Maturity for ESLSP???

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Maturity for ESLSP???

Postby Trigirl » Fri May 01, 2009 10:56 am

Hello! Politics again in the Sunshine state... There are three major issues going on in our troop right now - but I will limit this topic to ONE and post the others in a separate topic.

A Life Scout (BOR date early Feb 2009) has approached SM with three different ESLSP ideas. First two - no go - on the 3rd he was told it was a good idea and "eagle worthy" and to go ahead and plan. Boy spent two weeks working with the community person and planning project. Emailed the document to the SM and made an appointment to go over it with him.

When he arrived at the appointment, the SM had another committee member present. During this hour long meeting the SM never once opened this boy's workbook that was laid out on the table and never once even brought up the project itself or the merits of the project or what was good/bad/needed fixing on the plan. The entire meeting was spent grilling this almost 14 year old boy about his maturity and leadership. He was told he was not mature enough to start his project and he had not 'given enough' to the troop so why should the troop give back to him. He was also told if he didn't like the decision to find another troop.

The boy left the meeting in tears. Went home and told his parents he would not, under any circumstances, quit the troop. He had worked too hard to make it this far and he wanted to earn his Eagle in this troop with his friends. He wrote a letter to the SM defining his leadership in and outside of the troop and requested a hearing in front of the committee. He said he feels he was misjudged and he wants an appeal.

Apparently, there are parents on the committee (maybe even the SM) who feel that the patrols should advance together and that a 13-14 year old isn't old enough for Eagle. They even talked about how to 'hold him back.' These are parents whose kids are the same age but not the same rank OR have been Life for over a year and haven't had the gumption to find a project.

This is a boy who has been involved in scouting since he was a Tiger. Earned all 20 badges and AOL as a Webelo. Has excelled academically - incredible recent SAT scores for DUKES TIP - has written many scholarship grants in order to attend his private school and to attend leadership conferences - he is a high achiever and very goal driven. Of course he is going to move ahead of other boys who are NOT as goal oriented. But isn't this an individual program???????

I was appalled when I heard this. Where is the scout spirit? How can you ambush a young kid like this who is prepared to discuss his project and not to defend himself to two grown men? personally, I feel this was very close to psychological abuse.

My understanding, from reading the 2008 Advancement Policies and Procedures (BSA# 33088) is that once you are Life rank you are eligible to start your project. There is nothing in there about "If the committee thinks it is the right time and your SM says you are mature enough" - It certainly has to be a worthy project and a good plan....

The committee meets next week and I am very impressed that this young man has the courage to stand up for himself. However, I don't know if it will turn out in his favor. His parents are not inclined to go outside of the troop to 'make waves' and are hoping that he can resolve it himself.

It disappoints me in these leaders and it also disappoints me greatly to know that young boys are being caught up in the petty and insecure politics of adults. There are NO hard feelings in the troop, or this boys patrol (for which I have led most boys in Cub Scouts and been a MBC to them for two+ years). The boys are all supportive of one another.

I am sure Cowboy can relate and I hope that his son is moving along well and things turn around there for future boys.

I am a bystander in this one but had to vent to people who a) can relate and b) might have some advice about how to handle this.

Oh, did I mention that the SM is also the DAC?

Input?
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Re: Maturity for ESLSP???

Postby Mrw » Fri May 01, 2009 12:23 pm

I would suggest that the boy make his presentation to the committee with the presence and backing of the other boys in his patrol. It will be hard for the parents on the commitee to go home and face their own boys after making an unjust decision.

Your other option is to notify the Council Advancement Chair and let them know what is going on in the troop.
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Re: Maturity for ESLSP???

Postby Billiken » Fri May 01, 2009 1:31 pm

Trigirl wrote:Oh, did I mention that the SM is also the DAC?


Can anyone say "Conflict of Interest"??????

:evil:
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Re: Maturity for ESLSP???

Postby 9009scoutmaster » Fri May 01, 2009 1:34 pm

Tape the presentation.
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Re: Maturity for ESLSP???

Postby evmori » Fri May 01, 2009 2:11 pm

WOW! Scouting sucks when adults think it's all about them.

I would go to the Council Advancement Chair & present what you presented here. This SM does not have the best interest of the Scouts in mind. He and this so-called committee have lost sight (if they ever had it) of the purpose of Scouting.
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Re: Maturity for ESLSP???

Postby scoutaholic » Fri May 01, 2009 2:55 pm

Billiken wrote:
Trigirl wrote:Oh, did I mention that the SM is also the DAC?


Can anyone say "Conflict of Interest"??????

:evil:



If the DAC has someone else on his committee that can work with the boys from his troop, I don't see a problem with an SM being DAC. The conflict of interrest is only if he is acting in both positions for his troop. He should have someone else on the district committee working with the boys in his troop so he can be SM.

However, I do see a problem with this particular SM and DAC. If this is his attitude toward advancement he shouldn't hold either position.

