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Clstlg

Eagle Board of Review (Appeal)

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3 minutes ago, Jameson76 said:

All members of the EBOR should have been volunteers

I'm sorry for confusing verbiage...I meant that they took people who were there with their scouts and not previously called in to be on the board.

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Argh, I HATE hearing about ignorant EBOR board members who think they have the right to question a boy's work when his project has already been passed off!

So,

I note that your son just turned 14. As a 14 year-old Eagle candidate myself, I know I had a lot of condescending board members who seemed to doubt that a 14 year-old was capable of any "real" leadership, and they seemed to expect that I had allowed my parents or leaders to do most of the work. This attitude is absolutely inappropriate, and I hope that is not the kind of mindset your son was battling. I was fortunate in that I had two older brothers who had faced similar situations, and I was well prepared to present my case and state unequivocally "I led the project, I met the requirements, and I have earned this award." Those were the exact words my brothers had me memorize, which I still remember vividly to this day. 

Since your son did not have that counsel on his first go, however, an appeal is ABSOLUTELY justified here. He has done the work. Everything is signed off. That board had NO RIGHT to withhold the honor unless your son has committed the most egregious of crimes (which, considering his age, I consider highly unlikely ;)). The first comment in this thread made by @69RoadRunner are absolutely correct, and I would even suggest printing off the article and taking it with you when you go to appeal. Also, while it is not recommended, you as the parent have every right to be in the room during the appeal if you insist upon it (which this time, I might consider if I were you). In fact, you had the right to the same at the first BofR as well, though many snooty pseudo-authority figures prefer not to acknowledge that privilege. There has been an over-stepping of bounds here, and while your son has every reason to feel hurt and confused, he is not wrong, and he can get it fixed. He has done a great service, he is obviously a dedicated and hard-working person, and he has already accomplished more than many young people his age. This will work out as long as you are willing to fight for it. Some battles aren't worth the effort, but if I may venture to opine so, I'd say absolutely that this one is.

And do tell him there's a California Scouter who's rooting for him and praying for his success. :)

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I know of appeals failing, but it is unusual. It usually occurs where there is clear evidence a requirement was not completed, or where there are requirements are disputed, like merit badges not earned, and there is no evidence that they were earned.

This case seems more of an interpretation of what the project should be. I would appeal and be very prepared to discuss what was done in the project and how it was carried out. By rule, the appeal board will need the information ahead of time to "research" the issue in question.

Caution: One thing I am not sure of is if he fails all of the EBOR (meaning it goes all they way to National and is rejected) if he can go back and redo a project an try again. Logically, he could, but there is nothing I have found that states that. There is a sentence that says an Eagle candidate may have only one review (the appeals process is part of that). I have asked that question in the past, but never received an answer that was backed up in writing. Before you initiate a review I would verify that he can go back if his appeals fail. I would verify that with NATIONAL, not just your local council. Since he is only 14 and has time to do another project, you may want to weigh your options. 

Edited by HelpfulTracks

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National, and generally Council, have Zero, nada, none, desire to fail a scout on the EBOR. Unless there is clear convincing argument to show the scout hasn't completed all the requirements, they won't mess with it. That two out of three members don't agree proves there is not a clear convincing argument.

I also agree that the SM should ask the EBOR member be removed until they are trained to the proper interpretations of their responsibilities. It might help carry some weight for the committee chairs looking for reason. I have done this myself.

Barry

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In my experience, an appeal is handled by convening an EBOR at the District level, chaired by the District Advancement Chairman.  YES, I would appeal.  I agree with the others above...if the project was not "up to snuff", then the time to correct it was when the proposal was approved, and when the completion was approved...at both the Unit and the District level.  By the time the scout gets to the EBOR (at the unit level), there should be no question that the requirements were met, as evidenced by the appropriate signatures on the project workbook.  The project gets discussed, certainly, but there is no "passing or failing" of the project at that point.  The assumption SHOULD be that the other adults involved, who signed off on the project, knew what they were doing and looking at.  

That being said, perhaps the write-up could use some "beefing up" highlighting and emphasizing the PLANNING and LEADING involved, rather than the actual work.  I don't agree that starting from scratch with a new project is necessary.  And the age of the scout is irrelevant, unless he is bumping up against 18.

Good luck.

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Something else that should be said is that a Scout can lead a project while also participating in that project.  There is nothing that prohibits the Eagle candidate from participating in his own project.

He led at least 9 other people (Scouts), and even though they weren't all present at the same time, that doesn't matter.  "Give Leadership to Others" where “Others” means at least two people besides the Scout.  These "others" are also referred to as "helpers".  "It may be, however, that a well-chosen project conducted by only three provides an impact not achievable with those involving more."  See BSA Guide to Advancement section 9.0.2.4 “Give Leadership to Others …”.

https://www.scouting.org/resources/guide-to-advancement/eagle-scout-rank/

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Like everyone else my advice is appeal.  Clearly one EBOR member had a widely divergent view both the other two members and the SM.  We, and your son, can believe he was well meaning and just thoroughly mistaken.  That's part of life and there's no shame in following the procedures necessary to correct a pretty obvious mistake.  Read the Guide To Advancement and start the appeal process.  The decision will be corrected, your son will be awarded his Eagle and can continue a proud career as a scout.

