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Scoutmaster denies 17 year old Life Scout Eagle

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Sectarian, separatist and discriminatory imply a fragmenting of society, nationalistic implies a unification dynamic.  As noted I said BSA, not WOS.  On a unit level nationalistic is merely optional. 

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Yah, we're wanderin' pretty far afield, eh?   Perhaps we should take a pause and see if @@SSF has any updates for us.  :)

 

 

OK.  The provisions that BSA says are mandatory are merely suggestive.  ""[O]ur job is to act as da BSA intends us to act," means do whatever we believe is better, regardless of what B.S.A. says. 

 

 

The "we" here is us, eh?  Folks who are not part of the unit, who are tryin' to be friends and resources to the unit.   We're all actin' as informal online commissioners of a sort, so we should behave like good commissioners as da BSA envisions that role.   We should support COs in their mission, we should encourage da growth in Scouting, we should try to pour water on fires rather than gasoline.  Da BSA isn't interested in us bein' Precision Scouters.  They're interested in us providin' thoughtful and cheerful service.

 

Da BSA certainly ain't served by us badmouthin' fellow scouters or units, eh?  A bit of friendly rivalry is fine, but no more. 

 

Besides,  if we really wanted precision Scoutin' we'd have better editors for our materials :p .   Yah, yah, da precision scoutin' folks all seem to congregate in adult-run Advancement so da G2A has taken a turn that way in the past few years.    What's funny to me is how that crowd resists any effort for the same sort of rigor and detail in Outdoors Method or any of our other instructional methods?  Those it's OK to treat as kid program elements, but Advancement must be all precise.   Blech!   Takes all da fun and adventure out of it for the boys.

 

Beavah

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That is absolute nonsense.  It's double-talk.

 

BSA licenses its methods and materials for use within our Catholic youth ministry programs.  BSA knows that we're Catholic.  BSA knows that we are promoting Catholicism.

 

If a boy did not identify a religious faith as part of his duty to God and/or did not belong to any religious institution, he would never have to worry about an Eagle BOR.  He would never be allowed to register in our unit.

 

Scouting is non-sectarian?  That is ridiculous!  At the unit level, scouting can be very sectarian.  

 

Take it up with B.S.A., possibly before promising to follow this "absolute nonsense" and "double-talk" as you have in writing annually.

 

Officially, "Duty to God" is something between the Scout and his family. Outside adults may not  judge him on the adequacy of his compliance with the adults' definition of Duty to God.  But, of course, they can.  Adults ignore the most basic rules of Scouting every day because they feel superior to those setting force those rules - and they can.

 

B.S.A. Scouting has had Buddhist troops since 1920, Jewish and Catholic troops from 1910.  The religions in B.S.A. Scouting today are many.  But, to Beav's point, B.S.A. still has not figured out how to talk about the subject with any sort of consistent coherence.  In an effort to please everyone and offend no one, B.S.A. is all over the lot, recognizing non-theistic units but requiring belief in God.

 

Again, it is interesting that those adults who decry rigid adherence, or even colorable adherence, to B.S.A. rules also demand strict adherence in their units to rules that these adults have created.

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Again, it is interesting that those adults who decry rigid adherence, or even colorable adherence, to B.S.A. rules also demand strict adherence in their units to rules that these adults have created.

 

Yah, hmmmm...

 

I'm not sure what you're askin' for here, @@TAHAWK.  Are yeh really suggestin' that da BSA start an argument with da Catholic pastor (IH) over his confirmation and Scoutin' programs?   How do yeh think that will be good for da BSA or for Scouting?

 

That's not the way we work, eh?   Da BSA has spoken.  It's given them a charter, and da BSA will live up to its duty to support the church in its mission and goals.   End of story, really.  Besides, da parents who have chosen this school have chosen to enroll their kids in a Catholic program, and da school and unit have been up-front about expectations. You're imaginin' problems that don't exist.

