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mdsummer45

Eagle Problems....BIG

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Thanks to you, shortridge, for explaining CC.

 

Infoscouter is right. A District Director is a unit-serving Professional, with some experience, who supervises other professionals (my DD has a Sr DE and a DE on his team, but the team has 120 total units to attend to).

 

I like your sons' letter, Ms Summer.

 

I agree with the others, it's time to find a different unit for #2 son. Life may get really difficult for him.

 

Finally, I do recommend you and your husband join us volunteers in Boy Scouting. We do have a lot of fun together, and we get to raise up great young men :)

 

 

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Ms Summer,

This may be overkill, but have your son add a response deadline for the SM in the email, let's say three days. Unfortunately your son's SM has already pulled the delay tactic of "I didn't get that email" and might try it again.

 

If the SM does not respond by the third day, have a typed letter of the email ready, and have it sent Certified Mail to both the SM and the Committee Chair. Pay for the notification of delivery, so your son knows when it was handed to the SM & CC, and the SM & CC had to sign for it.

 

Have your son send the email today, April 2nd with the deadline of 2:00 PM on April 5th. At 3:00PM, be at the post office and send the letter out Certified Mail. Ask the clerk when the expected delivery day is, and what the turn around time is on the notification.

 

This way, the SM & CC has no choice but to except the delivered letters. If they refuse to except the letters, you and your son will at least have documentation of attempted delivery, and refusal to except. It will help you son's appeal process. CYA and all the bases.

 

Also, today call the Council office. Ask to talk with the Field Director (FD). The FD is the boss over the District Exec's. Ask the FD who your District Exec. is. and for the contact information. If for some reason your District is between DEs, the FD will be the acting DE.

 

Tell your son good luck, and kill them with kindness.(This message has been edited by ASM915)

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Thanks to all of you for your wonderful advice. Just a note: My son emailed his SM Monday night requesting a copy of the original letter that the SM gave him (Bad Mom threw away my sons copy--never dreamed that things would have escalated to this point ). The SM responded Tuesday am stating that "I am traveling today and do not have access to my office computer. I will try to send on my return." Tuesday night my son receives this email from the SM "Interested in the request. Have you lost the original?". Within 3 minutes my son responded to that email--Mr SM...."I had given the original copy to my mother for her to review and she had thrown it away. So, yes, I have lost the original". No reply from the SM was ever received so last night (Wednesday) my son resent his last email with the following PS "I just wanted to be sure that you received my reply to your question last night." Well this morning Mr SM replies "I thought I told you in my earlier reply that I was traveling all week......"

This is the frustration that my son has to deal with.. Mr SM's Tuesday morning email clearly stated that he was "traveling today". If he was going to be away all week why didn't he say that??!!!

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OK so quit playing this idiot SM's game. Go above his head, and do it today. He is just going to continue stone walling until your son is too old for anything to be done. What a jerk.

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I was indirectly involved with a similar situation. My associate chapter adviser, who is also a part of the district's EBOR had it in for one particular scout. Something happened on an OA function just prior to me becoming CA, and the boy was involved somehow. Long story short the scout did the agreed upon punishment, but the the ACA refused to renew the scout's OA membership. When that matter was resolved to the ACA's displeasure, he said the scout would not be getting Eagle and he would see to that. Other folks heard it and it got back to the kid's parents. As soon as they heard that they, they went directly to the Field director and DAC stating that they wanted a council level EBOR.

 

Your son played nice, now it's time to move up the chain of command as people have suggested. Start the appeal NOW while there is time.

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I agree with the others who say you have tried to resolve this at the troop level long enough. Take it to the next level today.

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How about a little public exposure?

 

Consider sending an eMail with a link to this forum discussion to the Scout Master and relevant district/council personnel. This should accomplish two things:

 

1- Pressure on a SM who thinks his actions are not being observed outside of his close circle of associates. So far you have politely kept the names and troop identity anonymous. What do other forum members think about naming names? How big a concern is liabilty? Is there a chance that someone in the chain of command for this troop is monitoring this topic and doesn't recognize the players?

