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Scoutmaster denies 17 year old Life Scout Eagle

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Sorry Beavah, we're going to have to agree to disagree again. I don't think pointing out where people are violating policy counts as being the "Police." Certainly we can't apply that logic to everything, like Youth Protection. Only where we are inconvenienced maybe?

Again you talk about inconveniencing the professionals, but in this case, it's their job. I literally posted the procedure a few posts up. You can discount it as lawyering if you'd like. The Council can talk to both sides in a way we cannot, and mediate a solution, which we cannot. They can impose a solution if they'd like, which we cannot. 

 "Can yeh explain to me why the lad shouldn't just go on a few campouts and share his Eagle Scout talents and abilities with younger scouts, like those boys who did the same for him way back when?   Seems like a fun, easy, happy "out" for everybody.   The boy gets his award, with da full support of his unit.  He gets to have some fun out campin'.  He gets to give back to his troop and help others.   The younger lads see that Eagle scouts are cool and caring and it's great to have 'em around.  The younger lads are more enthusiastic about comin' to an ECOH and bein' Eagle themselves someday... way more than if they didn't really know the lad since he hasn't been participatin' since he did his six months some years ago. " 

YES. Sure, a great answer. He should be ENCOURAGED to do those things. He should have been when he became a Life Scout. Maybe the SM did and the scout ignored it. We have no idea. But to withhold his Eagle based made up requirements is not fair. Waiting till his BOR to ambush him is not fair. I will not agree with you that the Troop can make up their own  requirements. Again, we must respectfully agree to disagree. 

 

I have no idea where your comment of traditional patrols and rogue comes from. If you've been reading the forum (I understand you took some time away from the forum), that myself and other folks who disagree with you are advocating for troops to "traditional" patrols. However you define the word. 

 

 

Sentinel947
 

Edited by Sentinel947
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Thanks again everyone.

 

 

This is very much a case of a troop that wants to run their own program, as opposed to the BSA program, but even regardless of that the SM has acted in an extremely egregious manner. The SM has made comments  to me essentially saying that he does not feel that my son is worthy of being an Eagle Scout, that’s what this all comes down to.

 

 

Thanks Beavah, I hear what you’re saying and I've always let my son fight his own battles in scouts, but this situation is so far off the charts that no scout should have to address something like this on their own.

 

 

To add a little more context to this, my son completed his project in November. Long story short, he faced a lot of obstacles, challenges and setbacks for his project, but he did not give up, he stayed the course and  in the end, his project was a great success and the beneficiary couldn't have been more pleased. As my son was going through the final steps of compiling all of his project numbers and doing the final report, he was consistently asking the SM about what he needed to do next to move things along. 

 

 

At that time and  then over the next several months, the SM seemed to be very disinterested in discussing the project with my son, and it seemed to be a very low priority for him. This was painfully apparent to both my son and I.

 

 

Ultimately my son got his book done and he asked the SM if they could review his book and get it signed. He also asked if he could have his SM conference. The SM said that "signing the book is the last thing we do." My son and I both thought that was a little odd. Did it not make sense to sign the workbook after the project was completed?

 

 

My son also asked if he could schedule time with the beneficiary to go through the book to request their approval and signature, but the SM said that he should not do that.

 

 

The SM had previously given my son a rundown of the final things he would need to do towards Eagle, those being to complete the Eagle Application, have his reference letters mailed and write his statement of ambition and complete his merit badge partial. So, over the next few weeks my son did all of that, and using his cards, he included his rank advancement dates and merit badge dates on the application.

 

 

The SM told my son though that the dates on the Eagle application had to come from Council and that he can't just put them in himself. The SM insists that he has to obtain the dates from Council and that he will do that.

 

 

The following week my son asks the SM if he had a chance to obtain the dates from Council for the application, the SM says he hasn’t had a chance to, but he will. About three weeks go by, and my son asks, and reminds, the SM each week about the dates for the application. The SM tells my son that he’s been very busy but that he is going to do it.

 

 

At this stage, my son and I are both extremely frustrated and I myself am trying very hard not to get directly involved.

 

 

Keep in mind also that throughout this time the project workbook has been fully completed and is ready to be signed, but again, the SM will not sign himself nor will he allow my son to seek the signature of the beneficiary.

