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Scoutmaster denies 17 year old Life Scout Eagle

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Sounds like the Scouting equivalent of a diploma mill.  I would never sign off for a boy I never met.

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Sounds like the Scouting equivalent of a diploma mill.  I would never sign off for a boy I never met.

 

A Scout is Kind.

 

A Scout is Friendly.

 

A Scout is Helpful.

 

I would.  :)

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I'm a bleeding heart, but I don't think If I was an SM I'd sign off on a Scout I'd never worked with. In this case there's a proper procedure to initiate a review from the Council. It doesn't involve a third party SM signing off the stuff. 

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No kidding, Stosh.  Would you really?

 

He sends me his records, his documentation on his project,  gets on the phone with me an helps me to understand he has jumped through every BSA hoop properly?  Yes, I wouldn't hesitate to sign.  I would work with and support any scout came to me looking for help.  I tend to "help other people at all times!" and that also means I don't judge their situation, just help.

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"Active" is further defined by the active participation section of the GTA. One would think those two things would be linked somewhere so as to make it more obvious, but they are not...at least not officially anywhere I could find.

 

The phrase "be active in your troop" is not really clear. The GTA defines that by saying active means being registered, in good standing and meeting the unit's pre-defined requirements for defining active. Absent any unit pre-defined definition it gets a bit ambiguous...and then you have that alternate test.

 

Yes, you *can* have a Scout who makes Life at 13, is active (under the GTA definition) for 6 months and then goes silent until he's 17 when he wants his SMC and BOR for Eagle (or any rank really). Should he be counted as active? Sure, if he meets (or met) the GTA guideline of active for the duration required during the period of time in that rank.

 

Where I have seen this issue go south is when that level of activity is not continuous. I don't recall (may have missed it) if the GTA addresses that. I believe it does and says it does not have to be contiguous months of activity, just totaled.

 

I do think that a Scout who makes Life at 13, is active for 6 months and silent until 17 has met the requirements as written.  How is that any different than that same scout who gets Eagle at 13 1/2? 

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There are a few things about the OP that set me on edge.  

 

First was the statement that the Scoutmaster and the troop committee were in cahoots.  I didn't like that choice of words.  

 

The Scoutmaster and the unit committee should both be on the same page.  This is how a well run unit works.  If someone feels they're both on the wrong page, they should take it to the COR.

 

Second was the statement that the parent hopes to enlist the support of a couple parents.  I didn't like that as well.

 

Unless the couple parents being referred to are the COR and the IH, this is wholly inappropriate.  A well run unit does not make important decisions through parent led insurrections.  

 

Third was taking it to the council.  Strike three.

 

IMHO, this warrants taking it to the Council.  Pretty much they have just derailed this boy based on something that they just told him. Now, if the facts are different, I stand by the troop, but if there was no warning prior to this, or a designated policy on what is active, the boy should take it to Council. Again, this is if the OP is describing the situation accurately. 

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Yes, this is a forum. Yes the post is by a parent. Yes, we should be skeptical of posters who might have an axe to grind. I think everybody here is being pretty calm, but it is important to note we only have one half of the story. Krampus and Hedgehog (and I) are making a working assumption that the OP's description is true. That being said:

 

No offense to Beavah, but, Folks use that same line of (BSA documents are just guidelines) to create their own little fiefdoms, where they create "perfect" "boy run" troops that are anything but. They refuse to adapt, adjust or follow the rules. They play fast and loose with the rules, and in the end, their Scouts are the real losers. So is Scouting as a movement.

 

I wouldn't call it Holy Writ, because there's only a handful of documents in this world I'd call holy writ, and none of it is written by the BSA. That being said, isn't our job as BSA volunteers to execute a BSA program to the best of our abilities? Wouldn't part of that gaining of knowledge and skills being to read BSA documents that were created to help us do our volunteer roles? Specifically the Guide to Advancement in this case? 

 

These documents and requirements often establish a bare minimum. It's up to us as leaders to encourage and motivate our scouts to achieve beyond the requirements. Waiting to ambush a Scout about his activity at the last minute is cowardly. Sure, it's an unpleasant conversation to talk with/or call the Scout and his parents and inform them that he is not meeting the troop's (already made and established) standards for Activity or a POR, but come on. 

 

I'm with @@Krampus and @@Hedgehog on this one. What's the harm in getting the council to look in to it? If the Troop is breaking the rules, they deserve the smackdown. If they aren't than they should have nothing to fear. It would actually be a positive because then the Council can correct the parent. 

 

I know my unit would have nothing to fear. 

 

Sentinel947 

 

 

 

 

 

Well said. 

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Sounds like the Scouting equivalent of a diploma mill.  I would never sign off for a boy I never met.

