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Clstlg

Eagle Board of Review (Appeal)

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I'm sorry if this is in the wrong forum, but I couldn't see a better place for it.

My son failed his Eagle Board of Review last night.  He is devastated and confused.  I was hoping to find some advice and clarity from experienced scouters here.

He was told that he didn't show leadership in his project and to do another project.  Evidently it was only one of the board members who had a problem with his leadership, but there has to be unanimous vote.  Afterwards, one of the other board members looked us in the eye and said, "Appeal".  So, that's what we're doing.

My question is this...how can we show leadership?

His project was long and involved, but only required two people at a time--more bogged the operation down.  So he had members of his troop take turns helping him.  Due to the nature of the project, he did most of the work with his troop members helping.  He had around 9 members rotating with him.  He planned everything, arranged for the rotation, trained the helpers in what was needed (mostly helping him carry equipment, and assisting him), and communicated with the people the project was helping (the city).  He did have his troop members each do what he was doing at least once, while he assisted.

I'm not sure how we can show leadership there, although I can assure that he was doing his best to be a good leader.

My son has been a leader in his troop (senior patrol leader) and has led meetings, planned activities, and camp outs for almost a year.

He would like to be prepared to answer the questions in a way that will be acceptable, do you have any suggestions?

 

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Welcome to the Scouter Forum, @Clstlg! I bet you'll find the answers your looking for here or at least get some solid feedback from the experienced Scouters here.

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This was in the recent Scouting Wire:

https://blog.scoutingmagazine.org/2018/11/07/an-eagle-scout-board-of-review-isnt-a-job-interview-its-a-celebration/?utm_source=scoutingwire&utm_campaign=swvolunteer11142018&utm_medium=email&utm_content=B

Quote

“The Scouts have already ‘earned the position’ of Eagle Scout by completing the requirements,” the article states. “They are not interviewing for the position.”

And...

Quote

 

By the time Scouts have reached the Eagle Scout board of review, they have already demonstrated their knowledge and skills, many times over. This candidate is by all intents and purposes an Eagle Scout when arriving at the board of review. Only in the most egregious cases where it was clear that the Scout could not possibly have properly completed a requirement would the board be warranted in determining that the Scout should not be advanced.

Therefore, make the Scout’s Eagle board of review a celebration of their achievement. Make it something to be proud to share with others, not something to be feared.

 

 

Edited by 69RoadRunner
  • Upvote 3

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That was our understanding of what the board of review was for, hence the devastation.

My heart just aches for him.

 

What can we do to make sure this doesn't happen at the appeal board of review?

  • Upvote 1

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"We" don't show leadership.   The Eagle candidate should show leadership.  If the Scoutmaster signed off on his requirements - to the Scoutmaster your son has shown leadership in his POR (Position of Responsibility) and has give leadership to others in a service project according to his Scoutmaster.

You may suggest to your son to confer with the BOR and Scoutmaster and see why there appears to be a disagreement on his "leadership."

I've seen issues when a Troop Committee has issues with a Scoutmaster and Scouts get caught in the middle.  I have no idea if your son's case falls into this category but the remedy is to find a new Scoutmaster or Troop Committee or both, not to have a Scout get stuck in the middle.

How old is your Scout?   It he has some distance between today and aging out, I'd ask for a little more clarity from the BoR members other than "do another project" about the leadership component.  Ask you son if he feels he demonstrated leadership and if he feels he has, articulate how to the BoR.  If he feels he did not, investigate further.  It sounds to me, from what little I know, the Scoutmaster (who may or may not have been his Eagle advisor) and the BoR team are not on the same page.   Sometimes that is an issue.   Per chance was the Scoutmaster the father of the Scout?

Keep in mind the Scoutmaster is in control of advancement in a Troop.   Maybe he (or she) should have a heart to heart with the committee?

 

Edited by acco40

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Quick question - For the EBOR typically this is made up of members from the troop and members from the District / Council.  Curious who felt their own definition of "leadership" has not been met?

The EBOR while not a review can look at and could bring up any factual errors that may have been missed prior (number of merit badges, dates in rank, age at time of completion).  That is unlikely as the dates are reviewed by the council against the BSA system records prior to the EBOR

Additionally the Eagle candidate had the project reviewed by the unit (SM and CC both signed off on proposal) and then the project was approved by the District or Council (depending on size).   Any concerns with the leadership portion would have been brought up at that point.

I would engage with the District Commissioner and the Council Commissioner for the appeal process and politely request that the Scouter (Scouters??) who questioned the leadership portion not be on the next EBOR.

Edited by Jameson76

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It has been suggested that I provide a little more information.

I was at the BoR, but was not permitted in the room.  My son's scoutmaster was in the room with him.

Do you know what was said to your son regarding not showing leadership?  I only know what was told to me by my son and by his scoutmaster, but they match.  The board member who was having the problem with his leadership said that it sounded like he (my son) did all of the work and therefore did not show leadership.  My son tried to explain that he did have troop members helping him and that he was directing them, but he didn't agree that that showed leadership.  He suggested that my son should have stood back and let them do the work while he directed them. 