 

And of course if the lad is Catholic and in da confirmation program, then da CO is "the organization or group with which [he] is connected", eh?   As I understand that faith, "Duty to God" is something between the boy and his Church, not just his family.  They absolutely can and should have two-way conversations with the lad, and expectations as to da religious obligations which he himself is confirming.  As the BSA, we support 'em in doing so!

 

Beavah

Edited by Beavah
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@@David CO

 

I think that the "RULE" is an over reaction to the problem of one boy choosing Eagle over Confirmation.  I don't see how the two are mutually exclusive.  The boy could do Eagle first and then Confirmation later.  It is sort of like choosing to start out your day by drinking coffee or exercising.  Choosing one doesn't preclude the other later. 

 

Nonetheless, I think the conflict between Confirmation during 8th Grade and Eagle would be minimal.  My son received his confirmation in 8th grade this spring and also earned his Life rank.  He progressed pretty quickly in our unit (First Class in a Year - mostly at summer camp), Star the next year and then earning Life).  Most of his buddies just got Star or are still at First Class or Second Class.  He stll has three or four merit badges to earn for Eagle.  

 

But, even if there is a conflict it can be resolved without a RULE.  How about "our SM encourages the 8th graders to focus on their confirmation before they start their Eagle project."  I see that as being perfectly fine (no added requirement).  I encouraged my son to take a year before starting his Eagle project because I think he would be better able to manage it after completing 9th grade.  For the older boys, I encourage them to get a head start and not wait until they are 17 and 10 months.  Are they requrired to listen?  No.  Does it work most of the time?  Yes.

 

A better answer is to encourage the older boys do Eagle projects that also count as service hours for the younger boys for Confirmation.  I'm sure some of the Eagle projects benefit the Church.  I even think a younger boy could do an Eagle project that benefits the Church as part of their preparation for Confirmation.  You could even incorporate the religious awards into the Confirmation program.  Rather than having a conflict between Scouts and Religious Education they can work together.

 

@@Beavah, I think we all are pushing back on this thread because we like to see COs, IHs, COR, CC and SMs saying we want to present this program as close as possible to what it was designed to be.  I think that @@David CO recognizes that some rules are mandatory, some guidance is just suggestions and some so-called rules just don't exist.  I think much of it is a matter of approach.  We are generally boy-led.  However, if our CO asks us to help out on something, the adults tell the boys that we are helping out.  Does that violate any rule?  No.  I don't like Merit Badge Fairs (even those run by council) but I can't reject or retest for a merit badge earned at a fair under the Guide to Advancement.  We think certain merit badges (Cooking, Camping, Wilderness Survival) are not done well at camp and encourage the boys to do that with the Troop.  However, if the do it at camp, we will give them credit because the Guide to Advancement says we have to. 

 

In this case, the Guide to Advancement allows reasonable requirements for active participation and active service in a Position of Responsibility.  Those must be reasonable and prospective and must be considered in conjunction with other activities the scout is involved in according to the Guide to Advancement.  In SFF's case, the requirements were an additional 10 nights of camping (recognizing that only 20 nights are required for the Eagle Required Camping Merit Badge) to earn Eagle AFTER the boy completed his active participation and POR requirements and without consideration for other activities.  Not reasonable, prospective or considered in context.  There are some things that don't matter in the long run - but following this requirement would have the result of denying a boy who completed all of the requirements for Eagle the award due to added requirements.  That is specifically contrary to the Guide to Advancement.

 

Do we pull the charter, ban the SM, beat the CC and castigate the COR?  No.  Do we use the existing protocols, processes and proceedures to make sure that this boy isn't denied an award he earned?  Of course.  Would each of us approach this differently?  Yep.  Would we all approach it with the same goal of seeing the boy treated fairly?  I hope so.  

 

I think all of us like to see the program implemented the way it was designed or as close to it as possible.  Let's find common ground rather than looking for differences.

