Re: Eagle Letters
settummanque, or blackeagle (blkeagle@DYNASTY.NET)
Sat, 7 Jun 1997 22:20:40 -0500
Dave is NOT dense, gang....but here's the answers to his questions:
>I am a little dense, so I have one more question on this process. A
>couple of months ago, I forwarded the Eagle application for one of the
>guys in my troop who finished the requirements a week before his 18th
>birthday. The Board of review was a couple of weeks later. In order for
>National to review Jay's records, region would have to comb 7 years of
>advancement reports to find all of the ones pertaining to Jay.
Part of the reason why some Eagle applications are completed and approved in
two days and others take "weeks", is because of just what you've stated,
Dave. Yeah, the Eagle Scout Service goes through the records of EACH AND
EVERY EAGLE SCOUT CANDIDATE (don't believe me? Ask those Life Scouts and
Scoutmasters that could not prove to their local Councils that ALL of the
merit badges were completed!)
BEFORE the application goes before the National Court of Honor.
How is this done?? For most Scouts, it's done by the "coding" that's done
on the application.
Each application is coded in the upper right corner with a set of numbers:
For instance, on my Eagle Scout application, the following letters and
numbers appeared: SE-2-205-6801. This is shorthand to those working at
the Regional office to forward to National the records pertaining to a Mike
Walton, registered in Troop 801, District 6, Council 205, Area 2 Southeast
Region. The advancement reports, transfer forms, and membership
applications are all sent to the Eagle Scout Service, whereby they are
placed in a folder marked "confidential Eagle Scout Candidate information",
and is first sent downstairs to the Registration Service.
At the BSA's Registration Service, the first thing that is done is that the
Troop's status is obtained. If the unit has been lapsed or is not
chartered, the complete packet is rejected and returned to the local Council
with a note for the Council Executive. The registration of the candidate is
checked, to insure that he is a registered member of that unit. What
happens frequently is that Mike Walton paid monies to Explorer Post 294 but
also attends meetings with Troop 801; the application reflects his
membership in Troop 801 but he doesn't show up on the charter because either
I didn't fill out a application or the unit committee failed to add me
(or keep me) on the unit's charter as a "multiple youth". Those things slow
down Eagle applications considerably.
Once the registration data is checked and cleared, the packet goes back
upstairs to the Eagle Scout Service, whereby by then they have copies of the
advancement, transfer and membership applications and are comparing them to
the information given on the Eagle Scout application. It's done now by
computer for the most part; but the advancement reports and transfer forms
are still done by hand. The "easy things" are checked first:
has he had six months tenure as a Life Scout (easy to find....when did he
complete the Board of Review for Life? Let's go to the advancement report.
Huh?? No Life Scout rank?? It goes back!!). Is he under 18? Well,
let's look at his birthdate and compare it to the membership application.
Okay...now let's look at the merit badges earned. Yep, yep, yep, yep.
Golfing...there's no "golfing...", okay, Golf. Conservation of Natural
Resources?? Wait...that merit badge ended in 1973....when did he earn it?
1972? Okay...it's good....Which did he earn: Emergency Prepardness or
Lifesaving?? Sports, Personal Fitness or Swimming? All three? Good.
Yep. The merit badges all check.
(for those not aware...part of the Eagle Scout advancement requirements
require Scouts to earn merit badges in several areas. Two of those areas
have options -- a Scout can either earn Emergency Prepardness or Lifesaving
merit badges; and a Scout can either earn Sports, Swimming or
Personal Fitness merit badges. Those merit badges he does not use to meet
the requirement for Eagle can be used as an "personal preference"
(optional) merit badge choice. A Eagle Scout must earn 21 merit badges,
including 11 "required" merit badges.)
Finally, the service project. In the past, the complete package including
the "writeups" were sent to the National Court of Honor.....just the summary
and the page with approvals are now sent, but still the nature of the
project and what you did to complete it is VERY IMPORTANT. That's where
many of the questions about "relevancy of the project to service to the
community or group" and "doing it for Scouting" are raised. Once all of
those are answered satisfactory (a phone call may be neccessary to the local
Council to get a clarification), the application is placed in a bin to be
reviewed and approved by the National Court of Honor and notification is
then sent to the local Council as to its approval.
>I find it hard to believe that they really do this. What did they do with
>the boy who transfered into our troop from the Far East Council and then
>earned Eagle with us?
The same thing they did with me, Dave.....when a Scout or Scouter transfers
and uses the BSA's Transfer forms, again in that upper right hand corner is
the number and region letters of the "losing Region". The four Regional
offices are responsible, among other things, to sending records of Scouts
and Scouters between each other to update unit and Council records in their
servicing local Councils. When that Scout moved from the Far East Council
(Council 803, Western Region) to Mechanicsburg, PA (Northeast Region), your
Council should have also received a copy of the transfer form. Your Council
probably kept their copy until they found out what unit he was to join, and
your unit should have a copy of the transfer form. From there, it's not too
hard to find the old records from the old region, council and unit.
For those that *don't use the BSA's transfer forms, well...we see here on
Scouts-L what happens a lot. Someone has to reach out and contact that old
unit to provide registration and/or advancement information. Lots of times,
it is that Council Executive-to-Council Executive's phone and fax calls to
get the needed information for Eagle or other special awards. The better
units will check and insure that they have SOMETHING (signed cards, transfer
forms, at the last option the signatures in the Handbooks)
to justify their entries on their advancement records.
>Now, a more personal question. Would someone at Northeast region still
>have a copy of my Eagle paperwork from 1967?
It's probably sitting in the "dungeon" of your local Council (or if your
Council merged with another, in the basement files of that Council), under
the unit number that your unit belonged to. My local Council in Louisville
STILL have my Eagle Scout application, copies of my service project, letters
of recommendation from the people they got them from and all copies of the
advancement reports for Eagle. I earned my Eagle in 1975.
>I never sewed that 21st merit badge on my sash and I've forgotten which
>one it was. I've tried both my old troop and my council, but drew a blank
Your Council is being lazy, Dave. They don't want to go through years of
files to find your stuff....ask your Council Executive if he doesn't mind
(and most don't, if YOU'RE doing the work!) to look into your old unit's
files. You'll find some really interesting stuff.....and you'll find more
than likely that last merit badge you earned toward Eagle in the records
If you ask nicely, and if you have an afternoon to spend, most Councils
welcome you coming by and seeing their handiwork.
If your Council can't find it for some reason, you might want to write the
Associate Director of Membership at the Northeast Region and provide as much
information (year, unit number, Council and if you know it, Area number
because records are divided by Regional Area and then by Council within
those Areas) as possible.
(c) 1997 Mike Walton ("no such thing as strong coffee,...") (502) 827-9201
(settummanque, the blackeagle) http://www.vhm.com/~uscardnl/
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