ESRA, Req. 6 - "Attach to this application"....

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Re: ESRA, Req. 6 - "Attach to this application"....

Postby smtroop168 » Sun Jun 20, 2010 8:22 pm

razor_strop wrote:Those that spent time in the military, particularly the Army, are probably familiar with the term "Tab/Badge Protectors". They are the folks that were involved in the testing or evaluating portions of a course that, if the student passed, would be awarded a special badge or tab signifying their accomplishment. The "protectors" were those that, for whatever reason, would dig into the minutia of the requirements to actively find reasons to keep students/candidates from earning the award, since "they aren't working as hard as I had to", or "they don't appreciate what this means", or "I'm just ensuring the awardees measure up to the expectations others have of award holders". Sometimes, these "protectors" didn't even earn the award themselves, but felt they had a mandate to keep others from earning it unless they measured up to their skewed (and often outside of policy) expectations. As you can imagine, tab protectors were a truly despised group of folks, and for good reason.

I mention all this as a cautionary note. Boy Scouting is an inclusionary organzation. Its aims are not to keep out those youth that someone has arbitrarily deemed "unworthy". Rather, our job as adults is to enable the youth to not only reach their potential, but to exceed it whenever possible. Has the Scout met the published requirements? If yes, then recognize him. If not, then help him to do so. Don't create artificial obstacles to ensure our personal standards are tacked on to the already challenging requirements.

In other words, don't be an Eagle Badge protector.


I don't find this situation as protecting the Eagle Badge and I do have one. All Scouts who wish to achieve Eagle must follow the same rules as any other scout. Eagle requirements are not minutia. Req 6 of the application says attach the statements, then write them and attach them. We should all demand scouts take some personal responsibility and have the highest of standards for those who want to achieve and have achieved Eagle. Don't attach your resume to your job application and see how far you get.

Another "military term" we used is called "Attention to Detail" at all levels of the chain. In this case, the scout, his SM, his CC and the council all failed to adhere to this. For this particular unit it is a "pattern of behavior" that is the most disturbing. This is the 3rd scout in recent history that has had a glitch due to last of effort on the scouts or units part. It is like they feel there is an entitlement and the EBOR is just a perfunctory thing that has to be done before they can have a ECOH.
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Re: ESRA, Req. 6 - "Attach to this application"....

Postby razor_strop » Sun Jun 20, 2010 9:49 pm

I agree that we shouldn't just give Scouts an automatic pass just for showing up, and ignore the details. However, getting all spun up (not you individually, but folks in general) and questioning the Scout's motivation, honesty and the like begins to smack of adults becoming judgemental and overprotective of the rank, rather than supportive.

I certainly don't know National's inner workings or reasons for many things, but I'd guess that there are several "checkpoints" in a Scout's progress through the various ranks to provide backstops to ensure that all requirements are completed correctly. The SMC provides the SM both an opportunity to talk with the Scout, and to double check that he's completed everything as required. However, we're all human, so the Advancement Chair looks everything over, and the BOR serves as the unit's final check before an advancement is sent to council for yet another check and recording.

In this case, several of the preliminary checks failed. The BOR served one of its purposes and caught the oversight before it went further. Good job! Then, the next step was to find out how to best support the Scout in achieving his goal (which appears to have happened). If this particular unit is developing a habit of missing important steps, then perhaps the District Advancement Chair needs to have a sit down with the Committee Chair, Scoutmaster and Troop Advancement Chair to discuss the importance of attention to detail (as was astutely mentioned) and that both he/she and the council will be paying very close attention to all submissions from that unit for the time being.

The pile-on questioning of the Scout over this just seemed a bit much to me, but then I guess I'm just a senstive, new-agey guy. :lol:
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Re: ESRA, Req. 6 - "Attach to this application"....

Postby cballman » Sun Jun 20, 2010 10:36 pm

Ok my thoughts on this one. The question was asked if the young man wrote out the paper to attach to his application. Then the main question I have is why send everybody home because of an oversight? And why not have the young man write it out while the Board just takes a break? Seems like we just want to push some of the young men out and then complain because they dont do dont complete everything just perfectly. We must remember these young men are are still young men not adults that have been around for a while. Lets work for the betterment of Scouting.
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Re: ESRA, Req. 6 - "Attach to this application"....

Postby Cowboy » Mon Jun 21, 2010 7:15 am

@cballman: Normally I would agree with your statement, except you seem to have missed the point that this is a Man, not a boy. Failing to complete the application in any way is not a minor mistake. This is the culmination of (we assume he crossed over from Cubs) 7.5 years of training and practice. He is now 18 and graduating from High School on his way into the real world, completing college applications and work applications. Have you tried to join a group in the web? If you leave out any information it kicks back at you, if you apply for a job and do not include all information they do not call you and ask for the information, the employer simply throws away the app. Allowing the boy to reschedule was more than happens in the real world, he was given a "second" chance to get it together.
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Re: ESRA, Req. 6 - "Attach to this application"....

