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Scoutmaster denies 17 year old Life Scout Eagle

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That's strange because I have had 3 of my kids go through school, involved in academics, sports and music and never heard of such a rule.  It it was legal in the eyes of the law, the school and it's personnel had no say so in family affairs.

 

The school tried to interfere in my family situation once and after a civil law suit was filed in the courts, the school apologized and nothing ever came of it. 

 

If one is going to be making up rules that aren't part of the organizations policies, then they're pretty much left out hanging in the wind.

 

Others may have more stringent school policies, but not in my neighborhood.

 

I have lived for an extended period of time in 4 different states and have never come across this issue before.

Edited by Stosh

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Maybe I don't run with that crowd nor did any of my kids.....

 

What does BSA say about it?  Anything?

 

By the way, the issue is going camping, not smoking pot or drinking alcohol.  We're talking doing something which is totally legal.

Edited by Stosh

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I did try to address this directly with the SM and with the CC and they both dug their feet in deeply and made it clear that they were not going to budge.

 

 

That's when I decided to take this to Council. Considering the resistance from the SM and CC as well as the time sensitivity, I had to. The consequence of not going to council in this case was too great.

 

Krampus, Fred, Hedgehog, Stosh, Calico, Sentinel and all who have expressed support for my son - and support for open and honest communications and conducting advancements, by the book - thank you, with my greatest sincerity, thank you.

 

 

My older son is a wonderful young man by all measures. He would make you all very proud.

 

 

I will definitely let everyone know how this unfolds.

 

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Maybe I don't run with that crowd nor did any of my kids.....

 

What does BSA say about it?  Anything?

 

By the way, the issue is going camping, not smoking pot or drinking alcohol.  We're talking doing something which is totally legal.

Alcohol not allowed on Scout property or activities.

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Alcohol not allowed on Scout property or activities.

Alcohol consumption and possession is an illegal activity for anyone under 21.  Yes, a scout caught on scout property with an illegal substance should be kicked out.  I never questioned that.

 

My question is if a scout and his buddies camp off of scout property with parental permission are they subject to being kicked out of scouting?  And why would a SM even say no to something he has no business involving himself in anyway?

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But if I'm reading the other comments, because the boys are all scouts and go camping together as a non-scout activity with parental permission,  it somehow translates into disobedience of the SM and grounds for getting kicked out of scouting like the star quarterback getting caught at the local beer party.

 

If there is such a thing in BSA, I am totally unaware of it.

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But if I'm reading the other comments, because the boys are all scouts and go camping together as a non-scout activity with parental permission,  it somehow translates into disobedience of the SM and grounds for getting kicked out of scouting like the star quarterback getting caught at the local beer party.

 

If there is such a thing in BSA, I am totally unaware of it.

Hypothetically I might take action and suspend a Scout if they get in trouble with for some kind of violent behavior in or outside of Scouts. As for camping outside of the troop, I can't see how that's an issue at all. 

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Next thing will be Mom and Dad needing a Tour and Activity Plan to take their two Scout sons on a camping vacation.   :o  

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Yah, hmmm....

 

This seems to have gone off da rails a bit, eh? :eek:

 

For some reason, on internet forums and sometimes in real life, otherwise good scouters come to imagine that fellow scouters are somehow bad people who want to "get" kids or whatnot.  Often because they listen to hearsay, or because da other scouter doesn't do it da same way they would.  And we all know that only we know Da Right Way, eh? :)

 

@@Stosh, I'm not convinced that just signin' off on a lad who shows up on your doorstep is really bein' helpful to the boy.  I know it's not bein' helpful, courteous, or loyal to a fellow scouter.  I wish you'd think about that some more.  Teenagers are teenagers, eh?  They try out all sorts of behaviors on da road to adulthood.  One of 'em is "blame the adult" which is da teenage version of "you don't love me" (if yeh don't give me what I want).  Another is "find da weakest link to manipulate".   Kids of divorce get really good at the latter sometimes if the parents let 'em.    Enabling or reinforcin' those behaviors does a lad no favors. 

 

That's why it's almost always da right choice to listen to a lad, let him vent, complain, cry, etc. but not agree that their teacher/coach/band director/scoutmaster is wrong, bad, out to get them, etc.   Turn it around on 'em and put 'em back in da driver's seat.  "Yah, sounds like that's really hard.   What are yeh goin' to do about it?"  Don't take the life lesson away from 'em by givin' 'em an easy adult-end-run path that you've cleared.  That isn't kind.  It's showin' 'em that you lack confidence in their ability.   Trust 'em.  Trust your fellow scouters.  Send the lad back to the scouter who really knows the lad with the courage and strength to work hard and succeed.  That's real kindness.

 

Personally, I think it's hard to defend a lad who goes AWOL for 4 years in a program that claims to be teachin' character and citizenship.  Yah, yah, there are always exceptions, eh?  Like the lad mentioned whose family came apart... except in that case I'm wonderin' where the troop was for the boy and the family?   In most cases, we all know that a lad is not showin' character or citizenship or loyalty by absenting himself from da program and then comin' back only to "get" the program's Big Award.  What's more, it's exactly the wrong example for the younger boys in the troop.   It does real harm to their development and to Scoutin'.

