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Scoutmaster denies 17 year old Life Scout Eagle

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The Scoutmaster's signature represents a judgement that the candidate is ready for a BOR. Different functions often call for different actors.

 

Sadly, from sitting on Council appeal boards, I believe not all things Scoutly are fair, much less perfect. But the process is in place to correct unfairness. It ought to be used under circumstances as described by the OP after the meeting withing the troop called for by the G2A

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P.S. - Son #1's posse had an overnight campfire/campout after prom. Well worth the price of admission, I'm told.

 

This troop sounds so ueber-controlling they likely would not count such a worthwhile activity. They seem to what things done their way only.

 

From where I sit, everyone should be on the same page of getting this boy his earned rank and quit playing petty games laced with macho testosterone.   Help other people at all times! ? -> That SM needs to be volunteering somewhere else and his CC can go with him.

A fiefdom has been built by these adults and they don't feel they've been given their tribute. Sounds like a unit near me. We were the recipient of one of their "cast offs". Kid made Eagle within the year, was SPL, JASM, ASM, went to staff Philmont, revamped our TLT, took over our first year program and then went away for the last few years of college. Top student, doesn't drink or smoke, says "Yes sir" and "No Sir". Is going in to the Navy after graduation. Nothing we (the unit) did to make him that way, we just got out of his way and let him lead.

 

hoping this young man gets the chance to move on.

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 This troop sounds so ueber-controlling they likely would not count such a worthwhile activity. They seem to what things done their way only.

I'm pretty sure that none of our guys asked to put their post-prom outdoor slumber party on their camping night tally! Even venturing-related activities were on them to record. I made it clear to (already overwhelmed) troop advancement chairs that they were under no obligation to follow the crews calendar ... it's on the boys to give them those records. (Same should have been for troop overnights, but that was someone else's tree to bark up.)

And you're right, that the troop's key adults would likely snub a plan for a night like this (worries about girls, alcohol, driving, ... not being on the calendar established last year in his absence). That's not the point. Soaring is the point.

 

Mr. SM: "I've never been asked to approve anything like this before."

Mr. Life: "I know sir, but is it a good plan?"

Mr. SM: "Look, the committee won't let me sign off on it!"

Mr. Life: "Sir, that's okay. Is there something wrong with my plan? Am I putting my buddies at risk?"

Mr. SM: "Well, no. It's as solid as anything our camping director comes up with. But ..."

Mr. Life: "Thank you. Sir! Your feedback is invaluable to me. Now, I've got to go let my friends and some caring adults know we're good to scout on ... albeit without the BSA. Would you like an invite in case you have the night off?"

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Until five years ago, there was a SM in a nearby town who maintained that he could tell when a Scout was 12 years old whether or not he was "Eagle material."  And in fourteen years, he was "never wrong."

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Until five years ago, there was a SM in a nearby town who maintained that he could tell when a Scout was 12 years old whether or not he was "Eagle material."  And in fourteen years, he was "never wrong."

I sure hope that wasn't a "self-fulfilling prophesy" dynamic working with that SM.  I wonder what happened with the boys he deemed weren't Eagle material?  Did they get the same attention from this guy?

 

@@qwazse

 

We did this kind of thing all the time when I was in scouts.  Every time the SM told us we couldn't be going out camping at such 'n' such a place, we said, "Okay."  Then we went to the parents and asked them for a ride out to such 'n' such a place and told them when we needed to get picked up.  My Dad would be kinda upset with us when we did that because he was never invited.... :)  No adults allowed.  I mean, seriously!  What kind of trouble could we come up with other than over fish out daily limit and eat it before the ranger found out. 

 

If the SM said yes to any of these shenanigans, we got camping credit for it.  Otherwise, we didn't.  We didn't care.  Maybe that's why none of us ever got Eagle.  We did, however, camp right up into the summer after graduation before we all went our separate ways in life.  I can say the 7 of us got more nights of camping than any scout in the troop.  Those were good times.

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I sure hope that wasn't a "self-fulfilling prophesy" dynamic working with that SM.  I wonder what happened with the boys he deemed weren't Eagle material?  Did they get the same attention from this guy?

 

@@qwazse

 

The consensus was that his prophesies were very much self-fulfilling.  

 

I know of at least four Scouts who went elsewhere and, wonder of wonders, were strong leaders in their new troops who earned Eagle.  I sat on BORs for two of them.  One was a Course SPL for NYLT. Two were selected by their peers to be district event SPLs.   Just not "Eagle material."

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The consensus was that his prophesies were very much self-fulfilling.  

 

I know of at least four Scouts who went elsewhere and, wonder of wonders, were strong leaders in their new troops who earned Eagle.  I sat on BORs for two of them.  One was a Course SPL for NYLT. Two were selected by their peers to be district event SPLs.   Just not "Eagle material."

 

There's really no special skill or talent or even insight into picking leadership qualities out of young people,  It's just how well does one nurture any vestiges of in the youth so they have an opportunity to develop it along the way. 

 

By the way "self-fulfilling prophesy" in the psychological sense means the SM when he identifies Eagle material he will give extra effort and benefit to those he judges worthy at the expense of others.  It doesn't refer to anything the scouts do to self-fulfill.

 

I have seen SM's do this with the "pet Scouts" and they always seem to do better than others.  The others get the left-over crumbs of his attention.  I even saw a couple of scouts that had to leave the troop where I was ASM because the SM had it out for them and he said, they would never deserve Eagle, kinda like the SM in this thread.  They simply went over to another troop and both Eagled within 6 months.

