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Scoutmaster denies 17 year old Life Scout Eagle

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The position that whatever the SM says goes is contrary to the rules and ideals of Scouting.

 

Except if we're bein' honest, that's not what we have, eh?   Da Committee Chair, and presumably the Committee are in agreement with da Scoutmaster.   As far as we know, da COR is on board with the CC, Committee, and SM.   From what we can tell, da ASMs aren't linin' up to support this family either, eh?  Knowin' boys, I even expect the other boys fall in the "if I have to keep up my participation for Eagle, why shouldn't he have to?" camp.  After all, da younger brother doesn't seem to be wantin' to quit over the way his older sibling has been treated. ;)

 

So what was that about automatic assumptions over who was bein' wrong and evil? :p

 

Yah, I'm not a big one for who is right and wrong and lots of pointin' at other folks eh?  We're all da heroes of our own stories.  I just care about outcomes, and bein' mindful of my own (in)ability to influence da outcome.  If I'm talkin' to a parent I can't change da SM, all I can do is give the parent advice, eh?   If I'm talkin' to a SM I can't change a parent's behavior, but I can help a SM think about things differently. 

 

In the end, none of us can force volunteers or parents to do anything.  They're volunteers and parents.  Yeh can't make a volunteer work with a kid, they have to choose to give up their free time to do so.  If they're not willin' to, it's over.  Yeh can't make a parent be supportive of a lad's program.  They have to choose to trust and work with da leaders.  If they won't, it's over.

 

At points like this it's almost always best to move along and start relationships afresh rather than try to rebuild bridges that have been burned to da ground.

 

 

That leaves transferring to another troop.  Hopefully there is another troop where your son has one or more friends or at least positive acquaintances.  Discuss the situation with prospective SMs.  Try to have someone with good rep introduce your son to the prospective SM.   Bend over backwards to be fair to those who have not earned fairness.   Hopefully, your son can honestly say, " I don;t want any special breaks.  I just want Eagle if I have passed all the requirements - no more and no less."

 

Yah, da older lad is already out, eh?  He's just pursuin' an EBOR under disputed circumstances.   I think @@SSF is talkin' about his/her younger son.

 

Havin' the younger lad transfer to another troop is also an option, if there's one available that the boy is interested in and that @@SSF feels he/she can support.

 

Beavah

Edited by Beavah

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Beavah, I know this may be an over-simplification, but this is what the council told me about advancement program when we first chartered our unit back in the 80's.

 

Advancement is like the uniforms.  We don't require you to buy uniforms, but if you decide to go with the uniforms, we want you to wear them correctly.

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Beavah, I know this may be an over-simplification, but this is what the council told me about advancement program when we first chartered our unit back in the 80's.

 

Advancement is like the uniforms.  We don't require you to buy uniforms, but if you decide to go with the uniforms, we want you to wear them correctly.

 

Yah, sure.  We "want" yeh to.  ;)  Uniformin' works best when it's, well, uniform.  Besides, Supply Division needs to make its annual revenue projections!

 

Now think for a minute about all da times yeh have seen an adult or a youth member commit da sartorial abomination of wearin' da field uniform shirt with blue jeans.   Imagine that improper uniformin' hideousness in its full glory.   Make 'em cut-off jeans on a rotund scouter if yeh like. :p

 

You don't think we're actually revokin' registrations and addin' people to da Ineligible Volunteers List over that, do yeh? :confused:  I can't remember ever seein' a charter revoked for units not havin' official socks or belts, but then I'm growin' old and feeble. :blink:

 

Nah.  Just like we're not givin' folks da heave ho for advancement mills or for not really havin' patrol flags or for havin' the adults do most of the cookin' or for puttin' a youth lifeguard in a boat with a nonswimmer instead of a parent.  We're a program provider and an association of volunteers that share certain goals is all. 

 

Heck we don't even revoke membership when an adult's poor judgment contributes to a boy dying, eh?  We don't drop charters when a CO's action leads to greater liability in molestation cases.  Instead, we help 'em and care for 'em as brother scouters and loyal customers.

 

I reckon that there will always be some scouters who are into da precision scoutin' thing, eh?  Every knot sewn on (right side up), every boy spit-and-polished, no day gone by without quotin' from a book to show how knowledgeable or important they are, eh?   That's fine, I reckon.   Some adults get into that sort of thing, and it even works for some lads and some families.

 

Just don't mix that up with da BSA or scoutin' in general.  There are lots of different ways to play da scouting game, and we support 'em.  It's a diverse world out here.  We want folks to do Scoutin' well is all... meanin' usin' it to accomplish good things for kids, and helpin' 'em grow in fitness, character, and citizenship before God and Man.

 

Beavah

Edited by Beavah
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Tried five years with a troop in my neighborhood.  Five SA's attended regularly when I started.  I was the last when I transferred last Summer.

 

The "Scoutmaster of the Year" for 2011 has no training - zero after sixteen years - and does not own SMHB, BSHB, or PLHB.  "All you need is to like kids."

