Re: Troop 18's New "Eagle"
Susan Ganther (susan@GIBBS.OIT.UNC.EDU)
Thu, 1 Sep 1994 17:21:27 -0400
Paul, everyone has jumped on your bandwagon supporting you. Even the ones
who criticise you for resigning are accepting your version of the events
you refer to without question. When a Scout makes an appeal, National
makes it clear that the benefit of the doubt is to be given to the boy.
Why? Because in a case where it is one persons word against another,
consideration has to be given to the possible consequences to the Scout
if he is telling the truth and is not believed. Some adults have a
problem with CONTROL. They will do anything to protect their personal
power including lie. I am not saying that this is what you have done, so
please do not interpret this post that way. I am however going to play
devil's advocate here and present the case as it MIGHT be interpreted to
give you some perspective on why the Council did what it did, and why it
just might have been the right thing for them to do.
On Wed, 31 Aug 1994, Paul Miles wrote:
> PARTIAL CONTENT DELETED FOR BREVITY
> The next week, 12/7, the boy presented me with an EP workbook that was already
> signed by the District Advancement Chairman.
I recently took an eagle candidate thru the approval process so that he
could begin working on his project and was surprised to hear the DE tell
me that the District Advancement Chairman may sign the project workbook
at any time and it is NOT necessary to have the signatures collected in
any particular order.
> I also said I objected to the District Advancement Chair signing an EP
> application out of turn without so much as a call to me or troop committee.
This is normal in our district. Why should they call you for something
> Also, I would not accept the pre-signed
> application. I also stated that the project was not to start until all
> approvals were in place.
If your only reason for refusing to sign was your being upset that
someone else signed first, then you were way out of line in blocking this
Scout from carrying out his project.
> A few weeks after the project was completed I was presented with the same
> application to sign - improper signature and all.
Are you sure that your perception that the signature was collected
improperly wasn't the only reason you were blocking the project?
> They appealed to District. We were advised to get our records in order and be
> prepared to meet with the District Advancement Comm. We contended that we had
> not committed an appealable offense since we did not fail to grant a BoR, one
You are accused of committing an offense and then suddenly you start
checking and find forged signatures for merit badges? OK I can believe in
the cover up you refer to, but just who is doing the covering up? Are you
sure you did not improperly block this boy because you were on a power
trip about just who should get to sign the eagle project form first?
> So, thats it. Troop 18 of Greenfield Center, New York, a troop over 70 years
> old, has had all of it's committee members resign, all Assistant Scoutmasters
> resign and yes, I too am resigning as Scoutmaster. The chartering organization
> very well may surrender its charter. The District Advancement Chair (different
> guy from the one who signed out of order) will probably also resign and others
> to follow. It's not a matter of sour grapes, its a matter of principal, we
Aren't all these resignations and troop busting just another power trip?
They sure make it look like you are someone who can't stand not getting
his way, and that makes it look like the Scout really did have a valid
reason for going around you.
Paul, I hope that you can understand that this post is not meant as a
flame. I am just trying to get you to see the case as it may have been
presented to the committee that formed the BOR that gave the Scout the
Eagle. If they gave the benefit of the doubt to the Scout as they are
instructed to do, then there is really no other decision they could make
in keeping with the bylaws and policys of BSA.
I know that is is hard to accept that some undeserving boys may be
awarded the Eagle rank, but consider the consequences of denying a
deserving boy who has spent most of his young life working toward it.
I could tell you a long story about a boy who was blocked from getting
his Eagle by a very immature ASM who was on a personal vendetta against
the boys mother. The SM involved was convinced he was going to get sued,
and convinced the committee of the same, and a successful cover-up was
launched completely fooling the district people who subsequently denied
an extension request because they believed the cover-up.
They made the wrong decision and the Scout was devastated. He blamed his
mother for his loss, since it was the ASMs hatred of his mother that
precipitated the problem and not his own behavior (which is what the
cover-up alleged). Their family unity was shattered. This is certainly
NOT in keeping with the aims of Scouting. Had the district committee
followed BSA policy and given the benefit of the doubt to the Scout, this
would not have happened.
I'll spare you the long story, but I expect to be pinning an Eagle medal
on that Scout in a few months. He not only deserves it, but he had to go
thru one hell of an ordeal to get it. Someone sent a post re: WHAT IS A
SCOUT, that said that a Scout is unconquerable. Yup.
Don't worry about someone who is not deserving wearing the medal, a medal
will not make him an Eagle, it only grants him the right to say he is.
Worry about the deserving Eagle who might never be able to wear the medal
if we do not give the Scout the benefit of the doubt.
Terry Howerton Sakima Group, Inc. SCOUTER Magazine Kansas City