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John-in-KC

Eagle Candidates wearing uniform at ELSP

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Beavah wrote, in part:

 

"I expect most of us advise Eagle candidates to wear their uniform when workin' on a project,"

 

I think there are times to wear the uniform during any project, and there may be times not to wear the uniform:

 

- Certainly during the preliminary period before District approval, when the young man is trying to sell the merits of his project to the supported agency, his SM, his Committee, and perhaps his Chartered Partner.

 

- Certainly at the end of the project the Scout should be in uniform to collect the project completion signatures from the supported agency. Let's be honest: The Scout isn't doing this out of total altruism, he's getting a step closer to Eagle.

 

- Whilst doing the project? I think it depends. Some ELSPs (developing libraries for church missions... read about that in Boy's Life years ago) are no-brainers. Some projects are a judgment call. If the Scout concerned uses his common sense, he'll know when it's OK to wear the uniform, and when it's not.

 

- As to BW's comment from p 27 of ACP&P #33088 "He does the project outside the sphere of Scouting.", I think that's a re-emphasis of the limitations in the Eagle Scout Workbook 18-936 (mandated by BSA Requirements #33215): 2. Projects involving council property or other BSA activities are not acceptable.

 

To me, the read of the policy applies to whom the service of the ELSP is rendered, not the how. If you believe "outside the sphere" is "how", and you take the comment to its logical end, the Scout should use a volunteer labor pool, including appropriate adult assistance (power tools comes to mind) that is outside of Scouting. From my experience in my Council, I'd say a plurality to a majority of Eagle Leadership Service Project would never have happened under those conditions.

 

Thoughts?(This message has been edited by John-in-KC)

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I advise my Eagle candidates that it is expected that the assisting scouts show up in uniform and go home in uniform, but while working on a messy project they can wear coveralls or other protective clothing. If the person is not a scout but a friend coming to help out they don't need to be in uniform of course, but if the worker wishes to receive scout credit for service project hours, they need to be in uniform. The Eagle candidate will stay in uniform throughout the day so that he can be readily found by the workers for further instruction and direction as needed.

 

Stosh

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First it is illegal buckles and now it is rules that fly in the face of BSA policies. Sheesh! Denying a scout credit for work because he chose not to get his uniform filthy and covered with concrete.

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I will have to say that most of the eagle projects around here require actual work as in physical stuff in the hot Florida sun. And sometimes that aforementioned nasty grey stuff and almost certainly running an idiot stick. It is not the proper venue for a scout uniform or a business suit. Shorts and an older t-shirt seem to be the uniform of the day. An experienced troop T-shirt would be best but chances are it won't go home clean.

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Nothing in the requirements, training, or resources of the BSA require the candidate to use scoouts or scout units as the workforce. If a troop did participate it would be a as scouting activity for the troop. But the candidate's role as the project leader, and the project itself, is done "outside the sphere of scouting".

The project that was planned and lead by the candidate is not done as a troop project or a council project or a national BSA project. the projct belongs to the benefitting organization as the youth leader who happens to also be a scout gets to use the project to fulfill his advancement requirement for the eagle rank.

 

But it is not a scouting project at any level of the BSA. To explain the importance of this...If there were no other members of scouting on this project and a laborer was injured are they covered by BSA accident insurance? NO. Is the Scout covered by BSA liability insurance? NO If the project is done on the property of an organization other than his own charter organization is his CO liable for property damage or personal injury? NO

 

Why?...Because the project is done outside the sphere of scouting. The candiate does the work as a volunteer community member not as a representative of the troop, the council, or the BSA...he is "outside the sphere of scouting". His community volunteer work is recognized by the BSA toward his advancement requirement.(This message has been edited by Bob White)

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Is the Scout covered by BSA liability insurance? NO

 

:) Where's Oak Tree? That's got to be a record! Someone bringin' up insurance in a thread about wearin' the uniform during a project!

 

Yah, it's certainly right in part to think of ESLP's as bein' a service to an organization outside of Scouting, eh? But for those who care or worry about such things beyond their humor value, this really isn't da proper way to think about liability insurance, and not an accurate response for most ESLP's.

