Re: Eagle Scout Problems (new one)
Ian Ford (ianford@DIRCON.CO.UK)
Wed, 5 Oct 1994 06:40:58 +100
As I see it you have two alternatives. (1) Write an honest letter, outlining
what you have told us, i.e. that you know about the circumstances of the
" illegal " board and the fact that he <probably> did not meet the
requirements. Then send it.
(2) Tell the kid what you would write , and suggest that he consider
carefully if he is really ready to be an Eagle Scout. If he still insists
, tell him go find another refereee.
I have always made it a policy of showing staff etc. reference letters,
and I have followed this practice in giving the kids I write references
for a copy so they can see what I have said. Usually after I have sent it
off. The few I have done have not been a problem because they were all
The one kid who was a " problem " who I knew something
detrimental about did not use me as a referee. Had he asked I would have
told him that I would put as best a gloss as I could on the incident (
he was fired from Summer Camp Staff for reasons I need not go into here)
but would not cover it up. In the end that kid <did> get his Eagle ,
but the board was in posession of the relevant facts from another source.
It was a long , tough board and a marginal decision , but it was felt
that he had recovered from his previous bad ways. He did, however, wait
about six months as a Life Scout between completing requirements and
putting his application in, and did genuinely show some improvement in his
behaviour. This was partly on my advice. I said that whilst the incident
was fresh he should not put in his form , because it would be rejected.
Equally , I think we should accept that repentance and time cures many
problems. Something about repenting sinners vs just men springs to mind.
Perhaps you need to talk to the boy and his parents if you feel that it
is they who are pushing him - sounds like they are - and raise these issues.
It may be that you feel the need to inform the Board of the circumstances
in any case. Not knowing the circumstances I can't say , but I think that
there might be times when in all good conscience a word to the Chairman
of the board would help. Ask the Board to raise the same question you did !
It is within their power. You could even just feed them the question
without saying why.
I guess it's a decision that will take some praying over ... God give
you the strength to choose the right path.
Ian N Ford
ASM Troop 401 (London) BSA
Terry Howerton Sakima Group, Inc. SCOUTER Magazine Kansas City