Thanks again everyone.
This is very much a case of a troop that wants to run their own program, as opposed to the BSA program, but even regardless of that the SM has acted in an extremely egregious manner. The SM has made comments to me essentially saying that he does not feel that my son is worthy of being an Eagle Scout, that’s what this all comes down to.
Thanks Beavah, I hear what you’re saying and I've always let my son fight his own battles in scouts, but this situation is so far off the charts that no scout should have to address something like this on their own.
To add a little more context to this, my son completed his project in November. Long story short, he faced a lot of obstacles, challenges and setbacks for his project, but he did not give up, he stayed the course and in the end, his project was a great success and the beneficiary couldn't have been more pleased. As my son was going through the final steps of compiling all of his project numbers and doing the final report, he was consistently asking the SM about what he needed to do next to move things along.
At that time and then over the next several months, the SM seemed to be very disinterested in discussing the project with my son, and it seemed to be a very low priority for him. This was painfully apparent to both my son and I.
Ultimately my son got his book done and he asked the SM if they could review his book and get it signed. He also asked if he could have his SM conference. The SM said that "signing the book is the last thing we do." My son and I both thought that was a little odd. Did it not make sense to sign the workbook after the project was completed?
My son also asked if he could schedule time with the beneficiary to go through the book to request their approval and signature, but the SM said that he should not do that.
The SM had previously given my son a rundown of the final things he would need to do towards Eagle, those being to complete the Eagle Application, have his reference letters mailed and write his statement of ambition and complete his merit badge partial. So, over the next few weeks my son did all of that, and using his cards, he included his rank advancement dates and merit badge dates on the application.
The SM told my son though that the dates on the Eagle application had to come from Council and that he can't just put them in himself. The SM insists that he has to obtain the dates from Council and that he will do that.
The following week my son asks the SM if he had a chance to obtain the dates from Council for the application, the SM says he hasn’t had a chance to, but he will. About three weeks go by, and my son asks, and reminds, the SM each week about the dates for the application. The SM tells my son that he’s been very busy but that he is going to do it.
At this stage, my son and I are both extremely frustrated and I myself am trying very hard not to get directly involved.
Keep in mind also that throughout this time the project workbook has been fully completed and is ready to be signed, but again, the SM will not sign himself nor will he allow my son to seek the signature of the beneficiary.
This nearly brings us right to the present. Earlier this month, my son sent the SM an e-mail asking if he had an idea about when he might be able to get the dates for the application. He also expressed essentially, that he would like to speed up the process and that he would like to see if his SM Conference (where his workbook would supposedly be signed) could be scheduled.
The SM replied to my son’s e-mail four days later and he told my son in his very brief e-mail that he would need to complete a double digit number of additional nights of camping this year in order for him to be eligible for Eagle within the troop.
That was the first time, since September 2015, that the SM had ever made any mention to my son whatsoever that he needed to complete additional nights of camping.
Again, my son had already completed his six months of active participation, long before the new camping-participation-scout spirit requirement was put in place. Yet, the SM and the troop committee are applying this after the fact.
I believe that from the SM’s view, my son would have to complete double the camping quota for next year to make up for the nights he missed this year.
Even if you were to, hypothetically, overlook the fact that my son has already successfully completed his six months of active participation, and that the troop is essentially adding an additional rank requirement for him to complete Eagle, how and why did the SM wait seven and a half months before telling my son that he needed an additional ten nights of camping.
As a final side note, regarding my son’s merit badge partial. He had actually completed the partial in the Spring of 2014. He showed the SM his work and the SM said it was fine and my son believed he had completed the badge. When he didn’t get the badge at the COH, he mentioned to the SM that he had not received and the SM said he would look into it to see what happened, My son never heard anything back and unfortunately he and I both forgot about it as his focus had shifted towards preparing for his Eagle Project.
He is now re-doing this requirement with the troop’s MB counselor. I’m not at all in favor of my son having to re-do a requirement, but at this point, and considering the timing this is the fastest option towards getting the blue card signed.