Jump to content
Jameson76

Technicality derails Eagle rank, prompts public appeal

Recommended Posts

7 minutes ago, ValleyBoy said:

Per the article he became Life Scout in February and started the project in March.  

Isn't there an approval process before you start? I would the troop or district would say something. 

 

At the end of the story her proves he a true scout by saying "I accept the National Council's decision. No regrets" 

  • Like 1

Share this post


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

Well if he learned anything in Scouting, maybe it will be to follow rules and meet deadlines. This learning experience should prepare him for RPI and an engineering career.

My $0.02

I have to strongly disagree with this assessment RS.  He broke no rules and missed no deadlines.  You imply he did something wrong or did something late that he committed to doing sooner.  But neither of those are the case.   Sounds to me like he conducted a good service project for his community and achieved a notable rank in scouting.

He then apparently followed all the rules in appealing the decision, and in fact the local Council supported his appeal.  And in the end he seems to have accepted the final decision with maturity and magnanimity.  

Edited by T2Eagle
  • Upvote 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The purpose of goals is to provide an encouragement, a shove to learn and achieve and do.   

Back in my Scout days, I joined a Troop that went places and hiked and camped and did Scout things.  The older Scouts (all boys back then, of course) did the planning and dreaming of going places they had heard of or took the suggestions of the adult leaders, who had "been there and done that" themselves to look at the calendar and meet together to decide things. We had parents and grandparents who would take the time to drive us places, sometimes LEAVE us there (!) to come back in few hours or a day or two (!!).

We seemed happy to go along, and we earned rank I guess automatically, as we cooked over fires and played with map and compass, getting lost and then "found".

Then a young boy joined, whose dad was career Navy, an officer. This dad came to meetings in dress whites.  The Scout announced (announced!) that he would be Eagle in so many years. He had done the math (so many months in each rank).   WELL....

Us older Scouts ( I counted myself such by then) realized that might make him the first Eagle in the Troop!  We decided we couldn't let that happen,  nice as he was.  So we got together and worked together. Merit Badges. Time in Leadership.   I became my Troop's first Eagle,  my buddy Don the second, our young challenger was third,  late (by his original schedule) about a year.  Calendars are important.  

  • Upvote 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I have to think that somewhere along the line this scout received some bad information or very bad advice from some adults in his troop.  I suspect the fact that the local council supported his appeal shows some indication of that.  Unless no one was paying attention, he should have been well aware of the Life scout due date and that having missed that there was little or no chance of getting it waived to become Eagle.

But as I tell every scout, and especially every parent, becoming an Eagle scout is a nice accomplishment, but not becoming an Eagle scout is not a sign of lack of accomplishment.  

ETA, he looks sharp in the uniform, everything where it should be.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

 

14 minutes ago, T2Eagle said:

, he should have been well aware of the Life scout due date and that having missed that there was little or no chance of getting it waived to become Eagle.

Deadline, rule, and his responsibility.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

He had to know going into the project that his chance at the Eagle rank was going to hinge on the appeal process. It was a gamble all the way through. 

Some choice wording in the article, the author's bias is glaring. "Technicality derails Eagle bid..." You can't derail a train if gets started off the track. Is it still a "derailment" if a scout joins up at 16 and can't make Eagle? Is it still just a "technicality"? 

"It seems there's a rule requiring Eagle candidates to hold the rank of Life Scout for at least six months..." It seems? No, it's written, clearly. It's not some hidden language or ambiguous requirement, and it has existed for a long time. 

I have no issue with a scout doing a project and going through the appeal process in an attempt to earn rank. As mentioned, I suspect he knew all along that this was a risk to take. The appeal process exists to ask for clarification or a ruling on something. He kind of alluded to that in the article. But I do have issue with the suggestion by the author (and those seemingly in agreement in the scout's local community) that he was somehow "derailed" or otherwise unfairly treated. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I bet $100  he gets it if he appeals to National. 

I denied one recently for similar circumstances as SM, for a scout who had not been camping since 2014, had not correctly finished 5 eagle merit badges, never served in a position as Life, etc.. but the parents submitted what looked more like a legal brief to Council/National than a request, and in their letter made it sound like all of us leaders were incompetent, etc.  And eventually after even the Council Eagle Committee who performed their investigation and reviewed it did not give their approval, still when they sent it with their non-recommendation to National, the Troop was still overruled by National, and so the Council gave him a board and approved his eagle anyway.  None of us in the Troop were involved in the board, we refused. 

I got the feeling National and Council just wanted them to go away and gave them whatever they wanted so they would not go to court.

That is the way it is these days.

Edited by ham_solo
bah

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
5 minutes ago, ham_solo said:

I bet $100 he gets it if he appeals to National. 

 

He already did, it was denied. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

He waited too long. It’s his problem, not BSAs. If I waited and did not give myself enough time, then it would be my poor time management skills. Thankfully, all I have left is the application.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
28 minutes ago, ham_solo said:

I denied one recently for similar circumstances as SM, for a scout who had not been camping since 2014, had not correctly finished 5 eagle merit badges, never served in a position as Life, etc.. but the parents submitted what looked more like a legal brief to Council/National than a request, and in their letter made it sound like all of us leaders were incompetent, etc.  And eventually after even the Council Eagle Committee who performed their investigation and reviewed it did not give their approval, still when they sent it with their non-recommendation to National, the Troop was still overruled by National, and so the Council gave him a board and approved his eagle anyway.  None of us in the Troop were involved in the board, we refused. 

