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#61 SSScout

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Posted 21 March 2017 - 09:15 AM

Yep, another example of my #1 adage, "the work is done by whoever shows up".

 

The most one can do is point to the BSA printed requirements.   Proposal?  Plan?   If the Troop Committee/Eagle Mentor/Eagle Advisory Board/DAChair/  reads and hears the Eagle candidate explain his idea,  they/he/she can advise (more word HERE,  more duct tape HERE) and point out (will you have a first aid kit on site?) and question (is it really wise to back fill before you lay the pipe? ) .

 

If the DAC is a problem to some folks,  maybe the District Committee and District Chair (they showed up, right?) should be approached.


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#62 fred johnson

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Posted 21 March 2017 - 09:17 AM

We are going through this now.  We have recently been redistricted and the our new DAC has her own way of doing things.  I took a Life to Eagle class from her at University of Scouting a couple years ago and it was very clear she did not understand the process as outlined by national.  She recently told our Scoutmaster that if a boy wanted Eagle they had to go through her and do it her way.  She requires a Life to Eagle class, we tell our boys about it but if they don't go she is threatening to hold them up, I see that as adding to the requirements.  She has her own ideas about what an Eagle Project should be.  We have 2 excellent Eagle mentors in our troop who work with our scouts on their proposal to be sure it fits within the guidelines and helps them iron out any issues, our committee is thorough and responsible (even though we have a couple members who are crazy with what they want to see in a proposal).  None of our Scouts have had their proposal turned away at the district level and I have been told that our boys are some of the most well prepared scouts that our district has seen.  So we get this new DAC who insists on meeting with all candidates personally to review their projects, on her schedule, and in her town (about 45 minutes away).  She wants to approve the project plan before the boys begin their project as well.  We told her that the project plan is "optional" and she replied that it isn't if our scouts want to make Eagle in her district.  We have no idea what to expect as far as the project review goes because she is a "my way or the highway" person and requirement 5 is so vague that she can dismiss the project for her own reasons.

 

My sympathies.  All I can say is read the whole Eagle project workbook.  Read Eagle, project and EBOR sections of the BSA Guide To Advancement (online in PDF form).  Both have explicit statements about what scouts and parents can expect.  Also, it identifies what troops and districts can and can not do.  Take notes from your reading !!!!   I'd also recommend reading a few key BSA Advancement News articles.

 

http://www.scouting....dvancement.aspx

 

My favorite is BSA Adv News August 2013 ... "Eagle Project Proposal Approval: Keep it Simple, Make it Fast" ... http://www.scouting....13_Aug_Sept.pdf

 

.......................

 

Now, that's BSA.  That's what we signed up to following (rules, guidelines, procedures) ...  BUT ... getting the other person to agree and work per those BSA published statements ??? ... good luck.  ... I know a neary-by district where scouts give up and multiple families I know wish they hadn't started scouting because of how they were treated during the final Eagle journey.  

 

Choose your fights wisely.  Sometimes it's better to jump through the hoop to get it done instead of fighting the good fight.  Your call.


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#63 NJCubScouter

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Posted 21 March 2017 - 11:49 AM

  • Signing just the proposal, and not requiring an actual project plan AND approval, is silly. Much of this whole issue we are discussing can be avoided by mandating a proposal AND project plan, complete with detailed steps on how things will be done.

That's what the process was until a few years ago. I believe the reason they changed it because there were Scouts doing detailed planning consuming many hours, only to be told the idea for the project did not meet the requirement and to choose another idea. The current edition of the workbook limits the amount of time and effort the Scout must expend before they know whether they are going to be able to proceed with the project in the first place. That seems reasonable to me.
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#64 Col. Flagg

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Posted 21 March 2017 - 12:21 PM

I cringe. I cringe not because of Col. Flagg's comment as much as my experience. I've seen scouts waiting MONTHS to get their eagle proposal approved. I've seen scouts being bounced around for months because committees keep providing feedback asking for more and more from their plan.  It was abusive hazing and adds little value.  IMHO, it got to the point that people thought everyone should have their project plan bounced back multiple times so they had the experience as if getting the paperwork was part of the core requirement.  The requirement is about service and leadership, not about paperwork.

 
I agree @fredjohnson, Scouts should be evaluated solely on the leadership demonstrated during the planning and execution of the project. But having a complete process which requires evidence of detailed planning, does not necessary mean that BSA needs to create an onerous documentation requirement. What is currently in place is sufficient, they just need to put an approval of the project plan.
 
HOWEVER, there needs to be a mechanism in place at the council level to make sure this process is consistent and standardized. Because if BSA doesn't we end up with people like @andysmom has to deal with...
 

