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FaithfulScouter

Scout Dishonesty During an Eagle Project

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Posted (edited)

Our Troop Committee recently learned that one of our Scouts lied to the Committee while presenting an update on his Eagle Scout project.  The Scout was asked if a specific person had reviewed the proposal and photos and the Scout said he had, and that he had discussed other aspects of the project with him too.  Upon later review, structural and safety issues were revealed. The project has now been suspended and the Scout will have to start over with another one.  Time is not a concern because he is a young teenager.  District Advancement and Council has been involved, although it would seem not to the CC or AC's satisfaction.  Further complicating the issue is that one of the Scout's parents has escalated the issue with near physical confrontations with the SM and members of the Committee.

As a Troop Committee, how should we move forward?

 

Edited by FaithfulScouter

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Not really enough details to understand the question. Is the parent the problem? If so, ask the parents in for a meeting with the CC, UC and DE to discuss the situation. Aggressive adults are simply not allowed near the scouts or leaders. Nip it in the bud. Councils typically lets (wants) the units to deal with these situations, so the unit will have to be the bad guy. But they will usually support the unit leaders. Units have to take a stand against aggressive behavior.

Barry

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Posted (edited)

Should the Committee invite the Scout to speak to them about the situation and explain his actions?  Keep in mind, not only did he lie, he also jeopardized other people's safety.  Does the Committee decide on any potential consequences?  Should the SM or Committee Members reconconvene with the parents and the Scout to discuss consequences?  Can the Troop bar the Scout's confrontational parent from attending Troop functions?  What should happen to the money that was already raised for the initial project?

Edited by FaithfulScouter

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Posted (edited)

The scout's situation was handled. That is why council isn't doing more. So it seems the parents are upset with the decision. The troop just needs to support the decision for the scout to start over with another project. Seems like a pretty fair act of discipline to me. Many troops would have asked the scout to leave. But scouting is giving scouts the opportunities to learn life's lessons from their choices in the troop. The troop is giving the scout the chance to learn and grow from his bad decision.

Yes, the troop can bar the parent from troop functions. Actually it's a choice. The parent can choose to stay away from functions, or the family can change troops. Our troop has done it several times. Some parents chose to stay away, some chose to change troops. 

As for the money, it really depends on who donated the money and what the scout decides to do with the next project. I would invite the scout to be part of the discussion.

This is the time for the scout to really show his metal by accepting the troops decision and moving forward with the project, and asking his parents to back down. Or not, and forcing the troop leaders to make tough decisions about how the deal with this situation, and situations like them in the future. This is when a good strong CC is worth their pay. It's these kinds of situations that drove me to find strong minded CCs. In my case, they were usually women. Mothers don't put up with....this stuff.

Barry

 

Edited by Eagledad

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First of all- I applaud you that you and the committee had the guts to suspend it and make him redo it. I wish our committee did that for someone’s project.

Youre doing him a favor as you said, if you don’t want to be harassed, then get the district involved.

The money from his current project has to go to the beneficiary  due to its being their money. technically.

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Does the Charter Organization rep have to be involved in this?  It was suggested that the rep has to sign off on any Committee decision regarding the situation.

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53 minutes ago, FaithfulScouter said:

Our Troop Committee recently learned that one of our Scouts lied to the Committee while presenting an update on his Eagle Scout project.  The Scout was asked if a specific person had reviewed the proposal and photos and the Scout said he had, and that he had discussed other aspects of the project with him too.  Upon later review, structural and safety issues were revealed. The project has now been suspended and the Scout will have to start over with another one.  Time is not a concern because he is a young teenager.  District Advancement and Council has been involved, although it would seem not to the CC or AC's satisfaction.  Further complicating the issue is that one of the Scout's parents has escalated the issue with near physical confrontations with the SM and members of the Committee.

As a Troop Committee, how should we move forward?

