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Eagle Mentor Pin on Scout Uniform


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25 minutes ago, The Latin Scot said:

I think that if the youth are 'disappointed' because a leader isn't wearing his Eagle Mentor pins on his uniform, it's only because they needed to be taught better principles more clearly.

First of all, if you were to change into a suit coat to receive the mentor pin and change back after, that would do the exact OPPOSITE of denigrate the significance of the uniform - rather, it would be a powerful demonstration of how much one honors the uniform and its proper wearing, and if anything, would only serve to increase its esteem and respect. 

I taught my Webelos Scouts about the importance of wearing the uniform correctly out of both respect for the uniform, the organization it represents, and themselves as members of this august body. I taught them about how the military is very strict about its uniform guidelines, as are police officers and other important service organizations, and I made sure to ALWAYS wear mine correctly. And they followed that same tone of respect for their uniforms while with me and when they moved on to Scouts BSA; my boys (bless their hearts) were known for ALWAYS being remarkably well-uniformed.

As they started earning the rank of Eagle, they would ask me beforehand about the mentor pins, since I had taught them in Cub Scouts that they weren't for uniform wear. So I would tell them that I trusted them to be clever enough and creative enough to come up with a solution. And every single one of them did! Most would present them in lovely little jewelry boxes. They were never disappointed, because they were taught to be prepared. That's what Scouting, properly done, is all about.

But when my Den Chief finally had his Eagle Scout ceremony, he had already just finished boot camp with the Marines - and he made it very clear to me that we would be appearing in his military uniform. So we had his Scout uniform displayed on a mannequin we found, perfectly arranged and looking very professional. But as we presented him with his medals and neckerchiefs, he pointed out to the audience very maturely that he was not to wear them on his military dress uniform, so we simply handed him the medal in its box, and placed the neckerchief on the mannequin. His example was a potent teaching moment for everybody there, and after that, the quality of uniform wearing in both the troop and all the dens in our adjacent pack improved to the point of nearly universal perfection, especially among my fellow leaders, who up until then were less attentive to the concept as I had been.

The natural consequence of this was that behavior, involvement, and maturity in our units improved dramatically. We never had problems getting the boys to volunteer or participate in activities, they were naturally willing to take the lead on their own troop affairs and advancements, the Cub Scouts were better behaved and more interested in learning, and the adults became more sincere in their commitment to the program. And much of that was because of the fact that the way we present ourselves affects the way we behave; like actors on the stage, our costuming affects the way we play our part.

But these things have to be taught, and I wonder how many leaders are able to effectively communicate these kinds of ideas to young people, and because they find themselves unable or unwilling to do so, end up being a bit too casual or too apathetic about the concept (as with so many other things in Scouting, uniforms being but one part of the much larger whole). And they do so at a cost; the benefits of the appearingly small extra effort go far beyond the Scouts simply "looking good" - it's about feeling good, about feeling right, and allowing that to help build the natural confidence that they will need and use to grow into powerful, effective leaders someday. We trivialize what we do not fully comprehend, but were we to really consider why we do the things we do, we would likely do them a bit better.

"Gravity" is a natural law.  Expound heartily to the contrary, yet the "Apple still falls."  Stephen J. Gould.

I absolutely and thoroughly reject your analysis.

Good luck with Scouting.

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If he truly poked (touched)the child that is physical abuse of a youth member under youth protection and he should be reported if he want to get all legal about scout rules.  

We have a new CM that knows it all because, well you know. He poked my kid the other day and stated loudly, "he can't that have that patch there, you know". Its a Whittlin' Chip patch on his

I have always electected to wear the uniform in accordance with BSA rules, to the extent that they are coherent.  Even the rule that official BSA "hat pins" may not be worn on the official BSA hat or

14 hours ago, SiouxRanger said:

"Gravity" is a natural law.  Expound heartily to the contrary, yet the "Apple still falls."  Stephen J. Gould.

I absolutely and thoroughly reject your analysis.

Good luck with Scouting.

This doesn't surprise me, seeing as it utterly opposes your views, and people don't like having their opinions dismantled so vehemently. It must be difficult for you to be countered so vociferously, and I am not by nature a contrary individual (quite the opposite in fact) but I opine that for the sake of the Scouts, for the sake of the institution of Scouting itself, it must be said. I will stand up for our youth and their program, regardless of how that advocacy is received or perceived. You are, of course, free to reject my analysis, but you are powerless to erase it, and will prove incapable of disproving it.