We are going through this now.  We have recently been redistricted and the our new DAC has her own way of doing things.  I took a Life to Eagle class from her at University of Scouting a couple years ago and it was very clear she did not understand the process as outlined by national.  She recently told our Scoutmaster that if a boy wanted Eagle they had to go through her and do it her way.  She requires a Life to Eagle class, we tell our boys about it but if they don't go she is threatening to hold them up, I see that as adding to the requirements.

 
Sounds like she's a great candidate for a BSA class on how to be an Eagle Coordinator. She simply cannot require anyone to come to her class. She can certainly require a meeting to approve the proposal, but her role is not coach, it's district/council rep to review and approve.
 

She wants to approve the project plan before the boys begin their project as well.  We told her that the project plan is "optional" and she replied that it isn't if our scouts want to make Eagle in her district.  We have no idea what to expect as far as the project review goes because she is a "my way or the highway" person and requirement 5 is so vague that she can dismiss the project for her own reasons.


A few things:

  • No one approves the project plan and she cannot require it. She's clearly adding requirements.
     
  • The project plan is NOT optional. The only time the word even shows up in the work book is in this sentence, "A project coach's involvement and review of your project plan is optional, but it can help you avoid many problems or mistakes." This means the review and involvement of the coach is optional, but the plan most certainly is not.
     
  • If she rejects a project she needs to give a reason (if asked). The GTA says, "If requested by the Scout or his parent or guardian, an explanation of a proposal rejection will be provided in writing, with a copy sent to the council advancement chair and staff advisor. It will indicate reasons for rejection and suggestions concerning what can be done to achieve approval."
     
  • Lastly, it is not "her" district. The GTA allows for someone else to pass judgement is she's incapable of being impartial or following the rules: "If the candidate believes he has been mistreated or his proposal wrongfully rejected, he will be provided a method of redress. This will include the opportunity for a second opinion and approval, either through another volunteer or professional advancement administrator, or the Scout executive, as determined by the council advancement committee or executive board." 

In short, she can pontificate all she wants to, but any parent and unit lead with a backbone would take her one and get council to appoint someone who will follow the rules. If she's throwing up road blocks the council needs to know.

 

We had a similar issue once with a training chair. Several units tried to address the issue and she refused to hear our concerns and treated our guys like dung. So the units banded together and simply didn't participate in FOS that year. When asked why we told them. Within two months the council "retired" her, gave her a silver animal of some sort and found someone compassionate to fill her role.  ;)


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#65 Col. Flagg

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Posted 21 March 2017 - 12:27 PM

That's what the process was until a few years ago. I believe the reason they changed it because there were Scouts doing detailed planning consuming many hours, only to be told the idea for the project did not meet the requirement and to choose another idea. The current edition of the workbook limits the amount of time and effort the Scout must expend before they know whether they are going to be able to proceed with the project in the first place. That seems reasonable to me.

 

But it leads to the issues we have of rejection. It is a simple process followed in the business world on a daily basis.

  1. I have an idea. I develop a brief proposal. I complete the basic elements of the proposal so I can articulate it's scope, impact, cost and how I will demonstrate leadership.
     
  2. I get feedback on the proposal, make changes and resubmit my modified proposal. I get the proposal approved.
     
  3. I know create my DETAILED plan, based on my approved proposal, to show how I will accomplish all that I have articulated in the proposal.
     
  4. I get feedback on the detailed plan, make changes and resubmit my modified detailed plan. I get approved.

Result: Beneficiary, unit lead and district/council have seen both my proposal AND project plan (detailed) and APPROVED them. They are award of how I will accomplish my plan and can evaluate me based on my results as articulated in my final report. It is a quantitative process which has measurable milestones. 


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#66 NJCubScouter

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Posted 21 March 2017 - 01:08 PM

I don't think it would necessarily be wrong to require approval of the plan, but I think the BSA was trying to strike a balance between "not enough" and "too much." Part of the problem was that some reviewers, unit leaders, etc. were requiring much more than others, and the BSA was trying to achieve some sort of standard that would be roughly equivalent for all Scouts in all councils.
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#67 Col. Flagg

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Posted 21 March 2017 - 01:22 PM

I don't think it would necessarily be wrong to require approval of the plan, but I think the BSA was trying to strike a balance between "not enough" and "too much." Part of the problem was that some reviewers, unit leaders, etc. were requiring much more than others, and the BSA was trying to achieve some sort of standard that would be roughly equivalent for all Scouts in all councils.

