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Scout denied Eagle conference

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The Eagle Scout award means different things to different people. I have encountered people that see eagle scouts as a really impressive, and others that see them as no big deal. I think one of the things that shapes our view of the award, is what were the eagles like that we knew when we were scouts.

 

In my old troop, we had only one scout make it to Eagle while I was there (no, not me). He was our SPL at the time, and a great scout (if you wanted a great example of kind, courteous, helpful, etc. He was it). I remember his eagle project. It was a conservation project at a county park, and the whole troop showed up to help. I spent the day with a pick in my hand digging a drainage ditch in hard ground ("are you sure that isn't concrete?"). Others in the troop laid out matting on bare hillsides and erosion channels. It was a project he (and all of us) were proud of. We saw how much he put into the troop, and how much he put into the award. To us it meant something because of the scout that held the rank, not the award itself.

 

Later that year when I met my first 14 year old eagle at summer camp, I was kind of shocked. How did he finish everything so quickly? I chatted with him a while about it. His troop turned out to be an eagle mill troop (though I hadn't heard the term back then). His project was a joke (he collected newspapers for recycling by giving twenty homes a paper bag, asking them to fill it with old newspaper, and collecting it the next week. He collected about a 100 pounds, that was it. Our troop did a newspaper drive every year, and we collected more than that per scout). His troop also ran a merit badge "clinic" the weekend after summer camp because summer camp didn't give out enough merit badges. He had gotten something like eight merit badges at the previous year's clinic (enough to finish his eagle). He boasted that over half the scouts in his troop were eagles (I didn't believe him, so I went by their camp later. I didn't count them, but there were a lot of scouts with eagle patches). Basically, his eagle award wasn't worth much (unfortunately this encounter has colored my view of "young eagles" to this day - something I have to watch out for).

 

So I can see both sides.

BD....think sarcasm.

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You guys don't like my Troops attendance policy.......

 

Bottom line here is the OP's scout would not be granted a SMC or BOR because he does not meet our definition of active. Which is 50% of meetings and activities for scouts and 80% for youth leaders......... It is reasonable, the scouts are aware of it as it is posted in our Troops handbook and on our website.

 

 

 

 

Every time we have this discussion on this board I think less and less of Eagle........as blake said it has become a participation award.

The trouble with attendance policies is that they need to be followed with an recommendation such as "as soon as you fulfill advancement requirements, we strongly recommend submitting for your advancement."

 

IMHO, that is really where many of these failings happen. The scout who thinks he's completed the requirements and the adult leaders who are asking what have you done for me lately.

 

Scouts that are problematic are scouts that are usually busy and get distracted with other activities. They've already fulfilled "requirements" but then are asked to re-fulfill them later. Leaders ask for the requirements to be fulfilled "now" even though the scout had the right to submit his advancement paperwork earlier.

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Guide to advancement: 4.2.3.5, pg 29, states clearly that leaders do not have the authority to deny a Scout a unit leader (SM) conference that is necessary for rank advancement.

 

There is nothing for the SM to sign off on other than the fact that a scoutmaster conference was held. If the scoutmaster won't hold one, then the SCOUT should ask for a board of review, as the G to A says.

Basementdweller ... Really? BSA GTA 8.0.0.2 "Boards of Review Must Be Granted When

Requirements Are Met

A Scout shall not be denied this opportunity. When he

believes he has completed all the requirements for a rank,

including a Scoutmaster conference, a board of review

must be granted. Scoutmastersâ€â€or councils or districts in

the case of the Eagle Scout rankâ€â€for example, do not

have authority to expect a boy to request or organize

one, or to “defer†him, or to ask him to perform beyond

the requirements in order to be granted one. In a case

where there is concern the Scout has not fulﬠlled the

requirements for a rank as written, it is appropriate to

advise the young man that he might not pass the board

and to make suggestions about what he might do to

improve his chances for success. It is, however, the Scout’s

decision to go ahead with a board of review or not."

 

It even says it is not the responsibility of the scout to make the BOR happen or to even request it. It's the adult leaders responsibility to make sure it happens. But if the scout has requested it, it is his right to have a BOR.

