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Scoutmaster denies 17 year old Life Scout Eagle

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Yah, da zero tolerance policy folks seem alive and well in da BSA, eh?   :p

 

Well, perhaps. 

 

I am not a staunch defender of the BSA and how they implement certain policies when it comes to things like bubble ball and water balloons. And I will add I think there is a difference between professional staff and how they react to things versus volunteers. In this case we have volunteers going off the reservation and implementing their own policy. It is not a zero tolerance policy, it is an incorrect reading of the policy that exists. They are essentially doing their own program.

 

Then, as @@Sentinel947 points out, when the kid uses an established escalation procedure he chastised by a few here as "lawyering up" of all the ridiculous things! So in their view, the adults who DON'T follow policy get no rebuke, the Scout who DOES follow policy is labelled a "disloyal" Scout.

 

I have to shake my head sometimes. I think policies and rules are good things. We need to take them as written and implement them. Where we disagree we work to change them to find common ground. The adults in this scenario are not doing any of this. The Scout is.

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Yah, sure @@TAHAWK.  I’m wrong more than half da time, eh? :confused:    Da Bobwhites disagree with me just about all the time, but then they’re flighty birds not sturdy, hardworkin’ furry critters.

 

We can only operate on the facts given - hearsay to be sure,

 

Nah.  That’s a choice, eh?   We all know that hearsay is completely unreliable.  That’s why it’s not at all admissible in court.   Knowin’ that, why choose to believe hearsay is “factâ€?  That won’t do anybody any good.

 

Which do yeh really think is more likely:

 

  • That a teenager is bein’ a bit immature and rebellious, or that the Scoutmaster who has given the boy thousands of hours of his volunteer time over the past 5 years and who has da support of other kids and parents is out to get the lad for no reason other than spleen?
  • That a parent is bein’ a bit of a helicopter, or that da SM, ASMs, CC, Advancement Chair, committee who are all volunteers and parents themselves have a grudge and want to just hurt the lad?

So rather than just accept hearsay, I reckon it’s fine to insert a bit of judgment and start calmin’ things down and just askin’ more questions and gatherin’ information.  Our goal as friends shouldn’t be to arm da rebellion and da helicopters and send ‘em off to war.   It should be to provide calm perspective and bring folks back together again.

 

Beavah

Three choices (at least):

 

1. Never give advice because the OP is always presenting hearsay.

2. Give advice on the basis of the OP's statements with the understanding that the advice is no better than the hearsay.

3. Make up your own facts and give advice based on the made-up facts.

Edited by TAHAWK

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or

 

4) Come to this forum seeking a variety of different pieces of advice from knowledgeable people who may have had similar circumstances happen to them and find out what they did to get through the rough spot on the trail.

 

No two situations will ever be the same same, only similar, but how one deals with THEIR particular situation might go a bit smoother by comparing notes and not making the same mistakes others may have made before.

 

I see forums on the internet a bit like Wikipedia.  Maybe 90% of the stuff there is pretty reliable, but there's a bunch of stuff there that is more commentary than fact.  While most of the forum offers commentary, within the comments are some real good gems of advice that must might make one's life a bit easier.

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Well, I tried to edit to make it clearer that there were three choices for forumites who are asked for advice.  My post disappeared after I hit "save."

 

1. Don't give advice since all you have to go on is hearsay.

2. Give advice based on hearsay knowing the advice is no better than the accuracy of what the OP posted.

3. Give advice based on facts you make up.

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Are you trying to create an argument with that? I'm not sure what it contributes to the discussion at hand. 

 

Just to provoke thought and reflection, eh?  We can't on one hand decry da schools for zero tolerance and on the other embrace BSA policies with da same approach.  There's not a lick of difference.

 

Folks who spend lots of time on internet forums are a bit wonky, eh?   They're da folks who are so into Scoutin' that they read all 120 pages of G2SS and all 100+ pages of G2A, etc.  They take pride in bein' able to quote chapter and verse at folks.  That's an OK thing as far as it goes.

 

I think we have to recognize that the average volunteer doesn't do that, eh?  They're focused on da kids and their own unit and just gettin' the campout runnin' and the Eagles Patrol Leader to stop bein' so bossy, all while not losin' their spouse to their Scoutin' addiction.  They're runnin' troops large and small with kids and parents who are happy, kids and parents who are fine, and a few kids and parents who are upset from time to time.   They aren't perfect, but I reckon we owe 'em da benefit of da doubt, eh?

 

So yah, sure, sometimes they get technical procedure stuff "wrong" while they're tryin' to do their best, eh?  Sometimes every referee makes a bad call, or they throw in a "make up call" that's not technically right, but may be appropriate in da bigger picture.

