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slontwovvy

Eagle Scout or not?

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I have a very interesting dilemma. There is a Life Scout going for Eagle in my troop; the rest of the leaders disagree as to whether he should be allowed to do so.

 

He is 17 , turns 18 in early October. He has all his merit badges and has his Eagle project approved, but my doubts remain. He has been a Life Scout for two years almost. He shows up for around 1/3 of the meetings, and maybe one outing in eight. When he does show up, he never provides leadership, just sits there and leaves. Even when he asked people to help with his Eagle project, he left after doing so. His Eagle project will be over 100 hours, but he will have done around ten hours of work.

 

Here is the dilemma: I am considering not signing him off due to lack of leadership. His father and mother are taking his side, arguing that their son has attempted to show leadership, it just has been stifled by the troop. (He tried to build a troop web site but he wasnt taking into account security concerns, leaving information that shouldnt be posted on the site, such as phone numbers, addresses, etc. He later removed it, but refused to do any more on the project. Then he claimed he could count his school activities for leadership in the troop, which I denied.) His father, and Eagle Scout himself, refuses to accept this, saying that our troop is being too strict.

 

I have a problem with signing this boy off, but the other assistants and Scoutmaster have no qualms. What does everyone else have to say about this, just out of curiosity?

 

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You say the scout has been a Life Scout for close to two years, did he fulfill his six months in a position of responsibility? If he completed six months is an acceptable position of responsibility and he has an approved service project, how are you going to deny his application? It sounds like it may be a case of bad

attitude, but how did he get to be Life? Had you ever talked to the scout before about his attitude and lack of leadership or will the first time he learns of your feelings is when you refuse to sign off the leadership requirement?If you have a documented trail of counseling you will be ok, if the scout claims he didnt know of your disapproval until you refuse to sign, how will you refute him?

 

The reality is, you can refuse to sign, he will appeal to Council. They will ask if he has his 21 merit badges, evidence of a completed leadership project and what role of responsibility he held for six months. If those things checks out, 10 to one he gets his Eagle.

 

Why do the other leaders think he should be an Eagle, do they have lower standards than you or or your standards unrealistic (I have no idea, its only a thought) Sounds like a real quandry, what if he proves himself through his Leadership project, could you see him squeaking through? Anyway, those are my thoughts, I want to see what other people think.

 

 

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He got Life before my time as a leader, I don't know how.

 

In my opinion, he has not had his six months of leadership. As I said before, he rarely attends anything and usually stays quiet when he's there. About the only thing I can think of that he's done is served on a camp staff for two weeks two years ago. However, he hasn't shown the leadership in the troop.

 

He's been talked to about these concerns before, not by me but by another adult leader who's been silenced by the dad's allegations.

 

I don't see myself as having particularly high standards. I want the project to be over 100 hours, which he is doing (albeit with only ten of those himself). I just want him to earn his Eagle rather than have it be given to him; my fellow leaders have come down with Eagle fever, in my opinion.

 

 

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Interesting angle there, he made Life before you became the leader, so this is an inherited problem. You mentioned he hasnt "shown" leadership, and most likely hasnt, but the Eagle requirement is to serve in a position of responsibility for 6 months. Does his record show he did that?

 

Another tactic maybe is to meet with the scout, tell him your concerns. Lay out what you expect of him in the next couple of months. You appear to be unimpressed with his Eagle project (as would I with him only doing 10 hrs of work), however, as it got approved, then you cant hold that against him. (I would want to talk to the Advancement chair in your District to ask him how it got approved)

 

Then, after you have laid out your expectations, inform your Council what you did so when the family complains, they will know about it from your side first.

 

Good luck!

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Many senior scouts come back to their troop to finish Eagle Scout before they are 18. Many times they were very active when they were younger, it is not unusual for a boy to be life scout at 13. Now if your troop takes his money and registers him on your charter, he is counted as an active scout. Now as for leadership, if he has 6 months as an accepted troop jr. leader then he will be an Eagle Scout.

This is the National Standard and many Scoutmasters have trouble accepting this point. In my experience this is the biggest reason a scout will be granted an appeal to National.

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1. If he was elected or appointed to a leadership position and held it for 6 months it counts whether he did anything or not (you'll find this discussed a lot throughout this forum).

 

2. The fact that he personally has only put in 10 hours doesn't inherently mean he didn't do enough on his project. It's a LEADERSHIP project -- how did the 100 hours get done, did he delegate, seek volunteers? That would be good.

 

Now, with that said. You don't have a chance of withholding Eagle on this kid BUT, now seems like the time to start working with the younger scouts on being GOOD leaders, developing and carrying out good projects, etc.

 

Our troop has a history of producing paper Eagles, IMHO. We have gotten through most of that with one or two kids still struggling between the old way and the new way.

 

I understand your dilemma completely. I have been struggling with this since my older son joined our troop 2 years ago. Slowly we are making improvements but it angers me when I see parents and leaders signing anything and everything for the boys so that they get their Eagle, earned or not.

 

Good luck with your situation.

