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CarrieScouter

Religious Letter for Eagle Rank written by a parent

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Hi. I'm new to this forum and I wanted some advice from others who may have done or seen this done already. My son recently completed his Eagle paperwork and we do not go to church regularly anymore. We used to when he was young. I was even his Sunday school teacher. I will be writing his "religious" letter for his Eagle Board of Review. I was wondering what specifically I should put in the letter. How he fulfills his duty to God? I have sat on 2 Eagle Boards of Review but both of the Scouts were very involved in their church and the priests wrote the letters for them.

 

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Welcome @CarrieScouter. Congratulations on your son's advancement. You have it right. How does your son fulfill his duty to God? Has he met your expectations? What does he do on his own? You don't have to spend a lot of time on this. Just a couple of scentences about how he's applying the religion that you handed down to him.

Of course, a deeper question for yourself and none of us here is why your family doesn't go to church? Has your duty to God changed? Did you have a revelation that St. Paul was mistaken about "forsake not the assembling of yourselves together?" Have your fellow worshippers turned out to be no good?

Scouting gives us opportunities to reflect on our lives as parents. This is one of those opportunities.

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Posted (edited)

I had my EBOR in February and I am heavily religious either. I put one of my parents like your son did, but they didn’t have to write a letter. I  don’t think you need a letter for every single person on that recommendation list on the application. I had like 3 letters.

Edited by ItsBrian

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Posted (edited)
10 hours ago, CarrieScouter said:

My son recently completed his Eagle paperwork and we do not go to church regularly anymore. We used to when he was young. I was even his Sunday school teacher. I will be writing his "religious" letter for his Eagle Board of Review. I was wondering what specifically I should put in the letter. How he fulfills his duty to God? 

Welcome to the forum. Yes, you should state how he fulfills his duty to God.

My concern here is that he was very active in his church back when you were very active. He stopped being active in his church when you stopped being active. In the letter, you should avoid using the words "we" and "our" when discussing his duty to God. Just focus on how he fulfills his duty to God.

 

Edited by David CO

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I'm curious....

Is it common for a parent to write the "religious letter"?

Seems to me that there are an awful lot of families that do not participate regularly in a church...

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This is going to be touchy issue.  My first response is for a parent/grandparent/guardian not to write the religious letter for their child.  You already support the child and it shows if they made it this far.  Whether an "active" church goer, or not, there are other ways duty to god can be displayed.  One of the most generic in a troop could be the troop chaplain position.  Used correctly, that could be the only duty done.  We never asked denomination or attendance records of the troop chaplain. 

Level of devotion and duty is measured differently in everyone.  Some showboats have to show and tell everyone what they do and when.  I know some quiet professionals that are the best at their craft, as others always tell of their skills and efforts.  You don't have to be in the first pew to believe.  Some of the most religious people I've seen have been the most quiet and humble. 

It all comes down to what that scout believes and does.  Their view of religion will grow, morph, and can change with age, life, and experience.  What and how they deliver duty will change from time to time.  No easy right or wrong in this topic, except for recommending the parent/grandparent/guardian seek assistance from a religious leader.     

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7 minutes ago, Double Eagle said:

This is going to be touchy issue.  My first response is for a parent/grandparent/guardian not to write the religious letter for their child.  You already support the child and it shows if they made it this far.  Whether an "active" church goer, or not, there are other ways duty to god can be displayed.  One of the most generic in a troop could be the troop chaplain position.  Used correctly, that could be the only duty done.  We never asked denomination or attendance records of the troop chaplain. 

Level of devotion and duty is measured differently in everyone.  Some showboats have to show and tell everyone what they do and when.  I know some quiet professionals that are the best at their craft, as others always tell of their skills and efforts.  You don't have to be in the first pew to believe.  Some of the most religious people I've seen have been the most quiet and humble. 

It all comes down to what that scout believes and does.  Their view of religion will grow, morph, and can change with age, life, and experience.  What and how they deliver duty will change from time to time.  No easy right or wrong in this topic, except for recommending the parent/grandparent/guardian seek assistance from a religious leader.     

It’s said somewhere if you are not religious to have a parent fill in that section.

