Dang you must have even taught that one about declination. Well done sir. And those bacon cheeseburgers will do it every time. My little ones (and their parents) will be doing their first course this weekend. They will have brand new compasses and homemade donuts at the end.
And as for the eagle candidate remember that while he made some mistakes he is still a kid that is trying to show he can be an effective leader. Not that he necessarily already is the most effective leader. I got my eagle nearly 20 years ago and still somehow seem to make mistakes. I always felt a lot of being an effective leader was how you deal with the hiccups when they arise. Shoot when was the last time anyone on here planned something that would be the equivalent of an Eagle Scout protect and it when as planned.
One has to constantly remind oneself that the Eagle project is to show leadership, not managerial expertise. A good leader can successfully lead through diversity, confusion, disappointment and failure. Too often the scouts are judged on their attention to detail, planning, the weather and the morale of his team. These are either management issues or issues beyond his control. If we are judging these projects based on conception, planning, execution and conclusion then we are judging their management, not leadership. The boy can make mistakes, how well does he recover? His team can make mistakes, how well does he recover? The beneficiary changes their mind, how well does he recover? These are leadership issues, he is showing how well he can move the management process through adverse situations. That is leadership, nailing two boards together correctly is not. How well does the scout lead people while at the same time, at a lesser level of evaluation, how well does he manage the task at hand.
I've had a few discussions on this issue with EBOR's and never had a boy fail. I knew when they started their projects, as I said, totally on their own, that they had shown effective leadership before attempting the task. After all that's what the requirements indicate.
And how many "failed" projects are there out there where the beneficiary backed off, changed their mind, or whatever and then the SM and ASM's and parents all ran around like chickens with their heads cut off trying to save this boy's project requirement? To me this is how leadership gets stolen from the boys by well-meaning adults that are only focused on success. It is at that point that I corral up all the maverick parents and scouters and remind them, "When at first you don't succeed, try, try again." This is why my boys tend to be very successful with this whole process. Leadership always trumps management.
No. What we need is a process that will match what the expected outcome is. No one goes through all those steps just to get to a BOR and have someone torpedo him and his work. The final decision MUST come when everyone signs the final report and either accepts or rejects the project as having met the requirements. Doing such at the EBOR is not only silly, it's unfair!
The reason for this is the EBOR is incorrectly judging the project on successful management of the task instead of the leadership and struggle the boy is going through to lead his team through adversity. While a beneficiary not signing off and/or changing their mind, has nothing to do with the boy's ability to effectively lead his team. Managerially he might have figured in such a contingency plan for such an occasion, but that's not leadership, planning of tasks is management. To lead, the boy needs people following. If the plan goes sour, how does he handle the SM? the ASM's? the parents? the beneficiary? his team? This is what I judge, not the plan.