 

He is loved by the Committee, none of whom have a minute of training.  "Best Scoutmaster in the World" i was repeatedly told.

 

SM has blocked training for TC by telling them strongly that it is boring and a total waste of time.

 

No Unit Commissioner.

 

All you hear at a meeting after opening flag ceremony is the SM.  He lectures on a variety of topics for 60-80 minutes. ("Hair is the best tinder.  Get some from the barber.")

 

SM did all the planning until he stopped and there was often no planning. Now it is usually "What shall we do tonight?.  (Do you have a compass? Do something on map and compass")

 

"Why if the troop breaks up into patrols, the patrol leaders would have to be in charge." Obviously, no patrol meetings or even patrol corners.

 

When I first joined, the PLs did not know which patrol they were in.  I managed to get that changed and to have patrols sit together during troop meetings, but having them compete as patrols or even play games as patrols was out.

 

"The purpose of Scouting is to produce Eagle Scouts."

 

The "Quartermaster" was a dad until there was no Quartermaster.  Now the SM pulls stuff out that he thinks he will need.

 

The SM did the occasional troop newsletter until there was no newsletter.  When an older Scout volunteered, he was told it was "too important."

 

Boards of Review are almost 100% retesting. (Yes, that the CC going into the room with a half dozen ropes and a couple of sticks.)

 

So, furry Scouter, support of the committee and other adults may be significant - or not.  Look who gets votes these days.

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So, furry Scouter, support of the committee and other adults may be significant - or not.  Look who gets votes these days.

 

Yah, for sure. :rolleyes:

 

Nobody losin' their membership or charter though.  ;)

 

One of da most common sources of contention is da thing we're seein' here, eh?   A unit that passes a lad along to Life Scout, then when the lad is comin' up for Eagle they discover that they don't like the outcome and they try to fix it in da bottom of the 9th.   It's most common in troops where adults are still learnin', or where there's a new sheriff in town and he or she is tryin' to up da expectations for the boys after some years of neglect and mediocrity.  In my experience it's ordinarily a good sign for a troop, because it's a sign the adults really care and have some vision for what they want scoutin' to accomplish.

 

My advice to 'em is to do what they can with da older lads in small ways, but to be realistic about what's possible and fair in the time left.  Mostly yeh have to let da older lads go, eh?    Work on re-establishin' norms with the younger guys.  Yeh can't address problems at Eagle, yeh have to make First Class meaningful, and Star, and Life.   If da outcome yeh want is a boy with certain character and values at the end (Eagle or not), then work backwards from that until yeh start at the beginning, eh?  Da road has to begin at Scout, not at project signatures.

 

Of course, da other problem is with Advancement, eh?  Da method doesn't work as a punishment, and yeh can't use it that way.   It doesn't work as an entitlement or as a check-da-box exercise either, eh?  It only works as genuine recognition of a lad's effort and abilities.   Our ranks have to reflect da recognition and esteem of peers and adults that is already present, otherwise they're just cloth.

 

Beavah

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Tahawk, Hedgehog, Krampus, jr56  - many thanks again for the words of support.

 

 

Again, my son has rightfully completed all requirements by BSA standards and by the troop's own active participation policies.

 

 

Bear in mind that the SM changed and added an additional requirement (the ten nights of camping) that was adopted literally overnight at the SM's whim, with no advance notification and then applied retroactively, even after my son had already met the troop's original active participation standard. The SM also completely misled him over the course of the year regarding his SM Conference and signing of his Eagle workbook and application.

 

 

He also lied about his knowledge of my son's completion of his one remaining merit badge partial - which the SM is still trying to cling to as a way to somehow prevent my son from becoming an Eagle.

 

Then there was that travesty of a meeting in which the SM and CC acted like a couple of thugs while the UC did nothing to uphold any of the advancement standards in the GTA.

 

 

Scouters are volunteers, however, they still have a moral and ethical obligation to conduct themselves in accordance with the Scout Oath and Scout Law and to be open, honest and supportive of the scouts regarding their advancement and participation.

 

 

The SM and CC of my son’s troop have violated those tenets to an egregious degree.

 

Yes, there will always be variances between the ways that troops operate, however, all units – regardless of their charter org – must operate within the parameters of the BSA program and the GTA. Units do not have an unrestricted right to just do whatever they want to.

 

 

If I read some of the other comments correctly it seems that some believe that scouts are there for the purpose of serving the scouters or the Charter Org. It’s the other way around. Souters, the charter org and the BSA should all be putting scout’s first.

 

 

Scouts must always come first.

 

 

Otherwise what is the point of any of this…

 

 

As I've said, it's shameful and vile that good scouts like my son are  made to suffer while vindictive scouters are protected and shielded and allowed to continue to do a great disservice to boys and to their families.

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The SM and CC of my son’s troop have violated those tenets to an egregious degree....

 

As I've said, it's shameful and vile that good scouts like my son are  made to suffer while vindictive scouters are protected and shielded and allowed to continue to do a great disservice to boys and to their families.