 

 

This nearly brings us right to the present. Earlier this month, my son sent the SM an e-mail asking if he had an idea about when he might be able to get the dates for the application. He also expressed essentially, that he would like to speed up the process and that he would like to see if his SM Conference (where his workbook would supposedly be signed) could be scheduled.

 

 

The SM replied to my son’s e-mail four days later and he told my son in his very brief e-mail that he would need to complete a double digit number of additional nights of camping this year in order for him to be eligible for Eagle within the troop.

 

 

That was the first time, since September 2015, that the SM had ever made any mention to my son whatsoever that he needed to complete additional nights of camping.

 

 

Again, my son had already completed his six months of active participation, long before the new camping-participation-scout spirit requirement was put in place. Yet, the SM and the troop committee are applying this after the fact.

 

 

I believe that from the SM’s view, my son would have to complete double the camping quota for next year to make up for the nights he missed this year.

 

 

Even if you were to, hypothetically, overlook the fact that my son has already successfully completed his six months of active participation, and that the troop is essentially adding an additional rank requirement for him to complete Eagle, how and why did the SM wait seven and a half months before telling my son that he needed an additional ten nights of camping.

 

 

As a final side note, regarding my son’s merit badge partial. He had actually completed the partial in the Spring of 2014. He showed the SM his work and the SM said it was fine and my son believed he had completed the badge. When he didn’t get the badge at the COH, he mentioned to the SM that he had not received and the SM said he would look into it to see what happened, My son never heard anything back and unfortunately he and I both forgot about it as his focus had shifted towards preparing for his Eagle Project.

 

 

He is now re-doing this requirement with the troop’s MB counselor. I’m not at all in favor of my son having to re-do a requirement, but at this point, and considering the timing this is the fastest option towards getting the blue card signed.

 

 

Yah, @@SSF, I'm sorry I missed this post.   Still gettin' used to da new forum software.   Da thread sorta wandered off into more theoretical considerations of how folks view Scoutin' and commissioner work that I reckon was less helpful for you, eh?

 

Can I ask when your son turns 18?

 

I agree with you that da seeming passive-aggressive nature of da response of the SM to your boy's requests can be frustratin' for both of you.  It can seem like he doesn't care or whatnot.   That isn't necessarily da case, eh?   Lots of times with volunteers it's just that they have a lot on their plates (in real life as well as runnin' a troop).   A lad who's doin' fine and has time to spare for Eagle might take a back seat to the lad who is strugglin' with depression or to a son who's gettin' bad grades in math.   We're all human as well, eh?  Sometimes the boy who's been around contributin' and helpin' a lot is goin' to get more attention than the boy who isn't participatin' much and who starts demandin' your time.

 

I'd suggest your son should go to or call da council office to get the dates he needs for da application, and he's just fine to go off and get da signature from the project beneficiary.  This is stuff he can and should be doin' for himself anyways.   As for when the SM signs the book da procedures are different in every district.  Lots of times signatures are the last things done so I wouldn't worry about it.

 

That leaves two things.

 

First is da MB partial, eh?   Sounds like there was some miscommunication there.  If the Scoutmaster was not the MB counselor for the badge, then the SM can't complete the partial for the boy.  He has to go to a MBC for that badge.   If he's goin' to a new MBC, it's up to that counselor whether to accept da partial.  Most counselors will, but they'll ask some questions about it.  So I reckon da SM looked and nodded and said nice job, and your son didn't realize that he couldn't sign off.   Your son didn't get a signature on a Blue Card, right? 

 

So I'd say the best way to proceed is to go ahead and finish the badge up with a registered MBC for that badge.  

 

Second is your son's participation.  Seems like what happened is your son did his six months back in 2013/14, and between then and now the troop implemented some participation expectations.   That's not a surprise, because the Guide to Advancement first allowed troops to do that in 2014 if I'm rememberin' right.   So what happened is that da BSA rules changed.    That happens sometimes.  Had your son finished up in 2014 he would have been fine; now he's in a grey area.    Keep in mind that in some troops a boy's lack of participation would have led him to bein' dropped from the roster, and he'd have to apply for membership again.   Your son's troop chose to keep him "alive" and registered, so they can't be too "egregious".

