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Scoutmaster Teddy

Juvenile Offenses and Ethics

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I’m sure this family is in turmoil.

As frustrated as you are, this is still a child. Please remember that part about “ A Scout helps other people at all times. “ - it applies to us adults too. Maybe this young man needs someone to give a damn to be sure he can get back on track to “keep himself physically strong, mentally awake and morally straight”. An ounce of kindness can go a long way. Kids don’t get involved deeply with drugs because everything else in their life is hunky dory. It usually starts out as something to try and then mushrooms or spirals into something more difficult to get out of - add in any other issues (educational/psychological) or familial problem.   Kids can be hurting in so many ways adults don’t always see. Just like the Charlie Brown Christmas Tree - maybe he just needs a little love. Remember kindness. 

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Momleader..I don't see anyone that doesn't want to help the scout with his drug issue.

The issue the OP is asking about is should a scout engaging in criminal behavior get a pass to Eagle rank. His feeling is no and so if he doesn't personally feel he can sign his application or have a SMC,  there is a Disputed EBOR procedure for that process to occur. 

Maybe there should be a process where the scout can be given an extension until he gets himself straightened out and then hold the EBOR???

 

 

 

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8 hours ago, PACAN said:

Momleader..I don't see anyone that doesn't want to help the scout with his drug issue.

The issue the OP is asking about is should a scout engaging in criminal behavior get a pass to Eagle rank. His feeling is no and so if he doesn't personally feel he can sign his application or have a SMC,  there is a Disputed EBOR procedure for that process to occur. 

Maybe there should be a process where the scout can be given an extension until he gets himself straightened out and then hold the EBOR???

 

 

 

I think part of the discussion here is whether there really is a place for Scouters to reject a Scout for Eagle rank.  While I know we all hold the rank in very high esteem - it appears that the BSA doesn't want us to do that.  Short of the scout spirit requirement, I couldn't find anything in the Guide to Advancement that says we should reject Eagle candidates because of an action like this.

So - perhaps there's an unwritten code here - but, it seems likely to be a question of wide opinions.

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I would think that willful disregard of the Scout Oath and Law would be more than enough to deny advancement...to any rank.  Avowed atheists disregard the Oath and the 12th point of the Law and we don't even allow them to be members.  Same should be true of those scouts who commit felonies.

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7 hours ago, ParkMan said:

I think part of the discussion here is whether there really is a place for Scouters to reject a Scout for Eagle rank.  While I know we all hold the rank in very high esteem - it appears that the BSA doesn't want us to do that.  Short of the scout spirit requirement, I couldn't find anything in the Guide to Advancement that says we should reject Eagle candidates because of an action like this.

So - perhaps there's an unwritten code here - but, it seems likely to be a question of wide opinions.

It is a big country, so their will be wide opinions. Heck I'm second guessing myself all the time.

When we agreed to suspend our dealer, it wrecked my crew. I knew the chances of him joining scouts again were slim. I see him around town and let him know I miss him around the troop. Same for his buddies who he dragged down with him. They found other activities to occupy their time where their parents could watch them like  hawks.

On the other hand, our younger boys and their parents know where we stand and that we are there for them.

But, the bottom line, BSA doesn't want us to confer Eagles to boys who aren't scouts. When you choose to reject the Oath and Law in your daily life, you are not a scout. The best love that can be given you is a denial of the privileges accorded to scouts.

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10 hours ago, ParkMan said:

I think part of the discussion here is whether there really is a place for Scouters to reject a Scout for Eagle rank.  While I know we all hold the rank in very high esteem - it appears that the BSA doesn't want us to do that.  Short of the scout spirit requirement, I couldn't find anything in the Guide to Advancement that says we should reject Eagle candidates because of an action like this.

So - perhaps there's an unwritten code here - but, it seems likely to be a question of wide opinions.

If the scout spirit requirement is not signed off, then the scout did not complete all the requirements. 

