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Scoutmaster denies 17 year old Life Scout Eagle

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But are you growing old and feeble?  If so, that alone will get you bad points from some.

Edited by TAHAWK
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It's me, I'm getting old and cranky. My apologies to all.

 

Barry

Barry, you certainly are not the only one, you are in good company....

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OK, I accept that. But you classified all scouts working on palms as to not doing something worthy. You don't even have and idea why the op's son wants to earn Palms. You threw him under the bus of your opinion.  

 

What bothers me about comments like that is that it judges a scouts decision, whatever it is.  Same goes with how Eagles and SPL's are disrespected here if they aren't following personal opinions of scouters on this forum. "I believe in patrol method and the Eagles in my troop will.....". 

 

My point is that we all let our Egos hold back scouts in some ways or others. I certainly don't have a defense for this SM, but that some of us don't see ourselves in the mirror sometimes bothers me. 

 

It's me, I'm getting old and cranky. My apologies to all.

 

Barry

 

What I said was this (below). To put it in context, it was in response to a Scouter's son who is just finishing his Eagle, no or 1 palm, and worried that dad (making him really know his stuff) "cost him" a shot a multiple palms.

 

No one, and I mean no one worth their salt that knows a lick about BSA, will give a darn about how many palms a Scout has when it comes to jobs or college. Tell you son that from someone who hires people and sits on a college admissions board.  ;)

 

It has been my expereience the kids with 2+ palms don't interview well and tend to be 1" deep and a mile wide. The real Scouts show no matter if they are Eagles at 13 or 18 or never made Eagle at all. It's about the character, not the patch on their chest.

 

I am sure he will realize what you did for him...but it might take a while.  ;)

I didn't throw anyone under the bus working on palms. I simply pointed out that anyone who knows anything about Scouting knows that palms are based mostly on MB accumulation and 3 months of a leadership role. It is continuing ed for Eagles. No one in the business world I know ever asks, or cares about, how many palm you have. Heck, most people won't know what a palm is.

 

I have to laugh because my dad has the Distinguished Flying Cross with 4 silver clusters and a "V" device. Looks like hell in the display case. He's most proud of the award itself, the "fruit and nuts" as he calls it (all the devices) he couldn't give a rat's patotee about.

 

My point to TampaTurtle, taken in context, was that his son won't care later in life how many palms he got. He will be proud he got his Eagle...and he will be prouder still that his dad held him to a higher standard than all of his friends who got Eagle at 14 with 37 palms.

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If anyone engaged in any outright criticism of some palm earners, it was me.   From my viewpoint, the super-palm earners tend to be focused on the bling collection moreso than the knowledge gained along the way.   However, if that is their quest, more power to them and I'll keep my peace.

 

It doesn't matter whether they earned Eagle at 14 and had time to earn a dozen palms.  Or they passed their board of review at the Eleventh Hour.   They are Eagles, and if there is any difference between them individually, it will be determined by those who live around them--at home, in their communities, places of worship, professions/trades.

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Krampus, Stosh, Tahawk, Meyerc - many thanks for the words of support and Krampus thank you especially for the retort to Beavah. 

 

I also have the dilemma of what to do about my younger son. He has many friends in his current troop. 

 

Beavah, do keep up 'da' snarky comments, they speak volumes. To be clear though the people "burning the bridges" and "sinking the ferries" were the SM and the CC...not me, and definitely not my son.

 

Oh...and since you mention my son's ECOH, he's made it clear that he no longer has any interest in having an ECOH. He did when he was younger, as all young scouts do, but right now he just wants to earn his Eagle and then put scouting behind him.

 

Scouting is supposed to be all about the scouts, but sometimes, and too often, it's all about the scouters.

 

Yah, no intention to be snarky, eh?   Just offerin' a different perspective that yeh can feel free to reject. :rolleyes:

 

In terms of what happens to our kids, it doesn't matter who is responsible for burnin' bridges, eh?   All da kids feel is the burnt bridge.   Adults that are important in their lives are squabblin' and they're caught in the middle.  Such squabbles always take two to tango, or one to strike da match and another to pour on the fuel.    Da saddest cases are my colleagues who deal with divorce law, eh?  But it applies to everywhere else we choose to get litigious about kids' lives.

 

I think da question you have to ask yourself is why in the world you would trust adults who you feel are egregiously mean-spirited to take your younger son out into the woods, eh?    I'm also not sure why those adults would ever agree to be responsible for your younger son when they don't have your support.  That would be da height of foolishness for them. 

 

So this is a foregone conclusion, eh?   A decision not to support da SM and da rest of the troop leadership is a decision to leave the troop.

