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Jameson76

Technicality derails Eagle rank, prompts public appeal

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"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."

No doubt that any Life Scout can do a project - is it still called an Eagle project if he has no way of earning Eagle? 

 

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

True nobody needs to pay attention but a scout is Friendly and I would have had him do the math when he became Star Scout or at least when he brought the project forward. He may have known when he started his project and hoped to squeeze through the cracks. Wonder if he got donations and help by telling people this was his Eagle project.

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59 minutes ago, TMSM said:

"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."

No doubt that any Life Scout can do a project - is it still called an Eagle project if he has no way of earning Eagle? ...

Yes, it is an Eagle project. The requirement does not specify "while a Life Scout who has made rank by age 17.51..."

Quote
  1. While a Life Scout, plan, develop, and give leadership to others in a service project helpful to any religious institution, any school, or your community. (The project must benefit an organization other than Boy Scouting.) A project proposal must be approved by the organization benefiting from the effort, your unit leader and unit committee, and the council or district before you start. You must use the Eagle Scout Service Project Workbook, BSA publication No. 512-927, in meeting this requirement. (To learn more about the Eagle Scout service project, see the Guide to Advancement, topics 9.0.2.0 through 9.0.2.15.)

Personally, I would not want to go through the hassle of the project workbook just to do a service project. However, for a scout with aspirations to be an engineer, it might be a worthwhile exercise.  My kids (all chemical engineers -- not a creative bone in the lot of them) spend a lot of time filling out specs and tracking sheets and chasing approvals.

1 hour ago, TMSM said:

... True nobody needs to pay attention but a scout is Friendly and I would have had him do the math when he became Star Scout or at least when he brought the project forward. He may have known when he started his project and hoped to squeeze through the cracks. Wonder if he got donations and help by telling people this was his Eagle project.

The article seems to indicate that the scout did the math. But, anybody who gives $ to a scout because they think he'll get a medal out of it should be flogged. Either the project is worthy, and we should contribute to it, or it's just for bling, in which case we should give the kid a shovel and tell him to dig for silver.

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Getting back on my agism soabox ... how much worse would it have been to tell, the kid "Thanks for the 4 months leading our troop as a Life Scout. To round out your requirements Eagle, simply complete the requisite training for ASM and serve the remaining two months of your tenure serving our troop or one near your college."?

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When unread “technicality” I immediately thought something like a Merit Badge was completed but not recorded properly, or paperwork was turned in but a signature was in the wrong place, or maybe he had an extended illness that delayed him. Those are technicalities beyond the Scouts control. There are remedies for those situations.

But the time in rank is a well known and well documented requirement. That requirement nearly caught up with me more than 3 decades ago, it has nearly caught up with several Eagles I have mentored. It did trip up one I mentored. It is not a technicality, it is a requirement. And it’s not one I hear people complain about being unfair.

I do not feel sorry for him, he had a good Scouting experience based on the article. It looks like he has good character based on his comments. I say congratulations on what you have achieved. Nothing is preventing him from continuing as a Scouter, most Scouters are not Eagles. If he chooses not to become a Scouter based solely on feeling slighted by not earning his Eagle then he probably shouldn’t have earned it in the first place. If he does become a Scouter he will have a significant life lesson to pass on to his Scouts.

It’s not a technicality if you show up for a college exam 2 hours late and fail the test. It’s not a technicality if you fail to take a licensing exam prior to your deadline. It’s not a technicality if you don’t complete a project by the time the client needs it.

If there is some technicality, like I listed above, then I would support National In giving him some more time, but I don’t see that in the article. 

Eagle Scout is not a participation trophy given out because you tried hard or you are a good kid, it is earned based on then prevailing rules.

Congratulations to this young man, it appears he has a bright future with or without having earned Eagle.

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13 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 went to an engeering school like RPI.  I am an engineer today.  

There is a lot if truth to this.

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So, I'm reminded that no matter what the deadline, there will always be people who push it.  If national said "you can finish you tenure as an adult". Someone will start their 6 months of tenure the day after their 18th birthday.  There would then be an article about the great Scout who had to complete his tenure as an adult, but was denied the rank.  If you keep saying "we'll make an exception", then it will never end.

It stinks, but it's reality.

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We had a scout do his eagle project a week before his 18th birthday.  He has a mild learning disability, but he did complete everything just in time.  I hope that he'll get better about not procrastinating, but he didn't complete all of his required paperwork for Sea Base this year until the night before we left.  I was close to telling him to not come to the airport, but he made. it.

For some scouts, it's difficult to convince them that they need to make completing these things a priority as earning that Eagle is something you carry for life.

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6 hours ago, ParkMan said:

So, I'm reminded that no matter what the deadline, there will always be people who push it.  If national said "you can finish you tenure as an adult". Someone will start their 6 months of tenure the day after their 18th birthday.  There would then be an article about the great Scout who had to complete his tenure as an adult, but was denied the rank.  If you keep saying "we'll make an exception", then it will never end.

It stinks, but it's reality.

