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Troop role for Eagle Court of Honor after EBOR Disp Circumstances


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#21 fred johnson

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Posted 24 February 2017 - 12:39 PM

Sadly, I've found many many COHs and ECOHs way too tedious, overly formal in ceremony and just not enjoyable.  As part of wanting scouts to "WANT TO ADVANCE", I like keeping the COHs lighter and more fun.  Pot luck.  Laughing.  Stories.  Pictures.  Fun!  If they find it painful to sit through a COH, then it eliminates their wanting to be the guy standing up front receiving the award.  
 
I say that because your son can make his EBOR what ever he wants.  Formal or informal.  Ceremonial or a structured program.  With troop or without.  
 
You can't make your troop leaders participate.  Hopefully, they would be graceful to show up, congratulate the scout and keep their mouth closed without a hint of their opinion on the situation.  But then again, maybe the damage has been done.  That's between you and your son to decide. 
 
Wishing you the best.

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#22 Torchwood

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Posted 24 February 2017 - 01:46 PM

I'm not sure the circumstances really matter.  I think any determined parent can win at council regardless of merit.  This has certainly been true in the instances I have read around this campfire.  

 

There have been quite a few threads on this forum by parents who have taken the disputed circumstances route.  I have yet to see a single instance of a parent reporting back that they have lost the appeal to council.  They always seem to win.

 

You must be confused about how this process works then. The only reason that you would need to go the disputed circumstances route is because the SM has refused to sign off on whatever that last item is- anecdotally it is Req 6- participate in a Scoutmaster Conference. Please tell me what reason a Scoutmaster would EVER have to refuse to have that meeting with a Scout. So, yes, the circumstances absolutely do matter. The EBoR is NOT a test. It is a conversation, and honestly I have found that almost every time, the Eagle candidate sitting in front of me is a credit to the honor he has earned. Again, we don't always know the exact circumstances surrounding a Scout's need to sidestep his Troop, but having "disdain" for anyone who's hand is forced to do so, or thinking that they do so for the heck of it, is unfair. I think you are underestimating both the mettle of the District and Council involved, and the various flavors of "not quite BSA" Scouting programs out there.


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#23 Stosh

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Posted 24 February 2017 - 02:42 PM

Any boy that shows up on my doorstep with a completed EBOR in need of a ceremony for any reason, gets one.  A Scout is Friendly.


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#24 fred johnson

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Posted 24 February 2017 - 03:15 PM

I have yet to see a single instance of a parent reporting back that they have lost the appeal to council.  They always seem to win.

 

I know a few very sad situations where the council denied the appeal.  And the denial was justifiable, but very sad still.  I know a third that would have been a denied situation, but I am proud to have stepped in.  It's one of the events in my scouting history that makes me most proud.  To this day the scout's troop scoutmaster tells me that the scout's family treats him like a magic man for getting this fixed.  We chuckle about that.  


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#25 NJCubScouter

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Posted 24 February 2017 - 03:26 PM

The only reason that you would need to go the disputed circumstances route is because the SM has refused to sign off on whatever that last item is- anecdotally it is Req 6- participate in a Scoutmaster Conference.


There are actually a few other situations where that procedure would apply, though they are all in the same "family." The Guide to Advancement, bureaucratic numerical reference 8.0.3.2, says in part:
 

A board of review under disputed circumstances is available only for the Eagle Scout rank. It is held at the district or council level. Volunteers from the candidate’s unit are not involved. It is indicated when a unit leader or committee chair does not sign the application, if a unit leader (Scoutmaster) conference is denied, if it is thought a unit will not provide a fair hearing, or if the unit leader or project beneficiary refuses to sign final approval for what might be considered a satisfactorily completed service project.


(Emphasis added.)

Of course in this case it doesn't really matter exactly why the Scout sought an EBOR under disputed circumstances. We need only know that he did, that the process apparently worked the way it is designed to work, that the council/district-level EBOR decided to approve the advancement, and that now his mother is seeking advice on how to handle the ECOH. I agree with the general tone of the advice that has been given so far. It's your son's ceremony. Those who are invited and wish to participate (both as persons with speaking roles and as members of the audience) can participate, and those who don't, don't. Hopefully none of the adults with negative feelings toward your son will try to discourage any of his fellow Scouts from participating.


Edited by NJCubScouter, 24 February 2017 - 03:37 PM.

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#26 desertrat77

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Posted 24 February 2017 - 04:17 PM


My son remembered a few things from his ECOH:

  • His friends showing up.
  • His teachers and mentors from long ago showing up.
  • His troop showing up in droves to support him.
  • The fact his family flew in to see him.
  • Most of all? The CAKE!!!