 

So da question is what your goals are as a parent.   Me personally, I'd make my son go participate the way the SM suggests.   I reckon it's a good lesson for him about not procrastinatin' :) .  We're all tryin' to prepare our kids for life, and whether it's work or school or whatnot this sort of thing happens a lot, eh?   Ten nights of campin' means two weekends and summer camp.   Seems like fun.   Seems like a great opportunity to renew his contacts and friendships in Scoutin'.   Seems like what an Eagle Scout might do.

 

Yeh can also proceed with an Eagle Board of Review under disputed circumstances, once your son gets da signature of da beneficiary and finishes his last MB.   This means the district takes over the review process.   All yeh need to do for that is call the district advancement chair.   Most districts and councils will give the lad the benefit of the doubt, even if da things fall in a grey zone.  So I'd expect your son would be successful goin' this way (and his troop will drop kids from da roster more quickly in the future).  Keep in mind, though, this can burn your bridges with the troop, eh?  Make sure that's what yeh really want.

 

If your son is a 16- or 17- year old, I'd really encourage yeh to make this his problem, not yours.  A boy who's an Eagle Scout of that age can handle this sort of stuff, eh?   And it will give him confidence to handle da slings and arrows of college professors and job bosses of various sorts. ;)

 

Good luck and keep us posted.

 

Beavah

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Yah, @@SSF, I'm sorry I missed this post.   Still gettin' used to da new forum software.   Da thread sorta wandered off into more theoretical considerations of how folks view Scoutin' and commissioner work that I reckon was less helpful for you, eh?

 

Can I ask when your son turns 18?

 

I agree with you that da seeming passive-aggressive nature of da response of the SM to your boy's requests can be frustratin' for both of you.  It can seem like he doesn't care or whatnot.   That isn't necessarily da case, eh?   Lots of times with volunteers it's just that they have a lot on their plates (in real life as well as runnin' a troop).   A lad who's doin' fine and has time to spare for Eagle might take a back seat to the lad who is strugglin' with depression or to a son who's gettin' bad grades in math.   We're all human as well, eh?  Sometimes the boy who's been around contributin' and helpin' a lot is goin' to get more attention than the boy who isn't participatin' much and who starts demandin' your time.

 

I'd suggest your son should go to or call da council office to get the dates he needs for da application, and he's just fine to go off and get da signature from the project beneficiary.  This is stuff he can and should be doin' for himself anyways.   As for when the SM signs the book da procedures are different in every district.  Lots of times signatures are the last things done so I wouldn't worry about it.

 

That leaves two things.

 

First is da MB partial, eh?   Sounds like there was some miscommunication there.  If the Scoutmaster was not the MB counselor for the badge, then the SM can't complete the partial for the boy.  He has to go to a MBC for that badge.   If he's goin' to a new MBC, it's up to that counselor whether to accept da partial.  Most counselors will, but they'll ask some questions about it.  So I reckon da SM looked and nodded and said nice job, and your son didn't realize that he couldn't sign off.   Your son didn't get a signature on a Blue Card, right? 

 

So I'd say the best way to proceed is to go ahead and finish the badge up with a registered MBC for that badge.  

 

Second is your son's participation.  Seems like what happened is your son did his six months back in 2013/14, and between then and now the troop implemented some participation expectations.   That's not a surprise, because the Guide to Advancement first allowed troops to do that in 2014 if I'm rememberin' right.   So what happened is that da BSA rules changed.    That happens sometimes.  Had your son finished up in 2014 he would have been fine; now he's in a grey area.    Keep in mind that in some troops a boy's lack of participation would have led him to bein' dropped from the roster, and he'd have to apply for membership again.   Your son's troop chose to keep him "alive" and registered, so they can't be too "egregious".

 

So da question is what your goals are as a parent.   Me personally, I'd make my son go participate the way the SM suggests.   I reckon it's a good lesson for him about not procrastinatin' :) .  We're all tryin' to prepare our kids for life, and whether it's work or school or whatnot this sort of thing happens a lot, eh?   Ten nights of campin' means two weekends and summer camp.   Seems like fun.   Seems like a great opportunity to renew his contacts and friendships in Scoutin'.   Seems like what an Eagle Scout might do.

 

Yeh can also proceed with an Eagle Board of Review under disputed circumstances, once your son gets da signature of da beneficiary and finishes his last MB.   This means the district takes over the review process.   All yeh need to do for that is call the district advancement chair.   Most districts and councils will give the lad the benefit of the doubt, even if da things fall in a grey zone.  So I'd expect your son would be successful goin' this way (and his troop will drop kids from da roster more quickly in the future).  Keep in mind, though, this can burn your bridges with the troop, eh?  Make sure that's what yeh really want.

