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Wrong Place At The Wrong Time.

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Once upon a time there was a mailing list which nobody updated.

The letter was in the mail box informing me that there was a Council Program Group Meeting last Monday. I no longer serve on any of the committees but I normally work late on Monday and I was going that way, so I thought that I might just look in to see if the district was well represented. My first mistake.

The meeting covers all the program areas of the Council. I was on the mailing list due to my past involvement with the Training Committee.

All the District chairs from our District were there. I thought that I would sneak out, but thought that might seem a little rude. My second mistake.

The meeting broke off into committee sessions and the Scout Exec. Comes and asks me if I will sit in on the Advancement Committee. I say OK. My third mistake.

I have never had a lot to do with the Advancement Committee. I know most of the people who serve and while they are all good men they tend to be a little too detailed for me.

The Scout Exec.walks with me into the meeting room and informs the committee that the Chair can't make it and I will sit in for him. I am not too happy but harm can I do at one tiny meeting? Mistake number four.

The Agenda is already prepared so I think that we will just waltz through this little lot. (Five.)

I look for the minutes of the last meeting. When I can't find them I mention it to the committee. Only to be informed that there are none!!

I smile, thinking that this never happened in the Training Committee when I was chair. I ask when was the last meeting? They shuffle a little bit and tell me that it was last August!! I am totally flabbergasted.

We start on the agenda. (6??)

The Council wants to change the date of the Eagle Dinner from May till August.The council feels that we will get more corporate involvement if we wait till August as we have the Council Fund raising dinners in May. World War three breaks out. One chap thinks that this will be the end of Scouting as we know it. I try to explain as well as being a dinner for the Eagle Scouts it is also a great opportunity to market Scouting. He tells me that I'm trying to short change the boys?? I'm still working on that one. In the end I tell them that it is now March and as nothing has been done it would be almost impossible to get the dinner organized by May. So we go with August. That took twenty minutes.

Someone has filled in all the papers to submit to National for a heroism award for a boy who performed the Heimlich on someone. I say that we should forward it to National and see what happens. One of the committee members tells me that his son done the same thing and didn't get any award!! After ten minutes we decide to forward it to National. Boy do I wish that I hadn't looked in.

Next is the case of the Fiberglas donkey. One Lad who has passed all the requirements for Eagle Scout and is waiting for a Eagle Scout Court of Honor has been accused of stealing a Fiberglas donkey from a nativity scene. The owners of the donkey have got the donkey back, but the committee want to know what to do. I say that there really is nothing that can be done as the Scout has passed all the requirements and as yet has not had his day in court. I agree to talk with the Scoutmaster and have a word with the magistrate. Maybe we can work out some sort of community service with no record, which will save the council from being embarrassed.

We move on to the Scout who at his Eagle Scout BOR said that he had not been at a troop meeting for six months. He asked for an extension. His Scoutmaster asked for a extension. The Lad is now 18. The committee seemed to remember that they turned him down, someone thought that the Scoutmaster was or might have been called. But no letter was ever send. I mentioned that attending troop meetings was not a requirement as long as the Lad had been active in his troop and patrol for six months as a Life Scout. There was a lot of unhappy people. But they agreed to take another look at it - If I got all the troop records.

We get to the end of the Agenda and Date of next meeting. They seem surprised when I suggest March 29.

The meeting is over. I have got out alive - Barely.

I have agreed to do all the stuff that they should be doing. They are unhappy with me.

Three guesses where I went next.

I did write a letter to the new Vice president of program requesting that he appoint a new chair for that committee.

By the way the Advancement Chair from our District went to complain about how some of the museums are running merit badge classes and handing out merit badges without covering all the requirements. We never got that far.


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Eamonn, these are the detailed people? Wow! Tough night. The boys are lucky to have you, you know. It would be a shame to see anyone lose Eagle because the adults let the ball drop on the paperwork, but I sure am sorry you ended up up with all this to do. Are you speaking the SE now--sounds like he set you up! My sympathies to you on this issue; poorly planned meetings are so draining. I'm with Buffalo--time for a hike :)

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Oh boy, Eamonn, you sure have made my day. I have not laughed so hard in a month of Sundays. I guess Scouting is the same everywhere! Don't feel alone. At least you had an agenda! Don't need 3 guesses as to where you went next. Love that Guinness!

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I know your intentions were in the right place. I feel for you. This sounds like the definition of incompetence! Next time you get a letter for a committee you are no longer part of, don't open it! Run it through the shredder at least twice!