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Hedgehog,

 

The OP was never very specific about the rule change that started this whole mess.  The OP only said that it has the effect of requiring his oldest son to complete 10 more days of camping.  I don't think I have enough information to judge the reasonableness of the rule.

 

Does the rule require 10 days of camping per year?  Does it require 5 days of camping per year, and it is being applied over the past 2 years?  I don't know.

 

I do know that the unit committee voted on and approved a unit rule.  They approved a rule that applied equally to their sons as well as all of the other scouts in the unit.   They must have felt the rule was reasonable.

 

Why did they create a new rule?  I don't know.  Something must have spurred them to decide that they needed to create a new rule.  I have no idea what that might be.  I can't judge the reasonableness of a rule unless I know what the rule is and why it was enacted.

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What it boils down for me @@David CO is the fact that the committee is responsible for making sure the program from BSA is being promoted in the troop, not to make up additional hoops for the boys to jump through.

 

If, however, there is going to be some sort of standard applied, it needs to be started at a specific time and all the boys that are under the old "rules" are grandfathered in on those rules rather than at the last minute dumping a big surprise on some 17 year old boy to make sure he doesn't get his earned Eagle.  That would be the "reasonableness" of a rule.  Sure it might be a very good rule, but dumping on a kid at the last minute really raises major red flags when it comes to asking the question Why?

 

Sure the rule was applied "equally" but that leaves a major discrepancy when a father has an 11 year old son and another a 17 year old and completed his requirements for Eagle.  There really isn't any equality under those conditions.

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To respond to the question, I am asking why requiring rigid adherence to violation of even quite clear B.S.A. rules is more than just OK to some but refusing to adhere to B.S.A. rules, is, according to some, the very essence of proper Scouting.  

 

 

Given the above exchanges, I should make it explicit that I, at least, do not presume to speak for B.S.A., much less all of Scouting.

 

Nor to I concede that anyone who has posted in this thread speaks for B.S.A. and all of Scouting, however sincere their opinions.

 

When I quote B.S.A. language, that is B.S.A. speaking for itself:

 

 

 "Thank you for your questions and concerns. No chartered organization has the authority to add this or any other requirement. The Boy Scout Handbook and current 2016 Boy Scout Requirements book explicitly state the requirements for all ranks and these are the only requirements necessary to advance. The CO cannot and must not add the requirement for a Life Scout to be Confirmed before starting on his Eagle project. Eagle requirement #5 states:

 

5. While a Life Scout, plan, develop, and give leadership to others

in a service project helpful to any religious institution, any

school, or your community. (The project must benefit an

organization other than the Boy Scouts of America.) A project

proposal must be approved by the organization benefiting from

the effort, your Scoutmaster and unit committee, and the

council or district before you start. You must use the Eagle

Scout Service Project Workbook, BSA publication No. 512-927,

in meeting this requirement. (To learn more about the Eagle

Scout service project, see the Guide to Advancement, topics

9.0.2.0 through 9.0.2.16.)

 

Nowhere in this requirement does it state “You must first complete your Confirmation before startingâ€. Adding this requirement is contrary to national policy.

 

As far as Duty to God requirement, please review the FAQ’s starting on page 4 at the following link:

 

http://www.scouting.org/filestore/pdf/2016BoyScoutrequirementsFAQs.pdf   "

 

Boy scouts of America

Michael J. Lo Vecchio | Program – Advancement Specialist

June 17, 2016

 

 

A little research will reveal that the national B.S.A. committee that developed the new Duty to God requirement that some find so offensive, included prominent religious leaders, including at least one "Bishop." " The committee included representatives from a variety of religions who recognized the deep and essential connection between Scouting and serving God.  I have yet to identify all of them, but that can no doubt be done.

 

 

In this thread, some have gone from "The CO adults can do whatever we think is right regardless of B.S.A.'s rules" to "Throw out anyone who disagrees with what we think is right."  Sauce for the goose?  Or is it sauce for the beaver?

