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mdsummer45

Eagle Problems....BIG

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Thank you for your concise reply. I, too, feel that it will not matter what my son says to the committee,the cast has been set. I just am going to advise my son to give concrete examples of how my son feels he demonstrates the Scout Spirit and Scout Law in his EVERYDAY (and that is the operative word) life. As our cities former NFL coach would say at his weekly conferences..."It is what it is". Time for me to stop obsessing about this.. LOL

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As one who sits on EBOR as the District Rep, I can tell you that we pay little attention to the scout's book. The book is important, up to the point that the Eagle App is filled out and certified by the Council Registrar, who has checked the records in ScoutNet. If there is a discrepancy as to requirements (e.g., Life BOR date, or Merit badges recd), the book (or signed MB card) is the defining record. So, as others have pointed out, if all the requirements are certified on the Eagle App by the registrar, and all the other signatures are there (including SM "approval") then the book doesn't matter. It IS important that you get the ScoutNet record and reconcile it with your son's book and Eagle App. If it doesn't match up, you need to get it straight. (Normally the SM or troop AC would do this).

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Yes, get his Scoutnet records from the council office. Call them Monday. Get them faxed if you can. Or pick them up.

 

You will want to make everything has been recorded and with the right date. Some units do not do a good job gettting advancement recorded. Most units will check everything for the Scout but I would not rely on these people.

 

If there is a discrepency you don't have much time before his 18th birthday if you discover that he is short on something.

 

I am glad he has all his "blue" cards. That will help in a discrepency.

 

Unfortuneately you are having to do a lot of the legwork where most units would do much of this for you.

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Thanks for the guidance scoutldr.

 

 

 

 

NealOnWheels:

 

You all have taught me well, I am becoming educated quite quickly. After I read the post from scoutldr, I promptly wrote on my To Do List: Call Council Monday to get copy of sons ScoutNet record. You all are great teachers!! Your student is learning.

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A Scoutmaster's Conference is a participate requirement. Yeah the SM needs to sign off ONLY that a SM Conference took place. Nothing more.

 

Yes Council Advancement Committee does have some discretion in this matter. The unit, however, does not. And since this hasn't gotten past the unit level, your point is moot! Things are different from council to council. This council might not require letters of recommendation. They might call the people listed on the Eagle application.

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Does my son NEED to have the SM sign off on the scout spirit section located in the book...the ACP&P does not make it clear

 

The requirement is to live the Scout Oath and Scout Law, NOT get the Scoutmaster signature in the book. The job of the board of review is to determine if the requirements have been met, whether it has been signed off or not. The presence or absence of a signature does not determine whether the requirement has been met, though the absence should generate some thoughtful questions from the board.

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Had a situation like this several years ago when I was the district advancement chairman. The Scoutmaster of a scout refused to sign the scoutmaster conference and the Eagle application. The national advancement policy states that the Eagle BOR can be convened anyway. We still did the BOR, tried to get some input from the scoutmaster as to his reasons for the refusal. He declined to do so, so we reviewed the scout and passed him.

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Ms Summer,

 

How has your information gathering gone today?

 

Keeping an eye on the prize, your son should be working his "Goals and Ambitions" letter, making sure his references are ready to write, and that he's stuffing critical dates onto his Eagle app...

 

One hint. I've taken the app, used each page for a Powerpoint master, and saved it out after I aligned the various text blocks. That way, I COULD save the info on the app... which I don't think the National pdf lets you do.

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jr56...

 

Thank you for relaying your experience. My SM is out to flex his muscle. I am sure we will be pursuing this at the District level and all will turn out positively at that time. Thanks again

 

John-in-KC

 

Called the area council this morning and my sons Scoutnet info was promptly faxed to me. He has contacted all of his references and they are awaiting the appropriate form from the troop(wishful thinking on my part) or the DAC requesting their reference letters. His application is complete with all appropriate dates and he is working on his "Goals and Ambition" statement (along with his written presentation for the committee mtg next Monday night)so he can move directly into the appeal process without any hesitations. Sound good????

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Yah, just checkin' back into this (long!) thread, eh? Glad you and your son have an understandin' of the process now, and that things are proceedin'. Whatever you may think, your troop is doing a fine job of following the process. I fully expect that at some level, someone will choose to give your son the Eagle rank.