 

If we're lawyerin' individual requirements and statements in kids' program books, we're doin' this scoutin' thing all wrong.  Lawyerin' is inherently adversarial, and scoutin' really only functions through cooperation.  

 

Beavah

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If it's not a Scout activity, Scouts have no jurisdiction.  

 

Yah, hmmm....

 

We're a youth program, eh?  Not a law enforcement squad.  There's no such thing as "jurisdiction".

 

I reckon we all would agree that a lad dealin' methamphetamine at school should be kicked out of Scoutin', even if he wasn't dealin' on scout trips.  Sometimes what we do in the rest of our lives means that we lose friends, alienate family members, lose our jobs, cost ourselves opportunities.   Scoutin' is a volunteer community; yeh lose your ability to stay in da community when yeh lose the trust of the community.

 

I reckon we'd all agree that if a lad hosts a squirt gun party at his backyard pool for his friends in his patrol, we aren't goin' to summon him to a G2SS court martial, strip off his patches, and kick him to da curb.  Though it might make a funny YouTube video as a satire. :D

 

Between those two end points, we have judgment calls, eh?  And to some extent, we have organizations with different approaches.  Churches like Stosh's might be more pastoral; schools like Dave in CO's might have "zero-tolerance" policies, even ones imposed by law.   While I'm not at all a fan of "zero tolerance" polices myself, I also recognize that da reason such policies get enacted is because someone somewhere was way too lenient in their judgment while tryin' to be pastoral, eh?  And they let us all down.  

 

So I reckon it's on us as scouters to use good judgment, eh?  To be thoughtful about da real circumstances and the boy's needs, but to use "tough love" when appropriate as well.  To care for the boy, but to care just as much or more about da example we set for all the other lads.   To be mindful of scoutin's reputation and our own liability risk, and yet still hold our mission as da primary thing.    We need to try to help boys, and at da same time not believe that only we or only Scouting can help a boy. 

 

Figurin' that out for each lad should scare us, eh?  It should make us quiet and thoughtful.  It should cause us to reach out for ideas and advice.  It should make us question and pray.  Da surest sign that we're doin' wrong is to be absolutely confident we're doin' right.

 

Beavah

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"@Stosh, I'm not convinced that just signin' off on a lad who shows up on your doorstep is really bein' helpful to the boy.  I know it's not bein' helpful, courteous, or loyal to a fellow scouter.  I wish you'd think about that some more.  Teenagers are teenagers, eh?  They try out all sorts of behaviors on da road to adulthood.  One of 'em is "blame the adult" which is da teenage version of "you don't love me" (if yeh don't give me what I want).  Another is "find da weakest link to manipulate".   Kids of divorce get really good at the latter sometimes if the parents let 'em.    Enabling or reinforcin' those behaviors does a lad no favors."

 

@@Beavah I guess with all the years I have under my belt, I've seen a lot more than I want to when it comes to some of these relational issues and I have seen how they work out.  When someone comes on-line with a concern that smacks of days-gone-by for me, I simply spell it out the way I handled it and how it turned out.

 

While it is unclear what the motivation is for this "fellow scouter" who is adding to the requirements for a boy on the verge of getting his Eagle, it sounds too familiar to me because I have seen it play out many times in the past in previous units that I have been involved in as ASM and as UC for other units in the council.  When a SM comes right out and states that a boy will never Eagle in HIS troop, one begins to wonder who's troop this SM thinks it belongs to.  At that point I simply told the boys (yes it happened more than once) that they should $1 transfer to another unit if they ever want to earn their Eagle rank.  They all took my advice and all found other units (not always the same other one) and eventually obtained the earned rank.

 

Under those circumstances I found it extremely difficult to be helpful, courteous and loyal to a fellow scouter who was abusing the rules of BSA's advancement policy.  Eventually I had enough of that troop and moved on to another.

 

Maybe I'm overly sensitive to abusive SM's, maybe I am over reacting from historical experiences, or maybe I'm spot on and this boy needs support and help with his adult driven and un-deserved stance by the SM. 

 

I'm not just going to pencil whip the advancement just because the boy comes and asks for it, but I do basically pencil whip the Eagle hoops for boys I know and have worked with for multiple years.  Once I have an idea of the situation, and it shakes out as he has indicated, I would have no problem with helping other people at all times even if that is a boy in some other troop who's struggling with a personal conflict with an adult SM.  While every situation is different in life, I have seen this scenario before and I can be assured there is no good reconciliation ever going to come from it.

 

Giving a boy a challenge is one thing, giving him obstacles is not the same thing and has no part in the character development of Scouts.

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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.

 

Agreed.  Our troop would help too.

 

In fact, our troop has helped out a scout in this similar situation.  Troop and family had a falling out.  Our scoutmaster talked with their old scoutmaster.  Old scoutmaster was not helpful.  

 

Simple fact is eagle project is a requirement, but it's one of many.  If the scout did the project, it should be signed off and not used as a blocker.  

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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.

 

I would applaud a scoutmaster who steps in to help. 

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