 

 

Differences as to right and wrong come looking for you, Hedge.  Because people come here looking for advice, questionable advice ought to be challenged.  Advice that promising to follow the B.S.A. program means do whatever you think is best, even when clearly contrary to B.S.A. program, ought to be questioned.

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If, however, there is going to be some sort of standard applied, it needs to be started at a specific time and all the boys that are under the old "rules" are grandfathered in on those rules rather than at the last minute dumping a big surprise on some 17 year old boy to make sure he doesn't get his earned Eagle. 

 

Yah, but even da BSA doesn't do that, eh?  The lad could have had all his MBs for Eagle done two years ago and had that requirement signed off, but he still wouldn't have been grandfathered in on da new Cooking MB requirement.   He'd have had to do the added merit badge.

 

The BSA certainly doesn't see that as unjust/unfair/evil.   The boy had plenty of notice and plenty of time to go do the badge, eh?   Seems like it was the same here in terms of da troop's participation requirement.    I'm just not seein' a big difference.  If yeh want Eagle, just do the badge.  If yeh want Eagle, just go campin' a few times.  In both cases you'll learn somethin' and it will be fun.

 

 

@@Beavah, I think we all are pushing back on this thread because we like to see COs, IHs, COR, CC and SMs saying we want to present this program as close as possible to what it was designed to be.

 

I hear yeh, @@Hedgehog.   I understand that there are some scouters out there who think that's da most important thing, eh?  To precisely follow da BSA program documents in all their unedited confusion.   If it works for yeh, great.

 

Just understand that's not the approach of the BSA itself.  We're providin' materials and support to organizations to run their own program, and we don't demand precision.  Quite da opposite, eh?  If you've ever seen da LDS materials, as an example, yeh know that we support organizations that make substantial modifications and "interpretations" of the program to mesh with their own goals and needs.   We support 'em even when they tend to leave us with higher accident rates and insurance payouts. :p

 

 

We are generally boy-led.  However, if our CO asks us to help out on something, the adults tell the boys that we are helping out.  Does that violate any rule?  No. 

 

Yah, sure it does if your metric is "to see the program implemented the way it was designed or as close as possible". ;)   What you describe ain't the program.   In the BSA Scouting program, the PLC decides on the annual calendar and on the events, eh?  Their calendar then gets approved by the Committee.   There's nuthin' in da program materials anywhere that even suggests that the SM or other adult leaders can just tell the boys they're puttin' somethin' on the calendar.

 

So if yeh really value Precision Scouting, you're breakin' da rules, eh? :eek:  Besides, do yeh really have da right to sell other people's time?

 

Now here's a question for yeh.  Up until the most recent G2A, da SM had to approve the MB counselor, and approve the lad doin' the badge.   It encouraged some mentoring and direction as part of da process.  Do yeh think that a unit that's still doin' that is evil / bad?  Da kids are OK with it, da parents support it.  In some cases where da CO has more stringent background check or YP requirements than da BSA the CO may even demand it.   Is it really awful for a unit to keep doin' what was totally normal and effective Scoutin' for 100+ years?

 

Personally, I don't have any problem with a unit that says they won't take Camping MB from camp counselors, so long as they offer the lad good counselin' within da troop, eh?  In fact, it's a practice that's more consistent with da actual BSA policy on MB counselin'.  Not da program guide, da actual National Policy.

 

 

@  There are some things that don't matter in the long run - but following this requirement would have the result of denying a boy who completed all of the requirements for Eagle the award due to added requirements. 

 

Nah, assumes facts not in evidence, eh?   It seems from all da postings the lad has had plenty of time and opportunity to go camping.  Two weekends plus summer camp and he's done.   If he's anything like typical it'll require less effort for him than fillin' out all da Eagle paperwork ;) .

 

Besides, we don't "deny" boys for Advancement, eh?  That implies da recognition of others is somethin' a lad is entitled to or owed.   Advancement only works as a learnin' technique when our awards make explicit da recognition and respect they have already earned with their peers and compatriots.  Done well, Advancement is like a suntan, eh?  It's somethin' that just shows on yeh as a natural result of your participatin', learnin' and givin'.