 

According to your own posts, you wouldn't sign off on this kid's stuff if you had met him.  :rolleyes:

 

 

I do think that a Scout who makes Life at 13, is active for 6 months and silent until 17 has met the requirements as written.  How is that any different than that same scout who gets Eagle at 13 1/2? 

 

Yes, as long as he met that test in the GTA. Now, if he was MIA for that long in my troop he'd be getting quarterly reminder that he's not been active. Thankfully we don't have that problem.

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According to your own posts, you wouldn't sign off on this kid's stuff if you had met him.  :rolleyes:

 

 

 

Yes, as long as he met that test in the GTA. Now, if he was MIA for that long in my troop he'd be getting quarterly reminder that he's not been active. Thankfully we don't have that problem.

 

But your troop is doing it right and following both the letter and spirit of the rules. 

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I too am going on a working assumption that the OP description is true.  It sounds true.

 

I was an IH.  Something like this could not have happened in my unit without my hearing about it.  I would have fired the Scoutmaster six months ago.

 

The next conversation would have been with the parent.  I would not have been happy with the parent either.  I have already explained why.  The parent would have been told to shape up or take the kid to another unit.

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I'd like to think so. We also have a Scout who is in the situation @@perdidochas. He was sort of active during his first six months as Life. In reviewing his level of activity it fell below the established troop threshold. He was told to get his level of activity up and he didn't. Come to find out there's severe family problems at home which lead to his withdrawal and lack of activity since. Still signed his proposal and final report. Still signed his handbook. Discussed what he had been doing to meet the alternate test of "active". Seems he threw himself in to his drama club. Was there 20+ hours a week. It was an escape from home. Scouts reminded him of dad.

 

We signed his application and everything else. He thanked us and went to his EBOR. I'd like to think this is how it should be done. We didn't do anything new or different, we simply followed the rules, kept open communications with the Scout and, where necessary, met him half way. He did the rest.

Our Troop doesn't have a formalized policy on attendance. We haven't been burned by a slacker hard enough yet to feel the need to make one.

 

The process you described is textbook like. Good job. 

 

Often when I chat with some of my troop's oldest scouts (17 year olds mostly) they get kinda sheepish about their involvement or sometimes lack of with the troop. I enjoy that conversation because it's a chance to reinforce that this program has a point. By 17 they should be taking their leadership skills and life skills sharing that with jobs and other activities. Isn't that the point of "prepared for life?"  :D 

 

Scouts that are 14-16 and are starting to disengage from the program get a bit different conversation about their involvement. Normally this is more in the form of a challenge. It's talked a lot about on the forum that responsibility and leadership is what keeps older Scouts engaged with the program. 

 

In the nearly 4 years I've been an ASM, the single thing I am most proud of was sitting down for an informal chat with one of my scouts who was 14-15 at the time. He was stalled out in his rank advancement and wasn't coming to as many troop events. I'd been his Troop Guide when he crossed over, and shortly before I aged out. We talked about a whole variety of things, and then I kinda casually mentioned the Troop had nobody running for ASPL in the election the following week. He was hesitant about it, and said he'd talk with his dad about it. (Jokes on him, I'd already got his dad on board.) He went on to take the ASPL POR. Followed that up with NYLT (he won the honor camper award there, a first for our Troop) and a term as SPL. Our Troop took some massive steps forward with implementing the Patrol method during his SPL term. 

 

I'm not advocating for no attendance standards, and I expect soon my Troop will establish some, but those standards cannot replace the kind of chats @@Krampus described. 

Edited by Sentinel947
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But you've always been a big supporter of the unit NOT to making up or adding to requirements. This unit appears to have done just that. The scouts completed an MB and completed his active six months, now the adults are adding more. Why should he have to redo anything?

 

When does this kid turn 18? He's got his senior year, college applications, tests/exams, prom, etc. Why can't the adults work with this kid instead of throwing more road blocks at him?

 

Done with the project? Sign the wookbook.

 

Done with the requirements? Sign the handbook.

 

Application ready? Re-review the workbook to make sure it's signed, re-review handbook to make sure all sections are signed and dated, review the application to make sure all dates match what council has on file and sign the darn thing.

 

Have the SMC and prep the kid for his BOR.

Yep. I'm a "by the book" kind of guy ... to the annoyance of crusaders and jihadists alike. ;)

 

But, in terms of how to handle oppression? Well, I'm sorry, I didn't write those rules. :D

 

Sure, there's the paperwork. Push it. Odds are in the boy's favor. But, being proven right is not nearly as satisfying as living right,

 

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

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If everyone is so bent out of shape about me as a SM signing off on an Eagle rank advancement when I hardly know the boy, why is it still acceptable that an EBOR with three people even I as SM don't know get to check off for my Eagles they probably have never met nor talked to before the EBOR. 

 

I would seriously like to know the difference.  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.

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