All too often this is a "requirement" which is not required; it is checked off automatically. IMO this is wrong. Achievement of our mission is demonstrated by this requirement. Failure to require scouts to fulfill this requirement is a failure of our mission; and the scouts' fulfillment of rank requirements.

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10 hours ago, ParkMan said:

I think part of the discussion here is whether there really is a place for Scouters to reject a Scout for Eagle rank.  While I know we all hold the rank in very high esteem - it appears that the BSA doesn't want us to do that.  Short of the scout spirit requirement, I couldn't find anything in the Guide to Advancement that says we should reject Eagle candidates because of an action like this.

So - perhaps there's an unwritten code here - but, it seems likely to be a question of wide opinions.

The Scout Spirit is the one subjective part of the requirements. The rest of the checklist is pretty much just objective actions. Granted, rarely does National refuse the Eagle for lacking Scout Spirit because it is so subjective, but then I've never heard National having to consider an objective arrest as part of Scout Spirit.

I agree with qwazse, this comes under the heading of tough love. We must consider what is best for the young man's best future. While the Eagle represents the highest moral values, the title is just status. Character and integrity is measure by actions, not status. 

Barry

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I disagree that show scout spirit is the only subjective requirement. Almost all of them have a subjectivity to whether they were completed. For example in tender foot "...assist in preparing one of the meals..." A scout stands next to the camp cook and only takes the twist tie off the bag of bread. Does this fulfill the requirement of assist? Or do we expect more? I would bet many of us would disagree on what "assist" looks like in general, and also take into consideration the scout, the meal, the circumstances, etc... Thus fulfilling this requirement is also subjective. I would argue that almost all of the demonstrate and explain require a subjective analysis of whether they have been met.

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22 hours ago, PACAN said:

The issue the OP is asking about is should a scout engaging in criminal behavior get a pass to Eagle rank.

We need to be careful with labels.  "Criminal behavior" may be accurate but it is also strongly biased.  

In Illinois, the penalty he faces is about the same as a large speeding offense.  I suspect most of us at one time or other was speeding at least 10 miles over the speed limit.   Probably in our lives, at least once significantly more than that whether intentional or by accident.  That is also criminal activity. 

We are also definitely at a point where we are discussing whether it should be treated as criminal.  It is easy to for impressionable youth to get caught up in those discussions and surrounding glamorization.  

I'd think about showing compassion and understanding before adding more headaches to the scout's life.  If you can't for whatever reason, then he should not be in your troop.  

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As others have said, you cannot deny a Scoutmaster Conference.  As others have implied, Scout Spirit is living the Scout Oath and Law in your daily life.  This young man needs some hard questions:

- How did doing what you've done demonstrate your TRUSTWORTHINESS?

- How did doing what you've done demonstrate your OBEDIENCE?

- How did doing what you've done demonstrate your being MENTALLY AWAKE?

- How did doing what you've done demonstrate your being MORALLY STRAIGHT?

I don't know how your Council does Eagle Boards, so, once you've finished the SM Conference, I'd call your District Advancement Chair.  I'd send him/her a business letter, citing the young man's deficiencies on the matters above.  I'd discuss the fact you are unable to sign off on Scout Spirit.  I'd conclude the letter with "I cannot, in good conscience, recommend ___ _____ for an Eagle Board of Review.  He will have to demand it of you on his own."

I wish you well, I hope you close the loop with us when this episode is over.

 

Edited by John-in-KC
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28 minutes ago, DuctTape said:

I disagree that show scout spirit is the only subjective requirement. Almost all of them have a subjectivity to whether they were completed. For example in tender foot "...assist in preparing one of the meals..." A scout stands next to the camp cook and only takes the twist tie off the bag of bread. Does this fulfill the requirement of assist? Or do we expect more? I would bet many of us would disagree on what "assist" looks like in general, and also take into consideration the scout, the meal, the circumstances, etc... Thus fulfilling this requirement is also subjective. I would argue that almost all of the demonstrate and explain require a subjective analysis of whether they have been met.

Scout spirit is the one scouters can use as a fallback when the scout misbehaves.  It's why many scoutmasters keep it for the end and reserve the signature right on that requirement to themselves.  

