Re: 5 days until 18th Birthday.....Eagle?
Don Dunbar III (ddunbar3@WT.NET)
Thu, 10 Apr 1997 13:09:54 -0500
Don Dunbar III wrote:
> I have been following the thread on the 5 days until 18th birthday. I
> thought I would relay my similar experince. As District Advancement
> Chair, I was called about an upcoming eagle project. The young man, the
> son the former scoutmaster, had been away from Scouting for almost 2
> years and with his 18th birthday less than 30 days away, showed up at a
> troop meeting and annouced that he wanted to finish his eagle. (He was a
> bit alarmed that he didnot recognize most of the boys).
> The Scoutmaster and Troop Committee had signed off on the project - a
> voter registration drive. It met the criteria for a project - Community
> Service, demonstration of leadership, etc. and I approved it. A
> committee member called and asked if I could "do anything about the
> project". I replied that after it's been signed by the SM & Committee,
> and does meet the criteria, I will aprove it.
> The drive was performed. There were some voters registered. The
> scoutmaster told me that during the sm conference that the young man
> felt that the project could have been better. The SM told the scout that
> there was still time to do more work if he wanted to. The young man
> added an additional registration day to the project which, was more
> This sm conference was the first conference with the SM and the young
> man. The SM is an Eagle Scout and has been through training. The
> conference lasted over 1.5 hours. The scoutmaster was convinced that
> the young man had scout spirit and signed off on his application.
> Major waves in the committee, threats of "if he makes Eagle, I will pull
> my son out of this troop" vs "he will be an eagle or else". The
> Scoutmaster gave me advanced warning of the possible dissention.
> Never having conducted a EBOR that denied a Scout the Eagle rank, I
> checked with the other members of the Council Advancement Committee.
> The consensus was that:
> There are rules and regulations established by BSA, and we as adults
> signing our registration form agree to follow those rules and
> regulations. That the young man had fullfilled all of the six listed
> requirements for Eagle. (His position of leadership was SPL for 18
> months). That he had was eligible for a Board of Review, and if the
> troop refused to grant one, the district advancement committee or the
> counil would conduct the board and award the rank.
> The board was assembled. Before starting the administrative review, I
> discussed the rules and requirements for Eagle. I also discussed the
> idea of the safe haven concept. Here was a young man that had come back
> in to complete his goal of achieving eagle. That he realized that his
> absence was not a positive reflection of himself. That with the safe
> haven, we are allowing the boys to rise to challenges, make mistakes,
> and hopefully learn and grow into men with the values set forth in the
> oath & law.
> The scoutmaster also came forward to speak about what he had learned in
> the smconference, and why he was recommending the young man. I then
> challenged the committee to set aside previous opinions and allow the
> young man to be reviewed. We all knew that he would be asked about his
> absence from scouting, but to allow him to explain what scouting meant
> to him, and how the oath and law was part of his life.
> During the interview we discovered:
> The young man had been SPL for 18 months.
> He dropped back when he discovered his grades were in trouble.
> He raised his grades and graduated with National Honor Society Honors.
> He demonstrated leadership by becoming captain of his varsity baseball
> team and president of his church youth organization. He felt that
> although he was not active with the troop, that he was showing scout
> spirit by living according to the oath and law in his life outside of
> During the discussion (after the interview), We talked about burnout,
> about the fact that he had demonstrated some courage to come back this
> close to the end to finish his project. That he had learned and
> demonstrated leadership. He did get the award.
> We lose a lot of fine young men to perfume and gasoline, to other
> committments and interests. Only 2 percent obtain the rank, but it is
> their decision to earn the rank. We can bribe, threaten, and cajoule
> (no wings - no wheels); however, it is the young man that earns the
> award. I can not believe that it denegrates the rank by awarding a
> young man that has the courage to come back to scouting and asks to
> complete his goals.
> Take the opportunity at this upcoming EBOR and find out what the young
> man has gained from your program, then decide.
> Don Dunbar
> Brazos District Advancement Chair
> Post Advisor - Post 1000 Richmond, Texas
Terry Howerton Sakima Group, Inc. SCOUTER Magazine Kansas City