And that, my friends, is what this is about. Not nothing more. Forget the letters...your Eagle Scout surely will.

 Colonel Flagg (my favorite MASH character!), I enjoyed your entire post but wanted to highlight the portion above....

 

All of those points--friends, mentors, fellow scouts, family, refreshments--are the truly meaningful elements of any Eagle court of honor.

 

When I was a scout, my family moved right after I completed my Eagle board.  At my new location, five very kind new Eagles invited me to be a part of their court of honor.

 

It was a quite a ceremony, a big production.  Everyone was friendly and congratulatory.   But truthfully, I was blue.  Didn't know a soul.  Hadn't hiked 1 mile along the scouting trail with anyone present.

 

I would have given my right arm to be back in my old troop, just for that night, in our flea-bitten old barracks of a scout hut, celebrating with the cast of characters that comprised my old troop.   As eccentric a bunch as I've ever met, we had been through thick and thin, and the actual ceremony itself would have been secondary to the camaraderie.   And the cake!


Edited by desertrat77, 24 February 2017 - 04:17 PM.

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#27 Ankylus

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Posted 24 February 2017 - 05:05 PM

Belladonna,

 

In our troop, it has always been the responsibility of the scouts' families to plan and present the ECOH. We obtain the room from the CO and the time, and everything else is up to the families.

 

We have developed a somewhat "standard" program:

(1) opening flag ceremony.

(2) words of greeting from the CC.

(3) presentation of the Eagle scouts by an adult of their choice. Usually, there is talk about the scouting career and personal vignettes and how worthy the adult thinks the scout is. That kind of thing. We don't have any standards for content.

(4) presentation of the Eagle charge.

(5) presentation of the Eagle "regalia", including mentor and parents' pins.

(6) words of acceptance, gratitude, and advice from the scouts.

(7) scoutmaster's minute.

(8) and finally, the closing flag ceremony.

 

 As to the printed program, 

(1) the cover usually has a large depiction of the Eagle badge, a list of the Eagles, and the time, date, and place of the ceremony.

(2) a picture and a bio of each Eagle. Bios are usually a page or two.

(3) transcriptions of the Scout Oath, Scout Law, and the Eagle Charge.

(4) a list of famous Eagle scouts.

 

But there is no magic in any of this. It is your (plural) ceremony. You may structure it any way you wish. One of my son's friends didn't even have the ceremony. 

 

Your circumstances may make some of this a bit more challenging. But surely you can find three scouts for the flag ceremony, adn any adult can do the rest.

 

Invite the whole troop. Worried about people with hard feelings? Invite them, but don't give them any chance to participate. Modify the program accordingly so they don't have an opportunity if you don't want them to. Besides, the ones with the hard feelings probably won't come anyway.

 

Then just relax, enjoy , and have fun.

 

And welcome to the forum and congratulations to your Eagle. 


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#28 Ankylus

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Posted 24 February 2017 - 05:18 PM

The only reason that you would need to go the disputed circumstances route is because the SM has refused to sign off on whatever that last item is- anecdotally it is Req 6- participate in a Scoutmaster Conference. Please tell me what reason a Scoutmaster would EVER have to refuse to have that meeting with a Scout. So, yes, the circumstances absolutely do matter.

 

There was a scout in my oldest son's troop. A fine young man, and a great scout. He had always served in leadership in his troop, including SPL three different 6-mo terms. The problem was, none of them were while he was Life. His senior year of high school he was busy as drum major of the band, and didn't realize that fact. Nobody at his troop caught it either. In fact, his troop's review of his record resulted in them telling him he was good to go when he wasn't. 

 

And then, of course, he was within 6 mos of his 18th birthday.

 

SM refused the conference because he didn't meet the requirements and refused to sign off, as did the CC.

 

The scout appealed, and Council granted the appeal.

 

But there's an example of why a SM would refuse the conference.


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#29 Back Pack

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Posted 24 February 2017 - 09:03 PM

There was a scout in my oldest son's troop. A fine young man, and a great scout. He had always served in leadership in his troop, including SPL three different 6-mo terms. The problem was, none of them were while he was Life. His senior year of high school he was busy as drum major of the band, and didn't realize that fact. Nobody at his troop caught it either. In fact, his troop's review of his record resulted in them telling him he was good to go when he wasn't. 
 
And then, of course, he was within 6 mos of his 18th birthday.
 
SM refused the conference because he didn't meet the requirements and refused to sign off, as did the CC.
 
The scout appealed, and Council granted the appeal.
 
But there's an example of why a SM would refuse the conference.