 

2- Knowing that we are talking about him might encourage this SM to log onto the forum and share his point of view. This would give forum members the other side of the story, and provide you with the written explanation your scout needs to overcome this SM's objections.

 

Shining a light in the dark woods can help you tell if you're dealing with a coyote or a raccoon.

 

JoeBob

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Public exposure? No, too vindictive.

However, if this were my son, I wouldn't hold my tongue talking about the issue to other parents, warning them of the potential situation with their boys.

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I don't think I'd do that, JoeBob. First, and it's that sexist thing, any male bigot in the distribution is going to say, "Oh, yeah, right, woman goes running crying to the internet with private business. I hate it when 'they' whine."

 

Second, if you go anywhere with complaints about an SM's performance, it's the COR. If we keep our eye on the prize here, it's about mdsummer's son wanting his Eagle. We seem to be beyond coercing his SM to actually do his job (assuming the facts are as presented).

 

Third, I don't see the point, other than driving the SM into a corner and helping the "men's club" close ranks around him.

 

Just a few thoughts, YMMV,

Vicki

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Charter Organization Representative.

 

Your son's troop is "owned" or "sponsored" by some group, usually a non-profit org like a church or service club (elks, american legion, etc.). The person from that organization who serves as a liaison between troop and organization is the COR.

 

Depending on the relationship between your troop and the charter org., this might be a good person to talk with but in all honesty, it is not where I'd go first (or second, or third...) in most cases. Many Charter Orgs barely know they have a troop and most do not know very much at all about how a troop operates. They are highly unlikely to be familiar with the finer details of BSA advancement policies. While Charter orgs technically select troop leadership (I say technically because many are extremely hands-off about this process), in many cases they exhibit a strong preference for the status quo because either a) they chose that leader or b) they don't want to be bothered/don't know very much about the troop. There are Charter Orgs out there who are active, aware, and helpful, but unless you KNOW that to be the case for you, I would advice going through the other routes already suggested to you instead. Maybe, once things have settled a bit and your son's immediate issues have been addressed, then it could be time to go to the troop's charter org. and politely explain to them the nature of the problems with the adults they have chosen to run their troop.

 

 

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I am constantly amazed by leaders who put such stumbling blocks in front of their scouts. What could possibly be their motivation. Since I became Scoutmaster, our troop has had 26 Eagles. Did I like ALL of them? Heck no! Did I feel ALL of them were perfect Eagle candidates without any flaws? Heck no! I could tell you stories about the vast majority of them! But each and every one of them passed all the requirements as set forth by the BSA and, as such, were deserving of the award. Again as I stated in another topic, anyone who knowlingly hinders a scout in any way should be removed from the program.

 

Dale

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OK, Ms Summer, son has done his share of the lifting.

 

I think it's time for you to write the SM. Make it short and sweet:

 

My son has asked for a Scoutmaster Conference from you. You seem unwilling to give him a conference or explain the reasons why. We have the email records.

 

Explaining why you're unwilling to give him a Conference is not difficult. If you are unwilling to give him one, either give him and I the reasons today, or I call the Mr xxx, our District Director, and Mr Xyz, our District Commissioner tomorrow. Further, my son will call Mr Yxz, the District Advancement Chairman.

 

Send a carbon copy to the Troop Committee Chairman. Follow up to him with:

 

I would rather work as a reasonable parent, but if Billybob Jumpback the Scoutmaster is going to be a pedant, I will do what is in the best interests of my children.

 

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

I've not read a lot of the history. Usually in these cases there's a lot of emotion, and often rightly so. I give this caution: Scout Spirit is defined as living the Boy Scout Oath and Law in your daily life. I trust your son, being 17, is approaching adulthood in a mature and sane manner, and that he is an honorable young man.(This message has been edited by John-in-KC)

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Yah, mdsummer45, that helps a bit, eh?

