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mdsummer45

Eagle Problems....BIG

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Advancement gurus,

 

I always thought that a Scout *had* to be given some specific goals to work toward when he was not signed off on Scout Spirit or turned down at a BOR. True or just good advice?

 

This whole mess has been caused by a failure to communicate well on both sides.

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Nike:

I agree with your assessment regarding communication. FWIW when both the scout and adults have erred to a similar degree, I believe the outcome should favor the scout.

 

Hal

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Eagle BOR decisions are final, though subject to appeal in the case of an unfavorable result.

 

However, this wasn't an Eagle Board of Review result. This was about refusing to sign the Eagle application (as well as Scout Spirit and participate in a scoutmaster conference requirements).

 

Although it seems to me a SM conference was held regardless of it being signed off.

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All my communications with my Scouts are via written, pen-and-paper letters mailed back and forth. I give extra credit for quill pens and parchment.

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I sure hope National fixes this. If they don't, the next call I'd make as a parent would be to the local paper to find a reporter who might want to make a name for him/herself.

In 99% of the units out there, this boy would be an Eagle scout. But because this SM has a vendetta against him and is well connected in the district and council, the scout is getting the shaft.

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Thank you ljnrus. I can certainly understand how many felt that there was "something missing". If I were not living it I might have the same feeling. I wish I could send everyone a copy of all of the letters. They are really quite unbelievable. I have personally had my character assassinated in two of these letters and my words have been misquoted and twisted, yet they are presented as fact in two official letters. I do not feel that it is appropriate to engage in a war of words with these men at this time. Their comments and twisted interpretation of what I actually said will be addressed at a later date. I am only concerned that if they have twisted my words, it is certain possible that they have also twisted my son's words.

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I've been following this thread the whole time and I think that all the scouters involved in this issue should be ashamed of themselves. For one, you do not have a scout bust his rear end getting an eagle project done and then stop him at the Scoutmaster conference or Board of Review unless something serious has happened like a crime or some kind of serious scout rule was broken. In my opinion you bring up any issues you have with a scout before they start on their EP so they will not have done all the work for nothing. The Scoutmaster's letter that ljnrsu posted did not even tell the scout how to fix the perceived problem and that in it's self would tell me that the Boy should receive his Eagle. To earn Eagle Scout should not be that difficult and this is coming from an Eagle Scout.

 

Mark M.

Who is a very embarrassed Eagle Scout.

 

 

 

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Yah, hmmm...

 

Generally speakin', I don't think too highly of 3rd parties that widely publish someone else's communication without askin' permission. I think ljnrus exercised poor judgment on that score.

 

That havin' been said, I didn't find anything in the published excerpts to be inappropriate or unusual. A bit vague perhaps, but I'm not readin' the whole thing. Yah, and if da folks suspected their stuff may be published across da country, they might also choose to be indirect in their writin'. The quantity of material does put to rest da notion that the council did not have all of the information it needed.

 

Mdsummer did share with me via PM the name of her council. I can say that it is not a council which has a reputation for being political or being an "old boys network" or any of that. Quite the opposite, it is a council which is very highly regarded in many scouting circles, both volunteer and professional. It is safe to say that da district and council folks are well trained and independent.

 

So we're back to da issue that all of us with whom mdsummer has shared have only an incomplete set of facts from one aggrieved party in da dispute. No fair person would ever settle a case by listening to da hearsay testimony and evidence of only one side. And I expect nobody who thinks for a moment about da Oath and Law would heap shame and abuse on fellow scouters with otherwise good reputations based on that either.

 

If mdsummer and her son desire, da appeal will go off to National, and they'll do their best to sort through it. In the end, we have to trust da folks who spend so much of their free time helping other people's children, and those who are able to view the evidence and testimony from both sides of the dispute.

 

Beavah

still proud of all our scouts, our Eagles, and our volunteers(This message has been edited by Beavah)

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Beavah,

Generally speaking I don't think to highly of people jumping to conclusions and making assumptions without knowing all the facts. What makes you think that ljnrus did not have my permission? Apologies anyone?

 

 

"So we're back to da issue that Mdsummer and all those to whom she has sent copies have only an incomplete set of facts from one aggrieved party in da dispute. No fair person would ever settle a case by listening to da hearsay testimony and evidence of only one side."

 

What incomplete set of facts...what hearsay testimony and evidence... should I interpret that to mean you think that I have withheld information? Think what you want but it's not true.

 

"No fair person would ever settle a case by listening to da hearsay testimony and evidence of only one side."

 

yet isn't that what the council did when they made their decision and only had the information from the district? They may not have settled it but they made a decision based on evidence presented by only one party and made no attempt to get the other sides information. And you don't need to cite me the rules and regs I already know how you interpret them.

 

"Mdsummer did share with me via PM the name of her council. I can say that it is not a council which has a reputation for being political or being an "old boys network" or any of that. Quite the opposite, it is a council which is very highly regarded in many scouting circles, both volunteer and professional. It is safe to say that da district and council folks are well trained and independent."

 

And I am sure you will agree that that is only your opinion and not necessarily a fact.

 

 

Beavah I do enjoy you :^)(This message has been edited by mdsummer45)(This message has been edited by mdsummer45)

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mdsummer45,

 

Is it possible that your son did or said something that you don't know about? I'm not making any accusations but for this to go as far as it has with the same results makes me wonder???????

