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Eagle verification Mess

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Hi. This is probably directed to Bob White but others feel free to offer suggestions and/or resources.

 

We have a Scout who has completed his Eagle requirements and has sent in his rank application materials.They have found some problems with his application. Apparently this Scout "earned" Life rank without having enough Eagle-required merit badges. Now that council is checking for verification this has come up as a problem. He lacked two Eagle merit badges for a whole year (got Life in June, '00, didn't complete the other two Eagle badges until June, '02). According to this Scout and his father he was told he didn't need the Eagle badges for advancement. He had a Scoutmaster conference and a Board of Review. The paperwork was submitted to council and his badge was awarded. The Scoutmaster is still the SM but none of the committee is the same. The Life rank happened a year before I was involved with the troop so all the information is from the Scout and father only. Also, this Scout will be 18 next week (yeah, another last minute Eagle) so redoing or resubmitting isn't an option.

 

So, . . .

1. What, if anything can this Scout do to rectify the problem? Certainly a Scout is responsible for making sure he has met all the requirements but what responsibility does the SM and Committee have? Shouldn't Council be verifying these badges BEFORE a Scout submits his Eagle rank application? I know this Scout and father feel they were misled.

 

2. Is this problem so bad that he won't be awarded his Eagle rank? If so, what is the appeal process for this Scout?

 

3. Any suggestions of where we can turn for assistance/resources?

 

Thanks much.

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It is unlikely tha the Eagle will be withheld provided the scout currently has the required merit badges needed to attain Eagle. However I would contact the Scout Executive and ask what hurdles still exist. If at the time the scout becam Life both the troop advancement chairman and the Council missed the fact that the scout lacked the correct MB combination I do not see how the can hold it against the scout.

 

Once the scout reaches 18 (unless he has received an advancment waiver based on a documented medical condition)the advancement clock stops. Paperwork can still be processed buut the scout can do no more advancement work.

 

Make sure the scout has what is needed in total for his Eagle and keep the lines of communications open with your council Scout Executive.

 

Best of Luck,

Bob White

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Thanks, Bob. He does have the correct requirements now. I've been keeping all the records for the past year using Troopmaster and we've been able to verify everything.

 

I really got the impression from out Scout Executive that they may not be able to approve this Eagle application based on the Life mess. I will talk with the father (the scout has left for college and not very accessible at the moment) and encourage him to be pretty assertive on this matter.

 

Thanks for the information. I really appreciate your knowledge of the rules and regulations.

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There are also appeal procedures in the advancement rules. If the boy now has the merit badges I think the council would be on thin ice to refuse the eagle.

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Eisely is right about there being an appeal option. However it exists at the unit level. This is not a case of the unit rejecting the the scout. This would come from the National Board of Review which would be similar to a Supreme Court ruling, there would be no higher court to appeal to.

 

If the scouts accomplishments do not meet national's established criteria the issue would be dead as far as the BSA's authority.

 

Bob White

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I would hate to see this Scout not get his Eagle but the rules are the rules. Technically, a Scout can't begin to work on his Eagle project until he has reached the rank of Life & if he didn't have the correct number of required merit badges earned then he technically didn't complete the requirements for the Life rank. The key word here is technically.

 

I'd be interested to hear what happens in this case.

 

Ed Mori

Scoutmaster

Troop 1

1 Peter 4:10

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"I would hate to see this Scout not get his Eagle but the rules are the rules."

 

I'm not a lawyer and I don't play one on TV and I'm sure that a real lawyer will correct me but I've there is a legal doctrine (the Latin name escapes me) that says that if a person is told by someone is supposed to know about the rules, he cannot be held responsible for violating the rules. Example, you are stopped at the on ramp for an interstate by a State Trooper who tells you that as part of an experiment all traffic is permitted to go 100 mph. Well, it turns out that the cop misunderstood what they told him at roll call and you get a zillion dollar ticket. If you could get the cop to testify, you'd get off.

 

Fundamentally, the boy shouldn't suffer because of an adult leader's screw up.

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I have seen this issue several times, the scout needs to get letters explaining the problem and how it occured. If he has finished all the requirements for Eagle Scout by the date he turned his application to the local council office he should be able to receive his rank. This process can take several months so be patient. First your appeal is to your local council where you should have letters form any Advancement Comm. and a Scout Exc. National usually approvs the opinion of the local council.

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We all need to take note of this and be aware that boys that approach 18 years of age may run into a problem that just may prevent them from getting Eagle; yep and my son was one just under the wire.