Do you know the person who suggested an appeal?  I do not personally know the person who suggested the appeal.  I do know that an appeal was offered to my son as well as doing another project.  "Project, part two" was how it was suggested.  After the meeting is when the board member approached and told us to appeal. 

What do you know for sure that was said by the BoR folks?  I only have second hand reports, but as I said above--what my son told me and what his scoutmaster told me match.

His meeting with the BoR lasted 40 minutes, and then they deliberated for another 15, and then they called him back in and talked to him for another 10 minutes before failing him.  My son's scoutmaster told us that the 15 minutes of deliberation was the other two members trying to convince the third member to pass him.

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12 minutes ago, Jameson76 said:

I would engage with the District Commissioner and the Council Commissioner for the appeal process and politely request that the Scouter (Scouters??) who questioned the leadership portion not be on the next EBOR.

The scoutmaster is doing this for us.  He was more than peeved with what happened.  He told us that an appeal BoR has to have 3 different members that the previous BoR.  Is this not true?

 

13 minutes ago, Jameson76 said:

Curious who felt their own definition of "leadership" has not been met?

It was someone that was there, I just assumed it was a member of the District Council since it wasn't someone from our troop.

They had quite a few scouts there for a EBoR and they were short on people, so they recruited family members who were there (if they had any experience with Boy Scouts) to serve as BoR members for other scouts (2 Council members and 1 volunteer).  My husband, who is a former scoutmaster, served on the board for another scout.  The BoR member who demurred was not a volunteer.

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1.  Your son's project sounds like one that is different than usual.  Leaders often see scouts building picnic tables, benches, building trails, etc.  Your son's project sounds different.  But, different is not bad.  It's just hard for some people to perceive and then to apply the requirements correctly.  I've had some scoutmasters say they would rather in the future direct scouts to more traditional projects to avoid future confusion and frustration.

2.  If the project does not show enough leadership, the EBOR can look at other parts of the scout's scouting history for leadership.  So a project with weak leadership can be offset by a scout who has shown leadership elsewhere.  

3.  Appeal.  There can be times the Eagle project is not worthy.  But if your EBOR was not unanimous against and they were suggesting your son appeals, then I'd definitely appeal.  Odds are very good for your son.

QUESTION - How old is your son ?    If he turns 18 soon, you can choose to reduce risk by finding another project.  But it's probably not necessary.

4.  Scouts don't fail EBORs.  EBORs can be suspended and the issues addressed.  

5.  Adult scouters are people who have different opinions.  You may have just run into an adult volunteer who doesn't like the current rules or who does things different than most.  It can happen.  

Edited by fred johnson

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My son's project was marking trails in a newly acquired forest for the city.  Only one person could be on the ladder at a time, so he did it most of the time.  More than 2 or 3 people were not needed...and actually on the one day he had 5, it slowed everything down.  After that, he learned that 2 was the optimal number.

4 minutes ago, fred johnson said:

How old is your son ?

He just turned 14.

 

5 minutes ago, fred johnson said:

Scouts don't fail EBORs

He didn't pass and so he feels like a failure.  

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39 minutes ago, acco40 said:

Per chance was the Scoutmaster the father of the Scout?

No.  

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1 minute ago, Clstlg said:

He didn't pass and so he feels like a failure.  

I'd focus on this more.  Let your son know that not everyone will always agree.  That not everyone always follows the same rule book.  That his project was different, but that does not make it bad.  It just makes it hard for some people to understand.  

I'd do anything I could to change the perception of failure to a perception of something that needs to be overcome.  

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15 minutes ago, Clstlg said:

They had quite a few scouts there for a EBoR and they were short on people, so they recruited family members who were there (if they had any experience with Boy Scouts) to serve as BoR members for other scouts (2 Council members and 1 volunteer).  My husband, who is a former scoutmaster, served on the board for another scout.  The BoR member who demurred was not a volunteer.

All members of the EBOR should have been volunteers, or functioning in a volunteer capacity.  Typically at least one is not with the unit

You can look up the particulars by looking at the Guide to Advancement (PDF - Google BSA Guide to Advancement)

Section 8.0.3.0 references Particulars for Eagle Scout Rank

image.png.ffad79d4ebb5dc3e56983a62b77c53b1.png

Section 8.0.4.0 Appealing the Decision

image.png.9dc8e06d8f97a645b6f823c54e516edc.png

 

 

 

Edited by Jameson76

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Yes, appeal. Your son is learning that sometimes well-meaning people disagree and people like him get stuck in the middle. By requesting an independent review, he's helping all parties involved learn a little.

If "project part two" is a good idea, he should take it on, just for fun. In fact, since he's so young, and he has one conservation project under his belt, have him look into the Hornaday Award. It and Eagle Palms are great "next steps."

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