Postby smtroop168 » Mon Jun 21, 2010 10:10 am

cballman wrote:Ok my thoughts on this one. The question was asked if the young man wrote out the paper to attach to his application. Then the main question I have is why send everybody home because of an oversight? And why not have the young man write it out while the Board just takes a break? Seems like we just want to push some of the young men out and then complain because they dont do dont complete everything just perfectly. We must remember these young men are are still young men not adults that have been around for a while. Lets work for the betterment of Scouting.


I think the idea behind the scout writing this statement is to sit down and think about it before you write it, just like they have to do for college essays. It also gives the EBOR some discussion areas outside scouting. Sending him off to scribble something in 10 minutes misses the point.

"My Life ambition is to write this so I can make Eagle". Good enough?
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Re: ESRA, Req. 6 - "Attach to this application"....

Postby razor_strop » Mon Jun 21, 2010 12:12 pm

smtroop168 wrote:"My Life ambition is to write this so I can make Eagle". Good enough?


If its good enough for National, then yes, its good enough. The Scout's adult leaders and advisors may want to recommend he put a bit more thought into it, but in the end the contents of the letter are the Scout's decision; he shouldn't merely be parroting what his adult advisors feel he should write. That would be tremendously disingenuous. If the letter is not accepted by National, then the young man will quickly learn the repercussions of ignoring the advice of others trying to help him, and of choosing the easier wrong over the harder right.

I say this after just recently (over the last month) watching a SM and Advancement Chair have a Scout rewrite his ambition letter four times to be sure it included all the "important" (according to them) points. The final version was not the Scout's own words or thoughts, which is in my opinion completely counter to the reason for the letter.
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Re: ESRA, Req. 6 - "Attach to this application"....

Postby scoutaholic » Mon Jun 21, 2010 1:12 pm

Nuts4Scouts wrote:You think that a young man who has done enough work to reach the rank of eagle would, at the point of filling out his Eagle application, look at the request for a statement of goals and, on purpose simply say !%@#* it, I don't feel like doing this???

Really?

Yep

I've done it. That is the main reason my EBOR was on my 18th BDay instead of 2+ years earlier.


My Uncle filled out similar paperwork years ago, showed his family that he had done the papers, and then didn't turn them in.
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Re: ESRA, Req. 6 - "Attach to this application"....

Postby evmori » Mon Jun 21, 2010 1:16 pm

smtroop168 wrote:
cballman wrote:Ok my thoughts on this one. The question was asked if the young man wrote out the paper to attach to his application. Then the main question I have is why send everybody home because of an oversight? And why not have the young man write it out while the Board just takes a break? Seems like we just want to push some of the young men out and then complain because they dont do dont complete everything just perfectly. We must remember these young men are are still young men not adults that have been around for a while. Lets work for the betterment of Scouting.


I think the idea behind the scout writing this statement is to sit down and think about it before you write it, just like they have to do for college essays. It also gives the EBOR some discussion areas outside scouting. Sending him off to scribble something in 10 minutes misses the point.

"My Life ambition is to write this so I can make Eagle". Good enough?


That isn't a life ambition. It is an immediate ambition. What is he gonna do after he makes Eagle?
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Re: ESRA, Req. 6 - "Attach to this application"....

Postby scoutaholic » Mon Jun 21, 2010 1:24 pm

razor_strop wrote:
smtroop168 wrote:"My Life ambition is to write this so I can make Eagle". Good enough?


If its good enough for National, then yes, its good enough. ...


Actually, the ambitions statement never goes to National. It is with the application and project workbook when processed by Council, and for the EBOR, but the only part sent to national is the Application.
Around here, everything but the application is returned to the boy at the end of his EBOR.
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Re: ESRA, Req. 6 - "Attach to this application"....

Postby Mrw » Mon Jun 21, 2010 1:32 pm

We have had a couple boys find at their SM conference that this was missing from their application and they were sent back to write it. It is easy enough for a boy to miss on the application, but the SM really should have caught it before signing everything off.

Our SM goes over the app with the boy as part of the SM conference for just this reason.

As to the boy deliberately skipping it, yeah, it could happen if he has a bad attitude and was made to finish the rank by his parents. In my experience though, the ones who are bound and determined to not finish things leave something far more substantial undone.
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Re: ESRA, Req. 6 - "Attach to this application"....

Postby Fred Johnson » Mon Jun 21, 2010 1:50 pm

I say this after just recently (over the last month) watching a SM and Advancement Chair have a Scout rewrite his ambition letter four times to be sure it included all the "important" (according to them) points.


