Re: A SAD NIGHT (and a HAPPY STORY)
Jack Weinmann (aa855@CLEVELAND.FREENET.EDU)
Mon, 19 Dec 1994 09:40:12 -0500
About 8 years ago we had a District Executive that was a real gem. He was
a living example of what a professional in Scouting SHOULD be.
It was learned that as a young man his family had moved around quite a bit
due to his father's job. As a result of his moving he was CHEATED out of
his Eagle advancement. He had done the work, filled out the paperwork, and
TURNED IT IN! Somehow the adults let it slip through the cracks!
Well, as Paul Harvey would say, "And now..... the REST of the story!"
Some of the people in our district found out about his plight and decided
to DO SOMETHING! They contacted National, somehow found his paperwork, and
GOT IT PROCESSED. I would imagine that there was enough evidence by the
dates on the paperwork, etc... that they could track the information and
verify that it was the ADULTS involved that dropped the ball and that he
did, indeed, deserve his Eagle.
His Eagle Scout award was presented to him at a Cub Scout Roundtable with
the Boy Scout Roundtable attendees joining us for the event. He knew
NOTHING about what was going on during the investigations of his paperwork
and he certainly did not know what was to happen that night.
The Roundtable was interrupted for a "Special Presentation" and he stood
there waiting to hear what that presentation would be. Apparently he
thought that someone in our district was going to receive a training award.
The person who did the presentation went through the story of a young man
and the injustice that was accidentally perpetrated on him. They described
a little about the steps that were taken to correct the problem and called
him forward to receive his Eagle Scout badge, with regrets, of course, that
it had taken so MANY years to get there!
He cried, we cried, he was speechless, and we were all proud that after so
many years the trail of paperwork could finally be found and the wrong
corrected. He had accepted the fact that he would never be an Eagle and
this was - as he put it - the greatest thing that ever happened to him!
This was, indeed, a rare case based on a technicality, but it illustrates
what can be done when the boy CARES about being an Eagle. He DID the work,
followed the rules, and completed HIS part of the requirements. He WANTED
We must never forget that if WE ADULTS fail a boy - SHAME ON US!
If a boy really wants to earn the Eagle
-- and the adults do their job - HE WILL!
If the boy does not care about the Eagle advancement there is nothing we
can do about it. We can encourage, remind, etc... but then we must LET IT
GO! We should be very careful with a boy after his 18th birthday that the
issue never comes up again. It's too late, and is best left alone.
Yes it IS sad that a young man is so close to his Eagle and then lets it
slip away, but is it sad for HIM or for US? If it means nothing to him,
then it is probably better to leave him alone. Eagle is not for everyone.
We must then look into our own hearts to find out whether WE failed to
motivate the boy, or whether his own priorities did not include Eagle
Jack W. Weinmann firstname.lastname@example.org
- Father of 3 boys (no Eagles & all have left the program) and extremely
PROUD of ALL THREE for their many non-Scouting achievements!
"If you ever forget that the boys are the most important part of the program,
FIND SOMETHING ELSE TO DO"
Mr. John Gitzen - Course Director ECCS-19
Terry Howerton Sakima Group, Inc. SCOUTER Magazine Kansas City