Re: Wilderness Survival and more...
Bruce E. Cobern (bec@PIPELINE.COM)
Tue, 24 Dec 1996 10:33:27 -0500
It is amazing how people like Hugh and myself can "debate" topics on which
we essentially agree. :-). However, I have some free time, so here goes.
My only comment about this reply has to do with the word "fraudulently."
In order for the mb to have been fraudulently earned the Scout himself
must have been an active participant in the decision to grant the badge
for less than adequate performance. This, I think, brings us to the
fundamental question in this whole issue. To what degree do we hold the
Scout responsible. National's position, we all agree, is that if the mb
card is signed the badge is earned and that if less than adequate
performance was required then it was the counselor who failed the Scout
and we should not "punish" the Scout.
I believe that Hugh and I would both reject this premise, although I don't
know whether we would agree on the length to which we would go as a
result. I believe that a Scout certainly bears SOME of the responsibility
in these cases. After all, he has a copy of the requirements and so
should be held accountable for at least KNOWING what was supposed to be
required of him. Because of that, I generally do not accept the "well
that's all he asked for" explanation. I would follow it up with "but did
you tell him you hadn't done x?" or something like that. Now I can see a
situation where, in the instant case of the wilderness survival merit
badge, where the Scouts were telling the counselor that they WANTED to
complete the night in their shelters, but the counselor out of safety
concerns refused to let them. In that type of situation I think the level
of responsibility assigned to the Scout might be somewhat lower.
I guess, there are all sorts of permutations and shades of gray that we
can imagine and that we must take each case individually and evaluate it
in the context of the total package. However, I would still be concerned
if I came across a district advancement committee that didn't at least
inform a unit of the national policy, even if it then went on to discuss
the unofficial issues that Hugh and I have been describing here.
I certainly agree with Hugh that I will not pass a candidate on a Board
that I do not feel is qualified, JUST because I suspect that he will
prevail on appeal. Another reason why it is important to get everyone on
the same page. That way these conflicts never arise.
Have a wonderful holiday.
Bruce E. Cobern
> From: J. Hugh Sullivan <sull@MINDSPRING.COM>>
> Date: Tuesday, December 24, 1996 9:43 AM
> You are right and I am wrong BUT, simply stated, if I find that a Scout
> fraudently passed 1 or more merit badges, he will not pass the District
> Eagle BoR in this District. That situation can be resolved in either of
> ways: (1) he can reappear before the BoR when he has corrected the
> (2) he can win an appeal.
> OTOH, if the program were not so great, we wouldn't have to put on white
> gloves and inspect every crook and nanny (nook and cranny if you prefer)
> find a little dust.
Terry Howerton Sakima Group, Inc. SCOUTER Magazine Kansas City