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There is ALWAYS more to the story. For example, I recently participated in a discussion with a scout preparing his Eagle application where the scout's Life advancement date was in 2009 and his last leadership date was in 2008. (He thought he was ready for his EBOR!) This was not a surprise to me considering my knowledge of his virtually non-existent troop as well as his personal activity in this "troop". Luckily he had six months until his 18th birthday so I offered him the suggestion of either requesting a leadership position in his troop so he could work to bring it back to life or if that didn't work out to request the position of Den Chief with the local pack. After the conversation with the scout these ideas were also shared with his current Scoutmaster, his former Scoutmaster (from the 2008-2009 era) and his mother. Instead of this scout actually working to complete the requirement, this entire group of people ended up trying to push it up and through the council without the requirement being completed because the scout didn’t want to deal with doing any more than he has already completed. They are saying that what he has completed is enough. There is much more to this story than I'm sharing here, but this is enough to set up my point:

 

In this case “Myboy†has presented, it seems to appear that the SM is adding requirements. The reality very well could be something completely different just as those involved in my local situation are currently suggesting that additional requirements are being heaped upon them. This situation has certainly made me a lot more skeptical about stories like this floating around. Frankly, I would think that the best assumption would be that the trained SM would have a better grip on what is proper over most parents. I can’t say that this would always hold true, but this may be the place to start working through a problem like this.

 

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Guide to advancement: 4.2.3.5, pg 29, states clearly that leaders do not have the authority to deny a Scout a unit leader (SM) conference that is necessary for rank advancement.

 

There is nothing for the SM to sign off on other than the fact that a scoutmaster conference was held. If the scoutmaster won't hold one, then the SCOUT should ask for a board of review, as the G to A says.

Never been in the situation........

 

If that is the case then the CC can fail his BOR or pass him....

 

 

So is it better for the CC to tell a lad up front he isn't ready or to hold the BOR and then deny him????

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The Eagle Scout award means different things to different people. I have encountered people that see eagle scouts as a really impressive, and others that see them as no big deal. I think one of the things that shapes our view of the award, is what were the eagles like that we knew when we were scouts.

 

In my old troop, we had only one scout make it to Eagle while I was there (no, not me). He was our SPL at the time, and a great scout (if you wanted a great example of kind, courteous, helpful, etc. He was it). I remember his eagle project. It was a conservation project at a county park, and the whole troop showed up to help. I spent the day with a pick in my hand digging a drainage ditch in hard ground ("are you sure that isn't concrete?"). Others in the troop laid out matting on bare hillsides and erosion channels. It was a project he (and all of us) were proud of. We saw how much he put into the troop, and how much he put into the award. To us it meant something because of the scout that held the rank, not the award itself.

 

Later that year when I met my first 14 year old eagle at summer camp, I was kind of shocked. How did he finish everything so quickly? I chatted with him a while about it. His troop turned out to be an eagle mill troop (though I hadn't heard the term back then). His project was a joke (he collected newspapers for recycling by giving twenty homes a paper bag, asking them to fill it with old newspaper, and collecting it the next week. He collected about a 100 pounds, that was it. Our troop did a newspaper drive every year, and we collected more than that per scout). His troop also ran a merit badge "clinic" the weekend after summer camp because summer camp didn't give out enough merit badges. He had gotten something like eight merit badges at the previous year's clinic (enough to finish his eagle). He boasted that over half the scouts in his troop were eagles (I didn't believe him, so I went by their camp later. I didn't count them, but there were a lot of scouts with eagle patches). Basically, his eagle award wasn't worth much (unfortunately this encounter has colored my view of "young eagles" to this day - something I have to watch out for).

 

So I can see both sides.

Somethings are just lost without the ability to listen to tone or see facial expressions.

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Beav's usual assumption was always that the person being tried in absentia was a reasonable Scouter with the best interest of the Scouts and the program at heart.

 

Unfortunately, my experience with SMs as both a youth and adult is of ignorance and ego as described by Myboy. There's a book--a few, actually--with 90% of this stuff in it. My opinion in my troop is always the minority and written off as "my way or highway" because I am literally the only person who has ready any of these books. The SM handbook, the PL and SPL HB, the Guide to Adv., and the Guide to SS, etc.