And as Obi-Wan dryly remarked, "in my experience there's no such thing as luck." There is hard work, and commitment, and effort, and study, and trust in the program, and trust in the youth. I have put in this effort for years now, and have reaped a rich harvest, proving to me over many years the certainty of the lessons I have learned, some of which I have shared here, others in other threads. I have invested years of my life into studying the core philosophies of Scouting as established by good and inspired men like Baden-Powell, Seton, West, Beard, and Hillcourt; practicing them, and teaching them, and the resulting evidences I have found are abundant beyond refute. Practice Scouting exactly, and you'll get exact results. You may not like it; you may even reject it - but you cannot disprove it.

Please understand that while this is certainly an incendiary point of view, I do it without any desire to discredit you, nor is this in any way personal. But we are talking about a program that is designed to help prepare our youth for the world ahead of them, and to protect them from all the harmful influences that would prey upon them were they to be ill- or unprepared. So while this might seem like a trivial matter to some, in truth it is the very smallest action which leads to the very biggest results - one by one, line upon line, precept upon precept. So many people have become inured to mediocrity, or casualness, or other laissez-faire approaches to working with children and youth - in fact, my generation is all but notorious for this kind of mentality - and I believe it is one of the most significant factors eroding the Boy Scouts of America today. So I will cling to the older values like grim death, because they work- I have seen it over and over again. Those who haven't seen its success are invariably those who didn't put in enough effort, or didn't trust the core program, and tried to modify it to make it fit their own ideas and worldviews. Sadly, such people seem to be the majority these days. 

I confess, sometimes I get nervous when I write posts like this. I try to be amicable and understanding whenever possible, and sometimes I would rather just be silent and let things pass. I have such tremendous respect for all of those who visit this forum, because I know they are here with the express interest of becoming better leaders and better Scouters. That is hugely significant to me, and I try to always bear that in mind when I post here - the people whose words I read on this screen are real people, doing their best with Scouting in an increasingly challenging world. Sometimes I feel like I should keep my mouth shut (or fingers bound, or what have you) and not try and offend anybody.

But then I think of how many millions of our nations youth could benefit from Scouting, if only we would do it right, if only we would fully embrace all of its methods and aims with all the energy of our hearts - and then I looked on my wall, where I have a lovely print with the tenets of the Scout Law, on which it says

Quote

 

A Scout is Brave
Bravery isn't the absence of fear, it's doing the right thing in spite of being afraid. It's standing up for yourself and others even when being criticized, mocked or even hated.

 

 

And so here I am. Fortunately, I doubt there is a single person on this forum who is capable of such malice, and we are blessed to have one of the most courteous, amicable online forums I know of (and  participated in many). Nevertheless, when I read the topic of this thread - Eagle Mentor Pin on Scout Uniform - I am compelled to ask along with Theoden King, "how did it come to this?" I am sure many are reading this now, wondering the same thing. Well, it came about because people wanting to do the right thing come here with questions. And there should have been a simple answer! Yet, alas, it became profoundly convoluted because so many people just don't like simple answers, and instead they attempt to embellish and complicate the basic concepts, feeling they lack sufficient 'intellectual embroidery,' or because the basic truths make it difficult for them to get away with their own lackadaisical approach to the program. 

The simple, absolute answer is: No. Parent and Eagle mentor pins are not to be worn on the uniform. It's so utterly simple; that is the answer! Nothing else needs to be said. It's easy for those who are sufficiently humble to understand why. Yet it's a massive challenge for those who put their pride, either in themselves or in their youth or in their position, above their principles - and few are as difficult to teach as the proud. 

We need to teach our youth better. We need to be better. We can all do it, but first we must be willing to accept that, maybe, just maybe, our approach to doing things needs to change. And that is the first step to wisdom. 

Edited by The Latin Scot
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I have always electected to wear the uniform in accordance with BSA rules, to the extent that they are coherent.  Even the rule that official BSA "hat pins" may not be worn on the official BSA hat or cap.

In training, I have advocated to Scouts and adults that they set a good example by following the rules.

I do not "call out" adults who ignore the uniforming rules because they may simply be unaware of the rules and because we have been increasingly short of adult resources over my fifty-three years in the program.  

