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Carbenez

Troop adding/changing requirements for Eagle project

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4 hours ago, Carbenez said:

... Is this normal? Am I out of bounds being upset with this guy?  ....

This was the old normal.  In 2011, BSA created the new Eagle Service Project Workbook and updated the Guide To Advancement.  The whole intention of that 2011 re-design was to reign in out-of-control expectations and create a clear consistent set of expectations for all scouts.   Too often the emphasis was put on the paperwork and making the scout jump hoops to advance their project.  The paperwork became more difficult than the execution.  Bureaucracy was valued over service to others. 

After 2011, the proposal signatures are to reflect concepts, general plans and would such a project fulfill BSA project requirements.  Further, a reviewer should also consider whether you will succeed and have a good experience.  Reviewers should NEVER expect exact work days, detail meal plans, itemized materials or an architectural diagram.  Those can help the reviewer get confidence the scout will succeed, but it's not required at all.  

The SM is using old habits and he is in conflict with the current defined process.

My question to you.   Can your scout survive this and move on?  Can he find a way past these things?  Or, is this a deal breaker causing him to switch troops or give up on Eagle ?

Edited by fred8033
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Carbenez...call the scout executive and tell him you are going to file a YP bullying complaint on the SM.  Inform your COR,  DE and Council Advancement Chair.

Enough of this clown.

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2 minutes ago, PACAN said:

Carbenez...call the scout executive and tell him you are going to file a YP bullying complaint on the SM.  Inform your COR,  DE and Council Advancement Chair.

Enough of this clown.

Hmm, is anyone surprised that litigation is killing youth programs?

Barry

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2 hours ago, fred8033 said:

After 2011, the proposal signatures are to reflect concepts, general plans and would such a project fulfill BSA project requirements.  Further, a reviewer should also consider whether you will succeed and have a good experience.  Reviewers should NEVER expect exact work days, detail meal plans, itemized materials or an architectural diagram.  Those can help the reviewer get confidence the scout will succeed, but it's not required at all.  

The SM is using old habits and he is in conflict with the current defined process.

My question to you.   Can your scout survive this and move on?  Can he find a way past these things?  Or, is this a deal breaker causing him to switch troops or give up on Eagle ?

My son certainly is discouraged at this point. What is adding to the weight of the situation is that we are going through a similar process with his older brother, who has already completed his Service Project. The Beneficiary signed off on the project plan....and the SM took it, marked it up, demanded typos/wording be changed and so now we have to drive 2 hours round trip to get the beneficiary's signature again on a clean form.  AND THE PLAN DOESN'T REQUIRE THE SM's APPROVAL!!!!!!!!!   We've already been through 4 hours of meetings with the SM, on something that doesn't require his approval....

So, younger son is seeing all this....seeing the SM be defiant even though I presented him with the Guide to Advancement...while I don't think he'll give up on Eagle, he's quite disillusioned with the proceedings.  Were it not for the close friends he has in the Troop, he'd be gone for sure.

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SMs like this drive me insane. Why not simply coach the Scout on how his project needs to have its own identity and  let it go? If he goes out to the site and sees a lot of crossover, then he can complain. 

We are supposed to  help these Scouts. It really is that simple.

 

 

 

 

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Itemizing lunch menus is not at all significant or necessary.  Use a rough estimated value ( large pizza is $12 and has 8 slices- if I expect each person to have 3 slices, how many pizzas will I need) and get an estimated total figure.  The scout can later input the actual hard figure spent, and include a photocopy of the receipt.  That is hardly worth the SM spending more than 60 seconds explaining to a scout during the draft phase.  I wish I had that kind of time to spend on any aspect of scouting with a single youth in a week- yeesh.   

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1 hour ago, HashTagScouts said:

That is hardly worth the SM spending more than 60 seconds explaining to a scout during the draft phase.  

I often think that such scoutmasters behave as such to justify their own existence and show their own importance.

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1 hour ago, fred8033 said:

I often think that such scoutmasters behave as such to justify their own existence and show their own importance.

I have concluded that 50 percent of leaders volunteer for this reason. This is  why I have so much sympathy for the DEs. 

Barry

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I had thought that I had met the ultimate in control freak scoutmasters about 20 years ago, but I think that yours just won that  very dubious honor.Hands down.

There are identical character traits however.  OCD may be playing a part. Grammer? He wants to spec the screw head design? The kind of chips? Note that he passed the responsibilities of these demands to the retired scoutmaster and the eagle board. But by far the most telling is his  statement  of " This is how do it, and you have to have MY signature- and I'M  not signing"    

Houston, we have a problem !

And it's that the SM is not only not helping his scouts, he is actively hindering them.

I cannot help but wonder how many Scouts before your son have given up in frustration  or disgust on ever ever getting their Eagle.

My .02 cents?   Go to the distrust advancement chair and the DE. If that yields no quick results go to Council.  Bullying little tin gods have no business being scoutmasters. 

Edited by Oldscout448
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9 hours ago, Oldscout448 said:

I had thought that I had met the ultimate in control freak scoutmasters about 20 years ago, but I think that yours just won that  very dubious honor.Hands down.

