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CherokeeScouter

Eagle and recommendation from the pastor

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The truth that is expressed by KDD and Stosh is a clear a statement as can be found that BSA should not poke its nose into matters of personal faith. Yes, the parent can write the letter and/or act as the reference. You can do almost anything you want and 'pass' this so-called 'requirement' which does what to its importance?

It makes the requirement empty of any kind of real meaning and it doesn't matter if the boy is deeply religious, the meaning of his faith, to him, is personal and obviously not enhanced or affected in any way by some requirement by BSA. But it does give those who want to poke their noses into others' business a good feeling.

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I think we beat this dead horse here once before. The requirement on the Eagle application is to "List the names of individuals who know you well and would be willing to provide a recommendation on your behalf".

 

So if the Scout lists names, the requirement is met. Actually receiving recommendations (nothing says a "letter" is required) is not the requirementand is beyond the Scout's control.

 

I have seen units make up their own forms with a simple questionnaire and the respondent has to just check a box or fill in the bubble with no further comments required. And I have always thought the parent recommendation was a waste of everyone's time. What parent would say, "this kid is a loser and doesn't deserve it."

 

The only time I saw a letter work against a Scout (just turned 18) was one from his sister which said "I admire my brother for accepting responsibility for his new son", which blindsided the Unit Committee and infuriated them. Seems the SM didn't think it was worthy of mention that he had fathered a child out of wedlock and was "living in sin" under her parent's roof. This was a church CO and they denied the Eagle by secret ballot. He appealed to Council and it was approved. Seems like the definition of "morally straight" has changed over the years.

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"List the names of individuals who know you well and would be willing to provide a recommendation on your behalf".

 

A list of names, no letter required, no survey with check boxes required, just a list of names of those willing to provide a recommendation.  I would assume (there's that nasty word) that nothing is necessary unless the committee makes a request for the the recommendation.

 

This is the stickler I have mentioned previously in our Council.  A SM's recommendation is "necessary."  No it's not.  They sent me a survey type form that had only one choice.  "I strongly feel this candidate is worthy of the rank of Eagle."  While the "recommendation" from the SM is not required, I simply tossed the paper away.  It took 6 months for the boy to prove to me it was worth it to go back to the Council office and get another form and fill it out.

 

It always amazes me that this list is even necessary.  An employer?  Who's that the elderly lady next door the boy mows lawn for?  A parent?  Yeah right, they're going to say something nasty about their son.  Religious reference?  A $10 certificate off the internet will allow your best buddy to fill in that gap.

 

Get over it people.  The boy has fulfilled the requirements for advancement.  The Eagle song and dance routine is not going to do anything but hype the marketability of the rank.  BSA Eagles were around a lot longer than leadership service projects.  I wonder what they were measuring in a candidate that we don't today?

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...  A parent?  Yeah right, they're going to say something nasty about their son.  ...

Some days, stosh, some days. ;)

 

Our SM just has similar boys use his name as a reference. Let's face it the guy probably has seen more of the boys religious life than his pastor.

 

But @@CherokeeScouter, are you sure nobody in the churches you've visited could give a reference? Surely some of these people you all sit in the pew with know your boy from seeing him around town. I'm told that in the first century, fishermen who were probably too occupied mending nets to attend synagogue could get a favorable reference from the travelling rabbi. ;)

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"List the names of individuals who know you well and would be willing to provide a recommendation on your behalf".

 

A list of names, no letter required, no survey with check boxes required, just a list of names of those willing to provide a recommendation.  I would assume (there's that nasty word) that nothing is necessary unless the committee makes a request for the the recommendation.

 

This is the stickler I have mentioned previously in our Council.  A SM's recommendation is "necessary."  No it's not.  They sent me a survey type form that had only one choice.  "I strongly feel this candidate is worthy of the rank of Eagle."  While the "recommendation" from the SM is not required, I simply tossed the paper away.  It took 6 months for the boy to prove to me it was worth it to go back to the Council office and get another form and fill it out.

 

It always amazes me that this list is even necessary.  An employer?  Who's that the elderly lady next door the boy mows lawn for?  A parent?  Yeah right, they're going to say something nasty about their son.  Religious reference?  A $10 certificate off the internet will allow your best buddy to fill in that gap.

 

Get over it people.  The boy has fulfilled the requirements for advancement.  The Eagle song and dance routine is not going to do anything but hype the marketability of the rank.  BSA Eagles were around a lot longer than leadership service projects.  I wonder what they were measuring in a candidate that we don't today?

Shaking my head.

 

Barry

Edited by Eagledad

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I think we beat this dead horse here once before. The requirement on the Eagle application is to "List the names of individuals who know you well and would be willing to provide a recommendation on your behalf".

 

So if the Scout lists names, the requirement is met. Actually receiving recommendations (nothing says a "letter" is required) is not the requirementand is beyond the Scout's control.