 

Beavah

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Let's be clear about a few things, @Beavah:

  • The unit leaders created the adversarial atmosphere here, not the Scout or his family.
  • The unit leaders should be acting with the Scout's best interest at heart by communicating with him openly and early to avoid putting him in this situation.
  • The unit leaders WERE WRONG in more than just their application of the rules, requirements and policies.
  • The unit leaders were acting in an unscouting fashion which caused this escalation.
  • The unit leaders, as adults and trained leaders, should know better and hold themselves to a higher standard.

When adults who are unit leaders fail so miserably it is THEY, not the Scout, that forced this issue on to the course it took. The unit leaders could have been honest and pleasant during the meeting. They weren't. They acted the opposite of the Law and Oath. Nothing excuses that.

 

This unit gets what it deserves. I only hope that no other Scouts are put through such shenanigans.

 

Yah, @@Krampus, I think we all have to decide at some point whether it's really important to beat our chests about bein' right on some point or another, eh?  That's da "ego flu" Eagledad is talkin' about.   Lots of times other folks are completely WRONG, and the best choice is to be supportive of them, eh?   Because pickin' fights is wrong too.

 

One of da interestin' things about airplane accidents that has been proven over the years is that by and large, pilots tend to blame the pilots for accidents and air traffic controllers tend to blame air traffic controllers.    Rarely is anything that simple, but each group naturally sees da errors of their fellows more clearly than they see the whole picture.  

 

No different for scouters, eh?   We tend to see what we perceive as da errors of fellow scouters more clearly than the whole picture.  

 

So yah, sure, I agree with yeh that da Scouters could have communicated better, and been less adversarial, and structured their decision differently so as to color within the lines.  You're absolutely right.  

 

I just also think that da word of teenagers about what communication actually happened isn't always what it seems, and the lad and his parent could have been less adversarial too, eh?  Throwin' a snit over goin' campin' a few times is, after all, throwin' a snit over goin' campin' a few times.

 

Da thing of it is, the Scoutmaster isn't here, eh?   So there's no way we can offer him advice, or try to calm him down and see a bigger picture.   Da only person we have to talk to is the parent.   So I just reckon we should give the best advice to the parent we can, and keep our opinions of da SM for another day.

 

A parent havin' to pull kids out of Scoutin' over somethin' as trivial as goin' campin' a few times, especially when the kids have a long history with da program and friends in da program I think is a tragedy that could have been easily avoided.  Makin' the lad go camping would have caused him to pout and grumble for a week, but then he would have gotten over it, eh?   He'd likely have maintained his connection with Scoutin', his younger brother would keep his friendships and adventures, da adult relationships within da troop would have stayed positive, the lad would have celebrated an ECOH with pride.

 

I just reckon that would have been a better outcome, eh?  Even if da Scoutmaster is WRONG.

 

Beavah

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My point is that we all let our Egos hold back scouts in some ways or others. I certainly don't have a defense for this SM, but that some of us don't see ourselves in the mirror sometimes bothers me. 

 

It's me, I'm getting old and cranky. My apologies to all.

 

Barry

I see a bit of truth under that crankiness and it's worth another look. Maybe hypocrisy is just the wrong word. How about contradiction? We have a challenge running this program in our troops in that there's no good description of what we're trying to do. So we each come up with our own description. "Teach scouts how to make good ethical decisions." What does that bloody well mean? "Fun with a purpose." Sorry, but that's just stupid, said my son a long time ago. The whole point of fun is not having a purpose, don't mix them. It's supposed to be fun, no pressure, let the boys decide, yada yada, and at the same time the result, Eagle, is easily more important then lettering in a sport and probably just as important as graduating high school to a lot of people involved in this venture. Fun, easy to do, and yet this is the greatest educational opportunity since sliced bread. No conflict there. A scout will develop great character by learning a few knots, how to read a map, and hanging out with his friends on 10 campouts. The only reason this works is that we apparently have better skills at motivating teenagers then the average high school teacher. Afterall, they can test and set harder requirements. We don't need that, we just use our superior wit. I wish.

 

The BSA created this monster. The term Eagle sells this program like none other and yet the meaning of that term is the source of all the grief. It's not the adults that are the problem so much as the definition of Eagle. Eagle teaches a scout to make good, ethical decisions, and leads to men of character! But, umm, you can get 5 merit badges at summer camp by sleeping through classes taught by some lame ass 16 year old kids, not even scouts, that don't know squat about a merit badge. Who knows, maybe a lot of character is developed by the never ending describe, discuss, and explain found in the merit badge requirements that few scouts really do. It's not just the merit badges but the whole advancement method can be run like this. It's true that advancement is only one method, but let's face it, it is driving all the stress. The parents want it, the scouts want it. Nobody is writing on their college apps that they went to Philmont. Nobody is writing on their job application, as proof of their good character, that they were an SPL. This thread is 10 pages long because a scout wants that patch.