I got the feeling National and Council just wanted them to go away and gave them whatever they wanted so they would not go to court.

That is the way it is these days.

Sadly  been that way for a little while. When I was a DE, one of my coworkers had his entire district advancement committee quit in protest. They denied a Scout Eagle, wrote up a plan for him to rectify the deficiencies, etc. He had plenty of time since he was 13 or 14 years olds. Grandfather  (SM) Dad ( ASM) and Mom (COR/CC), blew a gasket and appealed to council. Council held up the decision, and it moved to national National rescinded the decision and gave him Eagle.  I met the kid in question a few months later. From my conversation with him, I can see why he didn't receive Eagle initially. He could not tell me anything about any of his MBs.

Another Eagle I know so screwed up his service project the benefiting organization, which had a long history of working with a BSA, kicked him off the property mid project, and has banned the Scouts from ever doing projects there again! The project was scheduled to be completed days before his 18th birthday. Long story short, mom threatened to sue the council over the matter, and they caved in. Sad thing is he never learned personal responsibility. I see his post of FB and he is always blaming someone else for his problems threatening legal action at times.

 

  • Upvote 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I don't know the details as I haven't seen the article, but...get ready for it...When I was in Scouts I constantly heard the SM and ASM reminding, warning, and generally nagging the older Scouts to get to work, to pay attention to their time qualifications. I was a fairly timid kid and this stressed me out. I was always looking ahead...admittedly I was not the most organized person but I tried to stay on top of things as best I could. Eventually I got my Eagle at 16 and was pretty proud of myself. Having low self-esteem most of those teen years, I felt if I could do it then surely anyone else could. And I had little patience for the older boys whining about how they didn't know what to do or they weren't going to make it. At summer camp when I met my first LDS troop they had a 14 and a 15 year old Eagle. Took me down a peg and really just blew me away. Sometimes it's the individual, sometimes it's the family or troop, but somewhere in the mix you have to have some drive to push past "good enough" and to soar.

Cubs have a new book for each rank, Scouts only 1 and all the requirements are in it. Nothing hidden from lower ranks. Disappointment sucks. Rules are rules. He did the work, National made a decision, he is copacetic about it. I'm certain time-management will be at the front of his mind for awhile. But from here out, if he can get that much work done in such a short time I'd want him in OA. That kind of work ethic he could do a lot for the Lodge, maybe earn Vigil before he aged out. Or even after serving as an adviser.

  • Upvote 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Semi-related reflection:  I've been a member on several Eagle boards over the last few years....

Looking back, only a couple of the candidates could really stand on their feet and tell their story.  The others were at a loss when asked specifics about their leadership experiences, their project, etc.  Even easy/softball-type questions about their experiences on the scouting trail would bring about mumbling and vague answers.  Without mom/dad/SM in the room feeding them the answers, they were at a loss.  The board wasn't a big event for them, a chance to shine.  No.  It was just another thing they were told to do.  A hurried project finished days before they aged out.  It was a given they'd pass.  You could tell. 

"You have to pass them.  After all, they've met the requirements!"    More than anything, this modern mantra has collectively cheapened the rank any Boy Scout wears, be it Tenderfoot or Eagle.  (As well as it's ancillary mantra, "No retesting once they've earned the rank/badge, it's against the rules and just plain mean!")

 

  • Upvote 4

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
5 hours ago, TMSM said:

Isn't there an approval process before you start? I would the troop or district would say something. 

 

At the end of the story her proves he a true scout by saying "I accept the National Council's decision. No regrets" 

Any life scout who wants to do an Eagle project may do so. There is no reason deny him that privilege. I certainly would never say to a boy, "You can't do a project. You earned Life rank at age 17.51."

I might say, "You know that no matter how awesome this project is, you will not qualify for Eagle rank. But, you'll have something awesome to be proud of. And, if this is a conservation project and you think you'd like to do four more of these, come talk to me about the Hornaday award."

5 hours ago, T2Eagle said:

I have to think that somewhere along the line this scout received some bad information or very bad advice from some adults in his troop.  I suspect the fact that the local council supported his appeal shows some indication of that.  Unless no one was paying attention, he should have been well aware of the Life scout due date and that having missed that there was little or no chance of getting it waived to become Eagle. ...

Nobody besides the scout needs to pay attention. Nobody should. Even if nobody else is paying attention, he should read his Handbook.

  • Upvote 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
55 minutes ago, Longhaired_Mac said:

When I was in Scouts I constantly heard the SM and ASM reminding, warning, and generally nagging the older Scouts to get to work, to pay attention to their time qualifications. I was a fairly timid kid and this stressed me out. I was always looking ahead...admittedly I was not the most organized person but I tried to stay on top of things as best I could.

Mac, your words really resonate.  I was a shy, clumsy, disorganized scout.  I really had to work hard to stay on track and earn the rank.  On the trail to Eagle, I was in 3 different troops, with 4 different SMs (post Eagle, add 1 more troop and 3 more SMs).  I spent a lot of time reading my handbook, and in my own way, figuring out what to do next.  One benefit of the much-maligned 8th edition of the BSA handbook:  all of the requirements for all of the merit badges were printed in the back.  And unlike present times, National didn't feel the need to constantly change requirements. 

Collectively, the attitude from my parents and SMs:  "It's up to you."

Edited by desertrat77
  • 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

×