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MattR

Eagle and weed

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There needs to be a meeting with the SM, COR, Camp Director and Scout Executive. They may take it out of your hands. All the Camp Director can do is document it and send him home. Membership decisions are up to the COR and/or the SE. And as a routine EBOR District representative, I would vote no on handing him his Eagle. To do so would send the worst possible message to the other scouts and parents, who no doubt know all about what is going on.

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I am more than a little concerned when I consider the possibility that youth members may read posts on this site and believe some of the half-truths and misinformation about the illegality and potential consequences of recreational drug use by minors.

 

Recreational drug use by MINORS is not legal in any state in the USA. It is not legal in any grade school or high school in the USA. In fact, most states have enhanced penalties for bringing recreational drugs to school or to school sponsored activities.

 

Many Scout units have schools as their CO. Many others have PTA/PTO. In both cases, they are considered school sponsored activities as far as the disciplinary rules go.

 

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Old_OX_Eagle83 ... I agree this thread is a perfect example of the problem with the attitude toward Eagle Scout. Too many people infer too much on Eagle. It's rightly respected and very well hyped' date=' but it is only a rank. You do the requirements and earn the rank. Too many people think it's more than that. It is scouting that teaches character and it's being a scout that we should honor. Eagle just means requirements were completed. If the kid completes the requirements, he's earned Eagle. [b']People who talk about "the award is cheapened" are way off base and are protecting the award instead of protecting the scout.[/b]

 

As for the rest.... This scenario is way way too common to call it a major screw up or to question the scout's moral character. Pot is so common and so many kids have it that there will not be a police investigation or anything like that. The police would find nothing more than what you found when you investigated. Your scout had it and provided it to his fellow scouts. That is bad, very bad, but that does not make him a drug dealer.

 

So what will happen is that the scout is going to face some immediate challenges. The court will scare him and give him an intervention program that usually works. Odds are this is the first time he's had pot and it is a crime of ease, convenience and peer and societal pressure.

 

-----------------------------------

 

As for finessing the rules.... From what I understand, he has a few merit badges left. If he completes those merit badges, there is little to stop him from submitting an application to be recognized as an Eagle Scout directly to the district and request a disputed Eagle BOR. His troop doesn't even need to be involved. As long as the court issues are resolved and he can demonstrate the requirements are complete, BSA will award Eagle. The only thing that can stop that is the scout not knowing his rights and his troop's adult leaders not telling him about his rights.

 

This exact scenario has occurred many times. We can be all self-righteous and try to deny him his accomplishments, but then we are not following the Scout Law ourselves because we have to hide information from the scout to get our way. IMHO, that's way more shameful than the mistake the scout made.

 

Our duty is to protect all our scouts (thus membership issue) and to support our scouts (that's why you tell him about his rights as a scout and the procedures he can use). Anything else and we're not doing our job as good leaders.

 

Again, a reqiurement is that he live according to the Scout Oath and Law. He swears to do his best to do so as a Scout, regardless of advancement considerations. He clearly fails that requirement.

 

I sit on a Council Appeal Board. He can appeal. The overwhelming odds are that he loses the appeal. We have had such cases.

 

If we are actually interested in character development, he needs to recognize that he did wrong and show that he is capable of living according to the Oath and Law. Saying that violating the law and trying to hook others is is not a major issue is a disservice to the Scout and to Scouting, IMO.

 

As for whether he is a dealer, we do not know. Dealers often give "free samples" to hook customers. We have had Scouts dealing in this area. They say it was "only" to finance their habits.

 

The widespread nature of the problem does not diminish its seriousness, even if the "war on drugs" looks to be a flop.

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If it's a legal issue, let the courts decide what needs to be done. If they slap him on his wrist and send him home, so be it. I'm thinking the parents are going to heap a load of coals on him and now it's up to the BSA to add to that. Maybe we ought to get the school and church in on this little game of dump on the dummy.

 

I'm all for dragging him out in the parking lot and shooting him as an example to the rest of the boys. But if you do, make sure that along with the blindfold, you give him the right kind of cigarette.

 

Stosh

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If an existing Eagle were in the same situation what do you think should be done? Take it away' date=' suspend it?[/quote']

 

 

B.S.A. has the power to take the medal and insignia back. Seems extreme after the fact for this "situation."

 

Stosh, what, if anything - sarcasm aside - would you do in the circumstances described by the OP? Am I correct that you agree he should be given a chance to show better?

 

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B.S.A. has the power to take the medal and insignia back. Seems extreme after the fact for this "situation."

 

 

Curious, how many times has this ever happened? Do you know of any examples?

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This came up here years ago.

 

Charter and Bylaws and Ruiles and Regulations of the Boy Scouts of America, Article x, Section 4, Clause 9:

 

Clause 9. All badges and insignia shall remain the property of the Boy Scouts of America subject to recall for cause by the Corporation or its duly authorized representative.

 

Mike Walton, whom a number of you know, related witnessing the recall of B.S.A. badges and insignia from a pedophile: http://www.gather.com/viewArticle.action?articleId=281474977728933

He also reports:

I have been tracking this over the years since 1970, and as far as I'm aware, the National Executive Board has only revoked eleven or twelve Eagle Scout badges awarded to criminals or to individuals who have caused extreme harm to the program. I am curious to see what the National Executive Board will do in a current case of an Eagle Scout who made another Scout drink urine as a "punishment" during a campout.

