then one or two years at "Eagle Week" for Eagle-required MBs. At that point, Scouts considered themselves done with camp.

 

Bottom line: counting back from now, in the three previous years, this Scout had been on exactly one overnight, and one day hike. Since his agreement, as I said above, there were some 10 outings that he had opted not to attend.

 

Guy

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I agree that the CC and SM are doing the right thing in simply not signing the eagle application. It is good for the troop and its programs that this surfaced now. This young man will have a great deal of difficulty explaining his unwillingness to do even the minimum while there is still time.

 

The experience in our troop a few years back left a very bad taste in all the adults' mouths. Contrary to a promise to solicit the unit leaders' views, the council just acted and gave that scout his eagle without so much as a telephone call to either our SM or CC. I am glad that the new procedures specifically state that the units' views will be solicited. We shall see how this works out.

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GKlose says:

 

Everything was about advancement, and when Scouts no longer needed outings (say for Camping MB), they didn't attend. We literally were down to 6 to 8 Scouts on an outing, out of a troop of 28. Two years at regular summer camp, then one or two years at "Eagle Week" for Eagle-required MBs. At that point, Scouts considered themselves done with camp.

 

That's awful. If your SM has done away with that kind of thinking among the boys, he has accomplished a great deal, regardless of what happens with this particular Scout.

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And so it begins :-)

 

I sent email to our District Advancement Chair with no other detail than there is a "disputed application" that will be on the way. He responded very quickly, asking me to call him tonight so that he can find out some details, and find out whether this can be resolved prior to the "disputed" circumstance.

 

NJ, I started a whole thread on "Rebuilding a Troop", which is under the Patrol Method forum. That post was the parent to this thread. That thread gives a more complete picture of what was going on in the old days, and the work it took to rebuild the troop. (and we still have a long way to go).

 

Guy

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I sent email to our District Advancement Chair with no other detail than there is a "disputed application" that will be on the way. He responded very quickly, asking me to call him tonight so that he can find out some details, and find out whether this can be resolved prior to the "disputed" circumstance.

 

That is exactly what he is supposed to do. This is part of that section of the Guide to Advancement that I didn't copy earlier:

 

If a unit leader or committee chair does not agree a Scout

has met the requirements, then before a board of review

is held, he or she should confer with the Scout and his

parents and come to an understanding of all viewpoints.

Guidance should also be sought from the district or

council advancement chair to assure expectations are

not more than are actually required. If the leader or chair

remains unconvinced, then they may deny approval

of the Eagle Scout rank application.

 

Your SM has already done what it says in the first sentence. Your email to the DAC initiates your part of the second sentence. Now the DAC wants to do his part of the second sentence. In other words, IF he hears the situation and believes the requirements have been met, it is his job to tell you, and ask you to reconsider. (Or, he can conclude that the requirements have not been met and that you are doing the right thing.) However, even if the DAC disagrees with you, it remains the decision of the SM and CC as to whether to sign the application. If they do not, then the "dispute" procedures can go forward.

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By the way, some people have speculated on why the Scout wants to do it this way. I inferred from one of GKlose's posts that the Scout probably needs (really "wants") to have his EBOR in September so he can put it on his college applications. That is, at least, a rational explanation, though not one in keeping with the spirit of the program. I don't think any of the other possible explanations, including that he wants to teach his parents a lesson, really makes any sense. I think (not knowing the Scout, of course) that he really DOES want to make Eagle, and he really does want to do it NOW. If that is the case, I think he is making a really difficult road for himself, because he is going to have to explain to the "Disputed BOR" why he didn't just go on the two outings, and he can't say "Because I wanted Eagle for my college applications." So he is going to have to make up another story, and chances are he is going to trip himself up. Or he will just have to insist on "Because I finished the requirements now, and they can't make me wait four or five months." In other words, he is going to have to say he didn't go on the two outings for the principle of the thing. If I were sitting on that BOR, I don't think I'd buy it. Of course, I would have to find a requirement he didn't pass. Under the new Guide to Advancement, he probably DID pass "active", and I think there is something under "Scout spirit" that warns against using that requirement as a substitute "active" requirement. I think the "Scout spirit" requirement is supposed to be tied to the Scout Oath and Law. How about "trustworthy"? He DID agree to go on three outings and didn't do it, so is that a lack of trustworthiness? On the other hand, he now claims that he only agreed to "try". So who does the BOR believe? But even if they believe he only agreed to try, who is going to believe that he was really trying if he couldn't attend three outings in almost a year?

