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UncleP

Boy Scout with Downs Sydrome, Autism Rejected for Eagle Scout

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One of the methods of Scouting and the MB program is "adult association"...the SCOUT is expected to take the initiative to contact an adult he may not know, who is supposed to be an "expert" in the field by vocation or avocation (not just Billy's mom), set an appointment and meet with the MBC to complete the requirements.  MB fairs or "getting it done in the troop" circumvents that and shortchanges the Scout of a valuable life lesson.  MB were never meant to be a troop activity during meetings.  Too much spoon-feeding led us to where we are to day with today's youth.

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2 hours ago, scoutldr said:

One of the methods of Scouting and the MB program is "adult association"...the SCOUT is expected to take the initiative to contact an adult he may not know, who is supposed to be an "expert" in the field by vocation or avocation (not just Billy's mom), set an appointment and meet with the MBC to complete the requirements.  MB fairs or "getting it done in the troop" circumvents that and shortchanges the Scout of a valuable life lesson.  MB were never meant to be a troop activity during meetings.  Too much spoon-feeding led us to where we are to day with today's youth.

This is exactly right. I am so passionate about this problem that I stood up in front of  the district committee and asked them re-evaluate their MB College policies. They asked me to sit down.

As the SM, you can't decline an approved MB card, but you can (and we did) tell the scouts that the troop wouldn't accept a counselor approved card that wasn't first signed by the SM. That forced the scouts to seek out the counselor and speak with them to get their personal information and class times before the classes and find the SM for a signature. That wasn't a perfect situation, but it help keep the troop policy that scoutlder just posted. 

But it's not like our scouts relied on the these MB Colleges. Our troop encourages the scouts to work MBs all the time. We keep a counselor list around for scouts just asking about badges. We brought in two counselors a month to give a 5 minute troop meeting presentation for any scout interested. The scouts still had to seek out the MBC and set up their meetings.

The problem I see, and I was trying to stop, with these MB colleges is that many troops rely on colleges and summer camp for all their scouts' MBs. And those are the two worst places where the policies go around the the BSA stated polices. Without even knowing it, troops get into bad habits and practices. I found that half of the troops in our district didn't even know basic proceedure of the SM signing the MB card before the scout even starts working with the counselor. I fixed that in district basic training.

Barry

Edited by Eagledad
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8 hours ago, cyphertext said:

I don't think you can do that...  If the MB counselor is registered and approved by your council advancement committee, then you have no legitimate reason to not issue the Scout the blue card.  

Perhaps. But I will "do my best" to talk them out of it. I've seen Eagle-required merit badges taught by kids at summer camp. Just because they are over 18 and in college doesn't mean much to me. Merit badge mills pound information for a few hours and cal it complete. It's el toro poo-poo. I should have the right to deny certain merit badges from being taken at these events.

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Getting back to the topic...

On 3/18/2018 at 11:33 AM, Eagle94-A1 said:

I think someone at the local council, whether the pack and/or troop, or the council screwed up. It appears that the Scout has been registered as a Cub Scout all this time, and as a result ineligible for Boy Scout awards. I wonder why the council has not caught the problem earlier. Realistically he can stay a Boy Scout past his 18th birthday with the required paperwork. As stated previously, I've seen a 44 year old BOY (emphasis) Scout who not only had Down's Syndrome, but also legally blind earn his Eagle.

When you say it appears he has been registered as a Cub Scout all this time, is that based on another article, or Facebook posts, or what?  Wouldn't the council's computer kick out a re-charter with (for example) a 13-year-old Cub Scout?  Or is it that he was not registered as anything at all after "aging out" of Cub Scout?  Either way, if he was not registered as a Boy Scout, that would be consistent with the fact that ALL of his merit badges were revoked.  But some of the other things in that article do NOT seem consistent with him not being registered as a Boy Scout.  Or maybe some of the quotes are incorrect or taken out of context.  All that is clear is that the facts are not clear.