 

Just curious (in general terms) what the project was and what the issue was.  Not discounting anyone's input, but we had a Scout building a bridge, had the plans, then a structural engineer (also volunteer) at the beneficiary wanted to be involved and it went sideways from there.  He basically wanted a footbridge that could hold a car, while it was in fact a short footbridge on a trail.  It needed to be built to "his" standards.  Point is there are typically minimum structural standards and then you may have someone who has their standard because, well they know best and we must acknowledge their knowledge

Now if the Eagle candidate was supposed to meet this specific person, maybe tried to meet, and they were not available, not cooperative, wanted to have the scout do it "their" way and the Boy Scout after some interaction just said heck I'm trying to get this done and plunged ahead, then it is a life lesson.  Hopefully he comes away with an understanding of how to call on people to assist, how to involve the Eagle coach, his SM, and get a meeting of the minds to move something forward.

If he just never even contacted, reached out, or never tried to engage this person but said he had because he just did not want to, that is another issue

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The project was a renovation of an exterior structure and the Scout was to speak to an Assistant Scout Master who is a builder.  The Scout tried to set up a time with the ASM but did not follow up when the initial time was not within the ASM's schedule.  

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6 minutes ago, FaithfulScouter said:

Does the Charter Organization rep have to be involved in this?  It was suggested that the rep has to sign off on any Committee decision regarding the situation.

It's best to have them on your side. If they are active, I would get them involved, but the majority of charters around here don't get that involved. 

This is really about safety in the unit. Both adults and scouts need to feel the unit is a safe place. You have a better feel for the temperments of all involved. This may be nothing more than sitting down with the parents with a cup of coffee. But we learned the hard way to deal with these things quickly before emotions escalate. 

Barry

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9 minutes ago, FaithfulScouter said:

Does the Charter Organization rep have to be involved in this?  It was suggested that the rep has to sign off on any Committee decision regarding the situation.

That would all depend on what sort of action the committee is contemplating. Does the COR need to be involved in any/every decision? No.

I think the unit has already been too much involved in this boy's project. It is his project, not the unit's project. 

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58 minutes ago, FaithfulScouter said:

What should happen to the money that was already raised for the initial project?

It's none of your business. Stay out of it.

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25 minutes ago, FaithfulScouter said:

The project was a renovation of an exterior structure and the Scout was to speak to an Assistant Scout Master who is a builder.  The Scout tried to set up a time with the ASM but did not follow up when the initial time was not within the ASM's schedule.  

Who told the scout to meet with the ASM? Was the scout given the option of meeting and consulting with someone else for expert advice? 

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Not complicated:

  • SM coaches the boy. If something comes up that is over the SM's head, he may call the DE, UC, or go to round-table and talk to the DAC, or simply ask the CC the best course of action. But at the end of the day, how the SM coaches the boy is his call.
  • CC "coaches" the parent. If something comes up that is over the CC's head, the above resources as well as the COR and are available to him/her. Under no circumstances is a parent to be belligerent to any adult or youth. Period.
  • COR represents the CO. So if this matter involves them, he/she may have something to say. He or she may remove registered parent(s) from the roster if they are not acting in accordance with the general expectations of the CO.

These key-three may get advice from the committee, or even the PLC. But they are not obligated to do so for every decision -- especially for every advancement.

I once had a CC refuse to sign an Eagle application. The scout called me about it, and bottom line: he did not complete all of the requirements as written. Some adults were sweeping observations of that fact under the rug, CC caught wind of it, and decided the buck stops with him. No meetings required. I congratulated the boy on aging out as a Life scout.

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"Lied to the committee" ... Sometimes it's a viewpoint issue and sometimes it's a shade of truth.  Perhaps he meant he was about to do something and did not correct himself.  Perhaps he thought he was correct but wanted to not emphasize something. Perhaps ... "Lied" is often thrown out too quickly and the situation needs to be understood better.

Parent getting physical with troop leaders ... Yeah, this would be a stopping point for me.  When that happens (or even close), trust is lost and safety is a concern.  Perhaps time passing and tempers will cool.  But if not, the family needs to go elsewhere.  This is clearly one of my personal thresholds.  

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