Can A Parent Withhold Eagle?

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Can A Parent Withhold Eagle?

Postby Reasonable Rascal » Fri Sep 02, 2011 2:02 am

Here's an unusual request from a Scout parent tonight: can she (single mom with a live-in, there's a hint) withhold her son's Eagle when the time comes that he completes the requirements? Besides the obvious answer that she can hold him back from Scouts by limiting his participation through grounding, withholding permission for activities, meetings, etc?

Mom wants to hold it up because he is being "disrespectful" towards her. Granted, the boy seems to hold her alternatingly (sic) in high regard one day - wanting her to be more involved -and the next week going so far as to blacken her eye. Lots of dynamics involved as you can well imagine but I've put in over 3 years into this boy, counseling, encouraging, going to bat for him with the court system (spelling out the opportunities for behavior modification that Scouting offers as an alternative to incarceration) and going out of my way to make sure he can make meetings consistently when there was no one available to bring him. And yes, YP rules have always been strictly followed during every encounter.

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Re: Can A Parent Withhold Eagle?

Postby Guerillero » Fri Sep 02, 2011 8:28 am

I personally hope not
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Re: Can A Parent Withhold Eagle?

Postby lambeausam » Fri Sep 02, 2011 8:34 am

I ran into this at a lesser level with my oldest son. Shortly before his Tenderfoot BOR, he did something that was not only a violation of our house rules, but of the scout law. Without revealing the nature of the incident, I asked a member of the BOR to ask my son to recite the Scout Law and then ask if he felt he had lived up to the points. When this happened, he honestly stated that he didn't think he was following the Scout Law. The BOR member asked what my son thought he should do to. To her surprise, he said that he thought he should work harder on his behavior and come back for another review in a few weeks. I talked to him about it later and he said that he didn't feel good about earning the badge if he didn't behave the way a scout should.

As for the young man you are working with...I believe there may be one requirement that he will come up short on - Requirement #2. If he is not living the Scout Oath and Law principles in his daily life, then the scoutmaster should not sign off on that requirement. As for his daily life, his mother should be able to attest for his adherence to the Oath and Law.

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Re: Can A Parent Withhold Eagle?

Postby Billiken » Fri Sep 02, 2011 9:48 am

The mother can also "state her case" in the parent letter that's submitted with the Eagle App.
But it shouldn't get that far.

If this Scout has given his mother a black eye, there's NO WAY a SM should agree to sign his Eagle application.
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Re: Can A Parent Withhold Eagle?

Postby WeeWillie » Fri Sep 02, 2011 11:56 am

RR

I realize that there are a host of issues that are not discussed, however, a young man who assualts his Mom is not an Eagle candidate. Your three year effort apparently did not worked. You are a Scout Leader not a professional counsellor. There are limits to what you can accomplish regardless of you desire or efforts. Continue to advocate for the young man.

Rewarding bad behavior with Eagle Scout does not really help him.

Tough situation for all!
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Re: Can A Parent Withhold Eagle?

Postby smtroop168 » Fri Sep 02, 2011 1:37 pm

Not knowing the Paul Harvey version here especially on how close he is to completing the requirements, she can simply not register him for scouts.

Of course she has bigger issues than just scouts. He needs some professional counseling if he's violent.
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Re: Can A Parent Withhold Eagle?

Postby AquilaNegra2 » Wed Sep 07, 2011 11:50 pm

Billiken wrote:If this Scout has given his mother a black eye, there's NO WAY a SM should agree to sign his Eagle application.

Bravo!

Parent trumps Scoutmaster. As his mother, she can do whatever she wants with him (within the confines of the law, of course). Good for mom for drawing a line in the sand. If he cannot abide by her wishes for something so important, he won't for the less important things. Eagle is to be EARNED, not given when a checklist is completed.
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Re: Can A Parent Withhold Eagle?

Postby Reasonable Rascal » Thu Sep 08, 2011 1:27 am

I appreciate the replies, all being food for thought. There is of course more to the story but even as close as I am to the situation I remain without knowledge of all the various and sundry (sordid?) details.

The boy is being counseled regularly and has been for years. Tack on whatever diagnosis of the day appeals to his counselors and the bottom line is still a boy with some serious social and familial issues - especially the latter. The ultimate argument-ender in that household normally involves calling the police. In the mentioned instance I truly do not know if the eye-blackening was intentional, accidental or incidental, and for a change mom is reluctant to provide details. That's not entirely characteristic for her as she usually is more than open to sharing her woes. Bottom line in any case is that so long as that household remains constituted in the manner it is there will always be strife, to put it mildly.

The boy has plenty of time to mend his ways before any Eagle BOR is even considered - he's but 15 this year. Mom is a committee member, and I believe that was the angle she was trying to work, as opposed to strictly a parent who disagrees with the award (should it ever come up for consideration).

Every time I think we have made some progress something else seems to come up. Incidents are fewer and father between, but they still occur.

RR
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Re: Can A Parent Withhold Eagle?

Postby Nuts4Scouts » Thu Sep 08, 2011 1:22 pm

So this boy is currently a 15 year old Life Scout ?