 

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TAHAWK ... It's interesting in the inconsistencies. I've seen differently. If a scout that has an incident such as this one resolved and behind him, I've seen those as successful even if the scoutmaster won't sign off on the SMC or the Eagle application.

 

BASEMENTDWELLER ... "I would do everything in my power to make it as difficult as possible for the young man to receive his Eagle." ... If you don't want to support the scout, fine. Then, get out of the way. If you don't trust him in your troop, remove him. But it is NEVER EVER our job to block a scout. Not help, fine. Not sign, fine. If you want to let him lay in the bed that he made, fine. But to be an obstacle or even blowing threatening hot air is just being a mean sob and a poor example of a scout leader.

 

Maybe it's just me. I've seen scouts that have faced too many challenges to believe that my job as a leader is to add to their headaches.

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TAHAWK,

 

In an earlier post I did spell out what I would do in a situation like this. Please refer back to #20. Yes, I would give him a second chance. I think that if this is an isolated incident (the post doesn't really say anyone saw this coming), he should be given a second chance. If it seems to be part of a pattern, then there have been enough chances already. This is a call the SM needs to make having more info than what we have on the forum. After all are we not bound by oath to help other people at all times? I'm thinking that applies to this kid as well. If I can't live up to those words, how can I expect the scouts to? It's tough to live up to the Oath and Law as an adult, the kids are just trying it out for the first time with a lot less experience and maturity.

 

Basement,

 

One can't add or remove anything as part of advancement requirements. I would think that doing everything in my power to make it difficult is a flagrant abuse of one's authority. If that be one's conclusion, then I'm with Fred, cut the kid loose.

 

Stosh

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This thread and the "too young to be an eagle" thread are similar in a way. Both are partially about whether a scout deserves Eagle. Both scouts have done the check boxes. One is "too young" to gain the experience and one made a huge mistake. One thing that’s not mentioned is how to motivate scouts, especially when it comes to making good decisions. The best thing I can do to motivate a scout is to praise him in front of his peers for doing something well that a man is expected to do. The other end of that is denying that praise when he does something poorly that a man is expected to do. The best praise I have to work with is the Eagle award. If there were something else that’s recognized across the country as well as the Eagle award I’d be happy to use it. So, it doesn’t matter to me that the check boxes are all one and done. What matters is the scouts in my troop see Eagle as something adults confer on young men for doing well what a man should do. You could say it’s underhanded or devious and you may be right. (BTW, I don’t play with any of the check boxes other than Scout Spirit.) Someone said that adults that don’t tell the scouts the real rules are doing things wrong. It may be, but I do tell the scouts the rules and most choose to stay. I had a scout that I told I’d help him find another troop to get Eagle because I knew he wanted Eagle and I figured he didn’t want the headaches I was creating for him. He said no thanks, he’d stay, and he’s turned things around and is a fantastic leader. I wish he would have done this a few years ago so he could become the SPL.

 

I just got a phone call from the dad of the scout in the OP. This is the first time this scout has done anything like this. He is also terrified. He’s not terrified that he’s got a court date, that he’s going to be taking urine tests until he’s 18, or that he’ll likely lose his license. He’s terrified that I’m going to throw him out of the troop. I have his attention like I’ve never had before and honestly this is much better than I hoped. Not only that, but hopefully if he listens to me he’ll stop listening to the “friends†that sold him the grass. I asked the dad to pass on the message that his son would be forgiven after he makes up for his mistakes, which includes proving this won’t happen again, and that 16 months should be enough time if he works at it. He's going to learn in much detail about righting a wrong. I also told the dad his son needs to call me for now on, rather than dad.

 

It's not that I'm choosing between giving him a second chance or expulsion from the troop. It's that I'm going to give him a first chance, along with some guidance, on how to make up for the mistake he made. It's his choice what he does with it.

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Sounds like a good candidate for option #2. He just may end up a better person than he not done this. This is what growing up is all about.

 

Stosh

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I like your approach Matt. How does this scout make up for his mistake? Live the law and oath like he is supposed to do or will you be setting other challenges for him? I don't have a problem with that, but what kinds of things will you be looking for?

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... It's not that I'm choosing between giving him a second chance or expulsion from the troop. It's that I'm going to give him a first chance' date=' along with some guidance, on how to make up for the mistake he made. It's his choice what he does with it.[/size'][/color]

 

You have the right attitude. Here's the thing about bad kids: Even if you stop their advancement, expel them from your unit, etc ... They stick with you. You'll cross paths sooner or later, and when they do, you'll want to see signs that they've straightened out long enough for you to be willing to help them. Keep your guard up, but be open to accepting a little hurt to give the guy a chance to prove himself a better man.

 

For now, be honest with the boy. Let him know that he's done something that's gonna make a lot of people keep their guard up when he deals with them. No amount of being an excellent scout over the next year is going to change that. In some folks eyes, no bling is going to hide the user/dealer "patch" he just awarded himself. So, however you challenge him (suspension from troop so he can work on addiction issues, finding new friends or talking to good old ones, postponing SMC, etc...), it will be so that he can soberly reflect on his actions, forgive himself, and walk tall even though other folks might think less of him.

 

I get where folks who don't want to make this "all about the bird" are coming from. But if that's what the boy values, you would do well to let him know that that goal is still in play. He might even be able to spell out to you the conditions that he would have to meet before feeling that he deserved the award. He might be tougher on himself than any of us would be. Or, he might be clueless and just playing his dad and you for a fool. Regardless, if Eagle is his touchstone, use it.

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