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perdidochas

Parents writing Eagle references for child

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Is this a new thing? I just don't remember being sent a reference form, and my oldest son had his EBOR about a year ago.

 

Our council sends out reference letters to the references.

 

You sure you're the father?

 

Just askin' :)

 

Stosh

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This is rather silly. I cannot recall following a job interview where a HR person said to me' date=' "Oh, we are waiting to hear from your mother before we make a decision." :confused:[/quote']

 

 

It's coming!

 

Here's the money quote:

 

"~~PepsiCo CEO Indra Nooyi, for example, told Fortune earlier this year that she writes letters to the parents of senior leaders on her executive team, and she even called the parent of one high-potential candidate for help persuading him to join the company. "

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It's coming!

 

Here's the money quote:

 

"~~PepsiCo CEO Indra Nooyi, for example, told Fortune earlier this year that she writes letters to the parents of senior leaders on her executive team, and she even called the parent of one high-potential candidate for help persuading him to join the company. "

 

Creepy. Well maybe Nooyi can sell blacktop or a new roof to the parent while she is calling. :(

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And in our district both I and my wife wrote letters for our son' date=' but we were not allowed in the EBOR. Not a lot of standardization on things it would seem.[/quote']

 

Variety is the spice of life!

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You sure you're the father?

 

Just askin' :)

 

Stosh

 

Well, the mailman we had at the time was female, so there's a pretty good chance he's mine......

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I'm with JoeBob on this. But our council doesn't require letters' date=' only names of persons who would be willing if asked.[/quote']

 

In our council, they send out form letters to the references listed on the form. I do remember parent's addresses being on the Eagle Application, we just didn't get a reference letter to send. I'm not sure I would have filled it out, as the idea doesn't "feel" right to me. 1

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It's curious. Our council asks the candidate to send out a form to those from whom he requests a reference. The returned letters go to whomever is coordinating the Eagle package (adv. chair, scoutmaster, anybody but the parent). The Eagle package isn't stopped for lack of letters but we advise our young men to request multiple references from each category.

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Reference letters from parents are just silly. The good news is they are the only letters we can count on receiving in a timely fashion.

 

Our council was one at which the new rules were directed (i.e.: Scouts aren't expected to chase references for letters nor can an app or BOR be held up waiting on letters.) Still, the council requires the five letters be submitted with the Eagle application and stipulates that the unit is responsible for chasing them.

 

These letters are a huge PIA. I tell Eagle candidates the first thing the need to do upon finishing the requirements it to start in on the reference letters. They are, by far, the most aggravating part of completing the application process. It takes weeks -- frequently four to six weeks and sometimes longer -- for the letters to come in. Since this fool's task has been dumped on the unit, our policy is for the Scout to give the reference a letter requesting a letter with a stamped envelope attached addressed to me, the SM. If the letter is not forthcoming in a couple weeks, as a courtesy to the reference, I ask the Scout to follow up one time (although that is technically against advancement policy.) If the letter doesn't arrive shortly thereafter, I'll may make one follow-up call myself, but usually attach a note to the application stating we have followed national policy on trying to obtain the letter but the lack of response is now delaying the application. I went toe-to-toe a couple times with the person at council who processes the applications over this. Finally I pulled a copy of the Guide to Advancement off the shelf, asked to speak to the Asst SE who advises the council advancement committee and told him he could either accept the application or I would submit it to national as an appeal. (He took it.)

 

Of course, I'm not allowed to see the letters (the levels of confidentiality are silly, too) but all my Eagle board members tell me they have never seen a letter which added to the process. Think about it: the kid has been working at a burger joint for three months. He had the teacher for nine. Maybe the same coach for a couple seasons. We've know him since he was a Tiger. What are the references going to add we don't already know?

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2c, although I've found the letters helpful, (SMs and ASMs are welcome to read them in our district.) I would buck your council's system the minute it was imposed. I enjoy writing them for boys, and prefer to give them directly to them, giving the lad control over the process.

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It surprises me how negative some comments are about this process. Yes, a large percentage of the letters received are predictably bland and supportive. But, a small percentage can and occasionally do shed light on an aspect of the candidate that might never have been seen otherwise. Much depends on how the letter writer approaches this request.

 

Letters of reference are still often required in job applications and certainly when applying for many scholarships and other special placement activities such as accompanying a scientific group as a youth member on a project, or participating in something like Boy's or Girl's State programs. So why should not references be important to the Eagle process?