I just transferred my son out of a pompous troop like that. Too much bureaucracy and too many arbitrarily created rules. Leaders were more focused on creating their own idea of the perfect Boy Scout troop than supporting the scouts and finding opportunities for adventure and personal growth.
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Re: ESRA, Req. 6 - "Attach to this application"....

Postby RWSmith » Mon Jun 21, 2010 4:16 pm

scoutaholic wrote:Actually, the ambitions statement never goes to National.

That's correct... the attached statement referenced in Req. #6 on the ESRA stays local.

scoutaholic wrote:Around here, everything but the application is returned to the boy at the end of his EBOR.

Just a clarification, for any other readers who might misunderstand: National is very clear on this... Any letters of recommendation (or even non-recommendation) that are a result of Req. 2 are CONFIDENTIAL and must NOT seen by anyone other than the ESBOR members or those directly involved in the candidate's ESRA process at the District/Council level, especially, not the candidate; and, the Council is responsible for retaining said letters (as long as necessary).
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Re: ESRA, Req. 6 - "Attach to this application"....

Postby smtroop168 » Mon Jun 21, 2010 5:01 pm

evmori wrote:
smtroop168 wrote:
cballman wrote:Ok my thoughts on this one. The question was asked if the young man wrote out the paper to attach to his application. Then the main question I have is why send everybody home because of an oversight? And why not have the young man write it out while the Board just takes a break? Seems like we just want to push some of the young men out and then complain because they dont do dont complete everything just perfectly. We must remember these young men are are still young men not adults that have been around for a while. Lets work for the betterment of Scouting.


I think the idea behind the scout writing this statement is to sit down and think about it before you write it, just like they have to do for college essays. It also gives the EBOR some discussion areas outside scouting. Sending him off to scribble something in 10 minutes misses the point.

"My Life ambition is to write this so I can make Eagle". Good enough?


That isn't a life ambition. It is an immediate ambition. What is he gonna do after he makes Eagle?


Ed...maybe a bad example...trying to show what you get if you send them out of the room to write it quickly....not much thought.
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Re: ESRA, Req. 6 - "Attach to this application"....

Postby Bill Pitcher » Mon Jun 21, 2010 5:30 pm

Matt (SM168): I had a similar incident last year. A young man went out of the country for a Rotary exchange. When he returned, and turning 18 in a month, got a 6 month extension from National to do his project (July - December). He didn't finish the project AND didn't do Requirement #6. When I requested it (before his EBoR) from the SM, he said "I told him to do it at the SM Conference" ! ! ! When I called the candidate (also before EBoR) he said he would do it . . . he had forgotten it. Anyway, we held the EBoR, with a 1/2 finished project and NO Requirement #6: Attach to this application . . . So, he didn't pass. Reason he didn't finish and do #6? He was busy with his friends. So to "Nuts4scouts" and "razor_strop", yeah, some of them JUST DON"T CARE and WILL have trouble filling out college and job apps, and will always ask for another chance. A line has to be drawn somewhere. I feel that there had better be a GOOD reason why something is missed! In my 20 years of holding EBoR's, this candidate was the ONLY ONE who didn't turn it in. All SM's and CC's here know what is required and must be turned in.
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Re: ESRA, Req. 6 - "Attach to this application"....

Postby scoutaholic » Mon Jun 21, 2010 6:31 pm

RWSmith wrote:...
scoutaholic wrote:Around here, everything but the application is returned to the boy at the end of his EBOR.

Just a clarification, for any other readers who might misunderstand: National is very clear on this... Any letters of recommendation (or even non-recommendation) that are a result of Req. 2 are CONFIDENTIAL and must NOT seen by anyone other than the ESBOR members or those directly involved in the candidate's ESRA process at the District/Council level, especially, not the candidate; and, the Council is responsible for retaining said letters (as long as necessary).

To further you clarification. Confidential recommendation letters would not be given to the scout. In my years of scouting and EBORs, I've never seen a recommendation letter. Our council allows that names included on the application WOULD give a recommendation, and rarely actually contacts them.
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Re: ESRA, Req. 6 - "Attach to this application"....

Postby RWSmith » Tue Jun 22, 2010 2:04 am

scoutaholic, I know you're not "the council" and that you have no control over how your CSS operates... I'm not a CAC, or a DAC; this is just my opinion. So, this is for everybody; it's not directed at you, personally: Contacting the references (for a response) is not optional...