Make sure the DE knows what his DAC is doing. If you have a good DE, there will either be a major attitude shift on the part of the DAC, or there will be a new DAC. It the DE doesn't have the balls to make this happen, then maybe the CE or CAC does.

As far as the troop level problem (SM and TC), if they can't be worked with, then the COR should get involved and find some troop leaders who will do their jobs.
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Re: Maturity for ESLSP???

Postby Trigirl » Fri May 01, 2009 3:08 pm

In SM defense, he does appoint someone from district to sign off on the ESLSP workbooks for his troop. I have no idea about the Eagle BOR and application.

I admit, I don't want to a) get SM in trouble and b) make waves that cost this boy or my son his Eagle rank OR make the experience for these boys sour. So I am thinking of just documenting and after these boys get through this rank, I can go meet with DE or council - whomever is appropriate so that the other boys in the troop don't have similar issues.

Thank you everyone for your input. I learn so much here and appreciate the reinforcement and encouragement.
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Re: Maturity for ESLSP???

Postby FieldSports » Fri May 01, 2009 3:30 pm

I had a similar issue raised by a SM. I opened the Scout Book and had the advancement books also (years of being a Commish). I pointed out that his demand for "more involvement" and "another position of leadership" from a Scout were not in the "rules" (Scout had already completed his requirements). Luckily the discussion was with me and not the Scout. I pointed out that there is a "no more, no less" requirement in the rules. He explained that he was just frustrated that the higher/older scouts were not partcipating in events. (Explained to him that was a whole other problem that he should reflect inward on). He said he understood and would not pursue it as a "requirement".

I would try the same tactic of discussing directly with the SM. The committee meeting will just be a witch hunt and should not be something a Scout should have to do. It is much harder for an adult to bully a position to another well informed adult.
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Re: Maturity for ESLSP???

Postby Trigirl » Fri May 01, 2009 4:21 pm

Thank you FieldSports, I knew you would have experienced and reasonable input.

I do think that the fact that the older boys have lost interest and are not involved or participating does have the SM frustrated. He brought this troop back from 0 scouts to now 50 in the last four years. He feels a very personal commitment to the older boys. I admire that, but it should not be at the expense of the younger boys. I don't understand why he can't see that these young boys are evidence of what a good program he has built.
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Re: Maturity for ESLSP???

Postby Cowboy » Sat May 02, 2009 6:45 am

It boils down to Scout involvement. Too many of our "older" adults think that if they hold the boys back they will continue to have interest in Scouts. We have all seen a lot of boys hit Eagle and then walk away. Unfotunately the leaders responsible see it as an effect/cause, not cause and effect. My son loved scouting. Now that he is fighting to complete his Eagle he has begun to dislike it. He does intend to have VERY little involvement with Scouts because of this. He would have stayed much more active had he received support from the leaders. BTW: He does still have Scout Spirit. He also plans to help otehrs reach Eagle, and wants to have all of his adult training completed BEFORE he turns 18 to ease the transition.
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Re: Maturity for ESLSP???

Postby biglou » Sat May 02, 2009 5:38 pm

WOW!!!! I read this and was disappointed in that Troop Committee involved. This kid sounds motivated and has it together. IMHO, the Scoutmaster either should be the DAC or a Scoutmaster. Not both. I know I am busy being a Scoutmaster and Adviser to my Crew along with my other activities. Unfortunately, this SM and Troop Committee isn't the only one that believes that 14 year olds can't be Eagle Scouts. I know in my Council, there are several Troops that will not allow kids to work on the Eagle Scout Badges until they are 16. People need to start doing what is right or get out! Period.
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Re: Maturity for ESLSP???

Postby smtroop168 » Sun May 03, 2009 4:58 pm

Doesn't matter if the SM is also the DAC other than he should know better. I would quote from your council web page: www.cfabsa.org

Your Central Florida Council Advancement Contacts are:
(list of District Advancement Chairs)

Council Advancement Chair Robert (Bo) Terry terryr@astorl.com
Vice President of Program Peggy Hall
Advancement Comm Advisor Eva Shoemaker Eva.Shoemaker@scouting.org

Official Advancement Rules and Regulations of the B.S.A.
The following is from "Advancement Committee Policies and Procedures" (B.S.A. publication #33088C)
What is Advancement? Advancement is the process by which youth members of the Boy Scouts of America progress from rank to rank in the Scouting program. Advancement is simply a means to an end, not an end in itself. Everything done to advance and earn these ranks, from joining until leaving the program, should be designed to help the young person have an exciting and meaningful experience. Education and fun are functions of the Scouting movement, and they must be the basis of the advancement program. A fundamental principle of advancement in Cub Scouting, Boy Scouting, Varsity Scouting, and Venturing is the growth a young person achieves as a result of his/her participation in unit program.