Edited by T2Eagle
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9 hours ago, Clstlg said:

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?

 

Appeal for sure.  Let your son work with his SM on what to say when he gets his opportunity.  The use of "we" here, respectfully, needs to be "he" when he gets that opportunity.  What you lay out on the experience of how he arrived at 2 being the optimal number of workers, how he had to coordinate the rotation, how he gave the training on what was going to be done, is all showing how he planned and lead the project.  My advice is that he needs to hammer all of that home multiple times over when the subject of his project comes up.  Not every EBOR will spend much time on the project, as ultimately, as others have pointed out, by the time he gets to the EBOH the project has been completed.  If your son feels he did that in this BOR, then for the appeal he just needs to focus on being demonstrative (not argumentative) to the appeal group that he tried to provide explanation on all of those points, and that he deserves credit.  In much of anything he would have planned as SPL, it involved setting the plan, recruiting others for the activity, coaching them as needed.  Make sure he gives the clarity that while his workers shadowed him the first time, he empowered them to do it themselves under his watch the second time.  

Unfortunately, there are a whole lot of people in this world that think that leading is synonymous to managing, and they are not truly one and the same.  I have a Masters in Management and Leadership, and I could "talk" your ear off (or give you eye strain reading at least) on the ignorance many have about the distinctions.  Any Google search will bring you a host of articles on the differences, but the short riff is: leadership is about setting the vision and inspiring others to follow, while managing is creating the systems to make it successful.  For any Eagle project, the youth ultimately has to do both, but it's typically far easier for a young person to explain the A to Z on what was done, less so on the why and what could have gone differently aspects.  As a dad whose son made Eagle at 14, please give him my encouragement to keep his chin held high, and just think of this as a setback on his journey, not the end of it.  As his parent, just be prepared that once he gets it, there's going to be the peanut gallery that still ignorantly thinks that he is "too young to be an Eagle", so keep your chin held high as well and be his rock right now.  He WILL get to have that medal soon enough.      

Edited by HashTagScouts
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3 hours ago, HashTagScouts said:

... there's going to be the peanut gallery that still ignorantly thinks that he is "too young to be an Eagle", so keep your chin held high as well and be his rock right now.  He WILL get to have that medal soon enough.      

I was 14 when I earned the rank of Eagle, and now 20 years later I still get people asking if I "really appreciated it" when I got it, or if it was me or my parents who really did the work. 

Your son will learn much more from this experience that he realizes right now in the thick of things, and it will make him an even better Eagle Scout besides. At 14 he is learning more than many do even at 16 or 17. Just don't let him give up! :)

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The lesson, as I had to tell one of my kids about a teacher, is that sometimes in life you will have to deal with people in positions of authority who do not do the right thing.

Kids are taught to respect adults, with good reason, but sometimes the adults fail in their responsibilities. It will happen throughout life, sadly and you have to learn to cope with it. 

Not every situation is the same, so the means to deal with it can be different.  Fortunately, BSA has an established means for dealing with this one.

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8 hours ago, The Latin Scot said:

I was 14 when I earned the rank of Eagle, and now 20 years later I still get people asking if I "really appreciated it" when I got it, or if it was me or my parents who really did the work.  ...

The other lesson: a lot of us are slackers. We take 7 years to amass the skills and confidence to rally our community to do relatively a modest project. Fine, whatever. The problem is that some slackers don't want to see 14 year-olds (or younger) showing the world how easy earning Eagle really is. It shines a light on the reality that, for most of us, our scouting career is laughing and carousing through the woods (ideally without leaving a trace :ph34r:) ... then at age 16, a switch gets flipped, and the Eagle motor finally gets running.

We need folks like @The Latin Scot and (hopefully, soon) @Clstlgson to remind us that some boys are just made to hustle up, get the engine out of idle, and get 'er done.

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Easy is, of course, a relative term. For the motivated Scout, earning Eagle Scout at a young age isn't a big deal (as long as their leaders can keep the helicopters at bay). My son earned his Eagle at 16.5. He is the first Scout in our Troop to not wait until 17.99 in over 4 years.

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If I could up-vote @perdidochas's comment twice, I would. As a scout, I loved helping with other scouts' projects be cause they were role models on how to get into the nitty-gritty and get stuff done.

It was also clear to me that projects weren't hard, and neither were MBs, really. My PL earned his Eagle at age 14. But, I also wasn't about to spend every weekend chipping away at some MB, so I was not going to follow in his footsteps. The difference between me earning Eagle at 14 and earning it at 17.5: cartoons and NASCAR. It's just that simple.

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I heard just this week a scouter proudly tell my scout that he occasionally asked a scout to tie a specific knot while during their Eagle BOR. It was all I could do to not comment in light of the recent Scouting Magazine article.

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