Ed Mori

1 Peter 4:10

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Next time I think that I will jump in the car head down the pike and grab a sandwich at Parmanti Brothers along with a green bottle with the number on it.


I was going to post the strip district but some people might get the wrong idea.

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  • 3 weeks later...


Talk about being a glutton for punishment. Tonight I met with the advancement committee - Again!!

I had managed to track down all the paper work on the Eagle Scout who had been turned down by this committee for an extension.

I looked over the paper work and everything was in order. I met with the Lad and his Dad, along with his Scoutmaster and I failed to see why the Lad even needed an extension. My feeling was that the people who had sat in on the BOR had overstepped the mark. The Lad had got involved with a local volunteer fire department and taken classes to become a EMT. This prevented him from attending a lot of troop functions. He had been active for six months as a Chaplin Aide for six months as a Life Scout. The nits who sat on the BOR wanted him to be active in the troop in order to show scout spirit. Even though he was 18 a few days after the BOR.

The Lad is a really nice Lad, a little shy and not a very effervescent sort.

Anyhow I'm back in the Lions Den. The meeting is called for 7:00. I arrive at 6:50. It's a nice evening and I have the windows down and Paul Simon playing loud on the car player. I pull in the parking lot of the Scout Service Center. The Program Director and I have spoken on the phone earlier in the day. He has another meeting and he asks me to open the building. I am no sooner in the lot when one of the committee is at my car window giving me a hard time about my "Jungle Bunny Music." OK so Paul Simon was singing "Diamonds on the soles of her shoes." I am in full uniform he is in jeans and a t-shirt. When he has finished telling me the dangers of listening to Paul Simon, just to be a right royal pain in his neck, I ask if he is going to change into uniform. He scowls and goes back to his car.

I get my keys out to open the building when the next guy is at my side. He is wearing a Scout Shirt and blue jeans. I don't say anything.

The Lad arrives in full uniform with his parents and his Scoutmaster. The Program Director arrives in full uniform.

Scout Shirt and blue jeans takes on where he left off about wanting to change the Eagle Dinner back to May. He is like a Timex watch he just keeps going. The Lad's Dad looks at me. I shake my head. I try to explain that there is no way that it could happen in May this year and that as we have one of the Council Fund raising dinners in May, that he can carry on as much as he likes but... He is now very unhappy with me.

Leaving the Lad and his parents outside we go into the conference room, Scout Shirt and blue jeans has a new plan to get the dinner moved back to May. He wants to fire the Scout Exec.

We start the meeting I give my pitch as to why I think the previous BOR was wrong, when I'm about done the Chairman arrives. He has been MIA since last August. He is not wearing any sort of a uniform. I go over the whole thing again. He wants to know why we are here. I tell him that I am not sure and that if they had looked at this last August, everyone would be a lot happier. This goes over his head.

The feeling of the meeting is that we should forget the last BOR as if it never happened and reconvene those present as a new BOR.

I bring the Lad in. He sails through it all, even the dumb questions that he was asked.

We send him to wait outside. We all agree that the Lad has passed all the requirements and is worthy of the rank of Eagle Scout.

The Advancement Chair wants to know what went wrong. I bite my lip.

Should I tell him that a Committee that doesn't meet for six months isn't doing a very good job? Should I tell him that keeping notes or minutes is a good idea? Should I tell him that when things happen at a meeting that there has to be a follow up of some sort? I tell him that I think that it is unfair to keep the Lad waiting and without waiting for his reply go and bring the Lad and his parents into the room.

After a good deal of hand shaking and the Advancement Chair trying to explain to everyone that it wasn't his fault. I get the heck out of there. Ten minutes down the road I remember that I need a TV/VCR for the Jamboree meeting on Thursday, so I go back. They are still in the conference room, Scout Shirt and blue jeans is plotting away on how to fire the Scout Exec. and move the dinner back to May.


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I just hope your council doesn't go the route of mine. All those wishing the SE would leave/be kicked out got their wish.


Unfortunately a certain goverment agency with a 3 letter abreviation was at least indirectly involved, so say my relatively reliable sources.





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Big E,

Quit joshin' us, those were not mistakes! You love this scouting game too much for that. I believe if you're not busier than a june bug on an ant hill, you're not happy. It's really great that folks like you care as much as you do about Scouting. If you can find something constructive for scout shirt and blue jeans, maybe you can keep him out of trouble!!



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I think you where in the correct place at the correct time for that new Eagle Scout!

I hope he and his father thanked you.

Let me say it, Thank You for what you do!


Proud Eagle

Was it the NEA?(This message has been edited by dan)

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