 

Now that there's some breathing room and things have calmed down a bit, I'm goin' to jump back to your reply to BrentAllen, just to provide some more insight.

 

Therein lies the problem....my son does not know EXACTLY what he has done to cross this SM. All that has been told is that "my perception(exact word)is that you do not understand the Scout Spirit ..Scout law." No examples or specific events have ever been given to my son as to why the SM has this perception. My son has no criminal record, does not do drugs and does not drink

 

In Scouting, we don't give awards for not drinking. Yah, that sounds trite, but there's a gentle point to be made. A boy might do nothing wrong and still not be deserving of an award. A lad on a swim team may do nothing wrong and still not earn a varsity letter. We don't pin medals on citizens for not stealing.

 

Scout Spirit and the Oath and Law are positive rules, not negative ones like "thou shalt not steal". They require more than not doing anything wrong, they require goin' well out of your way to do special things. Especially when it comes to our highest award in Boy Scoutin', they require demonstratin' a lot of positive virtue. Really steppin' forward without expecting to "get" something for doing so.

 

That can be hard to articulate, and it doesn't really lend itself to listing off a series of "specific events." In fact, it might be the absence of specific positive events that are the problem. It also doesn't mean that the SM feels "crossed" in any way. Might be just that he feels your son hasn't fully lived up to his potential to "do his best to do his duty" in the troop and he's bein' honest about it. Helping your son be prepared for that, and struggle with it, and learn from it, might be a very good thing.

 

It's easy, but childish, to criticize folks we disagree with as being passive-aggressive personalities or out to get us or whatnot. How many young lads use "My science teacher doesn't like me / has a personality conflict with me" to justify not doin' well on the test? That's a child's way of copin' with disappointment by makin' it someone else's fault. And we adults do it too, eh? Sometimes, a SM doesn't get back to us not because he's being passive aggressive, but because he's dealin' with 40 other boys and families, on top of work and his own family.

 

Fact is, your son has spent 7 years in this troop, and cares about it. The SM can't really be all that bad, eh? Otherwise yeh both would have left 6 years ago. ;)

 

In the end, it's really about what we want our sons to become. Never let it be about what we want our sons to get.

 

If your son works the appeals process with respect for the SM as an adult and mentor, it will help him become a stronger man. If he takes the SM's criticism with grace and dignity and self reflection, that in the end will matter more than the patch he sews on his left pocket for his final weeks as a Boy Scout.

 

Beavah

 

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I hear what you're saying, Beav, and won't disagree. In fact, I think there's a pretty good Scoutmaster's minute in there somewhere.

 

But at this point, the process has moved into a different realm. Once a Scout has met all the other requirements, the fact is that a SM better have more than, "He's not Eagle material" to deny an award.

 

Looking at it from a Scoutmaster's point of view, if I have an issue with a Scout beyond the fine, letter-of-law-requirements, I need to be addressing those concerns at Star or before. For any number of reasons (many of which have nothing with BSA Advancement policy) the unit has much more control at Star and Life than it does at Eagle. If a SM is going to make any significant changes in a Scout's advancement path, it needs to happen by Life.

 

For example, I have one boy who will probably reach Eagle this year. For the past couple years his attendance and participation have been very poor. But at his Life SM conference, I told him I wouldn't recommend him for a Board of Review until he improved his "active participation" in the troop. His dad griped and I would have clearly lost if he had chosen to appeal. But the kid stepped up and a couple months later he made Life. He very quickly started talking about his Eagle project, but I put him off and told him he needed to show me something in his leadership position (patrol leader) before we talked about a project. So far, he's continued to show commitment. We're working through his project proposal which I expect him to complete in the next few weeks and complete the project itself over the summer.

 

The point is, I used a little bit of carrot and a little bit of stick to manage the situation and motivate the Scout. If I waited until the he finished all the other requirements, I wouldn't have nearly as many options to influence any sort of change.