 

In our council the scoutmaster is expected to write a recommendation as well. Some would say that is redundant, but simply approving an applicant does not shed much light on the applicant's interactions within the unit, which is really what the reason is for that request. Unfortunately, few leaders say anything other than yes, he is a great scout and nice kid. Again though, on occasion something comes up from one that is beneficial to the review.

 

The best thing to come out of parental letters I have experienced in the reviews on which I have sat are behind the scene reflections on how well the scout lives up to the law and oath on the family level, and occasionally clarifying the family dynamic we seldom really see.

 

And, at least for me, who bacame an Eagle before projects were a part, references were truly important when community leaders, who often barely knew the candidate, sat on the review. Would have to go back and look at Star and Life back then, but I remember being asked to submit letters for those ranks as well.

 

We often hear the comment that the Eagle board is sort of like their first job interview. And, depending on the type of job, references often are asked for, and even letters if the job offerer chooses that avenue rather than calls.

 

While seldom would a letter disqualify a candidate, it is an important part of the learning process, which is part of the reason scouting exists.JMHO of course based on 40 years or so of adult activity.

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I'll agree with you that the process of requesting and collecting references is an important life skill. But it that's the focus, we need to do a better job of teaching the Scouts how to go about it. I once received the following text: "mr tcd can I use you for a reference" . While I give the follow credit for at least asking (I've been called by potential employers of Scouts how haven't asked), my initial reaction was "hell no." Upon reflection I responded with, "Who is this?" Kids who believe they occupy he center of the universe also tend to believe EVERYONE has them in their directory.

 

I usually give my Scouts a rundown on how to ask -- ask personally, by phone or with a letter (like printed on paper). Give the person an addressed, STAMPED envelope. Follow up with a thank you note -- you've just been given a whale of a gift.

 

Q -- guide to advancement is specific that the Scouts are not permitted to even handle the letters and the unit leaders are to submit them sealed. To accomplish this, I've give my Eagle candidates a Word document with an envelop the need to use. The envelop is addressed to me and obviously identifies it as an Eagle reference. I've gotten my knuckles rapped for accidently opening reference letters which show up in my mail box. The letters also include the references' names so we know who to follow up with when we're short.

 

I don't mind references per se, but it's this level of bureaucracy and BS which tips them into "not worth the trouble" territory.

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... I don't mind references per se' date=' but it's this level of bureaucracy and BS which tips them into "not worth the trouble" territory.[/quote']

 

I'll admit, my insistence on only writing open references is poking the bear a little. And I think our district advancement chair respects us enough to not push back. I know he's not alone. I have done the same for boys who've moved out of the region. A few months later, I still get a picture with mom pinning their birds on.

 

My bottom line: There are no secrets in scouting. If I have anything negative to say, the boy's going to see it in writing first, then his SM, then both of them can be prepared when facing the board. As opposed to Byzantine BSA HQ's, I find that my Eagle candidates are sufficiently trustworthy to handle it.

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""~~My bottom line: There are no secrets in scouting"" Confidential, sure, but not secret....

 

Once upon a time, I applied to serve as Staff at a Jamboree. After some time, when I hadn't heard anything, I enquired and they said "what application?" I repeated the process, eventually received an email that stated I was " not qualified". I called and emailed (over weeks) until I found someone in Irving willing to talk to me and tell me exactly how I was "not qualified" . He grudgingly told me all applications were reviewed by the applicants home council and the reviewer in mine had put a negative opinion on mine. How so? He wouldn't tell me, it was considered "confidential". Well, how can I answer this? He said I couldn't. When I pointed out that I had already served as staff in previous Jamborees, Council Wood Badge courses, and in many Scout positions over the past umpteen years and didn't an Eagle Scout deserve a real answer, he said he was sorry, that was all he could tell me. I asked if I could ask my friends here to write letters of recommendation to "correct" National's opinion of me, he said I could but he could not say what affect, if any , that would have. Why not just let it go, after the Jamboree, all the records will be destroyed and there will be no record of this. I said, sure , but anyone reading THAT review would think what of me, in the mean time?

I told this story to many folks in Scouting, in my business, in my faith and family. NO one I spoke to could understand the review or BSA's unwillingness to reconsider or let me answer and rebut the negative judgements. I ultimately garnered over 20 glowing letters extolling my virtues as Scouter, faith leader, employee, and family man. I was humbled by this show of support, everyone gave me copies of what they sent to Irving. I was still not accepted as Staff that year. But NEXT time, guess what? I was told they had changed their review process.

And I went to that Jamboree. My good wife was of the opinion that after this sort of treatment, perhaps I should drop Scouting and concentrate o other things. I pointed out that we had changed some things and that yeah, I still had a good rep here in local Scouting and isn't that what it really is all about?

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