I have "solved" the absurd Eagle Mentor Pin problem by buying, second-hand, an official BSA blazer for Courts of Honor.

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On 7/29/2021 at 2:13 PM, The Latin Scot said:

This doesn't surprise me, seeing as it utterly opposes your views, and people don't like having their opinions dismantled so vehemently. It must be difficult for you to be countered so vociferously, and I am not by nature a contrary individual (quite the opposite in fact) but I opine that for the sake of the Scouts, for the sake of the institution of Scouting itself, it must be said. I will stand up for our youth and their program, regardless of how that advocacy is received or perceived. You are, of course, free to reject my analysis, but you are powerless to erase it, and will prove incapable of disproving it.

And as Obi-Wan dryly remarked, "in my experience there's no such thing as luck." There is hard work, and commitment, and effort, and study, and trust in the program, and trust in the youth. I have put in this effort for years now, and have reaped a rich harvest, proving to me over many years the certainty of the lessons I have learned, some of which I have shared here, others in other threads. I have invested years of my life into studying the core philosophies of Scouting as established by good and inspired men like Baden-Powell, Seton, West, Beard, and Hillcourt; practicing them, and teaching them, and the resulting evidences I have found are abundant beyond refute. Practice Scouting exactly, and you'll get exact results. You may not like it; you may even reject it - but you cannot disprove it.

Please understand that while this is certainly an incendiary point of view, I do it without any desire to discredit you, nor is this in any way personal. But we are talking about a program that is designed to help prepare our youth for the world ahead of them, and to protect them from all the harmful influences that would prey upon them were they to be ill- or unprepared. So while this might seem like a trivial matter to some, in truth it is the very smallest action which leads to the very biggest results - one by one, line upon line, precept upon precept. So many people have become inured to mediocrity, or casualness, or other laissez-faire approaches to working with children and youth - in fact, my generation is all but notorious for this kind of mentality - and I believe it is one of the most significant factors eroding the Boy Scouts of America today. So I will cling to the older values like grim death, because they work- I have seen it over and over again. Those who haven't seen its success are invariably those who didn't put in enough effort, or didn't trust the core program, and tried to modify it to make it fit their own ideas and worldviews. Sadly, such people seem to be the majority these days. 

I confess, sometimes I get nervous when I write posts like this. I try to be amicable and understanding whenever possible, and sometimes I would rather just be silent and let things pass. I have such tremendous respect for all of those who visit this forum, because I know they are here with the express interest of becoming better leaders and better Scouters. That is hugely significant to me, and I try to always bear that in mind when I post here - the people whose words I read on this screen are real people, doing their best with Scouting in an increasingly challenging world. Sometimes I feel like I should keep my mouth shut (or fingers bound, or what have you) and not try and offend anybody.

But then I think of how many millions of our nations youth could benefit from Scouting, if only we would do it right, if only we would fully embrace all of its methods and aims with all the energy of our hearts - and then I looked on my wall, where I have a lovely print with the tenets of the Scout Law, on which it says

 

And so here I am. Fortunately, I doubt there is a single person on this forum who is capable of such malice, and we are blessed to have one of the most courteous, amicable online forums I know of (and  participated in many). Nevertheless, when I read the topic of this thread - Eagle Mentor Pin on Scout Uniform - I am compelled to ask along with Theoden King, "how did it come to this?" I am sure many are reading this now, wondering the same thing. Well, it came about because people wanting to do the right thing come here with questions. And there should have been a simple answer! Yet, alas, it became profoundly convoluted because so many people just don't like simple answers, and instead they attempt to embellish and complicate the basic concepts, feeling they lack sufficient 'intellectual embroidery,' or because the basic truths make it difficult for them to get away with their own lackadaisical approach to the program. 

The simple, absolute answer is: No. Parent and Eagle mentor pins are not to be worn on the uniform. It's so utterly simple; that is the answer! Nothing else needs to be said. It's easy for those who are sufficiently humble to understand why. Yet it's a massive challenge for those who put their pride, either in themselves or in their youth or in their position, above their principles - and few are as difficult to teach as the proud. 

We need to teach our youth better. We need to be better. We can all do it, but first we must be willing to accept that, maybe, just maybe, our approach to doing things needs to change. And that is the first step to wisdom. 

And what, we shun the apostates? Good luck.

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