I suspect that most of us here who have been around for awhile know of at least one disabled Scout who made Eagle based on pre-approved alternate requirements and/or time extensions.  I have told the story before of the Scout in my troop (approx. 1999-2006) who has cerebral palsy, no use of his legs, limited use of his arms, great difficulty in speaking (but one you got used to the way he spoke, it became clear that he is very smart.)  He gets around in a motorized wheelchair.  He cannot swim.  He (with help from his mother and the troop leaders) got approval for alternates to many requirements and merit badges.  (I don't know any of the details as I was not involved in the paperwork myself, although I was once called upon to "nudge" a council professional who had apparently "lost" some of the papers on his desk.)  The Scout also got the time extended to his 19th birthday, but he needed less than half of that extra time, and in reality it wasn't "extra" because (due to his condition) his parents had waited a year before starting him in Kindergarten, so he was a year older than his grade in school all the way up, and he was permitted to proceed in Scouting based on his grade, not his age.  So he was close to (or beyond) his 12th birthday when he crossed over, so the one-year extension really just gave him the same amount of time that everybody else has.  I guess the point in the context of this thread is that everything was done by the book, partly because his mother (who was a committee member and eventually advancement chair) watched everything like a hawk, and learned what had to be done, and helped her son do it.  That does not appear to have been the case with the Scout who is the subject of this thread.

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2 hours ago, NJCubScouter said:

Getting back to the topic...

When you say it appears he has been registered as a Cub Scout all this time, is that based on another article, or Facebook posts, or what?  Wouldn't the council's computer kick out a re-charter with (for example) a 13-year-old Cub Scout?  Or is it that he was not registered as anything at all after "aging out" of Cub Scout?  Either way, if he was not registered as a Boy Scout, that would be consistent with the fact that ALL of his merit badges were revoked.  But some of the other things in that article do NOT seem consistent with him not being registered as a Boy Scout.  Or maybe some of the quotes are incorrect or taken out of context.  All that is clear is that the facts are not clear.

Somewhere I read he was a registered Cub Scout still, which would mean the Boy Scout advancement is null and void. And there is a way for SCOUTNET to allow someone over 11 to remain in Cub Scouts. Do not know the specifics except I had two  packs with 17 and 19 year old Cub Scouts. Developmentally they were 2nd or 3rd graders.

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2 hours ago, Eagle94-A1 said:

Somewhere I read he was a registered Cub Scout still, which would mean the Boy Scout advancement is null and void. And there is a way for SCOUTNET to allow someone over 11 to remain in Cub Scouts. Do not know the specifics except I had two  packs with 17 and 19 year old Cub Scouts. Developmentally they were 2nd or 3rd graders.

I understand there is a way, but I would think it requires someone to take some affirmative action to tell the computer to accept this person even though they are over-age to be a Boy Scout.  I suppose it is possible that this 15-year-old Boy Scout was permitted to stay in Cub Scouts an extra year due to his disability, and someone pushed the "allow over-age Cub Scout button" and it caused the computer to keep the person registered as a Cub Scout.  But now we are into the realm of evidence-free speculation.

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13 hours ago, Scoutmaster Teddy said:

Perhaps. But I will "do my best" to talk them out of it. I've seen Eagle-required merit badges taught by kids at summer camp. Just because they are over 18 and in college doesn't mean much to me. Merit badge mills pound information for a few hours and cal it complete. It's el toro poo-poo. I should have the right to deny certain merit badges from being taken at these events.

This is quite a bit of thread drift, but a couple of your statements concern me.

First, why should you have the right to deny merit badges taken at these events?  I get it, you don't think the Scout has mastered the requirement, but again if the council is hosting the event or approves the event, and it is being led by council approved MB counselors, then no, you do not have the right to not accept them.  

Second, just to be clear, that 18 yr old who has aged out of Scouts (and may well be an Eagle Scout), but is now giving back by teaching a merit badge class during Summer camp doesn't mean much to you?  

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6 hours ago, cyphertext said:

This is quite a bit of thread drift, but a couple of your statements concern me.

First, why should you have the right to deny merit badges taken at these events?  I get it, you don't think the Scout has mastered the requirement, but again if the council is hosting the event or approves the event, and it is being led by council approved MB counselors, then no, you do not have the right to not accept them.  

Second, just to be clear, that 18 yr old who has aged out of Scouts (and may well be an Eagle Scout), but is now giving back by teaching a merit badge class during Summer camp doesn't mean much to you?  

@cyphertext, just to be clear on your position, should an SM have the right to recommend a suitable counselor for his/her scout?

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27 minutes ago, qwazse said:

@cyphertext, just to be clear on your position, should an SM have the right to recommend a suitable counselor for his/her scout?

