Late Eagle Scout answer to Larry
(no name) ((no email))
Wed, 3 Jun 1998 12:36:58 -0700
(Long post notice - maybe it should be just a CHRIS HAGGERTY POST WARNING,
all my posts seem to be long. But then, these issues are rarely simple to
address. Since I am on Index, I may be repeating some comments, sorry.)
> Irregardless, he in a nut shell told me that Luke would never make
You are going to get a lot of mail on this one. The first and best
recommendation I can make is get a copy of the National BSA Advancement
Policies and Procedures. If they will not sell it to you at the local
trading post, buy it direct from National. It is not a restricted item.
(This is one way the people on the line can keep the people at Council, like
me in line.) Once you have this (be sure it is the most current edition,
1997) READ IT and then READ IT again, and then READ IT again. Make notes
and use your hi-liter. It is a tricky document in some places. Your son
should have no problem getting the Eagle Scout Award, but he may have to
fight to get it.
> The more Dad pushes the madder he gets.
Boy! Have you got an opportunity. Instead of fighting your son or
pushing, how about asking his help in your rebellion against imaginary
requirements being added to the Eagle Scout requirements. Work with, not
against his teenage instincts (rebellion). He would be doing his fellow
Scouts a favor by helping to assure that Nationals policy is followed. (If
he likes helping others - the O-A was my favorite for this reason - then
this should appeal to him as well.)
> Today, I was having chat with my DE, who until 4 months ago was
> our Dist. Commissioner
I am not in a diplomatic mode today so I will be blunt. Your DE is talking
like an idiot and he has no idea what he is talking about. I suspect his
defensive position was related to the fact that he knew he had no idea what
he was talking about. So rather than looking it up, he made up an answer.
He is also powerless. He does (getting a little bit more diplomatic) need
to be given the Natl BSA Adv P&P and be required to read and study it.
There is no requirement for the ACTIVE participation or the Position of
RESPONSIBILITY to be the last six months before receiving Eagle. Those
requirements were completed six months after his Life Board of Review and
six months into your son eligible positions of responsibility. National
will back you up on that, but I suggest you go to your Council Advancement
Chairman first. Take your copy of the Natl BSA Adv P&P with your notes
with you when you go. If you get nowhere with this person, go to you SE.
I say this, because if you write National, the SE will get your letter,
with a message from National to take care of it. He knows that is what
happens if you go to National and they would all prefer that you did not do
this. Your SE is more likely to be cooperative, if the others are not for
this reason. He can also update the volunteers better on the Guidelines
and rules from National. (Read that, they will listen to him before they
will listen to some bitchy parent. It is human nature.)
>told me that youth had to serve in a Leadership position for at least
>the 6 months immediately prior to make application to the
>advancement committee to start working a project.
The requirement says "WHILE A LIFE SCOUT". He can start working on his
project proposal immediately following the approval of his Life Scout rank
at his Life Board of Review. The project may be started as soon as he gets
all the approvals on his proposal, after his Life Scout Board of Review.
The statement he made is a crock. If they hold off approval of a project
for that reason, go to your Council Advancement Chairman immediately for
the project approval.
> the advancement chair (in his 3rd year) only allowed Eagle Scouts to
> sit on BORs and he would hold the BOR in a different part of the
> District to get people that the youth didn't have a strong
> relationship with on the board.
I disagree with the "Only Eagle Scouts" sitting on the Eagle Scout Board of
Review. In a nutshell, the Eagle Scout Award is a very public item. (A
victim of its own success in some ways.) I like to have some of that
public on my Eagle Boards. I could elaborate, but this is long already.
I agree with his preference to use people the Scout is not familiar with.
National has clearly left to the Councils Advancement Committee and the
Councils Executive board control over how the Eagle Scout Boards are
conducted (within the stated options). In our council we train all the
people who sit on our Boards of Review. (I put together a training course
for this.) This has helped, but we still get people who ask stupid
questions like what do the three stars in the Scout Emblem mean.
> He also refuses to look at a project with less than 150 hours
> and requests that they have in excess of 200.
This one is hard to shoot down. It all depends upon how he words it. The
Natl BSA Adv P&P is very clear about this point. (OK, I do have a sense of
humor and you can laugh at that last statement with me.) There is no set
number of hours required for the Eagle Scout Project. The key, according
to the book is "CLEARLY DEMONSTRATING LEADERSHIP." If your advancement
chairman is a moron and cannot see leadership demonstrated with less than
150 hours, then he can get away with demanding that much time. But he has
to do in the context of "Clearly Demonstrating Leadership." He cannot,
however, state all Eagle Projects must have at least 150 hours, that is a
clear violation of Nationals Policy. You can show him this in the book.
This is why some people and councils have a lot of trouble with this issue.
It is not clear-cut and it is very subjective. Two Scouts with identical
projects can get very different results. Bill can demonstrate leadership
on this project, John cannot. Bill and John are two very different
individuals and the nature of the Eagle Scout Project requirement execution
is very dependent upon the individual. Ever hear of different leadership
styles, skills, etc.
Eagle Scout projects in our council range from 60 man hours to over 600 man
hours. The average is well over 100 man hours. We are working to get
those project in the less than 100 man hours over 100 because it makes it
too hard on the board of review. If Scout does a weak job, but a big job,
then the leadership can still be "clearly demonstrated." If the Scout does
a weak and small job, "then we have upset parents yelling at us for not
approving their son's Eagle Scout Application after the Board of Review. Yes,
if the Scout does a small job, but clearly demonstrates leadership, he will be
recommended for Eagle, but we still rather not have the yelling parents,
thus the move to make it harder to produce a small and weak project.
> adding to requirements.
It may not be intentional.
I think they need to read and understand the Natl BSA Adv
P&P book. If the Advancement Chairman has not been to the Advancement
training at Philmont, this person should be encourage to go. Being
diplomatic now, I suspect the people in question just need to be educated
by someone they will listen to that knows the real bottom line. Not more
miss-information from a self-proclaimed expert who has no idea what
Nationals guidelines state. This is why I recommend that you get the Natl
BSA Adv P&P, read, prepare, and then go speak with your Council Advancement
Chairmen. While this is sometimes someone who is just appointed to the
position, it is almost always someone who will listen if you go well
prepared. (A general rule, the higher up you go in an organization, the
nicer the people.)
In our council if your son approached me with his situation and asked for
direction to help him earn his Eagle Scout Award, he would get it. Which
leads me to my last point. After you get and study the National BSA Adv
P&P, give it to your son and help him with it. Then everywhere in this
document where it says contact or you should do this or that, have your son
do it. You need to support him, standing in the background of course.
Some adults are too stupid to listen to youth unless there is an adult
present. But the key here is to have the youth do it and in the process
you will seem less like a bitchy parent and not a part of the problem.
This way they can focus on the real problem of educating the district level
This looks like another case of Adults (egos, etc.) getting in the way of
the program. A last note, read up on the Aims and methods of Scouting and
maybe take a copy with you when you talk to the Scouters in question.
Frequently, more so with the Eagle Scout Award (advancement) they forget
what we are really trying to do.
Good Luck and sorry if I seem to be picking on the people in question.
They are probably very good people and smart people, usually is it a matter
of education. Unfortunately with advancement, like the patch, some people
really are untrainable.
Chris Haggerty, Sierra Vista, Arizona
Catalina Council Advancement Chairman
Instructor Trainer for Water Safety, American Red Cross, FtEHuachuca Station
E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com
Terry Howerton Sakima Group, Inc. SCOUTER Magazine Kansas City