 

So now, with many more facts presented than when I first posted in this thread, I think this Scout is making a big mistake and is rolling the dice when he didn't have to. (And still doesn't have to. Maybe the DAC, after having a word with GKlose tonight, will then decide to have a word with the Scout.)

 

How it will end, I will not predict, but it is definitely not the "slam dunk" (in his favor) that I (and several others) thought it was near the beginning of the thread.

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NJ, I think you're pretty much capturing the situation dead on. I'm sorry to be coy about what the Scout and I talked about on Monday (actually, I did more listening than anything else, because I sensed that the Scout wanted to be heard, not to debate his viewpoint that particular time).

 

One of the things he mentioned was his timeline...he told me that when he returned to the troop, he mapped out a timeline for what he had to do, and that he had nailed it all along the way. It's kind of odd, in a way, because both Chris and I were getting updates on his Eagle project progrress, and he completed it pretty much the day he wanted to, on his plan, which was right before his family took off on a week-long trip to Canada (by the way, that same week, the troop was in Canada as well, at a summer camp). The day after all of us returned, HS band camp started.

 

So about the timeline -- I took this to mean that he had mapped out in his head that he'd get requirements complete on schedule, then he'd hit a September EBoR. The missing signature put a wrinkle in his plan. I, too, think that is the reason why he is going forward without the signature. It fits his plan.

 

Guy

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More data from last night, and NJ, I think you're foreshadowing this just fine :-) --

 

- yesterday, Scout's dad calls the council office, talks to our relatively new DE (I think he is a rookie), and is referred to the DAC.

- as I said earlier, I sent email to the DAC, and he invited me to call him last night, and he said that he had a few questions

- I responded to him, agreeing to call, and added a synopsis of the argument

- I called, and talked to him for about a half hour last night; he said that he would also be talking to the Scout and to SM Chris

 

The DAC asked me one question that had completely slipped my mind until then, and I'm sorry I didn't add it to the discussion here earlier. He asked me if we had a written troop policy on attendance, which applied to everyone, and whether or not the troop committee had approved it or not. We do have one, and it is fairly liberal. There is a link for it on the front page of our troop website.

 

He further told me that he will gather his notes from the various interviews, and talk to the Council AC. We both know the CAC -- he used to be our DC back when we were a different district -- the DAC and I were about half of the district committee at the time :-)

 

So the DAC and the CAC will decide on whether to refer this case to an EBoR. The DAC did tell me that they've had a philosophical discussion about this sort of thing in the past. He said that they agreed that unless it is a case of "Scout discipline" (being removed from a troop for disciplinary reasons, after some sort of incident) that they would probably always refer it to an EBoR. I told the DAC that I don't have any problems with that at all.

 

So if this is referred to an EBoR, that will happen on 9/20, provided they haven't already filled up every slot for that night already. In that case, the EBoR would be on 10/18.

 

Guy

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B-dweller, I think you missed it in what I wrote, but I will hereby admit to over-bloviation :-).

 

We do have a written policy, approved by the committee, and it is on the front page of our troop website. I do believe that Chris addressed Scouts, at one of our past meetings, and talked about the policy.

 

Also, and I don't mean to overanalyze what you're saying, but I don't really view this as a possible overruling. If the DAC/CAC and District Advancement Committee decide to go ahead with an EBoR that's fine with me.

 

Now if they come back to us and tell us that our troop attendance policy isn't right, we'll probably discuss it, and then modify accordingly. But that's a separate issue.

 

Guy

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Yah, GKlose, what is your attendance policy, just out of curiosity?

 

Da current procedure is different than it used to be, eh? Used to be an appeal was handled separate from (and before) an EBOR. Now the procedure is that da district EBOR is sort of the first "appeal."