 

I had a young man a few years back that submitted his Eagle paperwork and there was a mix-up on his Life rank and merit badges similar to the one mentioned here. Luckily, the boy was only 16 years old so he went back and did the requirements and we made him do another Eagle Project. If he was approaching 18, we wouldnt have had the time to redo it. Im not sure if it would have been refused, but there was a lot of guessing going on at council as to what the correct course of action was. Just to be safe, he redid the work and another project just to be safe and then we submitted it.

 

Bobs right in that at 18 the advancement stops (unless you get a wavier which is usually because of a medical condition). I also had a boy that transferred from another unit within our council (2 yrs before Eagle his family moved) and during the review council could not verify an Eagle required merit badge. The boy didnt keep his blue cards and his old troop did not keep very good records. He was already 18 when we discovered it. What a fun time, finally I located the merit badge counselor and luckily he remembered the kid and he submitted his copy of the blue card to resolve it.

 

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After reading the "postes", where was the scoutmaster and the members of the board of review??? They where the ones who should have caught the problem??

 

BT

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EXACTLY!!! Unfortunately (0r probably fortunately), the members of that board of review are no longer involved with the troop. The Scoutmaster is.:(

 

I told this Scout's father that he and his son (who is at college and not really able to do a lot of leg work at this point) that if we have any further problems they should file an appeal since it was a troop/committee issue AND a council issue. This should never have happened.

 

As an update, I THINK we have the problem resolved. At least we're working on it with council. I've got my fingers crossed.

 

FOr future, I've decided that after a Scout has a Life board of review I am going to make a formal request to Council for a printout of what they think the Scout has. I've got everything computerized with Troopmaster now so we should catch any problems like this before they happen but even since we've computerized Council records don't always jive with ours.

 

Thanks for all the input.

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I feel bad for anyone in this situation, but from a discussion standpoint, this is a compelling issue.

 

Evmori posed the theory that if the Scout has not met the requirements for Life, he technically is not Life. I disagree. If a Board of Review, in good faith (not trying to circumvent the rules) determines that a scout has met the requirements for a rank, he is that rank. Therefore, he has the right to begin, work on, and complete his Eagle requirements. From that point on, as long as he meets the requirements for Eagle (21 MBs, including all required, Project, Leadership, etc.), he should be entitled to Eagle.

 

The valuable point to be made here is that corrective action must be taken to prevent future problems, which seems to have happened. We all pontificate about how important it is to make boys responsible for what they do or don't do, and that is correct. But it is frightening how often we are the cause of problems for boys along their trail. We should not be doing for them (and I do agree that this boy had a responsiblity to know the requirements for Life), but we should not be a stumbling block, either.

 

Good luck to you and your future Eagle.

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mk9750,

I don't agree with " If a Board of Review, in good faith (not trying to circumvent the rules) determines that a scout has met the requirements for a rank, he is that rank."

 

The requirements for Life state that a Star Scout needs "to earn 5 more merit badges (11 in all) including any 3 more from the required list for Eagle".

 

If this requirement isn't met, then technically the Scout didn't meet the requirement for Life and therefore isn't a Life Scout.

 

Ignorance on the part of the BOR is no excuse. The Scout has the handbook & it is written very clearly in the handbook.

 

Remember, the key word is still technically.

 

Ed Mori

Scoutmaster

Troop 1

1 Peter 4:10

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Actually ignorance on the part of the troop committee is an excuse. National will not hold adult errors against the scout. this is the boy's program and they will be given the benefit of the doubt. (A 'tie goes to the runner' kind of rule)

 

It is the troop advancement committee's responsibility to verify advancement. They sign the advancement approval, not the scout.

 

Again, some people have talked about an appeal. THERER IS NO APPEAL. Appealate BORs take place when the troop refuses advancement. The troop in this case approved the advancement. The problem is at the national level and they have the last say.

 

Keep the lines of communications open with council and national.

 

Bob White

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So what is council's responsibility in the verification process? As a troop we have to send our advancement reports in. They enter this into their system. Don't they do any kind of verification BEFORE a scout submits his Eagle application?

 

I agree wholeheartedly that this was a troop problem. It should never happened. But, it did. Where are the checks and balances in the system?

 

I just really hate that Council (at least our Council) does no verification prior to the Eagle application coming in. That's too late.

 

I have another Scout who according to Council records had earned the Swimming merit badge. Later, I found out he didn't earn this badge and it thus messed up his rank advancement. Fortunately (for me, not the scout)I don't have to mess with an Eagle application because he withdrew from the troop for about 8 months and doesn't have enough time to get all his requirements completed before he turns 18. He and the scout I started this post about are the last of 3 "old system" scouts. I have one more trying to complete his Eagle requirements. You can bet I'm a little nervous about what I'm going to find.

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