 

Would I encourage da SM to let this one go?  Yah, of course.  It's not a fight worth havin'.  Give the boy the Eagle for cryin' out loud and stop with all of this.  Yeh aren't helpin' the lad learn, and while there's merit to settin' the right example for da rest of the boys that applies equally to acknowledging da troop's own fault in the matter.   If yeh don't like da outcome of your program, yeh can't fix it at the Eagle approval point, yeh have to fix it way earlier on.   Focus on that, eh?   Da expectations for First Class and Star and Life.  

 

Plus, if participation is what yeh value, yeh should just drop the kids who aren't participatin' from da roster rather than carryin' ghosts.  

 

I'm not talkin' to da Scoutmaster, though. :confused:   I've got no way to get through to him, eh?  All I can try to pour water on da fire and hope to keep da parent from blowin' up his own kids' experience (often with other kids as collateral damage).   And I reckon we all failed at that. :(

 

Beavah

Edited by Beavah

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Earning a rank is far different than receiving an award.   A degree and an honorary degree are not the same.  One is earned and one is awarded.  Eagle is EARNED.

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Because people come here looking for advice, questionable advice ought to be challenged. 

 

Yah, I agree, @@TAHAWK.   The advice we gave @@SSF resulted in nuthin' but grief, eh?   Two, maybe three boys out of Scoutin'.   Lots of burned bridges. Even if the lad "gets" Eagle under disputed circumstances, he doesn't want an EBOR.

 

It was headin' that way anyways, but collectively I'm not sure we really helped.

 

Yah, and next time tell Michael that you're not involved in da troop or da council, you're askin' a question to make trouble on an internet forum and intend to post his answer there, eh? :rolleyes:  It's only fair to the fellow since da BSA like every organization has rules for employees about Communications.  There are reasons why @@RichardB tries to point folks toward resources and get 'em to think, rather than make pronouncements.

 

I'm still not gettin' what yeh hope to accomplish, eh?  This is another unwinnable fight yeh want to pick.  Da church can simply suspend troop operations during confirmation season if it wants, or tell confirmation kids they can't do Scoutin' service hours if they want to be confirmed.  They can decide not to allow non-Catholic kids to join.   Ultimately if yeh pick a fight with da IH the answer is for him to rip up the charter... and then go sit with his bishop and suggest that all da other churches in da area do the same.

 

How do yeh think any of that is helpin' boys or Scouting?

 

B

Edited by Beavah

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If "we" means B.S.A., we know exactly what B.S.A. says.

 

Requiring a Scout to do more to be regarded as "active" AFTER  he has already passed the requirement according to the then-existing troop standards is not what "we" do unless we elect to violate the rules we promise to follow..

 

Equally, requiring completion of Confirmation before allowing a Scout to do his service project is not what "we" do unless we elect to violate the rules we promise to follow..

 

B.S.A. 2013:

“'Can my unit tweak this [advancement] requirement in this way?'â€

 
The answer is no. While program elements are customizable at the unit, district and council level, advancement is not. In other words:
 
'No council, committee, district, unit or individual has the authority to add to, or subtract from, advancement requirements. There are limited exceptions relating only to youth members with special needs. For details see section 10, ''Advancement for Members With Special Needs.' '"
 
 
"Up until the most recent G2A, da SM had to approve the MB counselor, and approve the lad doin' the badge."
 
I am aware of an SM who totally changed T-F advancement requirements - added and subtracted.  He had blue cards printed up with the troop advancement requirements.  (One change from B.S.A. advancement I recall was requiring lots more first aid.)   He also refused to allow adults to be on Boards of Review.  Was he "evil"? No.  He was wrong. Out of the best intentions he broke his promise and the promise B.S.A. made to the Scouts in the Handbook..  He didn't need to be thrown out of Scouting.  He needed to change his behavior to conform to B.S.A. advancement rules or to be replaced as SM. They got a new SM. (Section 7.0.0.3 allowing the Scout to begin working on a MB without the SM's approval was added in 2013, but that does not impact your argument.)