 

I have seen units make up their own forms with a simple questionnaire and the respondent has to just check a box or fill in the bubble with no further comments required. And I have always thought the parent recommendation was a waste of everyone's time. What parent would say, "this kid is a loser and doesn't deserve it."

 

The only time I saw a letter work against a Scout (just turned 18) was one from his sister which said "I admire my brother for accepting responsibility for his new son", which blindsided the Unit Committee and infuriated them. Seems the SM didn't think it was worthy of mention that he had fathered a child out of wedlock and was "living in sin" under her parent's roof. This was a church CO and they denied the Eagle by secret ballot. He appealed to Council and it was approved. Seems like the definition of "morally straight" has changed over the years.

Actually our EBOR person at Council says many parents write the most negative things of all the letters.

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I am pretty discouraged with the whole Eagle process. Paper chase is right. Just the marketability of having the Eagle as the worlds greatest Life Scout gets little cred. 

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Yah, hmmmm....

 

"You only have to put down names" seems like da sort of sophistry that's just about the opposite of what we want to teach our scouts in terms of character, eh?   I'd like to think a lad who is an Eagle Scout is capable of askin' folks for reference letters the same way he does for college applications. 

 

In my experience, letters from parents often tend to be da most critical, eh? :)    Parents usually see teenagers at their worst, while they're doin' fine with everyone else. ;)  Parent letters give a board insight into things that they might not be aware of.  Challenges at home that kept the lad away from scoutin' for a bit, personal struggles he's overcome, progress in Family Life and such.  

 

The letter from the employer offers a different perspective, eh?  There's one lad I remember where his employer, a local retailer, wrote "he's the only young person who hasn't tried to steal from me - if it weren't for him I'd never employ another teenager again".  Seems there was a police sting where they caught other employees throwin' merchandise out in da dumpster then comin' back after hours and pickin' it up.   Even if da "employer" is the old lady he mows a lawn for, it's nice to see how a scout pays his own way, eh?

 

School references are da ones I find the most generic and useless. 

 

Peer references I try to encourage.   Friends see the character of a lad when no adults are watchin'.   They're almost always valuable parts of da conversation when a scout chooses to provide 'em.

 

Religious references are hit or miss.  I like the ones where it's someone like a youth minister who really knows the lad, eh?  It shows a different part of his life and character.   Da parent religious references and other generic fluff ones I don't find valuable.  If it were a church of da flyin' spaghetti monster reference, I'd probably ask the lad if he really felt it was reverent to satirize other folks' faiths.  

 

All these, though, are just part of da conversation, eh?   Sometimes they make for good questions, or comments in praise of the lad.   "Your youth minister wrote some really nice things about you, and has been very impressed with how you've taken leadership as an instructor at Bible Camp.  Are you planning to continue that work in the comin' years?"   It gives the lad confidence to hear such things, and an opportunity to speak about somethin' he cares about to the BOR, and it helps us reinforce our lessons of character and encourage further growth, eh?  

 

All the things a BOR should be doin'.  

 

Beavah

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I am pretty discouraged with the whole Eagle process. Paper chase is right. Just the marketability of having the Eagle as the worlds greatest Life Scout gets little cred. 

Agree. After the SM recommendation and all the rank BOR's, this is unnecessary. Back in the day, I believe only 3 recommendations (SM, teacher/coach, pastor) were asked.

 

If the goal is to make the Eagle process similar to a job application, perhaps next added will be drug tests, fingerprinting, social media checks, and criminal background checks. :blink:

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Agree. After the SM recommendation and all the rank BOR's, this is unnecessary. Back in the day, I believe only 3 recommendations (SM, teacher/coach, pastor) were asked.

 

If the goal is to make the Eagle process similar to a job application, perhaps next added will be drug tests, fingerprinting, social media checks, and criminal background checks. :blink:

 

We're on that path whether we like it or not.  We just had a posting where a sister let the cat out of the bag on an Eagle candidate who had a child out of wedlock.  Seems the CO tried to block the advancement.  Maybe next time they'll be more successful.  The good name of BSA is on the line, ya know.

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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. 

 

Really?  Here in FL, before the boy comes in, we read the references and go through the Eagle Project book. Never heard anybody question on the references, but it is part of the discussion when the boy is not present. 

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Actually our EBOR person at Council says many parents write the most negative things of all the letters.

 

I believe it.  Most of us are honest about our kids.  I know we didn't rate our sons as best in all categories on the Eagle reference form. 

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I believe it.  Most of us are honest about our kids.  I know we didn't rate our sons as best in all categories on the Eagle reference form. 

 

My wife and I wrote separate letters (mine was more Scouter-like). We both gigged him on Friendly, Courteous, and Kind but with the same proviso that he was as much so as his autism would allow him thus far. Was fun to compare.

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