It is not a “should” question. Can a SM recommend or encourage? Absolutely. Forbid or deny, No.

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21 hours ago, Scoutmaster Teddy said:

 I've seen Eagle-required merit badges taught by kids at summer camp. Just because they are over 18 and in college doesn't mean much to me. 

With all due respect, if you have a problem with 18 year old college students who are qualified to teach Eagle required MBs, then you may have a problem with operations in your unit. I was one of those "Over 18 and in college" MBCs who taught several Eagle required MBs, specifically Camping, First Aid, Swimming, and Lifesaving, in addition to several other MBs. As an 18 year old certified YMCA lifeguard instructor who had completed two 50 milers afloat , I felt more than qualified teaching the aquatic MBs.

 

I admit not every camp has good staff, but that is more on the CD and PD than age generalization.

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39 minutes ago, Eagle94-A1 said:

With all due respect, if you have a problem with 18 year old college students who are qualified to teach Eagle required MBs, then you may have a problem with operations in your unit. I was one of those "Over 18 and in college" MBCs who taught several Eagle required MBs, specifically Camping, First Aid, Swimming, and Lifesaving, in addition to several other MBs. As an 18 year old certified YMCA lifeguard instructor who had completed two 50 milers afloat , I felt more than qualified teaching the aquatic MBs.

 

I admit not every camp has good staff, but that is more on the CD and PD than age generalization.

It is not the MBC instructor, Academy, or Summer Camp that should be the issue it is the presence or lack thereof quality control. I think the core issue is mass instruction which seems to lead to more problems. Some of the best and the worst MBC instructors have been in the 18-21 age.

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Whoa.... I was off-topic and made some generalities. Merit badges press my hot button. I was wrong to generalize all young instructors as bad. I failed to rationalize in a controlled manner.

I have seen some outstanding young MB instructors in camps. What sets me off is instructing by reading thru the pamphlets an hour or two a day and calling it instruction. My problems lie mostly with the Citizenship badges. Sit, listen, fill in the blanks. For the most part I enjoy sitting in on the skills badges - aquatics, camping, pioneering, etc. It's the classroom badges that press my buttons.

Apologies for any offense taken. I'll "do my best" to be more specific.

Edited by Scoutmaster Teddy
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1 hour ago, qwazse said:

@cyphertext, just to be clear on your position, should an SM have the right to recommend a suitable counselor for his/her scout?

Most of the Eagle badges can't be completed at a MB college because they can't do all of the requirements in one day.  This is where the Scoutmaster should be recommending a "suitable" MB counselor for his scout to work with to finish the badge out.  The MB counselor can then "review" the other requirements to make sure the scout has a good understanding.

I asked my son what his thought was on the MB college and Eagle MB...  His thought is that MB colleges are good for knocking out the classroom type of requirements.  Every Eagle MB has requirements that can be taught in a classroom setting.  And what is the difference between going to a MB college on a Saturday, or sitting in his room looking up things on the Internet to fill out a MB worksheet?  Fellowship with other scouts...

 

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9 minutes ago, Scoutmaster Teddy said:

Whoa.... I was off-topic and made some generalities. Merit badges press my hot button. I was wrong to generalize all young instructors as bad. I failed to rationalize in a controlled manner.

I have seen some outstanding young MB instructors in camps. What sets me off is instructing by reading thru the pamphlets an hour or two a day and calling it instruction. My problems lie mostly with the Citizenship badges. Sit, listen, fill in the blanks. For the most part I enjoy sitting in on the skills badges - aquatics, camping, pioneering, etc. It's the classroom badges that press my buttons.

Apologies for any offense taken. I'll "do my best" to be more specific.

I was hoping that just came out wrong! Thanks.

I do get what you are saying about MB university and even summer camp.  I just think if you try to draw a line in the sand on the issue, someone will challenge you on it and you will lose that challenge at council.  If your council is completing Eagle required badges in a few hours though, I would take that up with council... there is no way that they can complete all the requirements in a single session.

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I received an invitation to be mB counselor for a neighboring district's mB college. They specifically stated that the scouts were to be able to complete the badges in a 3-hour seminar. I politely declined and gave my reason as "Three hours is not nearly enough time to provide to the scouts to complete the requirements as written. Secondly, this format and time limit denies the scouts the opportunity to truly benefit from the adult association method and to really engage in the mB itself."

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