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Hello I am a life scout currently starting my eagle project. about a year ago one of our scouts had a eagle project that had multi bull problems with it. his eagle mentor that for the sake of privacy will be named Mrs.P. Mrs.P is an extraordinary mentor boasting a silver acorn award, along with ten eagle mentor pins. over the years Mrs.P has learned that to most effectively help a scout on the road to eagle, she needs to tell them the facts and give them her direct opinion. this can leave a scout that just met her feeling like he just got yelled at. the scout that was mentioned above transferred from one troop to ours and started his eagle not to shortly after. because of the short time He and Mrs.P had to get antiquated before she became his mentor, and the unfortunate mistakes that happened at his eagle project Mrs.P told him that she doesn't know if the councle will approve his project as complete. he took this as her bulling him and complained to the scout master. during the next committee meeting the committee and the adult leadership was split on if this was too harsh or if she was justified. at our committee meetings the pastor for the church that sponsors our troop sits in to make shure everything is ok. because of mixed signals and the comments by the parents of the scout in question. the pastor used information about Mrs.P that he thought was valid but in actuality was false to come to the decision to give the troop the option of kicking Mrs.P out of the troop or the church would not sponsor us. the adults of the troop had there hands tied by the pastor and the actions of that committee meeting resulted in the expulsion of Mrs.P from the troop. She within the past year has joined a different scout troop that her nefu is in and created a venture patroll in the sane town as my troop is in. 

My problem is that Mrs.P is a family friend that has extensive experience in mentoring eagles as demonstrated by her ten mentor pins and has a deep love for scouting as seen by her 20+ years in scouting and her own son being an aged out eagle. I told my troops new eagle coordinator that i want Mrs.P as my eagle mentor, somehow this information got to the pastor and i received an email from our sponsor the pastor that I am not allowed to use her as a mentor. i am planing on having a meeting with the pastor to try to work out some agreement. I just want the opinion of others that have been in this business for longer than I have been alive on what I should do.

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Hi Noah. Welcome to the forum.


I think you are doing exactly the right thing by speaking directly with the pastor.  Be polite. Express your opinions, but don't argue.  Listen to what the pastor has to say.


There are a couple of things you should understand. The Chartered Organization doesn't just sponsor the unit, the CO owns the unit.  All adult volunteers serve at the pleasure of the CO.


I am assuming that the pastor is registered as the IH of the unit.  The IH has the authority to accept or deny the membership of any youth or adult in the unit. Your unit committee members are correct. They have no authority to challenge the membership decisions of the IH.


Unfortunately, I know next to nothing about mentoring eagle projects, so I can't help you there.  


Does the mentor need to be registered with the unit?  Does the unit have the authority to approve and disapprove eagle project mentors?  I don't know.  


Good luck on your project.

Edited by David CO
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Welcome to the forum, Noah.


First of all a mentor is selected by an individual.  There is nothing to say that one can't sit down and have a cup of coffee with whomever they want to discuss their Eagle project. 


If one's troop "assigns" a mentor, that's pretty much window dressing and formality.  The individual still retains the right to pick whoever  they wish to be the real mentor.


I have never been a mentor to any Eagle candidate, yet I have mentor pins on my jac-shirt.  I had no idea I had mentored anyone or they felt I mentored them until called up at the scout's ECOH.


I had 6 boys that I was WDL for and thus came into my Boy Scout group.  Long story short?  They all Eagled...none with any "mentors".  They all gave their mentor pins to their dads, and I'm thinking the real mentoring was among themselves.  :)


I have never been in a troop where mentors are even discussed, it is up to the individual eagle candidate to select their own mentors and the identity of those people are not known until the ECOH.


By the way, I'm very antiquated.... :)

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Welcome to the forums! And, congratulations on your progress thus far.


Once upon a time projects proceeded without mentors. That was when America built things more than drafted grants and contracts. I'm sorry that this has become a roadblock. It sounds like "with all due respect, sir ..." will be your pet phrase for a while. It is very rare that Institutional Heads put their feet down about such things.


Yes, talk to the Institutional Head, explain that as you read your project workbook recommendations, you don't see any place where the choice of mentor is anything but the scout's, or is limited to the scout's unit. Explain that you don't understand why just because a relationship was broken with the church leadership it should be broken with the rank-and-file.


Then be prepared to listen.


After each of you hearing both sides, one of you is going to have to give. Either the IH will have to let that person work with you (either by relaxing his rules within the troop or seeing you transfer to another troop or crew), or you will have to accept his decision and let a less politically polarizing person be your mentor.


Proceed cheerfully and courteously. This may be a Paul and Barnabas moment: rough at the time, but looking back, you all may see things work together for good.


Good scouting to you.

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There is no requirement by national to have a mentor.  If the troop wants to assign you a mentor, that is a troop decision.  


As mentioned earlier, you can still have a social meeting with an acquaintance.  If the acquaintance happens to give you advice about scouting, that is nobodies business but the two sharing a social event.  