 

 

Yah, @@SSF, do yeh see what you're writin' here?   This is a decision to pull your boys out of this troop now.  Yeh can't continue, eh?  It's not good for you, and it isn't good for them either.

 

Go find another troop or another program that meets your needs.

 

The troop you're leavin' is goin' to keep doin' what they feel is best, so long as they have da support of other parents and kids, eh?  Sometimes a program that isn't a good fit for one family works just fine for other families.  Regardless, it's no longer your concern, eh?  Time to follow your own advice, put your kids first, and go find another program that yeh think yeh can support and that will support your family.

 

Just remember, whether it's da soccer coach or da band director or the math teacher or da youth minister or a new scoutmaster, they all will need and expect your support, eh?  If we want other people to help with our child's learnin' and growth, that's da price we all have to pay.  Choose a program yeh can really commit to supportin'.

 

Know whatever yeh choose folks will never be perfect.  They'll sometimes be wrong.  We're all human.  If we're not OK with that, then we can always keep the lads at home for school and everything else, eh?  Then it will only be us as parents who are never perfect, and sometimes dead wrong. :unsure:

 

Beavah

Edited by Beavah

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Wow, 12 pages and I read the whole thing to see what it was all about and now I'm just...tired. I think Beavah has it about right, SSF. You've already made the decision for all practical purposes. Go ahead and pull the trigger on it. It will be for the best of all involved.

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I have to disagree with Beavah on this last point.  The younger son says he would like to continue in scouting with this unit.  I see no reason why he shouldn't.

 

As an Athletic Director, I have seen parents ejected from ballgames, banned from school grounds, and placed under restraining orders.  The kids still played.

 

It can still work.

Edited by David CO
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Yah, @@SSF, do yeh see what you're writin' here?   This is a decision to pull your boys out of this troop now.  Yeh can't continue, eh?  It's not good for you, and it isn't good for them either.

 

Go find another troop or another program that meets your needs.

 

 

It is sad when people have to leave a troop because it is being badly run. @@SSF, if you are anywhere near New Jersey, your sons are welcome in our troop.  

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I have to disagree with Beavah on this last point.  The younger son says he would like to continue in scouting with this unit.  I see no reason why he shouldn't.

 

As an Athletic Director, I have seen parents ejected from ballgames, banned from school grounds, and placed under restraining orders.  The kids still played.

 

It can still work.

 

Yah, I hear yeh @DavidCO.

 

I reckon da difference is that schools have a lot more clout in dealin' with this sort of thing than an average troop can muster.  For one, yeh have paid professional staff, like Athletic Directors.  :)    Yeh also have school grounds that yeh own and control, where a troop really doesn't, eh?   Can't ban a parent from a state park campground.    Yeh have da finances and legal expertise to go get restraining orders, and yeh aren't spendin' the night with the kids in remote areas, eh?

 

Like I said, I've seen it work once or twice where one parent agreed to stay away and let da other parent deal with the scout unit.  That takes a lot of integrity and self-control on the part of the parents, and a lot of trust on da part of the volunteers. 

 

Me personally, I wouldn't take a boy into the woods unless I felt I had a reasonable level of support and trust from the parents.  There are just way too many ways things can come to grief otherwise, not da least of which is unsupportive parents' habit of bein' very litigious and very willin' to make accusations of wrongdoin'.   Plus it ain't great for the boy, eh?  The adults in his life should be on da same page.

 

Beavah

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True, it would be nice if all the adults in a boy's life were on the same page.  It sure would make my life and job a lot easier.  But that's not reality, is it Beavah?

 

Many of my students and scouts don't live in a traditional two-parent household.  I have often been in a circumstance where one parent signs a boy up for an activity, like sports or scouting, while the other parent doesn't agree with or support the program. 

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I am still a bit curious about the ban.  

 

A ban is a very serious thing.  It is a high level decision.  I am pretty high up, but even I don't have the authority to issue a permanent ban on a parent.  Only my pastor can do that.

 

If my pastor banned a parent, he would send the parent an official letter of notification.  He would sign the letter.  He would keep a copy of the letter in his files.

 

The pastor, principal, and I would dot every "i" and cross every "t" to document everything just in case we might later need to get a restraining order.

 

We would very certainly not notify the parent by word of mouth. 

Edited by David CO

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There's something seriously wrong with a troop that has to ban parents from their activities.  Unless there is an issue of legality, what would constitute sufficient grounds to ban a parent?

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There's something seriously wrong with a troop that has to ban parents from their activities.  Unless there is an issue of legality, what would constitute sufficient grounds to ban a parent?

 

Threatening words or behavior would do it.  But even then, we might let the parent walk it back.

 

I agree with you, Stosh.  Something would have to be seriously wrong.  Something would have to be seriously wrong with the troop, or something would have to be seriously wrong with the parent.  Or both.

 

Either way, the situation would warrant further investigation and possible action by the representatives of the Chartered Organization.

Edited by David CO

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