 

And since questions of liability are typically questions of fact, opinions offered about liability (or lack thereof) durin' ESLPs should not be relied upon. Leastways, this old Beavah wouldn't hazard a guess. ;)

 

B(This message has been edited by Beavah)

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"4. Participate in an approved (minimum of one hour) service project. (page 88)."

 

Who approves community service hours? BSA? Troop Committee? the SM? the parents of the boy? his PL? the organization receiving the benefit?????

 

As long as the requirement doesn't specify, it really is a rather empty requirement. Participating in service hours could in fact mean helping mom with the dishes as the any one of a thousand other opportunities for service.

 

Surely the one making the assumed approval isn't going to place any expectations on the "project" so approval becomes a moot point.

 

Therefore the requirement is met anytime a scout lifts a finger to help someone other than himself.

 

Stosh

 

 

 

 

 

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Hey Beavah, yep, more evidence that pretty much *any* discussion can turn to insurance. Glad you thought of me right away. :-)

 

I've got Bob White squelched - ever since he insulted me in a private message, I've found my life on the board is more pleasant without reading his input - but I took a look at this one.

 

I'm certainly no expert on liability law. But I just find it hard to imagine the BSA arguing in court that a Scout working on his Eagle project was not participating in an "official Scouting activity." He's doing the activity to earn a Scouting rank. The project has been approved by his unit and by his district. At the end of the time, the district will decide whether he has completed it satisfactorily. He is often (typically) accompanied by other Scouts. The other Scouts are often earning service hours as well.

 

I don't know that I've seen a definition of what constitutes an "official Scouting activity." I guess we're all expected to know one when we see one. To my naive legal mind, an Eagle Scout service project would sure look like one.

 

And, on topic for the thread, our Scouts usually do not wear their uniform while working on the project. The work typically involves some of the following: paint, sawdust, stain, dirt, sweat, cement, and some other messy items. Just hasn't seemed like the best place for the uniform.

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I also have a tendency to ignore the comments of those who find it necessary to pick at other peoples' postings. I drew flack for saying such things as, "I advise my Eagle candidates that it is expected that the assisting scouts show up in uniform and go home in uniform, but while working on a messy project they can wear coveralls or other protective clothing." This of course gets translated into getting one's uniform messy (like a week at camp isn't going to do that anyway?) Unless the boy spills something on his uniform coming or going to the project, he shouldn't get it dirty. If the project requires messy work, then he might consider covering it up or taking it off and putting on more appropriate work clothes. Not all Eagle projects require this protection, however, and the boys can proudly wear their uniform while doing their good turn activity.

 

Not all those working on the project will be scouts. Those not wishing to indicate being part of the scout workforce by leaving their uniform at home are evaluated as such.

 

I also indicated the Eagle candidate should be identified by his uniform so that he can be sought out by others who may wish to consult with whoever's in charge. Not everyone onsite will be able to tell from all the boys running around which one is responsible for the project. If the Eagle candidate is going to be doing the work and getting dirty instead of coordinating, supervising and inspecting the work, then maybe he ought to rethink the purpose of his project.

 

At one project an elderly man stopped by and complimented to me how nice it was to see all the scouts doing such a nice job and asked me if it was an Eagle project. I smiled nicely, pointed to the boy in full uniform standing over by the project doing some inspection and said, there's the man you need to be talking to I'm only the SM. He did just that. Later the Eagle candidate related to me how neat it was that a man had stopped by and was very interested in his project and how well it was going. It would seem that this man had done his similar Eagle project many years earlier. The project was at a church and if it hadn't been for the uniforms, this project could have appeared to being done by a church youth group. But for two people, the uniform had made a difference.

 

Stosh

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What some posters sarcasm is keeping them from seeing is that in the case of the Eagle Scout Service Project, the scout is not representing himself as an agent of the BSA, or unit. National's statement that the Eagle project is done "outside the sphere of scouting" and, the matter of accident and liaibility responsibility are all related.

 

The reason that the scout does not wear a uniform is that as the leader of the project he represents the benefitting organization of the project and not the BSA, the council, or the Charter organization.