 

That leaves us with a choice.   We can thump our books and our chests and quote chapter and verse and call 'em evil wicked scouters.  We can stomp our feet out onto da pitch and start hollerin' at da referee.  Worse, we can snipe behind their backs like gossips and badmouth 'em and their troop and their program.  That says a lot about us and about how much we value courtesy and sportsmanship and whatnot, but I'm not convinced it's helpful to anybody.  

 

Sportsmanship is how we act when we don't win or get what we want, and when the bad call goes against us.  Loyalty is how we act when we think our friends are wrong or need our support.   What example do we want to set for kids and families?   

 

I have my own feelings on that; I admit to bein' an old-fashioned sort of critter.  I think it's somethin' that we all should reflect on, though, from time to time.

 

Eagle's a terrible thing to give a lad if da lessons we teach in da process are not ones we should be proud of.

 

Beavah

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Well, I tried to edit to make it clearer that there were three choices for forumites who are asked for advice.  My post disappeared after I hit "save."

 

1. Don't give advice since all you have to go on is hearsay.

2. Give advice based on hearsay knowing the advice is no better than the accuracy of what the OP posted.

3. Give advice based on facts you make up.

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9e-ZM-NXKOU

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"That leaves us with a choice.   We can thump our books and our chests and quote chapter and verse and call 'em evil wicked scouters.  We can stomp our feet out onto da pitch and start hollerin' at da referee.  Worse, we can snipe behind their backs like gossips and badmouth 'em and their troop and their program.  That says a lot about us and about how much we value courtesy and sportsmanship and whatnot, but I'm not convinced it's helpful to anybody. "

 

"Choice"?

 

Or we can make a major commitment to teaching?

 

Or we can try to convince the Scouters at National to kill council advancement mills?

 

Or we can try to convince National to keep pushing towards the Patrol Method?

 

I'm all for dumping the negativism ueber alles, but we need the "or" part   Identifying a problem is not doing the whole job.

 

Or there's #3.   :p 

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Just to provoke thought and reflection, eh?  We can't on one hand decry da schools for zero tolerance and on the other embrace BSA policies with da same approach.  There's not a lick of difference.

 

Folks who spend lots of time on internet forums are a bit wonky, eh?   They're da folks who are so into Scoutin' that they read all 120 pages of G2SS and all 100+ pages of G2A, etc.  They take pride in bein' able to quote chapter and verse at folks.  That's an OK thing as far as it goes.

 

I think we have to recognize that the average volunteer doesn't do that, eh?  They're focused on da kids and their own unit and just gettin' the campout runnin' and the Eagles Patrol Leader to stop bein' so bossy, all while not losin' their spouse to their Scoutin' addiction.  They're runnin' troops large and small with kids and parents who are happy, kids and parents who are fine, and a few kids and parents who are upset from time to time.   They aren't perfect, but I reckon we owe 'em da benefit of da doubt, eh?

 

I think you miss the other type of volunteer @@Beavah. You missed the volunteer who is the antithesis of the BSA policy nerd; the one who is in to fiefdom-building and doing things the way they THINK that BSA wants them done, or under some mis-guide recollection of how it was when they were Scouts.

 

Either way, from the OP and subsequent posts, they clearly are not "focused on da kids" but rather focused on dem selves. Sticking strictly with the OP, I don't see where they are doing anything based on the youths' (or is that 'yutes'?) best interest. 

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Just to provoke thought and reflection, eh?  We can't on one hand decry da schools for zero tolerance and on the other embrace BSA policies with da same approach.  There's not a lick of difference.

 

Folks who spend lots of time on internet forums are a bit wonky, eh?   They're da folks who are so into Scoutin' that they read all 120 pages of G2SS and all 100+ pages of G2A, etc.  They take pride in bein' able to quote chapter and verse at folks.  That's an OK thing as far as it goes.

 

I think we have to recognize that the average volunteer doesn't do that, eh?  They're focused on da kids and their own unit and just gettin' the campout runnin' and the Eagles Patrol Leader to stop bein' so bossy, all while not losin' their spouse to their Scoutin' addiction.  They're runnin' troops large and small with kids and parents who are happy, kids and parents who are fine, and a few kids and parents who are upset from time to time.   They aren't perfect, but I reckon we owe 'em da benefit of da doubt, eh?

 

So yah, sure, sometimes they get technical procedure stuff "wrong" while they're tryin' to do their best, eh?  Sometimes every referee makes a bad call, or they throw in a "make up call" that's not technically right, but may be appropriate in da bigger picture.

