scouts-l Mail Archive for February of 2000: Re: Webelos
Bruce E. Cobern (bec@PIPELINE.COM
Tue Feb 22 2000 - 22:18:04 CST
> From: Scouts-L Youth Group List [mailto:Scouts-L@listserv.tcu.edu]On
> Behalf Of Ed Thompson
> Sent: Tuesday, February 22, 2000 9:31 AM
> Anything you are doing to help a boy succeed in Scouting or in
> life can not be wrong. If we can help a boy by bending a rule,
> we should do it. Good for you.
So, if a Scout can't finish his 21st merit badge by his 18th birthday we
should just bend the rule and let him make Eagle anyway, because it will
help his self esteem, help him get into college, and help him get a better
job? Which rules do you bend, which don't you bend, and where do you stop?
That's the point of rules. They prevent this kind of equivocation.
To move closer to the issue at hand, lets talk about one we're wrestling
with in my district at the moment. A boy comes to you and wants to join
the troop, but he technically is not yet eligible (or, he bridges with the
rest of his den, even though he doesn't have the AOL, isn't 11, and hasn't
completed the 5th grade). Before he becomes eligible he earns Swimming
Merit Badge. Seven years later he applies for Eagle and, being
trustworthy, the application is filled out truthfully indicating when he
joined and that he didn't have the AOL and hadn't completed the 5th grade
when he joined. National will absolutely reject the application (they have
in our instance) because he was not eligible to be a Boy Scout when he
joined and anything earned before he became eligible can't count as
advancement for Eagle.
Now what do you do? Did you really "help" this Scout when he was 10 by
bending the rules and allowing him to join the troop before he was
I really am dealing with such a situation right now and am curious how
people feel you should deal with a situation where a ten year old boy, who
clearly can't be held to understand the rules for when he is eligible to
join, is allowed to join early and then has problems with his Eagle
application. Clearly HE was not responsible for the error, some adult(s)
was (were), either the SM, the parents, or both. Do we hold the boy
accountable for the adults' error? If not, how do you explain this so the
Eagle is awarded while still being true to the Scout Law?
Bruce E. Cobern
Founders District, Queens Council, NY