 

So the procedure goes like this:

 

1) DAC/CAC decide whether the request for an EBOR under disputed circumstances is "frivolous". This case sort of strikes me as being on the edge. I'd consider a request just because yeh don't want to go on two outings over the next 4 months in order to meet some artificial schedule of your own pretty frivolous (in that it's not da sort of thing yeh should waste other people's time over). But if it's not frivolous, then...

 

2) The EBOR is held at da district, and the SM's and committee's lack of approval are taken into account as part of the EBOR. Written statements or telephone interview summaries must be obtained from the scoutmaster, knowledgeable committee members, and others familiar with the case. The board proceeds like regular EBOR except that there's more careful focus on da issues in question. If they unanimously decide he gets the rank, then he does. If not, then the lad may appeal to the council, and after council, to National.

 

B

 

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Based on one of the posts way above (I think it was by Fred), the issue may not be what the written policy on attendance is now, but what the policy was in the six months after the Scout's Life BOR. In other words, the Scout may have already passed the "active" requirement, in which case the agreement to go on three outings is irrelevant -- to the "active" requirement. As I said somewhere above, it could be relevant to "Scout Spirit", specifically trustworthiness, particularly when the Scout, even as we speak, still has the ability to satisfy his obligations under the agreement.

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Basementdweller -- I'm relatively at peace with the process now, and don't feel all that invested. I feel more an emotional attachment to this thread. All of you have been great asking for clarity, offering advice, etc. so I feel as if I should follow up, not only with what is going on in this circumstance, but also to answer questions that pop up.

 

Beav, I'll post our participation policy later on. As I said earlier, it is fairly liberal, and is written to reflect the question of "sufficiency" back to the Scout. A legal document it ain't. :-)

 

Newest news: the DAC sent me a note back looking for advancement records, and records of attendance for this Scout, on outings and on service projects. If you'd like to see those specifics, I'll post them here.

 

 

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Our written participation policy, verbatim:

 

Troop Participation Expectations

 

Our troop, like any organization, does have expectations for participation.

 

Scouts are members of patrols. These patrols are set up to make a functional team. When a scout does not participate they affect the whole team. This limits what a patrol can do and their ability to compete and grow.

 

All that said we understand there are many demands on a scouts time. For that reason we are not setting an explicit requirement for participation. Rather we expect the scout to learn how to make intelligent choices.

 

What does this mean to you?

 

If you do not have a leadership position:

 

We expect you to put in the same effort you would for any other group activity such as a school athletic team or band. We understand that events collide and this can reduce a scouts participation during certain months. What we ask is when this happens the scout let his Patrol Leader, the Senior Patrol Leader and the Scoutmaster know what is going on. When there is no conflict we expect the scout will attend the troop meeting/outing/service project.

 

So if you think a sports team would accept a 50% attendance at practice and events then we expect the same. Personally I have not met a coach who would accept that level of participation and allow you to remain on a team.

 

If you do have a leadership position:

 

We expect you to put in the same effort you would for any other group activity such as a school athletic team or say band if you were say the team captain. We understand that events collide and this can reduce a scouts participation during certain months. What we ask is when this happens the scout let the senior patrol leader and scoutmaster know what is going on. When there is no conflict we expect the scout will attend the troop meeting/outing/service project.

 

So if you think a sports team would accept a 75% or less attendance at practice and events then we expect the same level of commitment. Personally I have not met a coach who would accept that level of participation from a team leader and allow you to remain as a team leader.

 

Certain ranks (Star-Eagle) require participation leadership role execution. Consider this when accepting a leadership role. If your attendance is deemed unacceptable you will be replaced and the role will not count towards the rank.

 

We really prefer that scouts put forth a good faith effort and that we don't need to deal with this issue. That said, if the troop feels a scout is not making a real effort to attend meetings and outings the troop will set explicit participation requirements for that scout in order to advance. This is especially true at the higher ranks.

--

 

Guy's note: this policy was put in place about a year ago. In other words, prior to the agreement with the Scout in question. Enforced? It hasn't been an issue, until now, and I think there are 3 other Scouts with verbal agreements (like this one) in place. Two of them are doing just fine, and progressing, and the third one appears to have dropped (he's another long story, but I would guess that you've had enough long stories from me for awhile!).

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