Re: Halloween Eagle Candidate (Was Re: Eagle BoR)
Mike Walton ("settummanque,)
Sun, 19 Oct 1997 16:56:29 -0500
Doug Gentry (some of you will remember Doug as the great guy behind the
Jamboree97 discussion list and the new ScoutFamily discussion list that's
getting started; if you want information on how to subscribe, post privately
to Doug and I'm sure he'll give you all the information.... Great job for
all of us both ways, Doug!) asked us about an unrelated Eagle Board of
Review (BoR) question (to which I've retitled the subject "Halloween
Eagle Candidate") to the one that we're presently still discussing:
>Situation: The Eagle candidate is widely known in our small town to have
>been a central figure in a vandalism incident on Halloween a year ago
>which resulted in property damage. In addition to the repercussions for
>the young man himself, the incident has gotten a lot of play in our local
If the situation was in the newspaper, Doug, I feel that it's very
appropriate to discuss the matter both in generalities as well as
specifically during the Eagle Board of Review.
>A group of the victim-families have even written a letter to the Council
>asking that we take the Scout's participation in the incident into
>consideration in our Board of Review.
That letter should also be a part of the packet that the Board considers as
part of the Eagle Scout Board of Review, in my opinion, just like other
letters of recommendation from other outside parties.
Doug's specific questions are:
>1. Juvenile court records are sealed and so we have no official, absolute
>report that the Scout was actually charged/convicted. Must we be like a
>real life jury and ignore the incident for lack of official notice?
No. If the matter was covered as a matter of public record, you have an
obligation to discuss the matter with the Scout in *generalities". If the
newspaper indicates that *this Scout* was charged/convicted, of course, you
may ask him about the *specifics* of the matter.
>2. How would you approach the topic (if at all) with the Scout during the
>Board of Review?
If I was sitting in on that Eagle Board of Review, and was given the
opportunity to ask questions to this candidate, here's what I would ask:
"How do you feel about individuals that cause damage or whom would influnce
others to cause damage to other's property?"
"As a present leader of others, and as a future leader of others, what
specific actions would you do to prevent such an incident like the one that
happened last Halloween here in town from happening again?"
"Scouting is a public program, (Steve Scout). What individuals do --good or
bad -- gets blown up as a reflection of what's good or bad about Scouting
itself. If you found yourself involved in such a situation, either as the
provoker or as one of the parties, what kind of signal does that send to
others in your Troop or in your community whom are Scouts?"
"How would you respond to other parties that feel that because you're a
Scout, you "should have known better"? "
"Can you give us some examples of when you have "gone against the tide" of
peer pressure and destructive behaviors and how you've gone about doing it?
If you were sitting down with a younger Scout beside you, what would you say
to him about peer pressure and destructive behavior?"
"While these questions sound negative, (Steve Scout), I assure you that
these are the same questions that adults deal with every day in our lives.
We deal with people that "seem to be leaders" at work and play, whom
encourages us to do things that we should not be doing or engaging in
behaviors that if we thought about it a little, we would choose not to be a
part of. My memories go back to a television program about the first Black
students going to Little Rock High School in the late 50s. There was a
white woman that the program profiled that said that "she said some alful,
vile things" about those kids, and now upon a lot of personal reflection
and, I would say some personal embarrassment about the issue and her
appearance within the crowd in the television and newspapers, she regretted
doing those things she did and saying the things she said.
Have you ever regretted doing things or saying something to injure or harm
others? How did you deal with it and what, if anything, did you do to make
the situation right for you and the other party?"
Yeah, Doug...they are tough questions. But the Eagle Board of Review isn't
supposed to be a "cake walk". We're talking about personal character,
something that can't be decided on with a simple "yeah or nah" answer from
the candidate....whether or not he was charged or convicted is not really a
matter for Scouting to decide....whether or not he has the ability to
discern right from wrong and be able as a future leader of youth and adults
to INFLUNCE those decisions is important and should be explored as part of
the Eagle Board of Review.
>3. Do you think the Board has any discretion to either reject the Eagle
>application or require the Scout to do some reparations for the family
>victims before granting the rank?
The Board always have the discretion to reject the Eagle (fail the Scout at
the Board of Review; delay the Eagle's progress until more information is
obtained from the Scout, since the records are sealed and official
information cannot be obtained) or to provide the letter as an attachment to
the Eagle Scout application and let National make the "hard call". I don't
feel that the Board has any authority at all, even if all members *know*
that the Scout "was involved in the matter" to make or force the Scout to
provide services to the family victims or community before the award would
be approved. This, to me, would be "adding requirements to the established
national requirements", which is a violation of the BSA's advancement
Hope this helps, Doug...let us all know please how this turns out!
(c) 1997 Mike Walton ("no such thing as strong coffee,...") (502) 827-9201
(settummanque, the blackeagle) http://dynasty.net/users/blkeagle
241 Fairview Dr., Henderson, KY 42420-4339 firstname.lastname@example.org
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