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Read the fine print,   """ References: Must list all six (five if not employed). If not affiliated with an organized religion, then the parent or guardian provides this reference. There are no restrictions on who the Scout may list as the two other references. The candidate may list anyone, including parents or guardians not previously listed, other relatives, Scout leaders including those from the candidate’s unit, or other Scouts and friends. There is no requirement that any of the references be 21 years of age or older. ""   (from https://www.scouting.org/resources/guide-to-advancement/eagle-scout-rank/   )

In my career, I have never heard of any candidate have his references questioned.   Of course,  a candidate wouldn't list folks he might not expect a good comment from.

 

 

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32 minutes ago, mrkstvns said:

I'm curious....

Is it common for a parent to write the "religious letter"?

Seems to me that there are an awful lot of families that do not participate regularly in a church...

That is the default

From our good friend the Guide to Advancement:

References: Must list all six (five if not employed). If not affiliated with an organized religion, then the parent or guardian provides this reference. There are no restrictions on who the Scout may list as the two other references. The candidate may list anyone, including parents or guardians not previously listed, other relatives, Scout leaders including those from the candidate’s unit, or other Scouts and friends. There is no requirement that any of the references be 21 years of age or older

 

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I do think one can get certain biases from sitting on just a couple of Eagle BoRs where the particular candidates were stellar in particular areas.

You really have to be in a lot of them to get an idea of the diversity that we see in Eagle scouts. We respect them all.

Well ... maybe not the scout thinks it's part of his his duty to mock the religious obligations of others. But, we usually address those long before they come up for rank advancement.

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This is a touchy issue with me as two brother scouts in the 70s, that recruited me, never made eagle as they didn't go to church.  They were the best scouts around that I knew of.  One even helped me when I broke my leg in three places...longer story for another thread.  They had all the skills, BSA gear, summer camps, and OA participation.  That one active attendance "duty to god" piece kept them out.  It was disheartening to see them scout from 12-18 yrs old, earn all the good stuff, and turned away.  No leader or adult came to their aid.  That was the late 70s, but times change or do they?   

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Posted (edited)
7 hours ago, Jameson76 said:

 That is the default

From our good friend the Guide to Advancement:

References: Must list all six (five if not employed). If not affiliated with an organized religion, then the parent or guardian provides this reference. There are no restrictions on who the Scout may list as the two other references. The candidate may list anyone, including parents or guardians not previously listed, other relatives, Scout leaders including those from the candidate’s unit, or other Scouts and friends. There is no requirement that any of the references be 21 years of age or older

 

Does this mean that if the scout is affiliated with an organized religion, then the parent cannot write the letter? I know some people who are members of an organized religion who would not feel comfortable asking their clergy to write the letter. 

I also know a clergy member who always refuses to write anybody a letter of recommendation. He says that it is a new policy from his superiors. They don't want to be put in the difficult position of having to explain someday why one of their clergy members wrote a glowing testimonial for someone who was later accused of sexual misconduct. 

Edited by David CO

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Posted (edited)

Here's another life lesson for the Scout.   Who do you ask for a reference?   When they say no, for whatever reason,  what do you do then?   In the Eagle candidate's case,  I really don't think it's going to make much difference.   Attesting to a person's character,  history , accomplishments, loyalty to an ideal (God?  Creator?  J-w-h?  ) , is difficult at best.   Again,  would the lack of the letters be a reason for an Eagle denial ?   

Some years ago,  when I needed some support for a denial I had been given,  I was very gratified and surprised by the folks that came to my aid.  Their refutation of the rationale given for the denial (buy me a coffee and pie for the whole story) was amazing and made me glad for their friendship and my relationship with them.    

References are for folks that do not know the candidate to begin with. They can help the BoR to know the candidate..

Edited by SSScout

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3 hours ago, David CO said:

Does this mean that if the scout is affiliated with an organized religion, then the parent cannot write the letter? I know some people who are members of an organized religion who would not feel comfortable asking their clergy to write the letter. 

I also know a clergy member who always refuses to write anybody a letter of recommendation. He says that it is a new policy from his superiors. They don't want to be put in the difficult position of having to explain someday why one of their clergy members wrote a glowing testimonial for someone who was later accused of sexual misconduct. 

For the EBOR's I have sat on and the ones for our troop (+/- 12 per year) there is not an check on that.  If that is what the Scout wants, that is the religious reference.

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