Thursday, September 19, 2013

I hate adults!!! A tale of an Eagle Project.

I should say I hate a specific type of adult that I seem to keep come across and Ask Andy seems to be asked tons of questions about each time he doles out advice.  What type of adult is it that I hate?  I hate adults that expect a program run by boys to fit their perfect mold and has unrealistic expectations of how things are supposed to run.  Just because you have been in the program forever doesn't mean you know everything and traditions need to meet a quick and bloody death especially when these traditions hurt your relationship with a boy.

Need an example?  I am all too happy to share.

I met with a young man to approve his Eagle Project.  Like most boys in my Stake, this boy didn't have the 3 required signatures for his Eagle Project that I need to see before signing off on his project (another topic for another time).  This boy attends Scouts in the same building I do and so I asked him to go get the signatures required and I would in turn sign his project off that night.

Notice how there are no adults in this picture of Scouts doing an Eagle Project?  Normal Rockwell knew Scouting.
On the way out to meet with my Varsity Scouts, this boy's Mom stopped me and asked when my schedule would be clear to sign her son's project off.  I asked her why he wasn't able to get his signatures.  She told me that his new VARSITY COACH would not sign off on his project or even listen to him present the project because (deep breath Fishgutts, deep breath) his project wasn't in a binder and he didn't have any pictures even though he had a diagram of his project.  The mom told me her son was obviously upset but was very respectful of his Varsity Coach and basically said "OK" and then went and gave his mom his paperwork so he could go participate in his weekly meeting.

I grabbed his paperwork and restrained myself from swearing like a sailor while I ran to find the Chartering Organization Representative (hereafter called the COR - and in the LDS Church it is usually one of the Bishopric members) because the VARSITY COACH had left the building.  I found both Counselors of the Bishopric supervising their Troop putting out new hymnals in the Chapel.  I am friends with both.  I asked them why their VARSITY COACH (who was the ASM over the 11 year old Scouts for years until a short while ago) would not sign an Eagle Scout project over a binder and pictures.  Both shook their head and the COR said "This is normal when dealing with this person."  I asked why they would make such a man a Scout leader and I got no reply.  They had both been present during this exchange between the VARSITY COACH and the Varsity Scout and both told me they didn't like the way it was handled.  I told them that this is absolutely unacceptable and as a member of the Advancement Committee I can and will sign for this VARSITY COACH and I can and will cut him out of the whole process of Eagle Projects if need be.  Where in the paperwork does it require that a binder is required along with pictures?  No where.  Yes it is great and beautiful if it is in a binder and you do have pictures but I will be a monkey's uncle before I allow this "requirements" to be acceptable and boys turned away from getting project approval. 

So I went back to the mom and told her I would be signing the boy's Eagle Project for his Varsity Coach and if he has any issues he can call me.  And then I signed for the Varsity Coach.


When in life is ruining a relationship with a Scout worth having his paperwork in a binder with pictures?  This undermines your authority as a Scout leader.  Not even giving the boy the time of day doesn't help either.

So to all the parents, Scouts and Scouters out there - GET RID OF TRADITION, GET RID OF YOUR "REQUIREMENTS" AND GET RID OF EXPECTATIONS!  No boy deserves to have unforeseen requirements placed upon him especially when he doesn't know them.  Each road in Scouting is unique as each boy travels down much different roads.  Even if two boys earned the same merit badges and went on all the same campouts, they would learn much different things.  Your relationship with a Scout is worth more than holding on to your silly tradition.  I wish the phrase "Well that is how we have been doing it..........." could be forever removed from our minds.  Adults get out of the way of these boys and let them work the Scouting program!

There may be updates on this post as the Advancement Chair for the Advancement Committee totally back me up on this and I need to contact this Varsity Coach to educate him on the process.

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