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Eagle Awards Through Apeeals

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Other threades have discussed the bias BSA has towards awarding Eagles to Scouts who go through various appeals to the council or national.


Personally, I'm not much interested in burdening leaders with all the rules BSA imposes regarding advancement and Eagle in particular. Troops should have substantial freedom to determine their own standards for what it means to be an Eagle Scout.


BSA can certainly do what it wishes with appeals and is free to hand out as many Eagles as it wished.


Each individual troop is still free to decide when a Scout has earned Eagle for itself. When a Troop figures a Scout has earned Eagle, usually awarding the Eagle is a fairly elaborate (perhaps too elaborate) process. An Eagle Court of Honor is often held, the Scouts name may be graven on the troop's record of Eagles and so on.


By contrast, perhaps a Scout awarded Eagle by the council or national should look to the council or national for honoring that award. The troop needn't recognize the award of Eagle unless it has met the troops own standards.



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Problem is that different folks interpret national policy different ways. Best example is thos folks who believe a scout does it one time and gets signed off versus those who believe that a scout must "master the skill" per previous BSHB before sign off to insure that "the badge represents what the scout can do, not reward for what he has done" or whatever the exact quote from G2A says.


I know of cases where the scout rightly appealed the decision. Heck I was almost one of them as the dist. adv. chair threatened to deny my Eagle b/c he didn't sign off on the ESSP paperwork, one of his predecessors did.


And I know of a case where the appeal was won by the scout, and the district advancement committee felt so strongly about the appeal's decision, that they resigned en mass. Sad thing is, I met the scout,and after talking to him I could see why the volunteers were upset.

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There is literally no way I could be any more in disagreement with the original post. Eagle boards of honor are done at the district level or higher - it is NOT appropriate for a troop to conduct them on their own. That alone should be enough to dispell the "troop can decide" notion. The Eagle is not a recognition by the peers like the Order of the Arrow election or Vigil Honor.


If there is a troop that is honestly petty enough to snub an Eagle, well that really says a lot more about the troop than the scout.(This message has been edited by rismith)

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Hello John Ponz,






That's exactly my point. National is free to award Eagle to whomever they wish.



That needn't have anything to do with who a TROOP recognizes as an Eagle Scout.


National may wish to award Eagle to someone who doesn't meet the troop's standards. I see no reason why the Troop needs to recognize that Scout.


(This message has been edited by seattlepioneer)

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Part of the agreement to BE a troop is that the CO promises to run the BSA program. Eagle is part of the BSA program and is not something that units can choose to add to or subtract from at will. If a troop were to decide they'd only recognize SOME eagles, I'd honestly hope national would pull their charter.

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"Troops should have substantial freedom to determine their own standards for what it means to be an Eagle Scout."


There is a reason the BSA publishes the requirements, and a guide to advancement to explain what it all means to people wqho can't figure out that the requirements are the requirements, and are no more or no less than the requirements. It's so that Troops DON'T determine their own standards for Eagle Scout. It's so that an Eagle Scout in a Troop in Paramus, New Jersey has met the SAME standards as an Eagle Scout in a Troop in Bakersfield, California.


Now I know Beavah is going to chime in with his usual statements about ideals and giving COs and Troops the ability to do what's best for the boys - and I don't disagree that it needs to be considered - but what Beavah consistently fails to understand is that there is no conflict between those ideals and the standards if you don't set up the conflict yourself. Follow the program and standards as they are written and you will always be on the right path - straying from the path is when you develop drama.


I speak from my own experience, having had to appeal to get my Eagle Scout rank - in my case, the BOR decided that because I wasn't a practioner of a mainstream religion, I was not eligible to get Eagle Scout since apparently I couldn't do my duty to "God". Fortunately for me, the Council approved it (it didn't have to go to National) because they understood my Goddess was every bit equal to their God. No where, in any documentation, did it say that Eagle Scout was only for Judeao/Christian Scouts but this BOR made up their own standard.


"By contrast, perhaps a Scout awarded Eagle by the council or national should look to the council or national for honoring that award. The troop needn't recognize the award of Eagle unless it has met the troops own standards."