Well that's why Council showed the SM he was wrong because the GYA allows for non scout actitivies as a reason to explain lack of "activity" in the troop. I hope the council forced the SM and CC to sit through a 16 hour season on the gta and how to read it.
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#30 SSF

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Posted 25 February 2017 - 09:50 PM

I wonder how often the sons' of Scoutmasters, or other prominent troop leaders, have to undergo EBORs under disputed circumstances? Parent politics play a very ugly role in scouting and there are too many Scoutmasters who see themselves as the Scouts Master.

 

Belladona,

I'm sorry your son had to go through the ordeal he went through to achieve his rank. He can take pride in knowing that he stood up for himself.

 

My son also earned Eagle through an EBOR under disputed circumstances, so I empathize with everything your son and your family have had to go through. 

 

I don't know what the circumstances were surrounding your son's Eagle application, but in the case of my son, the SM and troop committee tried to add a requirement, after my son had already completed that requirement successfully. When my son and I called the troop on this, the SM and CC got very nasty.

 

The SM even went as far as to try to undermine my son's achievement of one of his final Eagle required merit badges. 

 

As a side note, for anyone who would say that they have disdain for scouts who have rightfully met the requirements for the rank of Eagle only to be denied based on unwarranted scrutiny from a scoutmaster, or any other scout leader, then I can only say I have equal disdain for those individuals.

 

Scouting is supposed to be "all about the scouts", but as I and others have said before, all too often it's really all about the scouters.

 

Regarding your son's ECOH, my recommendation would be to do something privately and only include those who were supportive of your son's advancement.

 

Regarding the congratulatory letters, council can provide you with the forms to request these directly.


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#31 Ankylus

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Posted 27 February 2017 - 01:45 PM

Well that's why Council showed the SM he was wrong because the GYA allows for non scout actitivies as a reason to explain lack of "activity" in the troop. I hope the council forced the SM and CC to sit through a 16 hour season on the gta and how to read it.

 

Not to my knowledge. And to SSF's point, there was some bad blood between the scout's father--a registered ASM who just wanted them to do things the right way--and the troop. In fact, one reason my youngest son did not go to that troop was the kind of thing that this scout's father was having to do. But I will say that neither the CC nor the SM are in leadership positions in scouting anymore. So maybe there was something done behind the scenes.


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#32 Col. Flagg

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Posted 27 February 2017 - 03:08 PM

Not to my knowledge. And to SSF's point, there was some bad blood between the scout's father--a registered ASM who just wanted them to do things the right way--and the troop. In fact, one reason my youngest son did not go to that troop was the kind of thing that this scout's father was having to do. But I will say that neither the CC nor the SM are in leadership positions in scouting anymore. So maybe there was something done behind the scenes.

 

Interesting. It is funny to see some councils do one thing and other councils do others.

 

We used to have folks that misread the whole "be active" thing. They missed the litmus test so clearly pointed out in the GTA and simply interpreted active as being at troop events.


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#33 belladonna

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Posted 09 May 2017 - 03:17 PM

Thank you all for your kind words and chiming in.  Even for the not-so-kind words and assumptions, as I know there are many people who feel that the EBOR Under Disputed Circumstances is a "cheat" or work around for parents to get a kid through.

 

A little context...

 

After the "nuclear option" of disputed circumstances, council recommended that we find an outside Eagle Coach from another troop.  The coach we worked with had more than 50 eagles under his belt, and told us there was no reason why my son should have been denied/delayed.  Our troop leadership's primary argument was that because our troop uses 1-year leadership terms and my son had to resign after 9 months because of sports commitments.  Leadership insisted that because he didn't fulfill a full term, he needed to do an additional three months of service (despite the leadership requirement being 6 months). They, too, said that the "be active" admonition was not met, but since it was never defined by our troop (and since our troop records were woefully inaccurate - with my son showing them photos on his phone from camping events they claimed he didn't attend), that was moot.   The troop leadership wanted my son to serve 3 additional months in a leadership role before an EBOR.

 

During our meeting with the troop leadership and council, the council rep said their points were not a legitimate reason to delay the EBOR, but given the bad blood, we still pursued the Disputed Circumstances route with the other coach. 

 

My son did choose to have an EBOR at our church, and we sent invitations to everyone in the troop.  We had about half the boys show, but none from my son's year (the former SM's son and Committee Chair's twins didn't show.)  In fact, our SM didn't even bother to attend, despite our clearing the date with the troop leadership two months in advance.  Disappointing, truly.  But a life lesson that you will never regret taking the high road.