As you all know, I'd have no problem with an adult completing his term in leadership (or any other requirement) while serving as a fully trained ASM. I think there would be slightly fewer helicoptered scouts that way. There might actually be slightly fewer Eagles as some of the procrastinators who think they have forever would actually take that long. The advantage for older girls joining next year (or any adult female) is they could then still have a crack at Eagle if they continue as an ASM for units who need one. That's not making an exception. That's removing an ageist policy that preceded the advent of bookwork MBs and gradual membership decline.

But those aren't the rules. Agism rules the day. Does it stink? I don't think so. I see advantages to removing ageist policies,  but it doesn't stink that boys come up against an age deadline. The is no shame in ending tenure as a Life scout. The best scout I ever met aged out at 2nd class. All such scouts have good memories and great friendships under their belt.

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He wasn't just a few hours or days short of the requirement...he was TWO MONTHS short.  He and everyone else knew this at his Life BOR and it should have been a topic of major discussion at that time.  Sorry...the requirements were not met.  

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Posted (edited)

I have encountered this same difficult situation.

We had a Scout who was approaching his 18th birthday when suddenly he reappeared on the scene after years of inactivity in the troop. He had missed the deadline for his Life Scout board of review (it needed to be 6 months before his birthday). "Sorry fella - tough break", but he submitted an appeal to the council stating that he had been sick (he wasn't). The council approved his appeal. He then started asking the troop to schedule special campouts so that he could get his 20 nights of camping for the Camping merit badge (even though he had declined to attend the regularly scheduled troop campouts for years). He would then show up at the special campouts late at night and leave early in the morning (because he was busy with school sports). Similarly, he asked several adult leaders for extraordinary efforts to help him complete a variety of Eagle-required merit badges. His Eagle Scout Service Project was mentored by someone else, so I will withhold comment on that (but it was completed in one weekend). He finished his paperwork and submitted it on his 18th birthday. He departed for college shortly thereafter. Predictably, he asked for (and was granted) an extension to hold his EBOR later. Because of his unusual circumstances, a special EBOR was held with five reviewers instead of the normal three. He ultimately passed his EBOR.

What rubbed me most about our Scout was that (again and again) he thought the normal rules did not apply to him. He routinely relied on others to grant exceptions and to make extraordinary efforts to compensate for his lack of preparation.

Edited by gblotter
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Posted (edited)

At least the Scout is handling this with honor and maturity.

"I knew from the beginning that I might not get to be an Eagle Scout because of the timing," the 18-year-old said Wednesday, after the Boy Scouts of America's (BSA) National Council reaffirmed its decision not to promote Channagiri. "I wanted to build a bridge, and I decided to do it anyway. That was my choice. I did it for me, not just because it might help me become an Eagle."

Bravo to his attitude.

See https://www.lohud.com/story/news/local/westchester/greenburgh/2018/08/15/boy-scouts-no-eagle-rank-greenburghs-hari-channagiri/996348002/

Edited by gblotter
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8 hours ago, 69RoadRunner said:

We had a scout do his eagle project a week before his 18th birthday.  He has a mild learning disability, but he did complete everything just in time.  I hope that he'll get better about not procrastinating...

That is an exact description of what my son did, except that he does not have a learning disability.  He just procrastinated in spectacular fashion.  Literally, if it had rained on the last non-school-day before his birthday, his project would not have been completed in time, and the issue would have been whether it was "complete enough," which would not have been a good place to be.   But he made it by the skin of his teeth.  Has he improved in the past eight years?  Well, he graduated from a 4-year engineering program in 4 years, and now he has had a job with the same company for almost 4 years, and he's still there, and has apparently gotten steady raises and has paid off his student loans and is living under his own roof (well, someone else owns the roof, the point is, it's not MY roof), so the available evidence would suggest, yes, probably.  :D

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Posted (edited)
On 8/15/2018 at 12:37 PM, SSScout said:

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.  

There was a Scout in my son's troop (and I'm still there) who had been in Cubs with my son, who came into the troop with the goal of making Eagle before his 14th birthday.  I think he had an uncle who had done that and was trying to follow his example.  This kid was a great Scout and a great all-around person.  Statistically, he was SPL for 2 years and then again for about half a year to fill a vacancy, earned 70+ MB's, went to Philmont twice as a Scout (and I think a third time as a Venturer and maybe a fourth time as an Associate Advisor), was on NYLT staff, but beyond that he was an exemplary Scout in all kinds of intangible ways.  When he did his Eagle project (for his own church, not the CO) he went way above and beyond the call of duty, because he wanted to give extra service to his church.  (I remember telling him at the time he got committee approval, "Just so you know, this is really like three projects," but that was fine with him.)  If one were to get together all the people who have been leaders and committee members in the troop over the past 15 years (the time in which I have been there), and took a vote on who has been the "Best Scout" in those 15 years, it would be this kid, probably unanimously.  And yet he did not make Eagle when he was 13.  I think he made Eagle when he was almost 17.  I think that if all he was interested in was making Eagle at 13, he could have done it, but he realized along the way that he would have a better experience if he also took advantage of the other things Scouting has to offer and make Eagle at a more reasonable pace.

Edited by NJCubScouter

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