 

Every one of these threads is situational, and this SM is ignorant--willfully or inadvertently, it doesn't matter--and his position is wrong. I don't care about his intentions, I don't care about his heart: He's wrong. He is either wrong on purpose, or he is wrong because he is no good at his job, whichever, same difference. If he's wrong because he's unfamiliar with the GtA, his heart isn't in it. If he's wrong because he refuses to abide by the GtA, his heart isn't in it.

 

Next week someone might come around to pan their SM and if they're wrong and the SM is right I'll be right there by the SM. But in this situation, taking Myboy at face, the SM is a heel.

You'll have to pardon me for not assuming that the OP is a liar, BD.

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There is ALWAYS more to the story. For example, I recently participated in a discussion with a scout preparing his Eagle application where the scout's Life advancement date was in 2009 and his last leadership date was in 2008. (He thought he was ready for his EBOR!) This was not a surprise to me considering my knowledge of his virtually non-existent troop as well as his personal activity in this "troop". Luckily he had six months until his 18th birthday so I offered him the suggestion of either requesting a leadership position in his troop so he could work to bring it back to life or if that didn't work out to request the position of Den Chief with the local pack. After the conversation with the scout these ideas were also shared with his current Scoutmaster, his former Scoutmaster (from the 2008-2009 era) and his mother. Instead of this scout actually working to complete the requirement, this entire group of people ended up trying to push it up and through the council without the requirement being completed because the scout didn’t want to deal with doing any more than he has already completed. They are saying that what he has completed is enough. There is much more to this story than I'm sharing here, but this is enough to set up my point:

 

In this case “Myboy†has presented, it seems to appear that the SM is adding requirements. The reality very well could be something completely different just as those involved in my local situation are currently suggesting that additional requirements are being heaped upon them. This situation has certainly made me a lot more skeptical about stories like this floating around. Frankly, I would think that the best assumption would be that the trained SM would have a better grip on what is proper over most parents. I can’t say that this would always hold true, but this may be the place to start working through a problem like this.

"Frankly, I would think that the best assumption would be that the trained SM would have a better grip on what is proper over most parents."

SM/ASM and Troop Committee training is a joke and does not cover the nuances--much less basics--of the Guide to Advancement. Our committee and ASM corps are 100% trained (council mandate for recharter) and I am regularly accused of making things up and/or "my way or highway" because I am the only person in the unit who has read the GtA, UIG, GtSS, SM Handbook, etc. Troop Committee Challenge is literally a joke, and SM/ASM training is not much better. Fully trained leaders, even veterans, leave training sessions and online sessions basically ignorant.

For example, our Committee Chair literally emailed the District Adv committee to confirm after I said that ASMs cannot sit on BoRs, and the guy has been trained, trained, trained. He's not a special idiot, the other 7 trained ASMs and committee sitting in the room didn't believe me, either.

I saw a statistic somewhere the other week (some Wood Badge-related thing, probably something Kudu posted) that said some [astounding/confounding] percentage of WB participants had never even read the SM Handbook. "Trained SMs" are, as I've said, in my experience, ignorant and proud of it.

Take JoeBob--completely insulted that I and others say SMs are ignorant and egotistical, yet just a couple months ago when he included pistols (which are not allowed) in his ideal Boy Scout camp, he went ballistic when I pointed it out, demanded evidence, and upon receiving it called the policy stupid and advanced circumventing the policy with registration fraud. Yeah, mea culpa for calling SMs egotistical and ignorant.

 

There is no doubt that Myboy is giving us only his/her side of the story, and it is entirely possible (and maybe even probable) that there are missing details that vindicate the SM. But all we have is Myboy's side, and that's all I can comment on. The SM cannot hold the boy accountable to a participation caveat after the fact. That doesn't mean that I think Eagle medals should be handed out like candy, it means that I hold the SM as accountable to regulation as I do the boy.