 

In fact, my son purchased a second mentor pin to give one to his coach and one to the scoutmaster, but we returned it.  Oh, and I requested a few letters from senators and presidents, but only the ones my son wanted.  They're nice for the baby book, so sue me.   :)

 

My son has a year left in scouting, and while I think the experience of standing up for your beliefs and what is right (even against people you respect) is important, it has definitely colored his feelings about our specific troop.  He will be camping this summer with another troop at an entirely separate campground.

 

Thanks for your time, I hope this helps clarify some things.


Edited by belladonna, 09 May 2017 - 03:28 PM.

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#34 fred johnson

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Posted 09 May 2017 - 03:32 PM

Belladonna ... Congratulations to your son.  I'm sad for your son that things turned sour with his existing troop.  Sadly, it happens.  But I agree.  If it is as you said, they have no right to deny recognizing the leadership or the activity.  Even if your troop did document standards for attendance, etc, your son's outside involvement and commitments would have been viewed by the council as acceptable reasons and would have fulfilled requirements.  

 

IMHO, it sounds like your troop wanted to promote higher standards and then got stuck enforcing what they promoted.  Trouble is you can promote a higher image, but you can't enforce those as laws.  

 

Congratulations.  It sounds like he truly earned it.  Perhaps this is a good lesson for your son to reflect how he would support those that he has authority over.  


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#35 Stosh

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Posted 09 May 2017 - 04:00 PM

Congrats to your son!


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#36 David CO

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Posted 09 May 2017 - 04:14 PM

A similar thing happened in our T-ball league.  A high school senior signed up to coach a youth baseball team as a way to fulfill his high school service hours graduation requirement.  Once he had his service hours completed, he quit with 3 games left in the season.

 

His actions clearly demonstrated that he didn't care about his boys.  He just wanted an easy way to do his service hours.  


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#37 RememberSchiff

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Posted 09 May 2017 - 04:21 PM

A similar thing happened in our T-ball league.  A high school senior signed up to coach a youth baseball team as a way to fulfill his high school service hours graduation requirement.  Once he had his service hours completed, he quit with 3 games left in the season.

 

His actions clearly demonstrated that he didn't care about his boys.  He just wanted an easy way to do his service hours.  

 

A similar thing happened here, no notice, he just didn't show. Parents questioned his service to the community, but the public school rubber approved.

 

Very un-cool.


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#38 belladonna

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Posted 09 May 2017 - 04:28 PM

Schiff and DavidCo...I get what you're saying, but I resent the implication that my boy "didn't care".  My son remained involved with the troop, and in fact clarified with the advancement chair if 1) it fulfilled his 6-month requirement (and at the time he was told it did, as he'd already completed 9+ months) and 2) if it was ok to have the APL take over, who was happy to do it.  

 

Things come up. Another boy in our troop stepped down from PL because he had an opportunity to travel overseas with his parents for 3 months.  Did that demonstrate that he "didn't care?"  

 

High school is short.  No one says scouting has to be the end-all, be-all of commitments.  If he'd left the troop high and dry, I'd agree.  But we have the paper trail to prove he didn't (and that he in fact went to meetings as often as he could).


Edited by belladonna, 09 May 2017 - 04:35 PM.

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#39 David CO

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Posted 09 May 2017 - 04:46 PM

I would be the last person to say that scouting is end-all and be-all.  I also understand that unexpected things can happen to cut short a scout fulfilling his obligations in a POR.

 

I just have a difficult time believing that your son's athletic schedule was unforeseen.  It seems more likely that he intended, from the very start, to quit his POR after getting what he wanted.

 

A POR is not a position of convenience.  It is a responsibility.  Your son did not live up to his responsibility. It is sad that the eagle rank often goes to the people who want it the most, rather than those who deserve it the most.


Edited by David CO, 09 May 2017 - 04:58 PM.

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#40 belladonna

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Posted 09 May 2017 - 04:51 PM

We'll have to agree to disagree.  When jr. varsity practices from 3-5 and varsity practices from 6-8 and your troop meets at 7...you have no idea if you'll make varsity as a sophomore.

 

And perhaps that's another reason why council strongly advised that our troop move to 6-month leadership commitments, as most other troops in our area do.  Which also provides additional opportunities for boys to step into leadership roles.  

 

ETA - based on recent replies, I think it's important for me to say that my posts were never intended to justify or demonstrate merit for the Disputed Circumstances option or my son's particular challenges.  Because he is my son, and I believe he earned his Eagle despite tremendous obstacles, I will bow out now.  I'm taking these responses far too personally.  Thank you!


Edited by belladonna, 09 May 2017 - 05:17 PM.

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