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Why would I get a little "bent out of shape" over a Scoutmaster signing off for a boy he's never met?  

 

My Chartered Organization is a school.  We have very strict policies about grades, diplomas, and awards.  We have a reputation to maintain.

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If any of our boys were told by the Scoutmaster that they couldn't go to such-n-such a place, and they went anyway, they would be immediately dropped from our program.

 

The same would be true for sports teams, band, chess team, etc..

 

 Good grief!  When I read some of these posts, it makes me feel extremely fortunate that I have been able to participate in a unit that has a stable, responsible, and active Chartered Organization.

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David, I fall more on the "follow the rules" while trying to fix them side of the Scouter.com divide. 

 

Having said that, joining a Scout troop does not result in total control of the personal lives of Scouts by the troop's adults or the CO.  Ultimately, It's up to kids' parents whether they go camping in a particular place, not the CO.  All that can be said is that the campout at the troop-prohibited location was not a BSA activity  

 

Sure the troop can toss them out, just as they can walk away at any time.  Its a voluntary relationship.

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Why would I get a little "bent out of shape" over a Scoutmaster signing off for a boy he's never met?  

 

My Chartered Organization is a school.  We have very strict policies about grades, diplomas, and awards.  We have a reputation to maintain.

 

So do I, it's helping every scout who's finding life difficult and opportunity to succeed after they have tried their best and can't seem to overcome the injustices in the world alone. 

 

What kind of a reputation would I maintain if the scout in this tread came to me asking for help and I sent him on his way with nothing more than a "word of advice"?

 

There's a whole world of people out there that I have "never met" that are in need of help.  When I "help other people at all times", it includes them as well, not just the one's I happen to know.

 

My Chartered Organization is a church and they view my work as their mission and ministry, so the reputation is important to me to maintain as well.

Edited by Stosh
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If any of our boys were told by the Scoutmaster that they couldn't go to such-n-such a place, and they went anyway, they would be immediately dropped from our program.

 

The same would be true for sports teams, band, chess team, etc..

 

 Good grief!  When I read some of these posts, it makes me feel extremely fortunate that I have been able to participate in a unit that has a stable, responsible, and active Chartered Organization.

 

Yeah, 50 years ago when I was in scouts we had a lot of units that were not stable, responsible and active with their CO's like they are today.  :)

 

A scout that goes camping with parent's permission with his buddies is grounds for removal from the troop?  Really?  Even when the parents drive them out to the campsite?  Seriously?  How far reaching is the adult control in some of these troops that one is a member of when they can over-rule parental decisions?

 

We've had Cub Scout parents ask on this forum that if their Little Johnny is having a birthday campout in the back yard, can it count for a Cub Scout "outing"?  I would seem from the answer that not only is it forbidden, but he runs the risk of getting kicked out of Cub Scouts! 

 

There is obviously something I'm missing in the previous posts somewhere along the line.

 

There is a world of scouting and then there's the world of a boy's life.  Sure, the Oath and Law are carried over into the world of a boy's life, but  that's about it.  They do not have the right to be another parent in a child's life and make them toe the line when it comes to Troop Rules in the privacy of their familial home.

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Do we have total control of the personal lives of our scouts?  No,  I would not say that we have total control.  

 

We do, however, have some control over the personal lives of the boys who voluntarily sign up for an extracurricular activity, including scouting.    

 

For example, the prohibition on alcohol use is 24/7.  With the exception of prescription medicines and communion wine, the ban is total.  There is no separation between in-school and out-of-school when it comes to alcohol use.  

 

Parents cannot excuse their kids from the policy, even in the privacy of their own homes.  One glass of wine at the dinner table and you're off the football team.  

 

You may not like it, Stosh, but most schools have these rules.

 

All of our sports teams have limitations placed on them as to when, where, and how many practices they they can have.  These limitations are strictly enforced.

 

Can a couple of boys get together and toss around the football in the back yard?  Sure.  Can the defensive squad get together to set up an informal practice on their own?  No.  

 

The same sort of reasoning applies to the scouting program.  

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Sounds like one has some serious nanny state rules that go beyond even state law in your neck of the woods.  I guess I wouldn't want to be living there.  If the cops ain't showing up at your house, no one really cares what one does.

 

We had 5 boys in my high school that played driveway basketball together since early childhood.  Lets just say when they got to high school they went to state together 4 times and took state championship 3 of those times.  No one really whined about the fact that after school these boys played b-ball in their driveway or at school on off hours. 

 

In our state parents can serve wine to their children even in restaurants and bars.  There is a Twilight Zone in our state that once that person turns 18 when they become an adult, and until they are 21 they can't drink.  Go figure.  :)

 

 I guess it's a matter of tolerance and minding one's own business when it comes to school and extra curricular activities in my neighborhood,   Has been for 50 years since I was a kid and hasn't changed much since then.

 

If a bunch of boys got together and went camping on their own and the SM kicked them out of the troop because of that interpretation of CO policy, They'd get picked up in a heart beat in the troop down the street.  :)  I wouldn't have any problems with taking them in.

 

Oh, by the way, I would be truly interested in knowing where in the BSA policy statements this forbidden.

Edited by Stosh
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I don't think it's just in my neck of the woods, Stosh.  I've been to a lot of teacher conferences and Athletic Director workshops  all over the country.  I seems to be a pretty common rule.  

 

I've been a coach for 40 years.  As far as I know, it has always been the rule.

Edited by David CO

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