Despite all of his problems at home he seems to be doing fine in the Troop if he has progressed to Life in 3 years.

Aside from Scout Spirit (which I assume is what you would use to delay him), how close is he to completing the requirements for Eagle?
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Re: Can A Parent Withhold Eagle?

Postby Reasonable Rascal » Thu Sep 08, 2011 2:58 pm

He will receive his Life at CofH next week, so yes, a 15 y.o. Life. The BOR was held before we heard of the incident.

None of our potential Eagles have earned either Personal Management or Personal Fitness. Our only Life at present (pending next week when we'll have another 2, one being now 16) earned his at 13, and has enough MB's for 3 Eagle palms already. But he is a real go-getter, a Fire Explorer as well, OA Ordeal this year, attended NYLT this year, and was this week working on his Eagle project proposal. For whatever reason though those 2 MB's seem to be huge stumbling blocks for Eagle. Our last Life aged out after spending well over a year/half (2 years?) as Life and had only his Personal Management and Project between him and the bird.

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Re: Can A Parent Withhold Eagle?

Postby Nuts4Scouts » Thu Sep 08, 2011 3:52 pm

Reasonable Rascal wrote:He will receive his Life at CofH next week, so yes, a 15 y.o. Life. The BOR was held before we heard of the incident.

Yet, from your posts, this incident of being "disrespectful" to his mom is only the latest in a long string of "incidents", including a court case. So, this behavior is really nothing new.

If his past behavior did not warrant his rank advancement being held up before, and you state that it is indeed getting better, why is it suddenly an advancement issue now?
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Re: Can A Parent Withhold Eagle?

Postby Reasonable Rascal » Thu Sep 08, 2011 5:13 pm

Nuts4Scouts wrote:If his past behavior did not warrant his rank advancement being held up before, and you state that it is indeed getting better, why is it suddenly an advancement issue now?


That you would have to ask of his mother because it is originating with her. By the same token her constant cry is "How come every time he gets in trouble you want to kick him out?" The point is, we don't. But....

I see the behaviors improving vastly vs. a couple years ago, or even from 1 year ago when he was suspended for a month for gross misconduct (putting himself rather than another at serious risk for harm) at summer camp. No more arriving for the weekly meeting to find him sitting atop the church roof because he's PO'ed at mom or the BF, or refusing to get out of the car because he's PO'ed, or stalking into the meeting with anger flashing everywhere because he had a verbal altercation at home or on the way to the meeting, or.... you get the picture I hope.

It is the home reports that are the biggest problem, the behaviors he is exhibiting at home rather than during his troop time. I/we don't ask about what is happening, his mother constantly informs us of whatever the latest is. If we were to go strictly by what is being witnessed first hand we'd see a boy who is pulling himself up from darn close to the bottom of the barrel and making legitimate progress. But then we are told "Do you know what "BillyJoeBob" did now?" Of course not, but we're going to hear about it I am sure.

Back to your earlier question, besides Personal Management and Fitness he also needs Camping and Citizenship in the Nation. He is at 21 MB's before I add those earned at summer camp this year to the official advancement report. Troop elections are the last week of this month so we'll see what/if any POR he is elected to. Right now he is a PL.

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Re: Can A Parent Withhold Eagle?

Postby WeeWillie » Fri Sep 09, 2011 4:57 pm

Nuts4Scouts

As a Scout gets older we should be expecting more from him. I would consider giving Mom a black eye a serious step backwards.
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Re: Can A Parent Withhold Eagle?

Postby Nuts4Scouts » Fri Sep 09, 2011 10:56 pm

From the posts it sounded like the black eye incident was in the past, not the current incident of disrespect his mother is talking about.

RR states he is "vastly improved", and states that it is the boys mother, not RR, who wants the Scout's advancement curtailed.

As he is not even a Life Scout quite yet, it sounds like this Scout has a ways to go before anyone even starts thinking about signing off his Eagle application.

RR, I would not worry about Eagle just yet. Continue to work with this boy, and see what happens down the road.

It sounds like the entire family could use a good family counselor. It is a shame.
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Re: Can A Parent Withhold Eagle?

Postby fritz1255 » Thu Sep 15, 2011 7:12 am

We had a similar story in our Troop. Boy's parents are divorced, both total nut cases. Boy was arrested after he got into a fight with his father. This story has a reasonably happy ending, thanks in part to help from other families in the Troop, who worked with him and took him in on occasion when he was on the "outs" with his parents. Boy got his eagle, went on to college. Hope yours ends as well.
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Re: Can A Parent Withhold Eagle?

Postby smtroop168 » Thu Sep 15, 2011 9:12 am

Reasonable Rascal wrote:Here's an unusual request from a Scout parent tonight: can she (single mom with a live-in, there's a hint) withhold her son's Eagle when the time comes that he completes the requirements?


Back to the original question...If he completes the requirements then probably not because the scout could appeal to National and if he's completed all requirements, they will side with him.

The issue is fixing the situation before it gets to that poinrt so everyone feels comfortable about recommending him and it looks like there is time to do just that if he's only 15.
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