 

That leaves us with a choice.   We can thump our books and our chests and quote chapter and verse and call 'em evil wicked scouters.  We can stomp our feet out onto da pitch and start hollerin' at da referee.  Worse, we can snipe behind their backs like gossips and badmouth 'em and their troop and their program.  That says a lot about us and about how much we value courtesy and sportsmanship and whatnot, but I'm not convinced it's helpful to anybody.  

 

Sportsmanship is how we act when we don't win or get what we want, and when the bad call goes against us.  Loyalty is how we act when we think our friends are wrong or need our support.   What example do we want to set for kids and families?   

 

I have my own feelings on that; I admit to bein' an old-fashioned sort of critter.  I think it's somethin' that we all should reflect on, though, from time to time.

 

Eagle's a terrible thing to give a lad if da lessons we teach in da process are not ones we should be proud of.

 

Beavah

I don't have the documents memorized, but I am wicked good at typing "Guide to Advancement." into google. 

 

I don't think following BSA procedure as written is "Zero Tolerance." is defined as: A “zero tolerance policy†is a school or district policy that mandates predetermined consequences or punishments for specific offenses that are intended to be applied regardless of the seriousness of the behavior, mitigating circumstances, or institutional context. "

 

I'm not advocating punishments for this SM or CC that are making up their own rules. Insisting that people follow the rules about running a program that they volunteered to uphold is NOT being a zero tolerance book thumper. In the case in the OP the Council should correct their mistake and let the adults responsible know they are off the reservation. 

 

We have plenty of chances to teach the proper lessons to our scouts over the journey through scouting. Springing a ambush about their "activity" when they've already met the tenure for the requirement, and making up extra requirements at the end of their Scouting career is wrong. I cannot justify it. Sorry. I believe in flexibility for leaders on how they run their Troops. But there are boundaries and rules to how we do things. We'll just have to agree to disagree. 

 

 

 

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1. Don't give advice since all you have to go on is hearsay.

2. Give advice based on hearsay knowing the advice is no better than the accuracy of what the OP posted.

3. Give advice based on facts you make up.

 

Or we can make a major commitment to teaching.  Or we can work with folks to help 'em understand that they shouldn't run advancement mills.  Or we can help guide 'em toward understandin' da patrol method :)

 

We can choose to de-escalate conflict.  We can patiently ask more questions.   We can apply experience.    We can give up imaginin' that anything posted on an internet forum amounts to "facts" ;) .  We can offer options.   We can just listen and let 'em vent, without supportin' da notion that their SM/troop/etc. is "bad".

 

On and on.  

 

Me personally, I've never seen anything positive come of escalatin' conflicts in units.  Tends to wreck scoutin' for everybody, and lose lots of kids.  So as a first choice, I'd humbly suggest we all imagine da other side of da story in a positive (or at least not evil) light, and help de-escalate da conflict.  Offer perspective, ask questions, listen to ventin' but recognizin' it as such.

 

Beavah

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I'm not advocating punishments for this SM or CC that are making up their own rules.

 

 

If yeh don't think windin' up a helicopter parent and sendin' her/him back to da unit with a whole bunch of "the people on the internet said you're wrong!!" stuff is punishment for unit volunteers, yeh need to spend some more time as a unit volunteer mate! :rolleyes:

 

I think a discussion about da whys and hows of this sort of case would be interestin' and would get folks sharin', but I can't figure out how to spin off a new discussion in the new Scouter.Com system.   Has da spin-off function gone away?

 

Beavah

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Or we can make a major commitment to teaching.  Or we can work with folks to help 'em understand that they shouldn't run advancement mills.  Or we can help guide 'em toward understandin' da patrol method :)

 

We can choose to de-escalate conflict.  We can patiently ask more questions.   We can apply experience.    We can give up imaginin' that anything posted on an internet forum amounts to "facts" ;) .  We can offer options.   We can just listen and let 'em vent, without supportin' da notion that their SM/troop/etc. is "bad".

 

On and on.  

 

Me personally, I've never seen anything positive come of escalatin' conflicts in units.  Tends to wreck scoutin' for everybody, and lose lots of kids.  So as a first choice, I'd humbly suggest we all imagine da other side of da story in a positive (or at least not evil) light, and help de-escalate da conflict.  Offer perspective, ask questions, listen to ventin' but recognizin' it as such.

 

Beavah

 

But Beavah we are talking about a very delicate situation here.

 

First, who knows how long before this kid's clock ticks to 18? Is it next year, next month, next week?

 

Second, we have the unit totally out of control, so resolution within the unit is likely not possible. Add in the first scenario and alacrity may be the name of the game.

