My answer - sorta
J. Hugh Sullivan (sull@MINDSPRING.COM)
Wed, 25 Dec 1996 10:07:02 -0600
Kirk Barley <kbarley@EROLS.COM> wrote:
Subject: Re: Wilderness Survival and more...
>Are you and Hugh saying that if a Scout does not meet your standards for
>a merit badge, but meets the standards of a merit badge counselor
>approved by the District and Council Advancement Committees that you
>will not advance the boy to Eagle at your District BOR?
First, I refer to the words "your standards" in the opening line. National
standards are to complete the requirements - no more, no less. My standards
are the same as national. National policy also says that counselors are
unilaterally responsible for approving merit badges - which MAY negate the
first policy. I prefer to plug that hole in the dike.
Bruce and I are very close in our opinions even though we are hundreds of
miles apart geographically. I don't speak for Bruce but it is my opinion
that he "goes by the book" - that's a compliment BTW. I basically go by the
book also EXCEPT I have no hesitation to improve on a policy that I think is
poorly written. Please understand that I don't recommend universality of
this practice but I truly believe in "above and beyond".
I have an unusual situation because I have been a member or chair of our
District Eagle BoR for almost 25 years, on the Concil Board - now on the
Advisory Board - and a past Lodge Advisor of OA. I know most of the SMs in
the District and MC or participate in a number of Eagle Courts. We know what
standards we want to see in our Eagles; as in any area, some are borderline.
At least half the troops in this District have BoRs for Merit Badges after
they have been passed - and a candidate can fail. Although prohibited by the
book, I wholeheartedly support the plan. If a Scout from a troop which
doesn't reexamine gets a "freebie", I usually hear about it and the
situation is investigated BEFORE the District BoR. If the situation remains
unsat, he will NOT pass our Board. If the candidate had no recourse I might
view it differently. This is not by the book and I offer no apologies. When
our Council decided to go with troop committee Eagle Boards, the SMs
objected and requested a return to the District Board - that's enough
endorsement for me.
I appear to be endorsing a rigid policy which rejects a number of
candidates; that isn't so. I have missed 4 Boards in my tenure (2 were my
sons) and we have rejected 1 candidate and written National about 1 other in
that time. One troop has reexamined for 26+ years that I know of so, once in
place, BoR problems are mostly prevented.
I do NOT contend that our program produces better Eagles than anywhere else.
I do say that it is consistent, the candidates know what to expect and we
have established some minimum level of standardization. I consider those
features desirable and I'm not alone.
I have been asked to compare the Council policy with National and to point
out any conflicts; at the same time I am supposed to make recommendations
for improvement of the Life to Eagle packet. In this instance I will not
recommend any policy that differs with National. I have already told
National, endorsed by the SE, where I think their policy is deficient.
I trust I have answered your question without making any decisions for you.
Terry Howerton Sakima Group, Inc. SCOUTER Magazine Kansas City