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mdsummer45

Eagle Problems....BIG

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The Blancmange,

 

I think Rick has made a great call. If the DE wants the Old Boy network broken, then he needs to have a talk with his fellow-staffer who is the Advancement Adviser to the CAC. If the DAC doesn't have management of his process, then he's just a figurehead.

 

BTW, I think the bloody fool who threatened suit from Council is blowing smoke. If I were the Chartered Partner, my next call would be to the SE, asking for a business meeting to discuss continuation of my charter. SE do not like losing chartered partners, especially ones who can make trouble for them in print or on TV.

 

As to Ms Summer's son, even if National denies him, I trust he's learned several life lessons from fighting the good fight these past weeks.

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I did not have selective amnesia and I was listening to you...I was listening to you as people who were giving me their opinion from afar. I have cometo learn that every troop, district and council do things differently. I went by the words from my District person. In my postings I state BOR and not EBOR that is because those were the words that the district people used. I took their words at face value and did not reinterpret them to mean EBOR. The term EBOR was never said to me in my phone call from the DC and was never written in any emails from the DC to my son. One of our probems is that I am ignorant of how things wordk and the short hand speak of those with years of scouting experience. But ignorance is no excuse...right. Just like I was ignorant of the fact that he could change troop 6 mos before he aged out. I was ignorant.

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If being a smart-aleck in the 8th grade is a legitimate reason to deny the Eagle, none of us would have received it.

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I've been 100% behind mdsummer45 for this entire saga. I think her son is getting the shaft.

 

I'm the Eagle advisor for our unit. I'm an ASM (father of an Eagle, brother of another), not the SM. But I'm the guy who guides the prospective Eagle candidates through the maze of District, unit and council mine fields. I'm a friendly face to come to when things don't go well. Up until now, I've been 100% successful. Every candidate who has entered the path, finished it. Many scouts never even started the path. But there's one scout who just enter the gate. I have known him since we joined the unit. A very narcissistic, unpleasant young man. Very smart. Too smart almost. I don't like him, personally. I don't really want him to become an Eagle scout. But its not my call. I give him the required information, review his documentation, and do the very minimum required of me to help him along. I guess you could say I won't help him get his Eagle, but I also won't hold him back.

 

Part of me says, in any other unit, her son would be an Eagle scout. But the other part of me says, if this boy is like the scout I previously mentioned, so be it. PS, I hate the Good Ole Boy network. If that were the only reason, he should get his Eagle.

 

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If being a smart-aleck in the 8th grade is a legitimate reason to deny the Eagle, none of us would have received it.

 

Yah, dat's for sure, eh! :)

 

I think we're talkin' 12th grade here, though.

 

Also from da sound of things it looks like the SM wasn't makin' a knee-jerk reaction, but spent some time talkin' with other people before he made his decision. While mdsummer45 worries about that introducin' "bias" here and there, I see it as more healthy than that - a guy who is askin' his colleagues for advice on a hard case, much as most of us would do.

 

It's a hard case, eh? Even an interestin' test case on whether a troop can base part of an advancement decision on a boy's involvement level without strict adherence to arbitrary percentages. A lot of folks have spent a lot of time on it. I think there may have been a window in there sometime in da last year where a different adult who had a different approach may have reached this lad where these adults didn't. Maybe; it's hard to say. A tough lesson for the boy, perhaps. Yeh can't always expect that people will take your words and actions in the best light, and avoidin' an issue doesn't make it go away. A tough lesson for da parents, perhaps. In a volunteer organization, decisions are usually made by those who volunteer.

 

I'm not sure there's really anything more to be accomplished by calling various execs, though it may make mdsummer45 feel better. She and her son should add their written statements to the record and then the appeal will go off to National.

 

B

 

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Well, whether or not an appeal to national works or not is out of our hands. Of course, it was never in them. This is just a forum with limited information.

But, I do have some advice, worth what you pay for it as the saying goes.

When a fair number of people tell me I have an issue, maybe I have an issue. Of course I KNOW that I am correct and they are wrong. I know they just dont see my point. I know they have suspect motivations etc.

Still, I find that if I back off, let the emotions cool and come at it with as open a mind as I can muster at a later time, maybe I find that the others had a point. Of course, I am still correct, but maybe they had a tiny, inconsequential, minor point (you get the idea).

mdsummer: All along the scouters who know your son best are saying there is an issue. Others looking at the situation at higher levels are agreeing. From the information given on the forum, we cant see a serious issue justifying the unit/district/council behavior. They seem unreasonable from the information given. But the response has been to deny the issue, whatever it is, and call bias and old boy network on the scouters pointing out the issue.