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Yah, I agree, @@TAHAWK.   The advice we gave @@SSF resulted in nuthin' but grief, eh?   Two, maybe three boys out of Scoutin'.   Lots of burned bridges. Even if the lad "gets" Eagle under disputed circumstances, he doesn't want an EBOR.

 

It was headin' that way anyways, but collectively I'm not sure we really helped.

 

Yah, and next time tell Michael that you're not involved in da troop or da council, you're askin' a question to make trouble on an internet forum and intend to post his answer there, eh? :rolleyes:  It's only fair to the fellow since da BSA like every organization has rules for employees about Communications.  There are reasons why @@RichardB tries to point folks toward resources and get 'em to think, rather than make pronouncements.

 

I'm still not gettin' what yeh hope to accomplish, eh?  This is another unwinnable fight yeh want to pick.  Da church can simply suspend troop operations during confirmation season if it wants, or tell confirmation kids they can't do Scoutin' service hours if they want to be confirmed.  They can decide not to allow non-Catholic kids to join.   Ultimately if yeh pick a fight with da IH the answer is for him to rip up the charter... and then go sit with his bishop and suggest that all da other churches in da area do the same.

 

How do yeh think any of that is helpin' boys or Scouting?

 

B

 

Since you asked.

 

You seem to forget that we agreed on the best practical advice.  It is, on balance, unfortunate that it was, apparently, not followed.  However, folks confronted by violations of rights are often angrier than they are crafty. And yes, I disagree with you in my belief that a Scout has a right to advance when he has met B.S.A.'s requirements, a belief that seems to be shared by B.S.A. given my service on Appeal Boards.

 

I did not claim in my email to Mr. Lo Vecchio that I was involved in the troop or the council. I accurately presented David's position and, since I will be teaching Scouting about this subject in a few days, asked for his advice.  And I understand why you would want to try to change the subject. Your invocation of unspecified rules (rules!) "for employees about Communications" while ignoring Mr. Lo Vecchio's actual statement does seem a tad like a defense attorney trying to get his client off on a technicality. "But Your Honor, the cop stopped him for speeding and only then saw the drugs." 

 

We do not, and never will, agree on the supposed right of a CO  to add to or subtract from advancement requirements, whatever their good motives.  I believe that, first, becasue B.S,A. says clearly that such changes are prohibited.  Publishing advice that is directly contrary to clear B.S.A policy and rules ought not to go unchallenged due to the risk that someone might believe it's correct advice.  Secondly, and more important, I regard the advancement requirements set out in the Handbook to be a form of promise to the Scouts as to the consequences of meeting those requirements, rather than some adult's idea of what is "better."  Adults, individually and collectively as COs, ought to keep promises.  That is part of what "Adult Association" is about.

 

I hope to accomplish demonstrating that your client's position violates clear  B.S.A. rules and policy and that, in defending and adopting that position you do not speak for Scouting, a role you repeatedly adopt by use of the pronoun "we."  I think that encouraging conformity to the promises made to Scouts is helpful to Scouting and that the assumption by certain adults of the power to break those promises is not helpful to Scouting.

 

And becasue I conclude that David's CO, like David himself, does what is done out of good motives, I do not predict that it will destroy part of its youth ministry out of pique over having to comply with its promise.  From the language on its webpages, the Archdiocese of Chicago seem unlikely to abandon Scouting over correcting the decision of one troop not to follow B.S.A. advancement rules.  We can, again, ask the Archbishop.    I lack information to come to any such conclusion about the OP's CO., recognizing that we have only one source of information. 

 

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As a minister I was sure that there was a requirement that all scouts had to be confirmed before they could start their Eagle project.  I got more Jewish, Muslim, Hindu and Atheist scouts to Eagle than most units in the council..

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