Scouts-L Mail Archive for October of 1998: Re: Life-to-Eagle
Kenneth P. Utz
Sat, 3 Oct 1998 14:44:39 -0500
In your message of 10/3/98 regarding a less-than-respectful Eagle
candidate, several things come to mind:
(1) Time is on your side if he hasn't even written up his proposal for an
Eagle Project, yet he turns 18 in November
(2) This young man may have a past with the other troop, and "escaped" to
your troop conveniently after serious surgery; have you considered
contacting the previous SM to learn about his actions and activities
(3) Unfortunately you are charged with the tough task of determining
whether this young man is worthy of Eagle, and it sounds like you haven't
had enough time to see the strengths he might have that makes him worth of
Eagle - sounds like a need for discussion with the District Executive, if
he is approachable.
(4) I would try to project in my own mind if this young man is Eagle
material. How? Look at other Eagles. Does he match the qualities they
reflect? Does he LIVE the Scout Law? Does he truly have the respect for
scouts and others? It sounds like he does not. Then how can you sign him
off? I wouldn't sign. Remember: The mere fact that you will not just "give
away" Eagle may be the one factor that forever changes this boy's attitude.
Not everyone deserves Eagle rank just because they complete enough
activities - it has to be EARNED.
(5) So you don't sign him off and he and his parents get mad and threaten
to sue and run off and go to the council and complain and . . . etc. etc.
Doesn't this just prove your point? And, having already having had the
discussion with your District Executive makes them prepared, because THEY
WERE PART OF THE DECISION.
I have been there. We had a boy like this, but it was long before he got
this close to age 18. He kept advancing through the ranks, and somehow
begged his way through the BORs, of course with his mother, a lawyer,
sitting on the BORs it helped him. I finally put my foot down and said he
either changes or I would personally write to the Council, contest his
Eagle application, etc. The mother threatened to sue. She never did. After
many painful SM counselings, the boy decided to take a break, and left the
troop. And before you say that we should have kept him, the answer is no.
Some boys just aren't good scouts, and forcing them to Eagle isn't right -
and we all did everything possible to help this kid, but sometimes the best
thing you can do for a child is to SAY NO.
In your case, some boys just aren't Eagle material.
Kenneth P. Utz
ASM Troop 221, Plano, TX
Just a plain 'ole (Plano) Texan, and a good 'ole Antelope, too, but I will
forever be an Eagle.