 

If your son is a 16- or 17- year old, I'd really encourage yeh to make this his problem, not yours.  A boy who's an Eagle Scout of that age can handle this sort of stuff, eh?   And it will give him confidence to handle da slings and arrows of college professors and job bosses of various sorts. ;)

 

Good luck and keep us posted.

 

Beavah

:happy: Agreed. 100%

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Second, we have the unit totally out of control, so resolution within the unit is likely not possible.

 

 

Assumes facts not in evidence.  We really have no idea whether da unit is "totally out of control".   Seems like there's one disaffected family.  Also seems like there'd be resolution within the unit if the lad went on a few campouts.  :confused:

Actually, the facts are in evidence. See below.

 

My older son is 17, an honor student and highly involved with sports throughout the year. He has been consistently active as a Boy Scout since crossing over as a Webelo in the 5th grade.

 

He has successfully completed his project and the final write-up in the workbook. He has completed all merit badges, with the exception of one required badge for which he has one remaining partial that he will have completed very soon. My son has been a Life Scout for more than two years and he has been on several camping trips in that time, including one long term camping excursion. He attends troop meetings regularly. He has held two acceptable PORs as a Life Scout and performed both admirably.

 

While he has been on the several camping trips, including the one week long camping excursion, his Scoutmaster feels that he has not been “active enough†and indicated that he needs to complete a complete an impractical and unrealistic additional number of camping trips in order to earn his scout spirit to be eligible for Eagle. Both the scoutmaster and the troop committee chair, have both adamantly refused to sign my son’s completed Eagle project workbook, his Eagle application and the SM has stated that he refuses to grant a SM conference until these additional nights of camping are completed.

The facts are well in evidence:

  1. The Scout has done his Eagle Project and needs signatures. The adults are withholding signatures until the Scout camps more. That is a violation of the requirements for Eagle. No where does the GTA allow units to add requirements to any rank.
  2. The Scout has been active as a Life Scout. He's attended troop meetings regularly. He is registered, in good-standing and appears to be active. UNLESS the unit has a pre-established "active participation" level documented, then he should be considered active and having fulfilled his active participation requirement. The adults don't seem to be honoring this requirement from the GTA.

So when you have a unit adding requirements AND refusing to sign off on completed work when requested by the Scout (which is required, by the way), how is it this unit is NOT totally out of control? I would say adding requirements and denying signatures on complete work is out of control. It certainly is not part of the BSA program I promised to uphold.

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Yah, @@Krampus, Advancement Method is just a method, eh?   It's only one of eight Methods.  I reckon if da troop totally messed up advancement but was doin' fine with everything else, they'd still get an 87.5% for a B+, eh?   Or, more properly, they'd be a Journey to Excellence Gold Troop.

 

I think it's hard to argue that a JTE Gold troop is "completely out of control".  :o

 

In the broad world, this sort of thing happens occasionally, eh?   A troop runs down and gets lax about advancement, then a new SM tries to right the ship.   Volunteers feel taken advantage of by people doin' drop-off-babysittin' and then implement participation expectations (for both youth and adults sometimes).   Da BSA decides Cooking MB is important for Eagle and now all of a sudden da lad who thought he had everything done 2 years ago has an extra MB to do in addition to his project.

 

That causes pushback from kids and families who were used to the old way.  I don't know about your council, but we had some gripin' over Cooking MB. :p  Sometimes a troop should just let an old kid slide by and worry about the young'uns, sometimes everybody's got to do the new rules.

 

Volunteers bein' folks who don't have time to read da books cover to cover do the thing that seems natural, eh?   They withhold their signature/endorsement.  Sometimes they put off a SM conference because lots of troops use SM conferences as the Last Thing.  Those are the normal ways people behave when they don't think they should approve somethin', eh?  

 

So we've got a clear procedure for an Eagle Board of Review Under Disputed Circumstances, which is explicitly for when a SM and/or troop committee refuses to endorse da application.  Everything's under control, eh?  The troop is doin' what it thinks it should be doin' (not endorsing the application when they don't think they should); the district or council can then do what they should be doin' (approvin' the award if they think it should be approved).  That's the system.   