 

The plain truth is, Ms. Summer, your son will receive his Eagle. With all the other requirements met -- merit badges, project, leadership, service -- there has to be some affirmative and provable character deficiency for it to be turned down (felony convictions, religious objections, etc). Now that's not to say you won't have to go through a good bit of junk to navigate the appeals process. But in the end, barring some big issue you've not shared with us, your Scout will receive the Eagle Award he has earned.(This message has been edited by Twocubdad)

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Yah, I agree with yeh on all counts, Twocubdad. The proper place to address growth in character is along the way, at each rank progressively. That's how advancement is meant to be used.

 

You know me, though. Whenever I'm gettin' only one side of da story and it's gettin' loud, strident, and personal, I imagine what the other side may be, and what its arguments might be. Part of my trainin' I guess. Most troops and SMs that are playing fast-and-loose don't immediately step up and explain the appeals process and set up an appeal, eh? And we've all had to deal with the helicopter parent from time to time. Best just to pour cold water whenever one side or another starts kickin' up the flames. :)

 

I think one of da hard things for a lot of troops is that they don't have a clear understanding in their head of what a Star Scout should look like, or what a Life Scout should look like, eh? They do have an understanding of what they want an Eagle Scout to look like, but they've never worked backwards and really figured out what that means in terms of steps along the way. So for Star and Life (or even First Class), boys get the badge just by checking boxes and doin' the proverbial "How does the troop make you feel?" 10 minute BOR. The boys and parents learn and expect that yeh get awards by checkin' boxes, not by really developin' skills and character. And next thing yeh know a lad is up for Eagle and folks in the troop are goin' "Wait a minute! That's not our vision of Eagle!".

 

Place to fix it of course is down at the lower ranks, by having a vision of what a First Class Scout should be, and a Star Scout, and a Life Scout, and usin' those ranks to teach skills and character. I tell troops that when they sign for Life they're really sayin' a boy is almost ready to make Eagle.

 

But then, not everybody agrees with me. :) Eagle is a "big deal" in folks' minds, and Life ain't.

 

Even so, it is possible for a lad to change, eh? That bright, active, committed high school freshman Life Scout can become that bored, surly, testing-the-edges, experimenting-with-behaviors high school senior sometimes. When that happens, I have to say I understand and support da units that want to say "Whoa, wait a minute." Who we hold up to the younger boys as Eagle Scouts affects how we teach character to 'em in a big way. A Scoutmaster in such a case has to be honest when he signs his name, doesn't he?

 

Like you, I have no doubt that mdsummer45's son will be given his Eagle badge at some point. So da only question is how to use the process to further develop the boy's character. I think that's best done by teachin' him to listen respectfully, disagree politely, and come to appreciate that Eagle means more in people's eyes than just checkin' the boxes and not gettin' in trouble. I care most about what the lad learns in the process, and I'd hate it to be that it's OK to dis on his SM as being a passive-aggressive twad. :)

 

Besides, if he understands my "Scouter's Minute" above, it should really help him make his case to the committee!

 

Beavah

(This message has been edited by Beavah)

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"So for Star and Life (or even First Class), boys get the badge just by checking boxes and doin' the proverbial "How does the troop make you feel?" 10 minute BOR. The boys and parents learn and expect that yeh get awards by checkin' boxes, not by really developin' skills and character."

 

Interestingly, I had a very similar discussion with a few of our scouts about this very thing just a few weeks ago. They were arguing about age and rank and how they are used a measure of a scouts abilities. "I'm better than you because I outrank you" kind of thing.

 

I also talked about our Troop's advancement record when asked by a few of our new parents how many Eagles we had, how soon do our guys 'get' Eagle, how soon to First Class, etc.

 

What it all boiled down to, both in my conversation with the Scouts and with the parents: I used some of Beavah's words, talked about getting checkmarks in a book. That's the easy part. The real test of character comes in how a Scout demonstrates the Oath and Law - THE rules in our Troop. Personal growth also plays a key role. No, I don't expect the same things from a guy advancing to Tenderfoot as I do a Life Scout. But, those expectations do get progressively higher. Maybe a key thing is that I have SM Conferences with the guys all the time, they just don't know it. Anytime I see an opportunity for a teaching moment. The boys and the parents know I have high expectations. Yes, I've had my share of angry parent phone calls, but in the end it all works out.

 

You know, one of my favorite movie lines is from A Few Good Men: "You don't have to have a patch on your sleeve to have honor."

 

 

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