Advancement Principles Council and district advancement committees implement procedures that help achieve the following advancement principles. Personal growth is the prime consideration in the advancement program. Scouting skills—what a young person knows how to do—are important, but they are not the most important aspect of advancement. Scouting’s concern is the total growth of youth. This growth may be measured by how youth live the Scouting ideals, and how they do their part in their daily lives. Learning by doing. A Cub Scout, Boy Scout, or Venturer may read about fire building or good citizenship. He/she may hear it discussed, and watch others in action, but he/she has not learned first aid until he/she has done it. Each youth progresses at his or her own rate. Advancement is not a competition among individual young people, but is an expression of their interest and participation in the program. Youth must be encouraged to advance steadily and set their own goals with guidance from their parents, guardians, or leaders. A badge is recognition of what a young person is able to do, not merely a reward for what he or she has done. The badge is proof of certain abilities, and is not just a reward for the completion of a task.

Advancement encourages Scouting ideals. Scouting teaches a young person how to care for himself/herself and help others. Advancement should reflect the desire to live the Cub Scout, Boy Scout, or Venturing Oath in his/her daily life. No council, district, unit, or individual has the authority to add to or subtract from advancement requirements. (For the policies concerning youth members with special needs, Click here)
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Re: Maturity for ESLSP???

Postby lifescoutforlife » Mon May 04, 2009 8:41 am

Cub Scouts is over! Kids advance at thier own pace in Boy Scouts. We have a Troop that all advances together and all make Eagle about the same time because everything is layed out for them over time to include Eagle projects. Problem is they all came up through Cub Scouts together to include the leadership and think they know it all and not one of them are trained.
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Re: Maturity for ESLSP???

Postby evmori » Mon May 04, 2009 11:54 am

It sounds like the problem is the older Scouts in this unit are not very active & the SM is trying to remedy this problem by slowing down a younger go-get-er Scout. Doesn't he realize that he will end up turning this Scout into what he is complaining about?
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Re: Maturity for ESLSP???

Postby lifescoutforlife » Mon May 04, 2009 1:43 pm

evmori wrote:It sounds like the problem is the older Scouts in this unit are not very active & the SM is trying to remedy this problem by slowing down a younger go-get-er Scout. Doesn't he realize that he will end up turning this Scout into what he is complaining about?

Thats a great way to look at it!
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Re: Maturity for ESLSP???

Postby Mrw » Mon May 04, 2009 8:29 pm

The ironic thing about all the guys trying to hold the younger boys back is that, in my experience, the best way to motivate the older ones is to let them get passed by someone younger who is doing more than they are. :roll:
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Re: Maturity for ESLSP???

Postby AquilaNegra2 » Tue May 05, 2009 2:57 am

Mrw wrote:The ironic thing about all the guys trying to hold the younger boys back is that, in my experience, the best way to motivate the older ones is to let them get passed by someone younger who is doing more than they are. :roll:
Especially when it's a younger BROTHER ;-).
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Re: Maturity for ESLSP???

Postby lifescoutforlife » Tue May 05, 2009 6:15 am

Mrw wrote:The ironic thing about all the guys trying to hold the younger boys back is that, in my experience, the best way to motivate the older ones is to let them get passed by someone younger who is doing more than they are. :roll:

My son made Eagle just after he turned 14, once he did the whole troop picked up the pace on advancement. Some of the younger ones have talked to him and are taking more Eagle required MB's now so they can advance a little sooner. I have heard others say if a boy has the drive and is working hard "why slow him down" but some leaders still do. And once this happens in a troop the mold has been made on how a boy can make Eagle Scout in that troop. They either go with the flow or find themselves another troop that fits their needs. Their is no right or wrong age to make Eagle, we should be proud of them all and let them do it at the pace they want to and not a pace that we set for them.
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Great News!

Postby Trigirl » Wed May 06, 2009 11:41 pm

Well, our troop committee met tonight and discussed the procedures for Eagle projects. There was a unanimous decision that the SM has only to approve the idea/plan and does not do that based on subjective matters such as maturity, age, 'giving back to the troop', etc. There were many people armed with official BSA publications and discussion that once a boy is Life you cannot deny him the right to do his project.

The young man that was the catalyst for this change will now be able to meet with the SM and have his project signed off and know that he has the entire troop behind him for his project! What a wonderful result and it really restores my faith in this group of adults leading our unit. In addition, NO mention of this boys name was made at all.... I thought that was in very good taste.

How this came about was a longer and messier process. Apparently the District Committee Chair got wind of the problem from another District volunteer and they met with the SM and another committee member and read them the riot act via the BSA Pub #33088. I guess the SM took it to heart because he was the one that brought up the subject at the meeting.

No, the boy did not go himself to this meeting. His father is on the committee and he was in attendance.

All worked out well and we have another Life scout moving ahead to Eagle.

The only disappointment for me, is that this boy is now so soured on the SM that he wants to get his Eagle and get out. Had he been encouraged and supported he would have stayed around as a positive role model for the younger boys.
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Re: Maturity for ESLSP???

Postby smtroop168 » Thu May 07, 2009 8:00 am

Glad to hear it worked out
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