Eagle Scout Problems (new one)
Greg Stewart (Greg33@AOL.COM)
Wed, 5 Oct 1994 00:19:26 EDT
I just received a call from a very very very young Life Scout asking me to
write a letter of recommendation for his Eagle. I have several problems with
doing so, but at the same time feel obligated. Please, all you wise and
talented guys and gals, HELP ME!!
I was the SM when this boy's older brother earned Eagle at age 13. I
resisted the quick advancement as best I could. But he did fulfill the
requirements (with a lot of parent's help) and the BoR, so he was given the
badge. He has since turned into a great scout ... you could say he finally
grew into the rank. (He's 15 now).
James, the younger brother is barely 13 now. He is very immature. His dad
has done close to 80% of his project for him. I am not involved with this
particular troop anymore, so have had no interaction with either son or
I was the Committee Chair when James was up for First Class. His dad was SM.
James' First Class BoR was conducted by a Board consisting of his Dad (the
SM), his Mom, and another new parent who was not familiar with the process.
James was not even 11 when this happened. (He got arrow of light at age 10
1/2 and thus advanced into Scout Troop). Knowing that the Board was invalid,
and that there was no way in heck he could be ready for First Class, I
confronted the dad and told him I wanted the advancement form. I told him I
would interview the boy, and if he satisfied my questions, I would sign the
form and personally deliver it to the scout office. The dad relunctantly
The first and only question I asked James was "tell me about the ten scouting
activities other than troop meetings you have attended, including three
campouts?" He couldn't name them. But he promised he had been on that many.
I knew that was not possible because the TROOP had not had that many since
he had joined.
But in fairness to James, I told him to go home, try to remember them all,
write them down, then come see me again and I would pass him. He accepted
that option readily.
Well, several weeks later I found out the dad had filled out another
advancement form and sent it in behind my back. James never did respond with
the list of activities.
I later was "released" (just gave my religion away) as committee chair, and
have since kept my distance from this boy and his family as far as scouting
is concerned. Other than to ask around about his Eagle Project, which was
more like an adult work party, I know nothing of his leadership abilities,
troop activities, etc. etc. etc. I have no idea if he cheated on the other
ranks like he did for First Class (my opinion). From seeing him at Church
and School activities, all I can tell is he is a 9-year-old in a 13-year-old
So now he expects me to write him a letter of reccomendation. Should I? If
so, should I be honest and state that I do not believe he is Eagle material?
Or to keep peace, should I write a "generic" letter.
My first gut feeling was to not write one at all, and if asked, say I forgot
and have been really busy.
I'm not sure what other councils do, but ours returns these letters to the
boy at the BoR. So anything I write, he will see.
FYI, the dad is a salesman, one of the best in his company. Thrives on
achievement and recognition. I guess there is nothing wrong with that if the
rules are followed, which they weren't in this case.
Eloika Lake, WA
........used to be beaver...........
Terry Howerton Sakima Group, Inc. SCOUTER Magazine Kansas City