 

It is the candidate that chooses, plans and leads the project, not the BSA, the unit or the CO. The procedures for the project specifically state that no other scouting member need be involved in the project. So the BSA the unit and the CO have no exposure to liability (unless it is done on the CO's property).

 

The benefitting organization of the project would have the responsibility for the liability. Think of it like this. If you have a den meeting at your home it is a scout activity done within the normal sphere of scouting. The participants would be protected by the BSA accident insurance and if it is run by BSA adult leaders within the policies of the BSA the liability protection offered by the BSA would be in force.

 

But if at that same house the boy who was a scout had some friends over to play and someone was injured (even if that someone was a scout in the same den) the BSA would not be responsible for costs resulting from the accident because the activity was "outside the sphere of scouting".

 

During this non-scout activity could the scout meet advancement requirements? Yes, because although the activity is outside the sphere of scouting and the boy is not representing the scouting program at the time, the BSA still recognizes his actions toward the completion of requirements.

 

There are specific timess when scouts represent their unit, council, BSA program, and times when they are prohibited from doing so. An Eagle project is specifically identified by the BSA as done "outside the sphere of scouting", the candiate does not represent the unit, council, or national office. He is involved in the project as a volunteer for the benefitting organization. The scout is prohibited from seeking funds or donations for other organizations (the benefitting organization of the project) using the name, images or uniforms or the BSA.

 

So my post was not off topic as accused by Beavah, the three elements of uniform, sphere, and liability are in this case all related.

 

(This message has been edited by Bob White)

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Only one or two of us here are practicing attorneys. I think we should leave the legal liability and insurance questions up to to them. As to uniforms, I think the attire worn should be suitable to the environment and the work to be done. I find such gratification in the fact that the Eagle candidate has reached the point of actually executing his plan, and his troop-mates, friends, and family are giving up their time to support him, I would never, never criticise his uniform, or lack thereof.

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Jblake

Do not confuse a troop or patrols service project with an individual's service project. One is done inside the sphere of scouting and the other outside.

 

When a troop or patrol, as an activity of the unit, provides a service they may (depending on certain elements of the activity) be allowed to wear the uniform. For instance, A unit that is removing litter from a local park may wear the uniform. A unit that is helping a School church or community organization with a project can wear their uniform.

 

A scout who is doing a service projcet outside the sphere of scouting, (for instance he has his Scoutmaster's permission to use his work as an aide in Sunday School classes at his church toward his service hours) would not wear the Scouting uniform, as he is doing the work as a member of the church not as a representative of the unit or BSA. The BSA is simply accepting his work outside the sphere of scouting toward his advancment requirement.

 

If you were to argue that his work in the Sunday School class was indeed "INSIDE" the sphere of scouting then that would mean that your unit, CO and council was in some way liable for the welfare of that scout while he is at the Sunday School, and that is simply not true. He would be the responsibility of the Church who is is volunteering for and whose property he is on.

(This message has been edited by Bob White)

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scoutldr,

You do not need to be an attorney to understand insurance. You no doubt have insurance yourself and you know what it covers or you would not have bought it, and yet you admit you are not an attorney.

 

This is not about criticizing the scout, it is about the leaders understanding of the BSA advancement policies and procedures and being able to understand at what times you can use the uniform and images of the BSA and when you cannot.

 

Nor does it have to do with being proud of the scouts. Are you any less proud of them when they park cars at a rally for a political candidate as when they pick up litter at a park. Yet at one they are allowed to wear the uniform at another they are not.

 

 

 

 

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I agree with BW regarding the uniform on Eagle projects and also about projects being community based and not Scouting based.

 

However, I disagree with the notion that us lay-folk can understand insurance, or libility, or other legal mumbo. I've said it before - laywers: can't live without 'em, can't shoot 'em.

 

;)

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I know there is one judge posting here at Scouter, and from what he's described, he's at a trial court of record somewhere in New York.

 

From everything I've seen, including more than one disclaimer, I'm pretty darn certain at least two other posters here are practicing attorneys. One might even sing he used to be a ...........

 

As for me, I'm a tired broken down artilleryman who bangs public policy and database computer keys... but I used to be an Owl, and I have slept in a Holiday Inn Express.

 

BW, your legal background is?

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