 

Or, alternately, if the lad's parents think da troop is "totally out of control", "egregious" or all the rest, they can try to find another troop.  Why would yeh send your boys out into the woods with adults yeh don't trust, after all?  Why stay in a troop where da other parents on the Committee think you're bein' a pain?  Why would a group of volunteers keep a lad on the roster if they didn't feel they had the support of da parents?    That might be an answer, too.   Sometimes folks just aren't a good fit.

 

Beavah

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Yah, @@Krampus, Advancement Method is just a method, eh?   It's only one of eight Methods.  I reckon if da troop totally messed up advancement but was doin' fine with everything else, they'd still get an 87.5% for a B+, eh?   Or, more properly, they'd be a Journey to Excellence Gold Troop.

 

I think it's hard to argue that a JTE Gold troop is "completely out of control".  :o

 

Beavah, you are missing the forest for the trees, which is odd for an animal that spends it's sole existence WITH trees.

 

Extending your logic, if they are doing everything right except YPT they should still be a "Gold" unit? Seriously? Let's forget JTE. It is nothing more than a way for districts and councils to woefully account for a perceived "quality" of a unit without really measuring anything of substantial value.

 

The adults of this troop are missing a CARDINAL rule of BSA's advancement process: They are ADDING TO REQUIREMENTS. Much like other things within BSA, there are certain things that -- if done wrong -- are essentially "penal fouls" of the process. Adding to requirements is about as bad as you can get. When that happens to a kid in the process of aging out, that makes it even worse. These leaders are not breaking ONE rule, they are breaking SEVERAL!!!

 

There's no reason the SM cannot sign the proposal or final report of a completed Eagle project unless the requirements stated in the workbook were not done. Not signing and adding an attendance requirement for signature is making up rules.

 

There is no reason the SM needs to compel a Scout to "attend more camp outs" unless the unit has a well-defined level of activity policy. The GTA is VERY clear on that point. Doing anything else is the unit making up rules.

 

You said it yourself, "The troop is doin' what it thinks it should be doin'". They THINK they should be doing...but they could READ what the SHOULD be doing and to that instead.

 

Sure the kid could go to another troop but that takes time, and at 17 his clock is ticking, so he's using the established dispute resolution procedure. Good for him. Hopefully council wakes up and sees that this unit is off doing something it should not be.

 

Ask yourself this: Why don't these leaders have this kid's best interest at heart, huh? Why are they making road blocks when they should be helping to clear the path for this kid? Where is their honesty and loyalty to a kid that has served their unit? I get your points but I have to say I think you are dead wrong. This kid has done NOTHING wrong. The adults, on the other hand have failed to communicate their expectations to this kid and are now holding him accountable for THEIR mistake.

 

Cooking MB: Don't get me started on this. BSA told folks LONG AGO that this was required. Gave units over 18 months prior notice, allowed the 2010 requirements for the MB to extend a full year before the new requirements kicked in. Any adult or Scout caught by surprise on that one deserves the consequences. And no, I wouldn't let them slide if they missed it. It was announced WELL in advance of implementation. Ironic that you will let "older Scouts" needing cooking MB a "pass" but you are siding on the adult's side with regard to this Eagle Scout's problem. I wonder if you really read for consistency what you write sometimes. :p

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JTE encourages patrols, patrol leaders, SPL, youth leader training, PLCs.  It does not encourage the Patrol Method.  All the listed scoring criteria typically exist in the adult run, troop-method troop.  

 

JTE COULD encourage the Patrol Method by giving points for:  elected leaders; significant patrol program; advancement  instruction primarily in the patrol; every patrol member with a functioning job; Scouts planning the program of the patrols and troop; SPL running the troop-level program and the planning thereof.  But it does not.

 

In fact, JTE imagines that the Patrol Method is solely about developing youth leaders (which would be the Leadership Development Method): "Patrol method: Use the patrol method to develop youth leaders."

 

If you don't know where you're going, it's hard not to get lost.  

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Beavah, you are missing the forest for the trees, which is odd for an animal that spends it's sole existence WITH trees.

 

Extending your logic, if they are doing everything right except YPT they should still be a "Gold" unit? Seriously?

 

The adults of this troop are missing a CARDINAL rule of BSA's advancement process: They are ADDING TO REQUIREMENTS.

