Troop 18's New "Eagle"
Paul Miles (PGM01@ALBNYDH2.BITNET)
Fri, 2 Sep 1994 11:10:07 EDT
Susan, I thank you for your well thought out response. You are one of more
respected voices on the net, IMHO.
Yours is the first of probably many "Devil's Advocate" replies. I'll try to
respond to your note as best I can and in the same spirit in which you make
your offerings. Your points are well taken and I'm sure not yours alone.
There are two problems here, parents who are very powerful and basically
disregard rules and a boy of 14 who is the product of this environment, who is
disruptive, disrespectful to adults and very immature. We, the committee, have
always tried to treat the boy as any member of the troop and deal with parents
First of all, I don't think that this is a control or power or ego trip. I am
the most laid-back and still have a pulse person one would meet. I do however
take my commitment to the troop very seriously. I try to instill in them the
values of right and wrong and to live the Oath and Laws, I very much try to do
Knowing that I would be presented with this Eagle problem, it would be a
problem since the boy is simply not ready, I and my committee were determined
to do this correctly and always with his interest in mind. If he even followed
one of our suggestions or instructions and not proceeded as he did, he would
Now, your issues. When presented with the project workbook pre-signed, I
pointed out that this is not consistent with the regs. The workbook says
signed by SM, unit committee and THEN District Advancement (the capital THEN
is the regs, not mine). Keeping the boy in mind, what is wrong in pointing out
that I would not accept this signature at this time? Knowing that the outline
would need to be re-worked somewhat anyway and that this would probably amount
to a draft.
I don't know what is normal in your district, (I'm not sure what is even
normal in ours anymore) but if I were a DA chair and given an application to
sign first, I would call to see what's the rush, I would not consider it
routine. After all, even if I as DAChair sign it, it still has to be reviewed
by the SM and reviewed by the troop committee. These things do not happen
As for preventing the project from starting. There were various reasons to not
want the project to start, the signature issue only being a small portion. If
a project app. was done properly the signature would fall into place. As I
understand an Eagle Project (EP), it is a culmination of all that a Scout has
learned in his troop and in his merit badge work and his life. It is designed
to teach him how to plan and use his skills. This project was to involve
dangerous heavy equipment and the project had not addressed that issue. Again,
keeping the boys interests in mind. The project did not address who was to
benefit and how the mulch from these trees would be distributed or even to
whom. Two sites were to be used for collection of trees, but were not
specified at the time. These were planning and implementation issues that
needed to be addressed by the boy as part of developing his project. I had
learned that much at the meeting where I was first presented with the
application. I simply wanted to be allowed to spend a day to read it, make
comments and have the boy address these. I was not allowed since the EP app.
was not given to me that night.
I'm not sure about your next statement. "... (my) perception that the
signature was collected improperly wasn't the only reason (I) was blocking the
project?" As stated, the project went ahead anyway. As you recall, two days
after this initial EP app. confrontation we met and all parties agreed that I
would meet with the boy and his advisor "anywhere, anyplace to discuss his
project". Again, keeping his interest in mind. He never set up this meeting.
At this point in time, I have no EP app. and the project was begun despite my
warnings that it was not proper according to the rules. I would have been
remiss in my duties had I not tried to have this boy proceed by the rules.
The Merit badge issue is very serious in that actual Eagle required badge was
NEVER earned by the boy although he said in did earn it. I would submit that
this alone should prevent him or any Scout from earning the rank of Eagle at
this time. If the boy were to re-earn the badge and demonstrate Scout spirit I
would be very proud to have handed his mother the medal to pin on his chest.
The timing of this discovery is now April. Project done, over with. The issue
of the District signature is a non-issue at this point. Sue, there is no power
trip. I'm not blocking anything, just getting paperwork in order to meet with
the district committee at the request of the boy through an appeal. At this
time we had only committed the offense of counseling a boy to produce a proper
project according to the rules, the same one that every Eagle Scout is
expected to obey.
Troop busting comments... I was very upset when I wrote originally. I did not
want to intend to sound like I am taking my ball and going home. My actions
since Tuesday will be sent in a separate post later today. The Troop will go
on and my energies are directed towards that goal. Troop 18 will live!
I know that people get things they don't deserve all the time. That is a fact
of life. It is also a fact of life that people who see wrongs and want to
right them also exist. The benefit of all doubt was given to the boy all the
way through this process, yet the committee of the troop, the Scoutmaster,
nine men of the District Committee, seven men of the Council Advancement
Committee all agreed that this was not a worthy Eagle Candidate. A few higher
ups decided that we were wrong and had five people who really don't know the
boy tossed him a few pitches and he hit them out of the park.
Terry Howerton Sakima Group, Inc. SCOUTER Magazine Kansas City