Jump to content
Mich08212

Denied a court of honor.

Recommended Posts

I was the first Eagle in my Troop. I inched out a Scout, much younger, who had announced "publicly", that he would be  Eagle in so many months (he did the math, so many months required in each rank), which would have made him the first Eagle.  Us older Scouts (who had been having fun camping and hiking , not so much worrying about ranks), got together and said "we can't let this happen".  So we cooperated with Merit Badge classes, service projects, activity planning.  The young Scout was good, but "life happens", and he had family issues and did not meet his schedule.  He became  the third Eagle in the Troop. 

Each of us had a nice CoH.  Back then, they were not so gala,  mostly cookies and soda after the regular Troop CoH.   Nice special candle ceremony, but not over the top as some are today. 

For the Troop, thru the Committee, to refuse to officially, publically,  acknowledge this Scout's accomplishment borders on the criminal.  Either he earned it (thru the regular channels or by appeal ?) or he did not. Either he met and fulfilled the requirements or he did not. The Scout knows, if no one else does.  My self effacing Scoutson earned his Eagle, was complimented by everyone who knows him, and he said  "naw, don't do anything special".  That wasn't sufficient for his family and friends. So, at the tail end of a usual Troop CoH,  he had his time in the spotlight, his SM made a speech, his dad made a speech, his mom pinned on his medal, and then we all went outside and ate too much BBQ. 

Your Scout needs his time in the spotlight.   If you are not too far away, I'd even be willing to come up and speechify some encouragement. 

See you on the trail. 

Edited by SSScout
  • Thanks 1
  • Upvote 1
  • Downvote 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
8 minutes ago, SSScout said:

For the Troop, thru the Committee, to refuse to officially, publically,  acknowledge this Scout's accomplishment borders on the criminal. 

Borders on the criminal?

  • Thanks 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
22 hours ago, David CO said:

I think you have your answer. 

I personally don't like the idea of having a BOR member abstain from the vote. The vote is supposed to be unanimous. Pressuring a member to abstain rather than casting a negative vote is a cop out. 

Others had reservations. I'm not sure if this means that they had reservations about your son, or if they had reservations about the correctness of the voting procedure (the abstention). I would also have reservations about the voting procedure.

I can now understand why the committee might not want to offer an explanation. They might not like the fact that a BOR member felt pressured to abstain from the vote, but they don't want to say anything that would question the correctness of the process or the validity of your son's eagle.

I don't see any point in asking for further explanation. The committee might feel that they are already doing your son a big favor by not questioning the procedure/results of the BOR. They might be dismayed that you are angry with them.

I am curious how you now feel about it. Do you think the BOR member should have abstained?

I have sat on many EBOR, both in my own Troop and as the District rep for many other troops.  I agree, this EBOR was flawed.  Once the Board deliberates, the vote MUST be unanimous.  If the EBOR denies the Eagle, it can be appealed to the District Advancement committee.  And in my experience, it is a rubber stamp approval at that level.   If the committee member had "reservations" about the Scout's worthiness, the time to abstain was when he was asked to be on the Board.  That being said, the EBOR is a done deal.  The District, Council and National have upheld the decision and the Scout has his certificate and medal in hand.  He IS an Eagle Scout.  Welcome to the Brotherhood of Eagles.

The OP has been offered sound advice...echoed many times in this thread.  Give it up...have your own ceremony, celebrate your Son's accomplishment with family and friends and move on with your life.   Pray for those who have "wronged'" you, forgive them and give it to God to sort out.  

  • Upvote 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

This thread has gotten long.  I've avoided commenting as I can't absorb 10 pages of content.  

My simple advice is hold your son's ECOH.  It's your son's chance to shine.  Invite or don't invite his troop.  If you invite his troop, it's their choice whether to come. 

I've seen it done many ways.  Even if it's just an open house grill out meal at your house.  You could say we'll be grilling and socializing starting at 1pm with a special request that everyone is there at 2pm for a special recognition of your son earning Eagle.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Wow. TMI.

I'll take the EBoR at face value, and accept that the abstention wasn't coerced, but was a result of the member having some sense that he might be casting a vote out of some special interest. If a scouter is that easily cow-towed, he/she should not have been on the board in the first place. 

In my troop, the ECoH would not be a committee decision. The PLC organizes regular COH's and we adults help when called upon. ECoH's operate in a similar vein. There might be a line in the SM's report ... for the committee to take it or leave it. But nobody's asking for permission.

So, as long as the SM and boys are willing to come out, the troop is providing a ECoH. Everything else is bluster.

Edited by qwazse

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 7/24/2018 at 7:12 AM, Mich08212 said:

At the board of review, there was one person that would not sign off on the approval, and others had their reservations.  So basically the one person stepped aside (abstained from the vote), and everyone else approved.  You have to have 100% approval at the board of review to have the boy make Eagle.