For your sons sake in the future, when emotions cool, ask if there is any, tiny, minor, inconsequential truth to the other side here. Next time, it may not be an Eagle, but a job. And the boss wont listen either.

 

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" One of our probems is that I am ignorant of how things wordk and the short hand speak of those with years of scouting experience. But ignorance is no excuse...right. Just like I was ignorant of the fact that he could change troop 6 mos before he aged out. I was ignorant."

 

and while not trying to rub salt in your wounds, this IS the main problem here. Six months before aging out is NOT the time to try and unravel the complexity that is Boy Scouts.

 

That said, you will certainly be more prepared for your second boy to advance.

 

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Next time, it may not be an Eagle, but a job. And the boss wont listen either.

 

To add to the "bigger picture life-lessons to be learned" here, this thread is a perfect illustration of the fact that the YMCA added Scout Spirit requirements, Scoutmaster Conferences, and Boards of Review to keep BSA Troops adult-led.

 

These adult brake pedals do not exist In Baden-Powell's Scouting.

 

BSA Troops play at "Scout-run" or "Scout-led" in the same way that Cub Scouts play at imaginary "themes" at day camp.

 

In Real Scouting the Scoutmaster takes a more active role in a Patrol's selection of its very best leader. Once the SM and the Patrol select the best Patrol Leader, adults have no sanctions and the "Court of Honor" (PLC) is responsible for defending the honor of the Troop.

 

The reason that B-P characterized a Scouter as an "Elder Brother" and not a parent, teacher, principal, one-minute-manager, or "boss who won't listen either," is that he has no sanctions like those discussed in this thread. He can influence the Patrols only through his personal example.

 

Of course in Real Scouting, advancement is based on the absolute mastery of Scoutcraft, not personal opinions hyped as "Character."

 

The problem here is not that we don't have "both sides of the story." The problem is that BSA Scouting is adult-led.

 

Get rid of "Once an Eagle, Always an Eagle" and bring back Baden-Powell's fundamental "Current Proficiency" requirement (Scouts submit to regular Scoutcraft retesting by outside experts to wear any badge including the equivalent of Eagle) and threads like this will disappear.

 

Kudu

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Kudu, welcome back from camp.

 

I've always believed that "once an Eagle/always an Eagle" was well intentioned but misguided salesmanship on someone's part...over the past couple decades, Eagle Scout attainment (and ceremony) has often turned into a something akin to a coronation.

 

Way over done...the cottage industry of congrats letters, the "marked man" speech, and all of the trappings...I can recall many times, years ago, the Eagle rank was presented at the end of a regularly scheduled court of honor.

 

I think this motivates some scouts--and more often than not, their parents--to push thru the program, fill the squares, just to get "crowned." The values of scouting may or may not ever have been a part of the scout's life.

 

There are far worse things in life to worry about, true.

 

But the emphasis (in some units) on numbers, and the constant praise of the Eagle rank (and none of the other ranks), really heightens the all-or-nothing stakes that makes cases like the one at hand even more difficult for the parents, candidate, and scouters to sort thru.

 

I wish mdsummer 45 and her son the best.

 

 

 

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MS Summer. You and your son have fought the battle and have done more that most would do in regards to an appeal. The Eagle award is a very elusive award. It is extreemly hard to obtain. Part of the misconceptions that most people have is that it is like ever other rank in the process. The true fact is it isn't. The whole Eagle process is very hard. This is why only 2% of all scouting youth ever reach this goal. I have seen many a Smart, talented and nice boy just miss the mark by a fraction. You have tried your best but it didn't change the outcome especially considering all who have been contacted and involved in the process. I wish you and your son all the best, but it is time to move on and focus on his future needs like College and a profession.

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It's been a month and a half since mdsummer45 last posted. Is there an update or resolution?

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Nothing new to report. No final decision has been made. I promise to report back when this reaches its final conclusion and I really do not have a time line for that. I promise I will not leave you all hanging.

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mdsummer45,

you PM'ed me a while back to an email address that I rarely check. I just sent you a reply but it bounced back. Since we're from neighboring districts in the same council and I spent many years in your district if you would like some insight into the workings of your district I might be able to help you. This forum is not the place to do this so if you want to talk PM me with you email address.

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