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Fair question...I was present at the troop committee meeting and heard what was presented by the SM and my son. I was not present at the district meeting and he never had a meeting with the council. The only thing that I did not know about occurred when my son was probably in 8th grade and attended Brownsea. The SM stated that my son had a confrontation with another scout. My son said that he was in a group of other scouts and they were all saying stupid things to each other and when my son said something to one scout that scout picked up a stick and came after my son( my son does not even remember what was said) my son said he went running to another youth leader for protection. The SM did not witness at the actual incident (although present at Brownsea because he runs the thing) and therefore his account of the situation was based on what he was told and morphed it into more than it was. I question how bad the incident really was because neither my husband nor myself were ever contacted by the SM regarding the incident and my son continued to progress through the ranks with out issue. Remember this happened when my son was in 8th grade yet the SM held onto it and felt the need to bring it up 4+ yrs later. I can state for a fact (because I was present) portions of what was written in the TC letter and in the SM were not an accurate reflection what actually happened at the meeting. One of the big issues here is my sons attendance and participation at troop meeting and outings. This troop has an attendance policy and the troop uses attendance to evaluate scout spirit. It is posted on their website that "Each troop sets its own qualifications for an active scout" the document then list: Active = 75% of troop meeting , 50% of planned outdoor outings, must participate in a troop sponsored service project, while in POR must attend 75% of PLC meeting with an 100% response to SPL if not attending". My son was able to live up to those expectations until his junior yr in high school when he became extremely involved in school honor societies and service to the high school faculty and guidance office and community activities...ya know demonstrating the scout spirit in his everyday life. The only conversation my son ever had with the SM or with another other adult leader occurred when my sons attendance at meetings and outings declined during his junior year in high school. The only topic discuss was my sons attendance at meetings and outing.The next communication occurred when my son received the SM letter. And in this troop attendance=scout spirit.

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mdsummer

 

As a former SM and DE something here still seems off. I have to agree with Beavah that the procedures have been followed and the district and council would have quickly overridden the SM if they found evidence of a vendetta against your son. To be quite honest if the council doesn't back you up National will not override the council SE's decision. You would have to supply solid evidence that the SM, district, and council all were not competent in the handling of this case. I am sorry that your son has had to go through all of this, its a lousy way to end your scouting experience.

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What should an SM do if he is personally biased for or against a Scout that his decisions may not be seen as fair or reasonable?

 

And, just wondering, but what has the Chartered Organization Rep or Inst. Head had to say about all of this?

 

(This message has been edited by Nike)

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Much would seem to become clearer.

 

It would seem that the Scoutmaster, for good reasons or bad, has decided that this young man should not become an Eagle Scout and that nothing that the young man can do will change that. When he decided that is uncertain.

 

It would also seem that the Scoutmaster is highly knowledgeable about Scouting and Scout advancement. He knows how to position the system and the facts so that the young man will not get Eagle, none of the procedures are violated and it appears that the Scoutmaster has been responsive and the Scout has not.

 

Finally, it appears that the Scoutmaster is known and respected in the District and Council so that his judgement and opinions are respected. He is considered to be a fair and competent person who would not "stick it to" a Scout without justification.

 

Frankly, with the information presented in those letters and facts as presented that the Scoutmaster expected the Scout to contact him and the Scout did not, I would probably have reached the same conclusion that the District and Council did.

 

Fortunately, there is one more appeal. If this appeal is to be successful, then the statements of the Scoutmaster must be rebutted or, at a minimum, transformed into "he said, she said." In that case, National will probably give the Scout the benefit of the doubt.

 

As I stated in earlier e-mails, I would write a very detailed letter describing my qualifications to be an Eagle Scout. It would be in two parts. The first part would document chapter, verse and footnotes how I had met each requirements. The second part would be a rebuttal of the statements by the Scoutmaster. This needs to be done with care as one is essentially stating that the Scoutmaster is not telling the truth. So I would start this part stating that I had read the letter and the statements by my Scoutmaster and that I great respect for my Scoutmaster and for persons holding the position of Scoutmaster but some of the things written there are simply not true. I would particularly document the efforts that I had made to get the Scoutmaster to talk with me. If I had letters or e-mails that I had sent documenting my efforts to talk with the Scoutmaster, I would attach those. If they were oral conversations, I would, as best I could, reconstruct the date, time and subject of each conversation and document them. I would state that this was the best of my memory. I would also address the other items. I would note in some place the formal percentage attendance requirements which the Scoutmaster and Troop has in place and state that I understood that such formal percentage requirements were not appropriate but I had done my best to attend and participate. I would also state very explicitly "I have done my best to live up to the principles of the Scout Oath, Scout Law, Scout Motto and Scout Slogan and I believe that I have met the Scout Spirit requirements for Eagle Scout rank." I would state that I really had not been given the opportunity to present this information at the District level and had no opportunity to present it at the Council level. At the end of the letter, I would probably say something like "I understand the seriousness of what I am saying. I swear, on my honor as a Scout, that everything I have written is true."

 

Perhaps I would also have one or both of my parents sign the letter stating that they are attesting to the truth of the statements. (I would welcome the thoughts of some other posters on this.) If there are any adult Scout leaders who will attest to the statements, I would have them sign the letter as attesting also. That might be very difficult to get.

 

Before sending it, I would have some very objective third party read the package of information plus my letter and have them give a very objective assessment I would follow their guidance on changes, etc.

 

Then you've done everything you can do. National will make its decision. And even if the decision is unfavorable, a person in their heart knows if they have met the requirements or not.

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