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CherokeeScouter

Eagle and recommendation from the pastor

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My son is filling out his Eagle application.  While we are Christian, we are not currently churched. He was baptized in the Episcopal Church.  

 

He felt a little awkward (as did I) about asking for a recommendation from the charter organization's pastor who doesn't know him. 

 

I thought I read where the Scout's Statement of Faith could be submitted in lieu of the pastor's recommendation. 

 

My son crafted a pretty good one. 

 

There are a number of reasons we are not churched, but we attend various churches throughout the year. My son just doesn't know any pastors that well. 

 

What's the thinking here? 

 

 

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Check with your district's advancement chairman, or whoever is heading up your councils Eagle BOR and see what they say.

  • Upvote 1

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From the Guide to Advancement...

 

References: Must list all six (five if not employed).
If not affiliated with an organized religion, then
the parent or guardian provides this reference.

  • Upvote 2

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I am sure others will have better answers but I will take a stab anyway.

 

While I am not an expert (Son#1 just submitted his paperwork) I would first read the BSA requirements and second call your District/Council Eagle point person--they will be reviewing it.

 

Read the BSA policy says "If not affiliated with an organized religion, then the parent or guardian provides this reference." I suppose it depends if he considers himself affiliated with the Episcopal Church. In that case they might ask why was he not practicing it or attending. And your religious reference does not have to be a pastor--it could be someone else. My son is using his old Youth Minister from several years ago who he still keeps in touch with and keeps a correspondence on religious issues.  I doubt the pastor at our current church knows him beyond his name and that he attends each week. His old Youth Minister has a better handle on his character.

 

A lot depends on the EBOR members IMHO. Some might probe and your son's statement should come in handy. It seems to me the BSA 'Higher Power' test is a pretty low hurdle to jump for a sincere lad provided they are not a hardcore atheist.

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I can tell you that my son is technically "affiliated" with an "organized religion", meaning that he was baptized into one, but by the time he was a Boy Scout, he was not active or involved in his (or any other) religion. (He is not an atheist either.)

 

The "religious leader letter" for my son's EBOR was written by me, as the BSA rules permit.

 

Of the 15+ EBOR's that I have sat on, I would estimate that about 40 percent of the "religious leader letters" were written by parents. This does not necessarily signify that a Scout is or is not active in a particular religion, or a particular place of worship within that religion, or what the Scout's level of activity/involvement in the religion/place of worship may be. The fact that a parent wrote the letter, or why, has never been questioned in any of the EBOR's I have been involved in.

Edited by NJCubScouter

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Thanks for the advice everyone. Will do the parent thing. We are blessed with a good council, district execs and an excellent  Eagle BOR coordinator down here in Fla. 

 

BTW, I have served on quite a few Eagle BORs and we never, ever get around the references.  It's more like  "Did we get them? Yes, that box is checked."

 

The Eagle BORs around here tend to focus heavily on the project, community service, leadership and the candidate's thoughts on Scouting and his future goals. Thirty to 45 minutes can go  by pretty fast on those subjects. 

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From the Guide to Advancement...

 

References: Must list all six (five if not employed).

If not affiliated with an organized religion, then

the parent or guardian provides this reference.

Neal, I'm terrible at math.  I'm seeing five references, four if not employed. Religious, teacher and two others. 

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Yah, the parents can write this, eh?

 

Personally, I don't prefer that since the parents already are contributin' a reference of their own.

 

So I'd suggest the lad ask for a reference from someone who knows him well in terms of his spiritual life, eh?   Could be a peer, could be another relative, could be da troop chaplain.

 

Another good option is to have him talk with a pastor or youth minister of his choice from one of the churches he's been visitin', or from the CO.   I know quite a few CO pastors who'd be delighted to spend an hour talkin' with one of their church's scouts even if he's not from their denomination and then write an appropriate letter.   Good experience for the boy, and good relationship buildin' with the Chartered Org., eh?

 

The point of reference letters is that an Eagle is supposed to show scout spirit in his everyday life.  Everyday life includes home life (parents) and work life (employer) and school life (educational), and religious life (religious).   It also includes behavior with friends (peer), and perhaps sports (coach) or other extracurricular (band director, newspaper advisor, etc.).  Of course it also includes Scoutin', which is what da Scoutmaster and Committee signoffs are for.

 

I always like it when folks in da unit let a lad choose the areas of his everyday life and the people in those areas that matter the most to him, eh?   Sometimes it's friends or employers that speak most eloquently to a boy's Reverence.

 

Beavah

 

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Neal, I'm terrible at math.  I'm seeing five references, four if not employed. Religious, teacher and two others. 

Six, Five if not employed. Parents count as one. Parents, Religious, Teacher, Two Others.

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I always like it when folks in da unit let a lad choose the areas of his everyday life and the people in those areas that matter the most to him, eh?   Sometimes it's friends or employers that speak most eloquently to a boy's Reverence.

 

Beavah

Yes, my son picked a few that were not my first choice but it is his decision. 

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Our district used to require a Statement of Faith if you weren't a member of a church.

Then they were called on it as adding to the requirements and now they just follow the BSA application & requirements so parents do the letter of reference and that's it.

Edited by 5yearscouter

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It's just like any other of the requirements, if one torques and twists hard enough one can make it mean anything they want it to.  KDD is correct.  if one really wants to get right down to it.  If God's chosen people are white, then KKK is a religious organization as is the Masons, Karate, and Yoga.  What's to say a family isn't starting their own little cult.... Who's to say that isn't acceptable?

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The torque has nothing to do with the wording, just the intent on the part of candidate.  $10 gets one a certificate and they can then write their own reference.  Fits the wording of the requirement.....  Like I said, Yoga has a religious element so just go with that.

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