Re: Eagle BoR
Joseph Alessi (JosephAlessi@COMPUSERVE.COM)
Mon, 20 Oct 1997 09:36:34 -0400
Doug Gentry asked about handling an Eagle candidate with "history"
(it's nice to see you here, Doug!).
This would be a tough situation for any of us to encounter.
The issue is does the candidate live the scout oath and law in
his daily life?
First, the presumption should be that he has met the requirements,
since his unit has signed off on the application. Therefore, I
don't think that it would be appropriate to take a position that
he must "prove" that he is deserving.
I also don't think that the situation should be ignored. I would
ask the scout to explain to the Board what it means to live the =
scout oath and law. Then I might ask him what he has learned in
the past year. Let the scout explore the values of scouting, and
ask him if he thinks he measures up.
I would feel different if the incident had happened more recently.
Then it might be appropriate to not recommend for advancement
until the scout could show that he does, indeed, believe in the =
oath that he takes (I don't know how I would react if he was one
month away from turning 18, though).
When I'm in doubt about something, I often try to look back to the
aims and methods of scouting to see which path best helps us
achieve these goals. We are trying to build character, and not
to punish for past lapses in character. Will denying this
candidate the rank of Eagle for one youthful act that took place
a year ago help build his character in any way?
I would be concerned about the group of victim-families that wrote
to council. They obviously don't feel that the justice system
acted properly in this case, and are still looking for punishment
and revenge. I don't exactly know how, but I'd like to be able to
reach these people and try to change their point of view. If we
could show them how the scouting program can help prevent these
types of problems before they occur, we might be able to garner
their support for the program rather than the bad feelings they
will probably have if the Board recommends for advancement.
Perhaps the professional staff can meet with them to discuss the
issue ahead of time to try and defuse it before it blows up.
We would all like to take a boy that's on the wrong path - perhaps
selling drugs, or running with a gang, or just being the local
bully, and bring him into scouting and show him a better way to
live. If we are willing to accept this type of youth into
scouting, and recognize that we can make a difference and that
anyone can change, shouldn't we give someone who is already
a scout the same benefit of the doubt?
A tough one, Doug, with implications that go far beyond the
issue at hand. I'll include your situation in my prayers.
Joseph A. Alessi in Ozwin 2.14
District Advancement Chair, Lafayette District
ASM Troop 313
Advisor to the Treasurer, Unami Lodge
I used to be an Owl
Terry Howerton Sakima Group, Inc. SCOUTER Magazine Kansas City