Advancement Committee 'Policies and Procedures', No. 33088E wrote:"When the completed application is received at the council service center, its contents will be verified and the references contacted. The council advancement committee or its designee contacts the references on the Eagle Scout Rank Application either by letter, form, or telephone checklist. The council determines the method or methods to be used. The candidate should have contacted those individuals listed as references before including their names on the application. The candidates should not be involved personally in transmitting any correspondence between persons listed as references and the council service center."

Just as the candidate must follow the rules, so must the council. Whatever the responses/results (positive, negative, neutral, no comment, or even X number of attempts to contact were unsuccessful) are:

  1. it is imperative for the ESBOR to have this information, at the board, for due consideration; and
  2. the candidate must not see or get this information -- not prior to, during, or after the board... not ever.

The Eagle Scout Rank Application process alone involves a bare minimum of 15 people (14 if the CC sits on the board) to get it out of the CSS and on its way to National... responsibilities on the parts of many people. We all play a role. While he must do his part, we must ensure everything else gets done right. Otherwise, we're disrespecting him and/or the Eagle badge. Forgive me... I know I'm getting ready to mix two topics within the same thread here, but... a rhetorical question... If a council doesn't contact the references and fails to provide those responses to the the ESBOR for its consideration, then how can it deny a candidate who fails to provide a statement about his ambitions, et al? I mean, what's the difference?
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Re: ESRA, Req. 6 - "Attach to this application"....

Postby smtroop168 » Tue Jun 22, 2010 10:51 am

Bill Pitcher wrote:Matt (SM168): I had a similar incident last year. A young man went out of the country for a Rotary exchange. When he returned, and turning 18 in a month, got a 6 month extension from National to do his project (July - December). He didn't finish the project AND didn't do Requirement #6. When I requested it (before his EBoR) from the SM, he said "I told him to do it at the SM Conference" ! ! ! When I called the candidate (also before EBoR) he said he would do it . . . he had forgotten it. Anyway, we held the EBoR, with a 1/2 finished project and NO Requirement #6: Attach to this application . . . So, he didn't pass. Reason he didn't finish and do #6? He was busy with his friends. So to "Nuts4scouts" and "razor_strop", yeah, some of them JUST DON"T CARE and WILL have trouble filling out college and job apps, and will always ask for another chance. A line has to be drawn somewhere. I feel that there had better be a GOOD reason why something is missed! In my 20 years of holding EBoR's, this candidate was the ONLY ONE who didn't turn it in. All SM's and CC's here know what is required and must be turned in.


Surprised National gave him an extension since they are supposed to be for extenuating circumstances. Did he not know he was going out of the country???

Did he appeal and your council roll over or kick it to National?
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Re: ESRA, Req. 6 - "Attach to this application"....

Postby Bill Pitcher » Tue Jun 22, 2010 12:44 pm

smtroop168 wrote:Surprised National gave him an extension since they are supposed to be for extenuating circumstances. Did he not know he was going out of the country???

Did he appeal and your council roll over or kick it to National?


He knew, and NO appeal to council OR National, and I gave him a letter explaining our decision, who to contact, etc. w/copy to the SE. Funny thing is, some of his TC said he wouldn't finish (the project) and wouldn't get around to appeal (after EBoR). I guess they knew the candidate pretty well!!!
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Re: ESRA, Req. 6 - "Attach to this application"....

Postby smtroop168 » Tue Jun 22, 2010 1:04 pm

Bill Pitcher wrote:
smtroop168 wrote:Surprised National gave him an extension since they are supposed to be for extenuating circumstances. Did he not know he was going out of the country???

Did he appeal and your council roll over or kick it to National?


He knew, and NO appeal to council OR National, and I gave him a letter explaining our decision, who to contact, etc. w/copy to the SE. Funny thing is, some of his TC said he wouldn't finish (the project) and wouldn't get around to appeal (after EBoR). I guess they knew the candidate pretty well!!!


Sounds like it.

Why did you hold an EBOR if the project wasn't finished or was that discovered at the EBOR?

Did you see his request to National for an extension? If so, what was his reason? Just "out of the country"?
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Re: ESRA, Req. 6 - "Attach to this application"....

Postby Bill Pitcher » Wed Jun 23, 2010 3:38 pm

smtroop168 wrote:Sounds like it.

Why did you hold an EBOR if the project wasn't finished or was that discovered at the EBOR?

Did you see his request to National for an extension? If so, what was his reason? Just "out of the country"?


No, I knew it wasn't finished. I always look over the job site before, during, and at completion. Since he had turned 18 during the extension, then turned in his paperwork, he and the SM asked for the EBoR. The Scout had the idea he had "done enough!" The SM thought the Scout had turned in Req. #6 (though knew it wasn't at the SM Conference!!
I had seen the request for an extension (a hand written note), it was included in the paperwork for EBoR, along with the letter from National granting the 6 mo. extension.
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