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There is ALWAYS more to the story. For example, I recently participated in a discussion with a scout preparing his Eagle application where the scout's Life advancement date was in 2009 and his last leadership date was in 2008. (He thought he was ready for his EBOR!) This was not a surprise to me considering my knowledge of his virtually non-existent troop as well as his personal activity in this "troop". Luckily he had six months until his 18th birthday so I offered him the suggestion of either requesting a leadership position in his troop so he could work to bring it back to life or if that didn't work out to request the position of Den Chief with the local pack. After the conversation with the scout these ideas were also shared with his current Scoutmaster, his former Scoutmaster (from the 2008-2009 era) and his mother. Instead of this scout actually working to complete the requirement, this entire group of people ended up trying to push it up and through the council without the requirement being completed because the scout didn’t want to deal with doing any more than he has already completed. They are saying that what he has completed is enough. There is much more to this story than I'm sharing here, but this is enough to set up my point:

 

In this case “Myboy†has presented, it seems to appear that the SM is adding requirements. The reality very well could be something completely different just as those involved in my local situation are currently suggesting that additional requirements are being heaped upon them. This situation has certainly made me a lot more skeptical about stories like this floating around. Frankly, I would think that the best assumption would be that the trained SM would have a better grip on what is proper over most parents. I can’t say that this would always hold true, but this may be the place to start working through a problem like this.

Well said, Scoutetr99. Altho I too have had to remind folks of BSA guidelines, I have had to bend them on occasion to meet the conditions "on the ground". More than once, I have had to serve on the BoR of the Troop (I am an ASM) when there just weren't any other adults able and willing (yes, we've had folks refuse when asked) to so serve. The CC usually chairs the BoR, since we don't have an official AdChair. "The work gets done by whomever shows up".

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My son called home from college the other day complaining about his physics professor. He just got his first test back on which he made a 55. Not to bad considering the average for the class was less that 50 and no one passed, according to the professor. And there is no curve . If he makes 100 on the remaining three test and the final he still makes a B. According to him, the test is a common on for all sections of the course offered by a number of different professors. Unfortunately, his professor covered only a portion of the material in class. The practice test his professor distributed only covered those topics the professor covered in class, Hardly seems fair, huh?

 

So his options are to file a complaint against the professor, informally whine to the department chair, or have me call and raise Cain with the university over the shabby treatment my son is receiving, pointing out that I'm paying $20,000 a year and expect better instruction.

 

Instead, my son, an Eagle Scout, has done the following: 1) he has signed up for tutoring for the course, 2) he's found when other sections of the course are being taught and is planning on auditing the classes taught by other professors, 3) he's figured out how to download course materials and study guides from all the other professors, and, 4) he spoke to the graduate assistant who teaches his lab for the course and found out that the exams are all based on the textbook and that he should focus on that, not the materials the professor gives him.

 

So, Myboy, my boy, what lessons do you want your son to gain from this experience? How do you want him to handle similar situations in, say, September?

Any science/engineering prof that doesn't use a curve should be reported. Hard tests and a curve are the norm, that's what makes the test realistic.

 

Separate from what your son has done, that prof is an idiot.

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This is silly. By making him get close to his 18th Birthday, it's denying him the opportunity for Eagle Palms that he's earned with his service and merit badges. The SM is making up his own requirements. The parent needs to request a meeting with the Committee Chair.

 

The SM might want more of him, but that's for the Palms, he's earned his Eagle.

 

He's already lost out on one Eagle Palm with this nonsense.

 

We had two 13 year old Eagles presented at Roundtable last night. The opportunity to earn Eagle Palms (and all their excess merit badges), was proudly pointed out by the EBOR leader, the Scoutmasters, and the Scouts themselves.

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There is ALWAYS more to the story. For example, I recently participated in a discussion with a scout preparing his Eagle application where the scout's Life advancement date was in 2009 and his last leadership date was in 2008. (He thought he was ready for his EBOR!) This was not a surprise to me considering my knowledge of his virtually non-existent troop as well as his personal activity in this "troop". Luckily he had six months until his 18th birthday so I offered him the suggestion of either requesting a leadership position in his troop so he could work to bring it back to life or if that didn't work out to request the position of Den Chief with the local pack. After the conversation with the scout these ideas were also shared with his current Scoutmaster, his former Scoutmaster (from the 2008-2009 era) and his mother. Instead of this scout actually working to complete the requirement, this entire group of people ended up trying to push it up and through the council without the requirement being completed because the scout didn’t want to deal with doing any more than he has already completed. They are saying that what he has completed is enough. There is much more to this story than I'm sharing here, but this is enough to set up my point:

 

In this case “Myboy†has presented, it seems to appear that the SM is adding requirements. The reality very well could be something completely different just as those involved in my local situation are currently suggesting that additional requirements are being heaped upon them. This situation has certainly made me a lot more skeptical about stories like this floating around. Frankly, I would think that the best assumption would be that the trained SM would have a better grip on what is proper over most parents. I can’t say that this would always hold true, but this may be the place to start working through a problem like this.

