Re: BOR for Eagle - Everyone's correct
Tom E Sullivan (tsully@JUNO.COM)
Mon, 29 Dec 1997 16:57:44 -0500
You sound like a sensible fellow, but I have to give you my meager
contribution on this one. The vacancy of national representation on
these matters is a pet peeve of mine. I FULLY (!!!!!) agree that the
last thing we want is for national to tie all our hands with over
governing and providing cast iron rules. But, come on, they go to the
opposite extreme and completely shirk their duty. I think their lack of
guidance eventually hurts our kids! I have never seen a national
organization that evades providing any clarity on so many issues that are
sorely in need of some standardized, consistent, clarification. Why
couldn't national put out "guidelines" that at least would provide for
some consistency in the BSA. Do you consider it good when scouts
transfer among other troops and find a brand new set of rules? Boy
that's great, and I know it's happening.
I think that national should check in on some of these issues and it
could be left up to the local troops to adjust in certain "extreme"
situations. Then, at least, we wouldn't have this frenzy of replies on
Scouts-l about situations that should have a clear consistent policy.
I am appalled that national sits back and lets this chaos continue. All
we get is a lot of folk giving us their opinion, and there appears to be
as many opinions as there are folk. What a waste of e-mail space.
For the issue in hand, why couldn't national say something like the
following: "BSA national policy in this issue is that the scout should
wear the uniform to all Boards of review and scoutmaster conferences.
(Period!) These are the final steps in rank advancement and it is
important that the scouts learn the importance of looking their best at
these type of events." That would cut down on the e-mail traffic by a
factor of ten. I see no harm in national providing this level of
clarity. The local organizations can make exceptions when they feel it
IMPORTANT. I stress that the reason should be important because I feel
when these things are left loose, ther is a lot of freedom taken and
whimsical decisions are made.
In your message you state.... " But only if we want to inculcate
dependence on others rather than free-thinking and decisiveness, would we
make that mandatory." I think you left off the possibility that the
scout can just get sloppy and without good policy, the locals may let it
pass as the easiest solutions.
You also state that some scouts come to Boards because .... "several
because their uniforms were too small.". I would like to think these
lads have been participating in troop activities for a time before their
Board. If so, the uniform doesn't become so small overnight. This could
mean that they weren't wearing the uniform for quite a while all for the
excuse that they don't want to spend the $$$ for a new one, even if it's
only the shirt!. This could be an example of what I mean by relaxing
standards, sometimes we fall into mediocrity.
Finally, you say..... "Keeping FUN in scOUTING"... implying if regular
standards were applied, then the fun disappears. I strongly disagree.
We try to wear at least some minimum uniform at all events, and our guys
think we are having fun.
In conclusion, if this isn't national's responsibility, then what is?
Scoutmaster, Troop 773, Potomac, MD
ps I hope we're still friends.
On Mon, 22 Dec 1997 17:44:26 -0800 Pete Townsend <ptownsen@RUST.NET>
>I've stayed out of this discussion so far. But the discussion
>again bothers me; not what is being said, or who's right; but
>the idea that people want ONE and only ONE correct answer!
>THANKFULLY, national has never tried to spell out every rule,
>every regulation, every guidline so there is only one correct
>In this case the boy came to the BoR without a uniform, but
>had a thought-out reason for doing so. Correctly the boy was
>passed. Should he have asked someone other than those he did?
>Maybe. But only if we want to inculcate dependence on others
>rather than free-thinking and decisiveness, would we make that
>mandatory. He thought, he made a decision. IMHO, end of
>In my 20 yrs working with advancement, several boys have come
>to BoR's without uniforms. One for the same reason as this boy,
>several because their uniforms were too small. Several
>shoehorned themselves into uniforms that were obviously too
>small. A detraction, NO. (A distraction maybe ;-} ).
>Keeping FUN in scOUTING, Pete Townsend
>Let's not ask National for any clarifications we don't need!
>[or as a friend of mine commented: "Thank goodness we don't
>get from the Government everything we pay for!"]
Terry Howerton Sakima Group, Inc. SCOUTER Magazine Kansas City