Re: Letter of Recommendation Problem
Christopher L. Rankin (CRANKIN@JCVAXA.JCU.EDU)
Wed, 5 Oct 1994 16:02:19 -0500
>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!!
[Sad story deleted for brevity...]
>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.
The first point of the Scout Law is "A Scout is trustworthy." You
wouldn't be doing either him or yourself any good by writing a "generic" letter
recommending that this boy be awarded Eagle. Likewise, you wouldn't be doing
the honest thing by just not writing one at all and lying about why you didn't.
I feel that the best thing you could possibly do in this situation would be
to write the truthful "recommendation" and give it to the boy to read. Tell
him that this is what you prepared for the Board to get to know him better,
based upon your past experiences with him. I would also make it a point to
tell the Scout exactly where you feel he needs to improve and what areas he
needs to build upon for you to change the letter to a favorable one. Who
knows? If you're one of the people this kid came to for a recommendation,
even after the fiasco that ocurred a few years ago, then there must be some
reason. Maybe this Scout wants your approval specifically and would be
willing to operate on the higher standards you set forth as a requirement for
you to be willing to write a good recommendation. Perhaps the Scout just
does not view himself the way you view him from the perspective of another
individual (maybe reading an honest recommendation would give him sufficient
motivation to change somewhat). In any case, writing an honest one now
and using it as motivation for better actions can only help and afford a
new learning experience, right?
Christopher L. Rankin CRANKIN@JCVAXA.JCU.EDU
Assistant Scoutmaster: Box 1387, John Carroll University
T-7, French Creek Council University Heights, OH 44118
T-620, Greater Cleveland Council (216) 397-5100
|>>-->>| Brotherhood Member, Langundowi Lodge 46
Silver Bronze Palm Eagle Scout, Class of '91
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