Scouter99 : Please read this carefully. Even though you quote me fairly well, you're still not understanding.

 

"Take JoeBob--completely insulted that I and others say SMs are ignorant and egotistical, yet just a couple months ago when he included pistols (which are not allowed) in his ideal Boy Scout camp"

 

Scouter 99, just because pistols are not allowed now does not mean that they could not / should not be considered for inclusion in an ideal camp. Regurgitating the G2SS gives you no control over the future. Watch this space for LaserTag and paintball.

 

Bureaucratic paperwork can easily be overcome by more paperwork:

"This program involves pistol shooting, it is only available to Venture Scouts. Boys over the age of 14 or who are 13 and have completed the 8th Grade can attend as Venture Scouts if they simply fill out an application (there is no additional charge)."

http://www.campjosepho.org/boy-scout-programs/shooting-sports-camp/

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There is ALWAYS more to the story. For example, I recently participated in a discussion with a scout preparing his Eagle application where the scout's Life advancement date was in 2009 and his last leadership date was in 2008. (He thought he was ready for his EBOR!) This was not a surprise to me considering my knowledge of his virtually non-existent troop as well as his personal activity in this "troop". Luckily he had six months until his 18th birthday so I offered him the suggestion of either requesting a leadership position in his troop so he could work to bring it back to life or if that didn't work out to request the position of Den Chief with the local pack. After the conversation with the scout these ideas were also shared with his current Scoutmaster, his former Scoutmaster (from the 2008-2009 era) and his mother. Instead of this scout actually working to complete the requirement, this entire group of people ended up trying to push it up and through the council without the requirement being completed because the scout didn’t want to deal with doing any more than he has already completed. They are saying that what he has completed is enough. There is much more to this story than I'm sharing here, but this is enough to set up my point:

 

In this case “Myboy†has presented, it seems to appear that the SM is adding requirements. The reality very well could be something completely different just as those involved in my local situation are currently suggesting that additional requirements are being heaped upon them. This situation has certainly made me a lot more skeptical about stories like this floating around. Frankly, I would think that the best assumption would be that the trained SM would have a better grip on what is proper over most parents. I can’t say that this would always hold true, but this may be the place to start working through a problem like this.

Nice to see so many examples of the Scout Law in practice.

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Thank you for considering my perspective on MyBoy's situation. My Scouting history/positions were included only to show I am not an inexperienced outsider looking in, but someone who has worked through the system as a youth and then contributed as an adult leader, which might be important to some people as they consider my viewpoint, as there are not only leaders posting in these forums, but also non-involved Scout parents and also perhaps people just learning or curious about Scouting, but who have no actual Scouting experience or contributions from which to draw, which might render their opinions less valuable in some peoples' eyes.

 

I am glad for those who have been able to encounter more reasonable Scouters along their path, but there are the rare Scoutmasters, as was mentioned, who do give Scouting a huge black eye, and unfortunately, I have encountered this with increasing regularity. I did state, and I reiterate, that I have also been very fortunate to have worked with many wonderful, generous Scouters through the years who are owed a tremendous debt of gratitude by their Scouts and Scout parents.

 

But there is a reason for the saying - One bad apple... The damage they can do is disproportionate and long lasting. All it takes is one less than benevolent leader in a key position to make a Scout's time in Scouting absolutely miserable. They do not see the emotional damage they create and the pain, nor do they want to. All they care about is letting you know they are the boss. They do not see the turmoil in a Scout as he struggles to decide whether to stay with his troop and his friends, or make the excruciating decision to join a new troop to get away from the emotional bullying of the adult(s). No teen boy will share this vulnerability at SMC, but the misery is there, and the anxiety induced, from not ever being able to please and the inability to hit a moving target, ever present.

 

But thank you for considering my experiences, whether you agree or not, and for sharing your own input as well.