Eagle Scout IS a National Award - it's one of the major differences between Eagle Scout and the other ranks. Units do not award Eagle Scout rank - National does. After the EBOR, the paperwork all goes to National for review and to award the rank - theoretically (and if it's ever happened, it's very very rare) National can review the paperwork and not award the Eagle Scout rank, even after the BOR has congratulated the Scout on earning the rank. And really, you would be that petty not to congratulate a Scout on being awarded Eagle Scout through appeals just because Council or National decided that you didn't understand the rules? What kind of example is that for a Scout leader?

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.Eagle Board of Reviews are a district organized thing.....What I mean by that is....what ever the district decides goes......Our district has gone from Unit level EBOR to District Level and there is currently talk of going back to Unit level.



There is no standard for this set by national....



You are also assuming the boy has actually earned it????? The unit knows and they should be supported by the district and national. We all know the scout that snookers you with a great first impression and later you learn was an idiot he is.....


There is no possible way for a district or national board to know a boy in the same manner as his unit leaders.....


Many current Eagles have not earned it.....


My favorite recent story is of the small boat sailing merit badge....Had 4 boys from the troop, during the knot tieing portion, all four tied all the required knots immediately but the cleat hitch.....which was simple enough. Had two Eagles, couldn't tie a square knot and to my knowledge never did tie them all... The Program director suggested that they should give their Eagles to the tenderfoot scouts that had the skill.



As local gate keepers......Don't let the boy slide on requirements.....All previously learned skills are fair game for questions during BOR's.......

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I have sat on a few dozen Eagle BoRs so let me snuff this out right now - previously learned skills are NOT up for review at the BoR. I've personally asked national about this and received confirmation.


And an edit for the exact langauge of the GTA: Not a Retest or Examination

Though one reason for a board of review is to ensure

the Scout did what he was supposed to do to meet

the requirements, it shall become neither a retest or

examination, nor a challenge of his knowledge.

In most cases it should, instead, be a celebration of

accomplishment. Remember, it is more about the journey.

A badge recognizes what a young man is able to do

and how he has grown. It is not so much, a reward for

what he has done. See Mechanics of Advancement:

In Boy Scouting and Varsity Scouting, message has been edited by rismith)

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rismith, it might be worth noting that the decision about whether EBORs should be conducted at the troop or district level (or council) varies from place to place. In my area, at least until recently, Eagle BORs were conducted by the troop committee just like any other BOR, except with a representative of the district invited to participate.


A few months back there was a good thread on the forum about people's preferences for Troop vs. District EBORs. What I remember is that people tended to have a strong preference for "the way we do it here," which ever that might have been. An interesting thread, though. It really gave a good insight into how other places do things. If I weren't a lazy toad, I'd look it up and post the link for you. Alas...I AM lazy.





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I went back to check on my information. This is what the GTA says:


Scout Rank

The particulars below pertain only to the Eagle Scout rank.

1. Council advancement committees must determine

and make knownmethod(s) for conducting Eagle

Scout boards of review: whether unit committees or

the council or district advancement committees

administer them, and also how board chairpersons

are selected.

2. If conducted at the unit level, at least one district or

council representative must serve as a member. If the

unit requests it, more than one may do so.

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I could careless about your claims to sitting on EBOR'S. Many of them members of this forum have as well. I dont know if your spinning a tall tail or not.


You can thump the GTA as much as you want there is no consistant standard. Locally skills knowledge are often asked.....such ask a base first aid question......


You understand a unit or activity that is run exactly like the book is like a unicorn.

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Quote: "Troops should have substantial freedom to determine their own standards for what it means to be an Eagle Scout."


The requirements are centrally established, published, and relatively clear. To be irked at someone "only meeting the bare minimum" is to misunderstand "requirements." The "bare minimum" IS the full requirement. Anything less doesn't cut it. Anything more is extra.


Maybe troops that want an award for some extra level of Super Duper Scoutliness could invent their own award and determine what standards are necessary to earn it.


Eagle is a fine goal and achievement. But it's not the end all be all that drives:

-Scouts wrangling in unseemly ways to get it

-Parents wrangling in unseemly ways to get it for their sons

-Scouters wrangling in unseemly ways to protect its supposed sanctity

-Scouters upping the ante to earn it

-Moral exhibitionists "renouncing" it to show their saintly support for gays or athiests

-Elaborate ECOHs


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