 

I get that. But they have failed miserably as evidenced by the adults demanding more, not following guidelines and adding to requirements. BSA would be much better off offering a standard class that all council Eagle reviewer would be required to pass (note, not just take) which grinds in to their heads the process, parameters and prohibited actions from some of these wanna-be Napoleons.


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#68 fred johnson

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Posted Yesterday, 10:36 AM

I get that. But they have failed miserably as evidenced by the adults demanding more, not following guidelines and adding to requirements. BSA would be much better off offering a standard class that all council Eagle reviewer would be required to pass (note, not just take) which grinds in to their heads the process, parameters and prohibited actions from some of these wanna-be Napoleons.

 

IMHO, BSA did an incredible job.  BSA added to the workbook key information that scouts and their families need.  The only comment I'd have is they should move the "Navigating" section up to the first half right after the "message to the scouts and parents or guardians".   The workbook includes the rules.  It includes how to navigate the process.  It includes keys about what to expect and recourse. 

 

So so many adult leaders have always wanted to raise the bar to show how much they value and respect the scouting program.  The project is about community service and leadership.  As a plan is by definition more detailed than the proposal, I fear the implications of asking plans to be reviewed and approved.  It would be a return to the old days of months to get a project plan approved.   


Edited by fred johnson, Yesterday, 11:07 AM.

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#69 gumbymaster

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Posted Yesterday, 10:59 AM

 We had a similar issue once with a training chair. Several units tried to address the issue and she refused to hear our concerns and treated our guys like dung. So the units banded together and simply didn't participate in FOS that year. When asked why we told them. Within two months the council "retired" her, gave her a silver animal of some sort and found someone compassionate to fill her role.  ;)

 

This may very well be the best use of FoS $ I have ever heard of.  A mechanism for unit(s) to force change at a district or council level when needed.  I guess that means my units would need to have a decent level of giving to make this a credible and effective threat.

 

Thankfully, I haven't yet encountered these types of horror stories that would require this type of response.


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#70 NJCubScouter

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Posted Yesterday, 11:11 AM

This may very well be the best use of FoS $ I have ever heard of.  A mechanism for unit(s) to force change at a district or council level when needed.  I guess that means my units would need to have a decent level of giving to make this a credible and effective threat.

 

I was thinking the same thing about my troop.  Reducing our level of FOS donations would not be much of a threat.  :)


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#71 Col. Flagg

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Posted Yesterday, 11:36 AM

IMHO, BSA did an incredible job.  BSA added to the workbook key information that scouts and their families need.  The only comment I'd have is they should move the "Navigating" section up to the first half right after the "message to the scouts and parents or guardians".   The workbook includes the rules.  It includes how to navigate the process.  It includes keys about what to expect and recourse. 

 

So so many adult leaders have always wanted to raise the bar to show how much they value and respect the scouting program.  The project is about community service and leadership.  As a plan is by definition more detailed than the proposal, I fear the implications of asking plans to be reviewed and approved.  It would be a return to the old days of months to get a project plan approved.   

 

Again, it does not have to be an onerous process adding in the approval of the plan. 

 

Look at what we have today. We simply get a proposal approved and some councils/districts take eons to approve. It is NOT the process, it's the people running it and mismanaging it. THEY need the training, but it's not the process that's broken.

 

IF we could get the council/districts reps the proper training AND compel them to follow it, THEN adding in a project approval process would eliminate a great many of the "lack of detail" issues we run in to during the EBOR.

 

This may very well be the best use of FoS $ I have ever heard of.  A mechanism for unit(s) to force change at a district or council level when needed.  I guess that means my units would need to have a decent level of giving to make this a credible and effective threat.

 

Thankfully, I haven't yet encountered these types of horror stories that would require this type of response.

 

70 families x $100 per (on average) x 4-6 units = a minimum of $28,000. That's a significant hunk of change that got council's attention. Plus, when word got out the action grew past just 6 units.


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#72 fred johnson

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Posted Yesterday, 06:52 PM

... THEN adding in a project approval process would eliminate a great many of the "lack of detail" issues we run in to during the EBOR.

 

There really isn't a lack of detail issue EBORs.  Virtually all I've seen work are just fine.  Just rare rare situations where EBORs need flexibility.


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#73 Stosh

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Posted Yesterday, 06:53 PM

As I sit back with my cup of evening joe I began wondering how in the world boys got to be Eagles before the "project" came along.  Now I wonder how in the world the boys are going to be Eagles now that this hoop jumping extravaganza has been entrenched by the adults in the program.


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Stosh

 

There's a reason why I don't always answer the phone, doorbell or comments on forums.  :)





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