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I can respect that opinion, AdvanceOn, but in my opinion, this case is different. He has not held an official position within the troop as far back as I could find.

 

His Eagle project--he's making a guided nature trail. He bought the signs (my understanding is he just told a company what he wanted) and is now spending a total of eight hours (including the hours of the Scouts helping him) installing them. I have no idea how it was approved, but I can't see that as an Eagle Project.

 

He has four months left until his birthday. In my opinion, he's out of contention already, but 'tis merely my opinion.

 

In an attempt to stop this from happening again, I have begun to implement an expectations project for future Scouts. In order to prove leadership, Scouts will be required to have cards signed off by adult leaders after they perform a leadership act at meetings or outings. 30 hours of leadership and the requirement is met. Any more comments and/or suggestions?

 

 

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slontwovvy,

 

Once the Eagle project has been approved and completed it is not your decision to accept or refuse it. In addition the BSA advancemnt policies do not allow you or any individual or unit to add or subtract from the requirements. The minimum 30 hours you are suggesting would violate the advancement regulations.

 

If he has not held a leadership position since becoming life, the question has to be asked, Why? Did he refuse an office? Was he not offered an office? If he was elected or appointed and refused to serve or did not serve that is one thing, but if he was not offered leadership, that is not his fault.

 

The SM is responsible for knowing the needs of every scout, including what they need to advance. The scout should have been offered a leadership project with clear goals and expectations, and the training and resources needed to do the task. If he was not, then it was not his failure.

 

My recommendation is tell the Board of review how you feel, then let the scout be reviewed and present his evidence of service. It is the Board's task to determine readiness to advance.

 

Bob White

 

 

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Bob,

 

The boy just didn't want to lead. He was content to sit there and do nothing. It's difficult to get a boy to lead anything when the night he's scheduled to do something, he doesn't show up, and the night it's rescheduled, he doesn't show up, and so on an so on. A boy needs to lead on his own; a SM can nudge but can't lead for him.

 

I don't see how the thirty hours requirement would be adding a requirement. It would merely be used as tangible proof that you have, in fact, been a leader for six months. 30 hours provides for an hour and a quarter per week. Considering our troop has over 48 hours of active time per month (not counting, obviously, sleeping on outings), this should be no problem. It merely proves that the boy has held his leadership position.

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slontwovvy,

I still don't have an answer to the question, did have a job and not doit, or did he not have a job?

 

The thirt hours you propose is still a measurement you are adding to the requirement and it is a violation of BSA policies. No mater how minimal it may seem it is not allowed. The rquirements ofr most troop positions are outlioned in the SM handbook, and the Senior patrol Leader handbook. They should be shared with the scout and agreed to before he begins serving in the office. The scout will know when he has or hasn't done his job if the goals are clear, specific and shared in advance.

 

Tell the Board how you see it and let them talk to the scout. An Eagle Board with a district advancement representative can make the decision.

 

Bob White

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A scout or his parents can not change the rules If the scout has never had a leadership job since he became a life scout, he would need to finish the 6 months before he is 18. Some scouts are granted an appeal from National but they need to have compleated the requirements as stated. Letters from a past Scotmaster or several letters from other adult leaders could be used to receive his rank. Thers is a special 6 month extention, but this is reserved of extraordinary reasons.

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On the Eagle Scout Rank Application, No. 58-728, 2002 Printing, the following individuals sign on the form: Applicant, SM, CC, someone from the Council Office, the chair of the Board of Review and the Scout Executive.

 

Unless you are one the above, you don't sign off on the Scout's Eagle.

 

I agree that you should voice your concerns with the Board of Review, and let them do their job.

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He had a leadership project, just did not do it. Then he had another one, and did not complete it. Eventually we stopped giving him assignments because he couldn't be trusted to complete them.

 

I will talk to the Board about it. The dad called me again last night. Now he wants us to allow his son's school activities to count as leadership again. I kept trying to explain to him you can't do that, but he doesn't seem to understand.

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This scout should absolutly not earn the eagle rank. I am 14 and about to have my own eagle board, and I have seen this happen in the lower ranks. If you read your replies, you notice they all talk about the 6 months and the project. What about Scout Spirit. I have seen scouts not earn ranks because of scout spirit. This scout does not seem very spirited. The parents aren't helping either. The dad isn't acting much like an eagle. High ranks call for high standards. Even if he does appeal to council, and earns it, they cannot force you to sign, and if there is ever a problem, they will know you did not approve. I hope you make the right decision.

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Spork,

Congratulations on achieving the Eagle Rank and I support your opinion that individuals should hold themselves to high standards as they advance. However, you what you don't realize is that the advancement requirement for scout spirit is not what you think it is. Read page 108 of the Boy Scout Handbook. Also, nowhere is it written that it is the scoutmaster who must sign that requirement.

 

It is not the Scoutmasters job to determine who advances and who doesn't, that task belongs to the Board of Review.

 

Best of luck as you continue in scouting,

Bob White(This message has been edited by Bob White)

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