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50 minutes ago, DuctTape said:

I disagree that show scout spirit is the only subjective requirement. Almost all of them have a subjectivity to whether they were completed. For example in tender foot "...assist in preparing one of the meals..." A scout stands next to the camp cook and only takes the twist tie off the bag of bread. Does this fulfill the requirement of assist? Or do we expect more? I would bet many of us would disagree on what "assist" looks like in general, and also take into consideration the scout, the meal, the circumstances, etc... Thus fulfilling this requirement is also subjective. I would argue that almost all of the demonstrate and explain require a subjective analysis of whether they have been met.

Well, I was speaking specifically to the Eagle requirements. But if you want to push this to the lowest level, then as a BOR member, how do you feel about about asking the young scout to assist at preparing the meal, again, to prove his experience. I'm sure you are right that even tying a knot could have some subjectivity, but I feel you would get 99% agreement on an objective expectation.

Barry

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35 minutes ago, fred8033 said:

I'd think about showing compassion and understanding before adding more headaches to the scout's life.  If you can't for whatever reason, then he should not be in your troop.  

I'm curious, are you saying experiencing the repercussions from bad behavior are not compassionate? Do you really believe that the skill of making moral and ethical decisions doesn't come at some cost of humility?

 

41 minutes ago, fred8033 said:

Scout spirit is the one scouters can use as a fallback when the scout misbehaves.  It's why many scoutmasters keep it for the end and reserve the signature right on that requirement to themselves.  

Wow, you say that as is if we adults have a less than honorable intention with the Scout Spirit requirement. Could it not be that we judges of behavior just require a little observation before offering an opinion? Shesh. Who signs off that requirement first?

Barry

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38 minutes ago, Eagledad said:

I'm curious, are you saying experiencing the repercussions from bad behavior are not compassionate? Do you really believe that the skill of making moral and ethical decisions doesn't come at some cost of humility?

Experiencing repercussions is natural.  We just don't need to pile on more.  The scout already has repercussions at school and home.  He will have probably some minor follow-on in the court system with a juvenile diversion program.  

He did not commit an offense in camp, at meetings or at a scout activity.  My view is that we should not penalize him anymore than the school would if he shop lifted from the local Walmart.  

 

38 minutes ago, Eagledad said:

Wow, you say that as is if we adults have a less than honorable intention with the Scout Spirit requirement. Could it not be that we judges of behavior just require a little observation before offering an opinion? Shesh. Who signs off that requirement first?

I was not inferring either.  I was just confirming it's the exact reason the Scout Spirit requirement exists.  It's the catch all. 

You can't use the scoutmaster conference as a blocker for the scout.  But honestly, you could use the scout spirit.  It's a unit's call.  If the scout had committed a serious offense, yes I would use it without hesitation.  But  ... in my opinion ..., I would not use it for this.  

 

 

 

Edited by fred8033

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1 hour ago, Eagledad said:

Well, I was speaking specifically to the Eagle requirements. But if you want to push this to the lowest level, then as a BOR member, how do you feel about about asking the young scout to assist at preparing the meal, again, to prove his experience. I'm sure you are right that even tying a knot could have some subjectivity, but I feel you would get 99% agreement on an objective expectation.

Barry

Even for eagle requirements, there is subjectivity by the MB counselor for completing those requirements. When the scout is "tested" for the requirement regardless of whether a T-Fc rank, or for a mB, the subjectivity of whether it was completed to the signatories satisfaction is subjective. Of course some will have more agreement than others amongst scouters as far as what it looks like to satisfy the reqs, but my point stands that it is still subjective to a degree just as it is to show scout spirit. 

As fas as a BOR member, that is not the place to test the scout. However asking about the meal they assisted on, and how it went and what they learned from it. But those questions are a REVIEW of what the scout completed and not the test. If the scout cannot recall; that is ok.  Perhaps a few other leading questions to get to the heart of their scouting experience and what they did, learned, and enjoyed since the last BOR.

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