 

So there was a fairly ordinary discipline issue (kids bein' loud at night), and then a fairly ordinary adult overreaction along with a fairly ordinary smart-aleck response from a teen. Followed by a somewhat out of the ordinary overreaction by da SM (parent meetings over kids talkin' late in a tent??), followed by a fairly ordinary smart-aleck response from a teen. Yah, followed by a further escalation by the SM. :p

 

Yeh all need to stand down a bit. Did your son ever take the initiative and apologize for bein' a smart-aleck? Sometimes when both sides are in the wrong and throwin' egos about, the proper thing for a real man to do is simply stop the escalation and apologize. Probably late for that now, but I'd still give it a whirl.

 

Dear Scoutmaster Jones,

 

"I'm really sorry there's been this much confusion, and I apologize if along the way I've done less than I should have to show scout spirit or respect to you or any of the other leaders. I understand and respect your position...."

 

Maybe that's all it would take to break the logjam.

 

The steps here for the proper appeal process are very simple. The Scoutmaster Conference matters not a whit, the issue in the rules is that the Scoutmaster is not recommending the boy for Eagle by refusing to sign the application.

 

First appeal is to the Troop Committee. That should be done respectfully, bring documentation. If the troop committee approves the application, the boy goes on to his Eagle Board of Review and the matter is done.

 

If the troop committee says "no", then they must provide the reasons for the denial as well as what the boy needs to do to improve, and do so in writing. Your son can either try to improve and then try again, or he can appeal.

 

The next level of appeal is to the district. The contact for that is the District Advancement Chair which you listed, not the District Director (who is the equivalent of the District Executive). That appeal should proceed only after the troop committee has ruled. Calling the person to give 'em a polite heads up is fine, but IMO calling them to try to short-circuit the normal appeals process at the troop level makes yeh look bad. By being polite, respectful, and followin' the process, your son will go a long way toward demonstratin' his "scout spirit."

 

The district will typically hold an Eagle Board of Review as part of the appeal. If they approve Eagle, congratulations, your son is done. If they say no, they must do so in writing with a list of things to improve. Your son can use his remaining time to try to improve, or can appeal to the council, through the council advancement chair.

 

And then, finally, can appeal to National.

 

The council professional staff (District Director, Scout Executive) don't like to get sucked into these things, and really just try to act as assistants to the process where they have to. Because it's a BSA award issue, it's really not somethin' for a COR to get involved in. No COR is goin' to micromanage a SM on an award decision. Yeh go to the COR if the adults' behavior is such that yeh feel it's appropriate the SM be removed from his position and expelled from da program.

 

Hope that helps.

 

Beavah

(This message has been edited by Beavah)

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Okay Folks

I just got off the phone with the Service Area Field Director. He was very helpful and asked me to explain the situation. He asked for my Units # and when I gave it to him he said...Oh, that's Mr SM I know him...when I told him that the letter the SM gave my son contained the phrase "please do not have your parents contact me" Mr FD stated ..that there are may parents who make the eagle project about them and not about the boy. So that is what he thought Mr SM was referring to(it's my sons project and not his parents) I told him that the letter had nothing to do with my son's eagle project since the project had been completed and signed off on by all parties involved. Mr FD told me that my son can request a District EBOR, Council EBOR and National EBOR after his 18th birthday. Does that sound right to you all? I am going to send a follow up email to MR FD restating what I thought I heard him tell me. That way I feel that if I misunderstood anything I will have the clarification in written form. If it is true that things can still occur after my sons 18th bd then I think we will keep plugging along jumping though the hoops('special troop committee mtg). After my son has truly left the troop level regarding this issue I will be calling all of the moms of my younger sons friends who are in the troop and let them know EVERYTHING!!!! Until then I think it is better to keep my mouth shut.

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