 

There's no reason the SM cannot sign the proposal or final report of a completed Eagle project unless the requirements stated in the workbook were not done. Not signing and adding an attendance requirement for signature is making up rules.

 

There is no reason the SM needs to compel a Scout to "attend more camp outs" unless the unit has a well-defined level of activity policy. The GTA is VERY clear on that point. Doing anything else is the unit making up rules.

 

You said it yourself, "The troop is doin' what it thinks it should be doin'". They THINK they should be doing...but they could READ what the SHOULD be doing and to that instead.

 

Sure the kid could go to another troop but that takes time, and at 17 his clock is ticking, so he's using the established dispute resolution procedure. Good for him. Hopefully council wakes up and sees that this unit is off doing something it should not be.

 

Ask yourself this: Why don't these leaders have this kid's best interest at heart, huh? Why are they making road blocks when they should be helping to clear the path for this kid? Where is their honesty and loyalty to a kid that has served their unit? I get your points but I have to say I think you are dead wrong. This kid has done NOTHING wrong. The adults, on the other hand have failed to communicate their expectations to this kid and are now holding him accountable for THEIR mistake.

 

Cooking MB: Don't get me started on this. BSA told folks LONG AGO that this was required. Gave units over 18 months prior notice, allowed the 2010 requirements for the MB to extend a full year before the new requirements kicked in. Any adult or Scout caught by surprise on that one deserves the consequences. And no, I wouldn't let them slide if they missed it. It was announced WELL in advance of implementation. Ironic that you will let "older Scouts" needing cooking MB a "pass" but you are siding on the adult's side with regard to this Eagle Scout's problem. I wonder if you really read for consistency what you write sometimes. :p

 

Yah, hmmm....

 

Yeh do know us beavers generally take down da trees that are part of da forest, eh?   They make great dams! :)

 

@@Krampus, advancement is just a method, eh?  Yeh can have a fine troop and never do a lick of advancement if yeh want.   That's not the same thing as Youth Protection and I reckon we both know that, eh?

 

We also both know that da "cardinal rule" of BSA advancement is NOT "don't add to the requirements."  When yeh signed up for da BSA you promised to adhere to da Charter and Bylaws and Rules and Regulations of da BSA.  Those define the cardinal rule for BSA advancement, which is:

 

"Education is the chief function of the Scouting movement and it shall be the basis of the advancement program." - Rules & Regulations of the BSA, Article X: Program (Advancement) Rules and Regulations

 

So if we're goin' to refer to da "cardinal rule" then we have to ask ourselves what choice is best to help with the education of the boy and the other boys in the program?   That's what BSA Advancement is really about, eh?   Advancin' da education and growth of kids.

 

Followin' that cardinal rule depends a lot on da circumstances, eh?  For me as a parent, I'd want my kid to learn da lessons of respectin' da SM/referee, not procrastinatin', and that if yeh want someone to give you their time, yeh had best be willin' to give generously of your own time in return.   So when I'm answerin' questions from another parent, that's where I'm goin' to lean.    If da question is from the SM instead and she or he is askin' about procedures, my answer would be different, eh? 

 

Besides I reckon it's goin' to take at least as long to go through the EBOR under disputed circumstances or change troops as it is to just go on a few campouts, eh?  Goin' on a few campouts seems like more fun, with more opportunities for learnin' and service.  Sometimes we do stuff just because the fellow who has spent his time with us for free for the past 5 years asks us to, eh?  Not because we're "required" by anything more than our honor.

 

Beavah

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I was Power of Attorney for my Dad who passed away last fall.  At the moment of his death I was no longer POA, but I was Executor of his Trust.

 

Now, to go down and close his account to pay off his bills, etc. etc. etc. I made 11 trips to the bank each time getting another rule I had to follow, work around some legal issue, have the right form, etc.  It was a total joke!  The frustration was horrendous and the hassle miserable.

 

Needless to say with his passing his account was closed and locked so I couldn't get to his records for tax purposes without paying $5/sheet of paper from their records they printed off in 30 seconds.  Seriously!

 

Needless to say I will never again do business with that financial institution nor will I give anything but an honest evaluation of the situation when asked for a recommendation from others.

 

We have all had examples of these kinds of things in our lives.  If this was a major game changer in my life, something I had worked the majority of my life to attain and someone began making up rules that never were there in the first place?  I would be more than majorly ticked off.  This is not the kind of failure I want to use as an example for my boys to learn.

