Re: Eagle Advancement
Bruce E. Cobern (bec@PIPELINE.COM)
Sun, 12 Nov 1995 09:47:07 -0500
On Nov 12, 1995 02:08:07, '"Settummanque, the blackeagle (Mike Walton)"
Thank you for the reply and for clarifying your previous post. Every
response was what I hoped I would hear. I was just wondering if I was
missing anything in my understanding of the policy. I guess I wasn't.
>Nope. It's NOT required by National, but there's many Councils that DO
>it. Remember that the Eagle Board of Review is primarily a unit function,
>just that you have to have Council representation on the Board to reflect
>importance of the award to the Scout.
As I indicated, I prefer the boards the way we do them, on the unit level,
so I certainly think inviting unit representatives to the district/council
board would at least provide the board with some input from some of the
adults who have witnessed the candidate's Scouting experience.
>Of course, "at least one" means anywhere from one to twelve or more.
Well, twelve would be a little excessive. :-) I think the guidelines
indicate that 6 or so is the largest the board should be so as to not
overwhelm the candidate. I have only once or twice, when I was aware of
potential problems in advance, had a second representative with me and have
encountered no problems with any of the boards themselves in the 20 or so
years I have been doing this. My problems, when they occur, come before we
even get that far. It seems over the years the number of instances where
there are conflicts between/among the SM, the committee, the parents, the
candidate have increased. When I first started they were rare. Not they
occur with much too much regularity. What I spend a lot of my time doing
is training everybody on the need to communicate.
>At the same time, to avoid that same loophole, those same Councils forbid
>Scouters, as the West Tennessee Area's Advancement policy sheet states,
>participating in an Eagle Board of Review representing both the West
>Area Council as well as the unit from which the Scout or Explorer comes
>or serving as Commissioner of the unit from which the Scout or Explorer
>from. This is intended to avoid possible appeals which can be made due to
>participation of an unit leader or assistant from the Scout's unit"
I can understand such a policy although we do not have one. When I took
over as District Advancement Chairman I specifically asked the Council
Advancement Chairman whether I had to excuse myself from matters involving
my troop. I was specifically told that I DID NOT and have functioned that
way ever since. He said that I should NOT sign the application or project
as SM (I've never been SM) and then sit on the board, but other than that I
should use my judgement. Apparently I have enough integrity :-) that
this has never been a problem. Either that or I've been extremely lucky.
>Your Council is in the minority...most are opting for the "centralized"
>which I personally don't like. I would like to have the Unit's committee
>do the actual board, with folks like me in attendance to "round out" and
>train/coach the Board members.
I don't like centralized boards either. I think the board should be
conducted by adults who are familiar with the Scout and what he has or has
not accomplished in his Scouting career, including any problems he might
have had over the years. I have often said that it is too easy for a
typical teenager to "snow" a group of strangers for an hour or so if they
don't know his warts. On the other hand, a discussion of these warts by a
board of people he knows can turn them into learning and growth
experiences. Of course, there is always the problem that the constitution
of the unit board will be pre-prejudiced either for or against the
candidate, but I believe that I can spot that and handle it at the board.
There have been one or two boards which I have stopped in the middle, sent
the candidate out of the room, and then demanded to know from the rest of
the board what they were getting at, between the lines, with their
questions. I will not tolerate being blind sided over problems with the
candidate. I demand to know them up front.
>Don't make me look good at that point, but the deal is
>that I have to approve the project IN ADVANCE to keep the BSA, the unit,
>the Scout from potential hot water
Well, I will probably be seeing the SM either this afternoon at a dinner or
tomorrow at the RT. I do not expect to get that kind of response, but I
believe everyone in the district knows that they will NOT succeed with
handing in a set of papers with a project that I did not approve. That
Scout WOULD have to try again. He is not that close to 18 where it would
be a problem.
Bruce E. Cobern
Terry Howerton Sakima Group, Inc. SCOUTER Magazine Kansas City