Aside from being Scoutmaster, I also participate in EBORs for our district as a panel member. I have encountered candidates who were disappointing. I have encountered candidates who were uninspiring. I have encountered candidates who were unprepared. But I have never encountered a candidate who was deserving of a "no" vote.

@Mich08212  None of us here know your son. What is it about him and/or his Scouting experience that you think caused reservations during the EBOR? The source of concerns can be usually be pinpointed by the nature of the questioning. Which topics did the EBOR panel drill into with your son?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 7/24/2018 at 10:53 AM, NJCubScouter said:

If it were me, I would give up on getting a better explanation and move on.  Someone(s) has an issue with your son.  That's just the way it is.  Maybe you and/or your son have some idea what the issue is, maybe you don't.  I just don't see what can be done about it at this point.  Except that you and your son can organize and carry out his court of honor.  It sounds like there are people in the troop who would probably agree to participate (such as the SM, who can ceremonially award the Eagle pin, certificate etc. to your son and maybe say a few words) and maybe some who won't.  Good luck to your son.

so FYI... I still have no gotten a reply back from the SM. No we have no idea what the dog gone problem is.  A council member told me to reach out to the SM and invite him and the others. In fact the council member said that some of them will in fear of looking like jack asses...LOL   thats what he said... quote.

it doesnt matter to me who speaks but the council member said I could not MC it. I can host it but, there needs to be a script for the ceremony.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
14 hours ago, WisconsinMomma said:

Just 2 cents - you can handle another post, right?

Our troop once had a committee chair who was difficult to work with and antagonistic towards my son with ADHD.  I know there are some Scouters out there who do not do well with kids with differences, and who put know-it-all-ness, power trips and ego into their volunteer jobs. It's disgusting.  You are not alone in that kind of experience and I'm sorry that your family had to struggle through it.

I hope you and the Elks throw your son a fantastic court of honor!  Congrats to your son!

Thank you so much Wisconsin momma. Its good to hear from another mom out there.  This is exactly the problem I have.  Meanwhile others are asking for inside stories and that there must be something more that I'm not telling.  Our committee chair is exactly like how you described yours to be. Theres no explanation.  It disgusts me that people like this can be allowed to be leaders.

And quite frankly, someone needs to step up and voice it.  People just cant walk away from this kind of abuse or discrimination.

  • Like 1
  • Upvote 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 7/25/2018 at 10:00 AM, scoutldr said:

I have sat on many EBOR, both in my own Troop and as the District rep for many other troops.  I agree, this EBOR was flawed.  Once the Board deliberates, the vote MUST be unanimous.  If the EBOR denies the Eagle, it can be appealed to the District Advancement committee.  And in my experience, it is a rubber stamp approval at that level.   If the committee member had "reservations" about the Scout's worthiness, the time to abstain was when he was asked to be on the Board.  That being said, the EBOR is a done deal.  The District, Council and National have upheld the decision and the Scout has his certificate and medal in hand.  He IS an Eagle Scout.  Welcome to the Brotherhood of Eagles.

The OP has been offered sound advice...echoed many times in this thread.  Give it up...have your own ceremony, celebrate your Son's accomplishment with family and friends and move on with your life.   Pray for those who have "wronged'" you, forgive them and give it to God to sort out.  

Amen. Yes As i stated in previous replys... I will be having my own COH for my son.   Im just trying to work out the particulars.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, Mich08212 said:

it doesnt matter to me who speaks but the council member said I could not MC it. I can host it but, there needs to be a script for the ceremony.

Well, someone has to invite people to speak, and it should be your son, or at least it should be people he wants to speak and you can do the inviting if that is what he prefers.  As for the MC, there is no absolute rule that says a parent cannot be the MC, but I have never seen it happen.  It would be kind of awkward, at least the way my troop does ECOH's, because during the presentation of the Eagle badge etc. the parents are called up to stand behind their son and he then pins the Mom's and Dad's pins on his parents.  Sometimes the MC will say something about all the support the Scout's parents gave him and he should be thankful to them, etc, etc.  So a parent as MC really would get awkward, kind of like the Woody Allen movie where he is both his own attorney and the witness, and he is physically hopping back and forth every time he changes roles.  Funny in a movie, not at a ceremony.

In our troop there is a recent tendency for the Scout to choose one of his friends in the troop, or a recent alumnus from the troop, as the MC rather than one of the adult leaders.  Obviously it should be someone who is not afraid to get up in front of a group of people and speak, and who can read from a script in a reasonably articulate manner, and who if something unexpected happens (e.g. it is Mr. Smith's turn to come up and read the Eagle charge or whatever, and Mr. Smith has gone to the men's room) can think on his feet, switch the order of things on the spot or say a few words off the cuff or whatever, rather than falling into little pieces on the floor (which is what would happen with many kids and quite frankly many adults as well.)  Usually this means an older Scout, and it is nice if it is an Eagle but it does not have to be.  (The kids in our troop who have been MC have all done a great job.  One kid who has done it a few times also has some acting experience in high school, which is not a coincidence.)