 

Sorry Beav, but forgetting one's mess kit or rain gear is not the same thing as getting screwed over on the Eagle rank at the last minute by a SM who changes the rules. 

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Followin' that cardinal rule depends a lot on da circumstances, eh?  For me as a parent, I'd want my kid to learn da lessons of respectin' da SM/referee, not procrastinatin', and that if yeh want someone to give you their time, yeh had best be willin' to give generously of your own time in return.   So when I'm answerin' questions from another parent, that's where I'm goin' to lean.    If da question is from the SM instead and she or he is askin' about procedures, my answer would be different, eh?

 

Huh? Following the rules depends on circumstance? I must have missed that part of the bylaws and charter agreement that allowed us as adult leaders to do that.

 

I understand discretion. As leaders we exercise discretion all the time. HOWEVER, there are certain things we cannot exercise discretion over. In the situation we are discussing we have a Scout that is DONE with a requirement and wants his SM's signature. The SM is placing conditions on the signature totally unrelated to the completion of the requirement!! Not only is that wrong but it breaks several rules and policies of Scouting, not to mention failing to demonstrate the exact thing you are advocating the Scout should be exhibiting (trust, honor, integrity, loyalty). So by siding with the SM on this you are 1) punishing the Scout and 2) demonstrating the exact opposite of what you want the Scout to show. Where is the Scoutmaster's respect for the Scout, the rules and the policies he is supposed to follow?? 

 

This kid did not procrastinate from what the OP notes. The kid completed a requirement and wants it signed off. It does not get any more clear cut. There's no reason for "different answers". The answer is pretty clear.

 

 

Besides I reckon it's goin' to take at least as long to go through the EBOR under disputed circumstances or change troops as it is to just go on a few campouts, eh?  Goin' on a few campouts seems like more fun, with more opportunities for learnin' and service.  Sometimes we do stuff just because the fellow who has spent his time with us for free for the past 5 years asks us to, eh?  Not because we're "required" by anything more than our honor.

Really? Why would re "reckon" that? Given the propensity of these adult to not follow the rules, what's to say they don't throw ANOTHER road block in front of this kid? Given their disloyalty and dishonesty with him on this issue, what give you that warm, fuzzy feeling these adults won't drag their heels at every turn for this kid?

 

But forget all that, ask yourself this: Since this kid has ALREADY MET the requirements for getting these Eagle requirements signed off (except the remaining MB), why should he have to do MORE?? He's met the level of activity laid out by the BSA. The troop has failed to produce their level of activity requirement (if they even have one), so why should the kid have to re-do anything??

 

You want to teach all these valuable lessons but you are missing the biggest lesson this kid is learning in all of this: Adults cannot be trusted. Let's make this clear: HE'S DONE THE WORK!! Why in God's name are you asking him to re-do it?

 

 

 

 

Sorry Beav, but forgetting one's mess kit or rain gear is not the same thing as getting screwed over on the Eagle rank at the last minute by a SM who changes the rules.

Exactly!!

Edited by Krampus
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Besides I reckon it's goin' to take at least as long to go through the EBOR under disputed circumstances or change troops as it is to just go on a few campouts, eh?  Goin' on a few campouts seems like more fun, with more opportunities for learnin' and service.  Sometimes we do stuff just because the fellow who has spent his time with us for free for the past 5 years asks us to, eh?  Not because we're "required" by anything more than our honor.

 

Beavah

 

You make it sound like the SM made a request. He made a demand. I constantly request my older Scouts to stay involved beyond what is required for advancement. They often have a perfectly reasonable reason for why they cannot attend certain outings. If they can make it, then generally do. The camping is irrelevant. The SM could have demanded he attend 10 more meetings in order to fulfill the requirement. It'd still be wrong, as I'll explain below. 

 

 

 
"Education is the chief function of the Scouting movement and it shall be the basis of the advancement program." - Rules & Regulations of the BSA, Article X: Program (Advancement) Rules and Regulations
What stops us from ignoring that? It's all just guidelines anyways, it's not holy writ, lets not be zero tolerance about things....