 

Third, how many other Scouts has or will these adults impact? How many have quit, given up or wrongly been denied advancement? If you don't bring district or council in, how will they know they have a rogue unit? National would want to know if this unit was off playing bubble ball against the prohibition, so certainly they'd want to know if the unit was violating the advancement process.

 

Lastly, I will disagree with you on the outcome of conflict within a unit. I have seen many successful resolutions. The Scout may or may not get what he wants but normally the process works. He can go to another troop and get Eagle. The council can correct his current unit and show them what they are doing wrong so they don't hurt anyone else. The council can grant the EBOR on their own. All of these would have positive outcomes for almost everyone...EXCEPT those adults applying the program wrong. And, forgive me, but they don't deserve any benefit out of this situation other than watching this young man get his Eagle.

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I like your "ors."  

 

Oh, I can image facts contrary to what the OP posted.   As I've seen it both ways, I have no preconception that drives me to reject her story out-of-hand.

 

I do acknowledge the danger of coming to a problem with a topless can of gasoline.

 

Hopefully, if some higher authority is summoned, he/she/they will do their very best to discover the actual facts and to achieve an amicable solution.

 

I have absolutely seen good come from conflict.  Sometimes addition is by subtraction, like the SM we "subtracted" who was stealing from the district and supplying beer and cigarettes to Scouts at our Klondikes. (His walking around with a machete stuck in his boot was a minor problem in comparison.  That he shot his left thumb off doing "fast draw" with a single-action revolver when running the BB gun range should have been a warning.)  

 

If someone is not performing I would rather find a job for the adult that is a better fit so long as she/he is within the range of the acceptable.    

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If yeh don't think windin' up a helicopter parent and sendin' her/him back to da unit with a whole bunch of "the people on the internet said you're wrong!!" stuff is punishment for unit volunteers, yeh need to spend some more time as a unit volunteer mate! :rolleyes:

 

I think a discussion about da whys and hows of this sort of case would be interestin' and would get folks sharin', but I can't figure out how to spin off a new discussion in the new Scouter.Com system.   Has da spin-off function gone away?

 

Beavah

I've been a volunteer for 4 years now. I recognize that isn't as long as you and plenty of folks here, but I'd respectfully ask you don't trivialize my experience, just as I don't trivialize anybody else.  

 

Furthermore, being able to justify why you are doing something is not a punishment. Having your actions questioned is not a punishment. A good leader can justify why they make decisions. I love it when parents question things. It's a great to chance to teach about why we do what we do! When we do things the right way, by the procedures, it disarms the helicopters. It becomes their whims vs the program, rather than their whims vs our opinions. Again, we must agree to disagree.

 

As for the spin off function, I'm unsure, I'll poke around and let you know. I believe I can spin the topic off if you make a post in this thread that is clearly labeled as the OP to your new thread, I can spin it. I'm not sure what's a user function vs a moderator function. 

Edited by Sentinel947

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But Beavah we are talking about a very delicate situation here.

 

Yah, @@Krampus.  Exactly why it's best to proceed delicately.

 

First, who knows how long before this kid's clock ticks to 18? Is it next year, next month, next week?

 

We can ask.  Though from da post it doesn't seem at all like we're down to da last months.

 

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:

 

Third, how many other Scouts has or will these adults impact? How many have quit, given up or wrongly been denied advancement? If you don't bring district or council in, how will they know they have a rogue unit? National would want to know if this unit was off playing bubble ball against the prohibition, so certainly they'd want to know if the unit was violating the advancement process.

 

Yah, RichardB is around here somewhere, eh?   He may correct me if I'm wrong, but I don't reckon he really wants to get any phone calls about units playin' bubble ball.  That's not the way the BSA works, eh?

 

We're a service organization.  We help chartered partners and their volunteers try to do a good job with their youth program.  Our Commissioners and district and council folks are first and foremost friends to da units, eh?   Our job is to be patiently helpful, not to play Advancement Police or G2SS police or whatnot.  Bubble ball may be no longer part of da Scoutin' program in terms of how we envision da brand, but our national H&S folks aren't ever goin' to be da bubble ball cops.

 

In terms of advancement, it's a kids awards program, eh?   Yeh can't "violate" things in a kids awards program, and a lad who doesn't advance (yet) is not failing or being denied.  Units that are out doin' good things for kids but tryin' traditional patrols aren't "rogue".  Folks who wear da uniform shirt with blue jeans (which I hate, BTW) aren't bein' disobedient.  Just human.

 

We're just a bunch of volunteers tryin' to do good things for kids, and nobody's perfect.

 

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. 

 

Seems like an easy and successful resolution to da conflict.  One that teaches character and citizenship to boot!

 

Beavah

 

 

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