And yes, there should be a script.  There are some on the Internet.  If I had one handy I would send it to you, but I don't.  Good luck.

Edited by NJCubScouter

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 hours ago, Mich08212 said:

... but the council member said I could not MC it. I can host it but, there needs to be a script for the ceremony.

There are no such rules.  There doesn't have to be a script.  You could MC.  It's just that it might look tacky if you are the MC of your son's event.  It might take away from your son's experience.  Similar, it probably will work better with a script.  But there is no requirement to have a script. 

There is absolutely no formal structure that must be followed for an ECOH.  The ECOH is a celebration for your son.  So between his troop and you and him, find some way to recognize and acknowledge his achievement.  

IMHO, the best ECOHs are casual and less structured.  The only structure that I like to see is a planned speech by the new Eagle scout thanking everyone who has helped them.  And, maybe telling one or two ... APPROPRIATE... stories.

Edited by fred johnson

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
4 hours ago, Mich08212 said:

so FYI... I still have no gotten a reply back from the SM. No we have no idea what the dog gone problem is.  A council member told me to reach out to the SM and invite him and the others. In fact the council member said that some of them will in fear of looking like jack asses...LOL   thats what he said... quote.

it doesnt matter to me who speaks but the council member said I could not MC it. I can host it but, there needs to be a script for the ceremony.

Sounds sketchy about you not being able to MC.  That said, I do advise a script. There are probably hundreds of them online.  

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 minute ago, perdidochas said:

Sounds sketchy about you not being able to MC.  That said, I do advise a script. There are probably hundreds of them online.  

There are a ton of scripts online.  One website: http://www.eaglescout.org/finale/coh/coh.html

There are no truly formal guidelines to an Eagle COH.  At the end of the day, as soon as the BOR declared your son an Eagle, he is an Eagle.  The COH is just a public display.  The one element that I would say should absolutely be done at any COH is the Eagle charge, administered by another Eagle.  Beyond that, add whatever other you and he would like.  The website above also gives sample letter templates and address info for writing to public figures for recognition letters.  Many will take 6-8 weeks to respond, and some you may not ever get a response from- my son received commendations from Presidents Carter, Bush, Clinton, Bush and Trump, but never received one from Obama (no political statement there, just giving you an example).

This is the charge used in my sons' COH:

Speaker:            The Boy Scouts of the world constitute one of the most significant movements in history, and you [NAME], have been counted worthy of this highest rank in its membership, all who know you rejoice in your achievement.

Your position, as you well know, is one of honor and responsibility. You are a marked man. As an Eagle Scout, you have assumed a solemn obligation to do your duty to God, to Country, to your fellow Scouts, and to mankind in general. This is a great undertaking. As you live up to your obligations, you bring honor to yourself and to your brother Scouts. If you fail, you bring down the good name of all true and worthy Scouts.

Your responsibility extends to your Country and God. America has many good things to give you and your children after you; but these good things depend on the qualities she instills in her citizens. You are prepared to help America in all that she needs most. She has a great past, and you are here to make her future greater.

I charge you to undertake your citizenship with a solemn dedication. Be a leader, but lead only toward the best. Lift up every task you do and every office you hold to the high level of service to God and your fellow men -- to finest living. We have too many who use their strength and their intellect to exploit others for selfish gains. I charge you to be among those who dedicate their skills and ability to the common good.

By repetition of the Eagle Scout Promise before your fellow Scouts, you will become an Eagle Scout. Though the words you use may be similar to those by which you joined Scouting, today they will mean more than they ever before.
 

[NAME], please repeat after me:

(Raise Scout sign)

On my honor, I will do my best....

to make my example ....

count strongly for better Scouting ....

 

To do my duty to God and my country ....

I reaffirm my allegiance....

to the United States....

 

and to obey the Scout Law ....

I rededicate myself....

to the three promises of the Scout Oath....

 

To help other people at all times; ....

to willingly share my knowledge ....

with all around me ....

 

To keep myself physically strong, mentally awake and morally straight.

I therefore take upon myself ....

the obligations and responsibilities ....

of the Eagle Scout. ....

 

I now welcome and pronounce you an Eagle Scout.

   

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
4 hours ago, Mich08212 said:

Amen. Yes As i stated in previous replys... I will be having my own COH for my son.   Im just trying to work out the particulars.

Then we're done here.  Good luck and God bless.

  • Upvote 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

×