The potential issue is when the troop mentor gives specific advice that conflicts with your acquaintance.   Keep in mind, earning Eagle is the scouts job, not the mentors job.  The Eagle candidate can accept or reject the mentors advice.  Advice is technically just a suggestion and not a requirement to do something in a specific manner.  If the troop is "requiring" eagle candidates to dogmatically follow all advice from the mentor, the troop is adding to the requirements for Eagle and that is going too far. 


Mentors should be guiding and giving helpful suggestions.  Hopefully the eagle candidate will learn how to find their own way through what sounds like a very political issue. 

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Eagle Mentor is not an official position in the Boy Scouts of America.  It is simply someone who has helped you along the path to Eagle.  You Eagle Coordinator should be helping you negotiate the paperwork - if that person wants to assign someone from the Troop for that task and call that person a mentor, just accept that persons help. 


In the meantime, there is nothing that anyone (except your parents) can do to prevent you from seeking the advice and assistance of Mrs. P, or any other adult.  At the end of your journey, you can hand out multiple mentor pins if you want (though your Troop may only pay for one, if they pay for any at all - you can buy them yourself from the Scout Shop).  If you have your Court of Honor at the church, you'll probably have to give Mrs. P. her pin privately.  When you do finish your journey, think seriously about who you might want to give an Eagle mentor pin to - I've seen Scouts give them just to the person who helped negotiate the process.  The more moving ones I've seen are Scouts that call up the Cub Scout Den Leaders (from Tiger to Webelos), their Scoutmaster(s), teachers and religious leaders that are particularly meaningful, they're parents, a sibling, in one ceremony, even an older Scout who helped a long the way.  I've seen Scouts give out one pin and Scouts that have given out 10 pins. 


If you have a conversation with the pastor, keep it polite and listen to their position - but I don't see a need to even have that conversation - nothing is going to be resolved by it.  He's just going to re-iterate that Mrs. P. is no longer involved with the unit and nothing is going to change his mind.  I'f you haven't met already, I would cancel the meeting.

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  • 2 months later...

I am the Eagle Advisor for my troop, and an Eagle Scout myself.  Officially, the title is "Life to Eagle Coordinator", but that doesn't matter much.  My role has the following responsibilities:

  • Guide the Eagle candidate through the process - and especially the paperwork - required to earn Eagle.
  • Advise the candidate on questions they have about this process, especially helping them prepare their paperwork for District approval
  • Ensure their application is complete and correct before submitting the Eagle App to Council
  • Request and collect the letters of recommendation for the Board of Review
  • Coordinate the members and schedule the Board of Reivew once I am informed the application is approved.

It is important to keep in mind that the service project needs to be approved by 4 groups - usually individuals:

  • The Troop Committee Chairman signs signifying Troop Committee approval.  I have not seen a Scout present his plan to the full committee, but it could be done.
  • The Scoutmaster
  • The representative of the beneficiary organization.
  • The representative of the Scout's district.

Unless your Chartered Organization is the intended beneficiary, the COR / IH have no need to know the details of the service project planning process, and should have no need to influence the planning process.  An Eagle candidate is likely going to talk to many people in the process of planning and executing his project, and he should be free to seek the guidance of those he believes will be helpful.


My $.02.  If you are still planning your project, keep at it and good luck.  If the project is done, congratulations.

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I'm going to assume that Noah knows he can seek advice from whoever he wants during the course of the project. What I'm guessing may be the more troubling part of this is that without the permission of the pastor, he might not be able to recognize Mrs. P. as the official mentor and give her the pin at the ECOH. In a way it's almost more problematic to seek her advice but to then not be able to recognizer her for the effort. 


I'm sure that she, as a dedicated scouter and long-time mentor to other Eagle candidates, wouldn't mind not being recognized. She sounds like the kind of person who does it strictly for the love of scouting and helping the boys. But for Noah, he'd have to let us know how he feels about that and the possibility that even though he could get advice and mentorship from Mrs. P., and probably even invite her to the ECOH, calling her up to get that Mentor pin would surely land him in some hot water with the pastor. 


It also means that the pastor likely expects him to choose a different mentor, who would be the recipient of the pin and the recognition as Mentor. 


The end result of the project could be just as good as if Mrs. P. were officially his mentor. He could get the same helpful advice and put it to use in the course of completing the project. It will just be unfortunate that he can't give her due recognition for her help. 

Edited by EmberMike
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I think i t would depend on the individual @@EmberMike.  Over the years I have "mentored" a number of boys with their Scouting experience.  On two occasions I was honored by receiving a boy's pin.  I totally did not expect it for his father was an Eagle with palms himself and it was traditionally given to a father or grandfather in most cases.  I would be the last person to deny anyone such an honor.  If I was assigned to be a "mentor" and the boy chose someone else, there is no way I would feel slighted.  I would be glad there was someone in the boy's life that was more deserving than me.  I had one boy that did not give me his mentor pin, but I had been his Webelos I and II, DL and his ASM for 7 years of Boy Scouts.  Afterwards he said to me that there had been no one other than his father that had spent as much time helping him grow up than me.  I didn't need the pin, the comment was enough.  Not all bling goes on the shirt.


I think there's a difference between being an Eagle mentor and a Scout mentor.  One takes a bit more time.

Edited by Stosh
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