There are identical character traits however.  OCD may be playing a part. Grammer? He wants to spec the screw head design? The kind of chips? Note that he passed the responsibilities of these demands to the retired scoutmaster and the eagle board. But by far the most telling is his  statement  of " This is how do it, and you have to have MY signature- and I'M  not signing"    

Here is his latest, sent yesterday.....

"You mentioned that electric extension cords will be used to obtain power for the miter saw and electric drills.  How far away are the electrical outlets?  Will the sawing and drilling be done in a building or on open ground?  If on open ground, what will you do if there is bad weather such as rain or snow?  I believe you mentioned that the beneficiary will not be participating in the construction, and that your Mom or Dad will use the miter saw.  Does the miter saw belong to the beneficiary?  Is the miter saw in a fixed location in a building or is it on a mobile platform that you will need to move?  Will the beneficiary be watching the construction and/or providing direction in any way?  It's important that you nail down the answers to these questions for me so that I and the Board have a good understanding of how construction will take place"

 

How far away are the electrical outlets? Who does the miter saw belong to?  Is it on a mobile platform?       I'm waiting for him to ask the make, model, and serial number....paint color, who manufactured the saw blades....

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Everyone here is ready to take this guy out to the woodshed, but I'm wondering about the rest of his Scoutmastering style. Do the scouts like him? Is he as controlling with the patrols as he is with service projects? Do the adults like him? Does he get along with the committee or does he run it?

I'm just being nosy, I know. But we have been pulled into this drama to the point of testing our scout-like patience. What does the bigger picture look like?

Barry

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At this point I would suggest going to the District/Council and getting the paperwork signed there "under disputed circumstances" and continuing on.

Any further questions from the SM should then be answered thusly, "Thank you for your input. My project is progressing with the support of my family, the beneficiary and the BSA. I look forward to its completion and learning a lot from the experience. Thanks again."

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1 hour ago, Eagledad said:

Everyone here is ready to take this guy out to the woodshed, but I'm wondering about the rest of his Scoutmastering style. Do the scouts like him? Is he as controlling with the patrols as he is with service projects? Do the adults like him? Does he get along with the committee or does he run it?

I'm just being nosy, I know. But we have been pulled into this drama to the point of testing our scout-like patience. What does the bigger picture look like?

Barry

Thanks for the questions, Barry.  No, the scouts don't particularly like him. My oldest, who LOVED scouting before he took over, just wants to finish his Eagle and be done with Scouting. I find this heartbreaking.  With just a couple of exceptions, the older scouts have quit participating in camp outs/ camping weekends because according to this SM camping weekends should be about work...scrubbing tents, washing the troop trailer, etc.... maybe this is common practice? Both of my kids have complained that all the fun has been taken out of scout activities. 

The parents of the scouts have organized a couple of get togethers to talk about this SM....I never participated because I assumed they were being "whiny snowflakes" and I was trying my best to support this guy's endeavors. In the past, he has complained to me that he just doesn't understand why the older scouts don't want to participate. 

The sad thing is....the guy is not intentionally malicious or obstructive.....he genuinely feels "I'm doing the best I can to prepare these kids for facing the Board."  He's truly baffled as to the lack of participation by the Scouts, and sincerely hurt that so many parents complain about his style.  I fault whatever training he has received that has given him the mental wiggle room to feel his actions are just and warranted.

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4 minutes ago, Carbenez said:

The sad thing is....the guy is not intentionally malicious or obstructive.....he genuinely feels "I'm doing the best I can to prepare these kids for facing the Board."  He's truly baffled as to the lack of participation by the Scouts, and sincerely hurt that so many parents complain about his style.  I fault whatever training he has received that has given him the mental wiggle room to feel his actions are just and warranted.

Thanks, that fills in the picture pretty good. 

Some adults aren't cut out for the responsibilities of a Scoutmaster. And some of them just don't see it.  I have worked with several Scoutmasters who believe, with all their heart, that the independence of making decisions in a patrol environment is the best kind of experience a boy can have for his future as a man. But, they don't have a picture of what that independence looks like for scouts this age. In many cases, narcissism drives them to some degree. While they nobly take the responsibility to better the lives of these young men, their egos drive them to force the scouts to perform to their vision of the ideal boy scout. Since narcissists generally believe they are always right, they aren't usually open to suggestions. They truly believe their way is the best way and will drive the scouts to think and do it that way. I personally believe it is mild form of mental illness. On the positive side, many of these leaders are good at marketing their vision and tend to build large units. Typically adult run Eagle mills, which makes sense. But successful none the less.

Barry 

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18 hours ago, Eagledad said:

I have concluded that 50 percent of leaders volunteer for this reason. This is  why I have so much sympathy for the DEs. 

Barry

I recently chatted with a new scoutmaster.  He talked about all his 2019 summer camp plans, how he'd coordinate everything, campfire songs to sing, skits to teach the scouts, etc.  I felt he was planning to insert himself significantly into the scout's experience.  

My coaching to him was that his plans were nice and sounded fun, but may not be the right venue.  I usurped Galadriel's quote from Lord Of The Rings and suggested he remember that our job is to diminish and let the scouts come into their own.  It's their camp, their experiences, etc.  We are to support, enable and protect, but our job is to mainly sit in the shadows, have a nice coffee and play cards.  

I think this is the hardest job for adult leader's to learn.  Our main job is to diminish.  

Edited by fred8033
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