 

Nah...Education and following the requirements as written, as well as not adding requirements, are not mutually exclusive goals. At least not in my Troop. A Troop has plenty of ways to encourage activity in their scouts, both requirements and informally. There is no need to make up additional requirements beyond what is in the handbook. Once the Troop signed off "Active in the Troop for Six months while Life Scout" they closed that avenue. 

 
They closed the case on using requirements to force additional outings. If they had told this Scout after earning his Life Scout:  "In order to be active in our Troop you must go on six outings before you go for Eagle". "Our troops definition of active is to have been on the monthly outing." That's allowed. It's a little crazy to demand 100% attendance, but it is allowed. there's your discretion. To tack it on at the end, after they've already certified he's been active enough to their satisfaction, is not OK. 
 
Sentinel947
Edited by Sentinel947
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Gee, my definition of "active" in my troops has been: you pay your registration, you're active for another year.  If you don't show up, you just wasted your money, but not my time.  Works for me.  I've never had an attendance problem in my troops.  Boys are there because they want to be, not because they have to be.  As long as I keep it that way, I'm not going to change.

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Gee, my definition of "active" in my troops has been: you pay your registration, you're active for another year.  If you don't show up, you just wasted your money, but not my time.  Works for me.  I've never had an attendance problem in my troops.  Boys are there because they want to be, not because they have to be.  As long as I keep it that way, I'm not going to change.

That's pretty close to the BSA definition. They add "in good standing" which I assume you take in to account too. 

 

Most units I know don't have an attendance policy or don't track it well so they never know if anyone is truly not meeting it. Those who do have it rarely invoke it. Only in the very rare instances you have a guy who pays but never attends, then shows up and wants an SMC.

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Any boy that pays and then doesn't show up gets hounded mercilessly by his PL!  "Are you sick?", "Got problems we should know about?", "We have a campout next weekend, you going?", "Need a ride?", "We miss you!!", etc.  It's all part of "Taking care of your boys."  

 

If a boy really does quit, the PL might back off on the contacts, but he doesn't give up until the boy doesn't recharter.

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Sorry Beav, but forgetting one's mess kit or rain gear is not the same thing as getting screwed over on the Eagle rank at the last minute by a SM who changes the rules. 

 

Yah, @@Stosh, I reckon it just depends whether yeh view Boy Scout ranks as entitlements or not, eh? 

 

If gettin' a Boy Scout rank is an entitlement, then if yeh don't get what's comin' to yeh you might be "screwed over".

 

I don't see BSA ranks as entitlements, and I don't think we're playin' this Scoutin' game to teach kids to feel entitled to the time and effort and recognition of others.

 

Just my humble opinion.

 

I think we are bein' trustworthy when we follow the "cardinal rule" of advancement and make sure we're usin' advancement to educate kids.   I think we build confidence in kids and parents when badges represent what a lad is able to do, rather than bein' an award for what he has done.  I think we're followin' da rules when we we interpret advancement in the way that best advances da Aims of Scouting to promote character, fitness and citizenship.

 

Not entitlement.

 

I agree with @@Krampus though, eh?  Most units don't really track attendance or have policies on participation.  Those only come up either when some lad/family tries to take advantage and other folks get upset by that, or when a unit has gotten very lax and some better-trained folks are tryin' to put the house back in order.   For the rest of da time, this stuff just sorta cruises along.  Perhaps with a SM sayin' "Hey, Joe, we've all been missin' you lately.  I'd love to sign yeh off for Scout Spirit, sure.  I might have some time to do that on the next campout, eh?  Will I see yeh there? :)

 

Gee, my definition of "active" in my troops has been: you pay your registration, you're active for another year.

 

Yeh can choose to have a definition like that, eh?  Nobody's goin' to stop you, if yeh have some families who want that sort of thing.    I'm not sure what you're teachin' though.  Is an active student a lad who just registers for class, but never shows up?   Is a good employee a fellow who signs a contract but doesn't come to work? Is an active member is someone who signs da church register, but doesn't come to Sunday services or contribute in any other way?  Is that definition consistent with da values of your CO?

 

I prefer da BSA's definition:

 

A youth member is a youth under 18 years of age who, with the approval of a parent or guardian, becomes a member of a unit; obligates himself to regularly attend the meetings; fulfills a member’s obligation to the unit; subscribes to the Scout Oath; and participates in appropriate program [sic] based on the current guidelines of the Boy Scouts of America.  - Rules & Regulations of the Boy Scouts of America

 

Beavah

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