 

Stuck in the middle of all this is ... us. We believe in it. We have good memories from being a kid, or worse, we see a young man smile as he finally figures out how to start an end splice or the first time he makes his own dutch oven cobbler, or any of hundreds of other challenges. It's called SMC, or scoutmaster crack. If you're lucky you get a hit about once a month and the rest of the time you just roll snake eyes dealing with video games and scouts forgetting to do something. But it does work at times and when it does it's great. So we stumble about trying to bridge the gap between the hype and the reality because it does work, at times.

 

Is there any surprise that adults struggle with this program? The adults are not the problem. The adults are the people that make this work. And sometimes they also make it not work. In an ideal world all the kids would be above average and self motivating and this would be easy, but we get all sorts of kids with all sorts of abilities and the typical teenage challenges. We hang on to them as long as we can and we do our best. We make decisions and sometimes they blow up. We're human and we also get frustrated, proud, and all the other things mankind is known for. Maybe for that reason an extra dose of humility should be required in these situations. Other than that I don't have any answers. Scouting is about people and people are complex. Simple rules can not cover that complexity so there will always be challenges like these.

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Yah, @@Krampus, I think we all have to decide at some point whether it's really important to beat our chests about bein' right on some point or another, eh?  That's da "ego flu" Eagledad is talkin' about.   Lots of times other folks are completely WRONG, and the best choice is to be supportive of them, eh?   Because pickin' fights is wrong too.

 

The problem here is you have a 17 year old who has done the work. Who knows how long before he ages out. 10 additional camping days is 5 more camp outs. Depending on how often the unit camps that could be a minimum of 5 additional months wait. What if he gets sick and cannot make a camp out? Let's not trivialize this as simply "goin' campin'". This was adding a large number of additional camping to a kid's schedule. This was anything but a simple case of a few nights more....that's nearly half a year more camping!!!

 

I agree picking fights is wrong. But let's be clear: The Scout did not pick the fight. Even Scouts need to stand their ground sometimes to show a bully that they cannot win. We tell boys all the time to stand up for the weak, stand their ground, pick their battles.

 

When did being a good Scout become synonymous with rolling over to injustice?

 

You are correct that this was in part about ego....the ego of the adults in that unit who could not see that they were doing things wrong. We have enough information about the SM to offer opinions. When he's that far off the path you need to shine that light so people who don't know that this is VERY wrong know what they can do about it...and warn others.

 

This is not a simple case of an SM and CC making a mistake. This is vindictive, non-scouting behavior from two adults running their own program.

Edited by Krampus
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I do believe that when a scout encounters an unjust rule he is expected to work to have it changed. Nothing wrong with adults supporting him in his struggle. To avoid an injustice is counter to the Scout Law.

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Yah, might just be me.  I tend to reserve da word "injustice" for things like crippling poverty, wrongful imprisonment, violent oppression of women and da like.   Treatin' a request to go camping to receive an award in an outdoors program as "injustice" strikes me as what the boys would call a First World Problem.

 

Besides, the lad isn't tryin' to change the troop's new participation requirements, eh?   He's just arguin' that the rule shouldn't apply to him.

 

As close as I can tell, the outcomes here could have been better for the boy (he'd have finished Eagle in his troop, had an ECOH with his friends, maintained relationships with Scouting, learned things and had fun), better for his brother (he'd have been able to stay active in his troop with his friends), better for all the adults (less wasted time and energy on conflicts), better for the troop (stronger scoutin', more time spent on things that matter), and better for Scoutin' overall. 

 

How many worse outcomes are we willin' to accept before we recognize that bein' RIGHT is sometimes da wrong choice?  For both "sides".

 

Beavah

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@@Beavah, you saying it wouldn't be an injustice for a scout to be denied his Eagle because of a few adults adding requirements?

 

I think you need to expand your definition.

 

Let's be clear: This is NOT adults asking a guy to camp more. You are WAY oversimplifying things.

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I find defining injustices as having to be a certain size before they are to be taken seriously, the first step in justifying bullying. Sorry, I will not be a party to such practices.

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Yah, well, in that case I reckon it's an injustice to take a course of action that leads for worse outcomes for everybody, eh? :p   It's certainly a sadness, eh? 

 

I don't think we can justify actual harm by arguin' that the rules made us do it or by pretendin' Justice is on our side.

 

JMHO.

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Yah, well, in that case I reckon it's an injustice to take a course of action that leads for worse outcomes for everybody, eh? :p   It's certainly a sadness, eh? 

 

I don't think we can justify actual harm by arguin' that the rules made us do it or by pretendin' Justice is on our side.

 

JMHO.

 

It is not a worse outcome if the Scout gets his Eagle.

 

It is not a worse outcome if the troop leaders get in trouble for making up rules and have to change their way of doing things so that it complies with the BSA rules.

 

It WOULD BE a worse outcome if 1) this kid did not make Eagle, and 2) these adults were allowed to get away with what they are doing.

 

That's the crux of this case.

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