 

 

I am sincerely interested in hearing many viewpoints on these situations:

 

The gate-keeping SM who declares "There is no way you will be allowed to be a 13 year old Eagle Scout"

 

and

 

"We don't believe Eagles younger than about 16 have the maturity to be what an Eagle really is supposed to be"

 

or one that tests and retests requirements at future SMC's long after a skill has been signed off, and makes repeated testing a requirement to "pass" the CURRENT SMC (testing is not the stated purpose of SMC - testing is completed at individual requirement sign-off, no?).

 

When asked to see justifications for the above in writing, SM falls back on holding hostage "Scout Spirit and Active" sign-offs to delay rank advancement, because those are the subjective ones, without taking into account any of the questions regarding evaluating true Scout Spirit I listed in my original post.

 

Without quoting chapter and verse of the GTA, NONE of this is supposed to go on, but it does, very often, to the adults' ego and control, and the Scout's detriment.

 

IDK, maybe I just got lucky encountering the rare SM or two. Maybe I should play the LOTTO at this rate. :-)

 

BoyLedMyEye

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Thank you for considering my perspective on MyBoy's situation. My Scouting history/positions were included only to show I am not an inexperienced outsider looking in, but someone who has worked through the system as a youth and then contributed as an adult leader, which might be important to some people as they consider my viewpoint, as there are not only leaders posting in these forums, but also non-involved Scout parents and also perhaps people just learning or curious about Scouting, but who have no actual Scouting experience or contributions from which to draw, which might render their opinions less valuable in some peoples' eyes.

 

I am glad for those who have been able to encounter more reasonable Scouters along their path, but there are the rare Scoutmasters, as was mentioned, who do give Scouting a huge black eye, and unfortunately, I have encountered this with increasing regularity. I did state, and I reiterate, that I have also been very fortunate to have worked with many wonderful, generous Scouters through the years who are owed a tremendous debt of gratitude by their Scouts and Scout parents.

 

But there is a reason for the saying - One bad apple... The damage they can do is disproportionate and long lasting. All it takes is one less than benevolent leader in a key position to make a Scout's time in Scouting absolutely miserable. They do not see the emotional damage they create and the pain, nor do they want to. All they care about is letting you know they are the boss. They do not see the turmoil in a Scout as he struggles to decide whether to stay with his troop and his friends, or make the excruciating decision to join a new troop to get away from the emotional bullying of the adult(s). No teen boy will share this vulnerability at SMC, but the misery is there, and the anxiety induced, from not ever being able to please and the inability to hit a moving target, ever present.

 

But thank you for considering my experiences, whether you agree or not, and for sharing your own input as well.

 

 

I am sincerely interested in hearing many viewpoints on these situations:

 

The gate-keeping SM who declares "There is no way you will be allowed to be a 13 year old Eagle Scout"

 

and

 

"We don't believe Eagles younger than about 16 have the maturity to be what an Eagle really is supposed to be"

 

or one that tests and retests requirements at future SMC's long after a skill has been signed off, and makes repeated testing a requirement to "pass" the CURRENT SMC (testing is not the stated purpose of SMC - testing is completed at individual requirement sign-off, no?).

 

When asked to see justifications for the above in writing, SM falls back on holding hostage "Scout Spirit and Active" sign-offs to delay rank advancement, because those are the subjective ones, without taking into account any of the questions regarding evaluating true Scout Spirit I listed in my original post.

 

Without quoting chapter and verse of the GTA, NONE of this is supposed to go on, but it does, very often, to the adults' ego and control, and the Scout's detriment.

 

IDK, maybe I just got lucky encountering the rare SM or two. Maybe I should play the LOTTO at this rate. :-)

 

BoyLedMyEye

I don't mind the young Eagles at all. If they have satisfied the requirements, get them Eagle ASAP in order to set an example for the other boys!

 

What sticks in my craw is the boys, young or old, who do just enough to barely argue that they have completed the work.

 

Packing your footlocker for camp does not qualify as:

"b. Pack your own gear and your share of the patrol equipment and food for proper carrying. Show that your pack is right for quickly getting what is needed first, and that it has been assembled properly for comfort, weight, balance, size, and neatness."

 

If I have to look at your Eagle paperwork to remember who you are, chances are good that you haven't met the troop's expectation of 'active'.

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