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Another Scouting Question (partially a rant)

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Today our receptionist got in a "discussion" with a Scoutmaster of an LDS troop who is known for every boy getting his Eagle.

Scoutmaster proudly explained that he has half the ward signed up as merit badge counselors... and tells them not to teach the merit badge, just sign the card and bring it to him. He says he doesn't want the boys to "waste time" and "feel bad" about not getting a merit badge.

Basically, all the boys are getting free Eagles.

Does anyone else actually find this ethical?

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I do, honestly if I had a Scoutmaster in my ward come to me asking me to just rubber stamp merit badges I'd be work my way up the complaint chain to get it resolved*.

*Not to get the scoutmaster released but to get the behavior corrected, which may include his being release but wouldn't be my call.

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I believe our receptionist already mentioned it the Head eagle Secretary as well as the man's district executive...

Not being a Scouter I'd probably start first with the LDS side of things (though seeing as you work for the BSA its chain of command is right there and is quite handy). I hope the behavior is rectified.

I haven't seen the cards in question, but I assume there is some sort of affirmation that the merit badge material has been taught, so the scoutmaster is essentially requesting ward members lie and the scout themselves have to be aware that something is up if they're getting rubber stamped without meeting requirements (unless I suppose they were raised in such a program and haven't bothered to check requirements for themselves).

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Definitely unethical and goes against what being a Boy Scout let alone an Eagle scout is all about. But in my experience many official scout camps are nearly as bad at rubber stamping merit badges. They often simplify the requirements so the scouts who have limited amount of time, an hour or two, for a merit badge class at camp so they can get it all done. I remember one of the tougher required merit badges I did outside of camps for my Eagle (environmental science) took 2 or 3 hours on several seperate days while others in my troop did it at camp and magically finished it in 2 or 3 hours, which is clearly impossible if you look at the requirements which would require more than a couple of hours to get through.

Anyhow creating rubber stamp Eagles does nothing for anyone besides encourage people that bending the rules or cheating is an acceptable means to get what you want. I would definitely pursue complaints to both the BSA and your Bishop.

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Okay, why is it a "waste of time"? That doesn't make sense! My 2 boys - and they're cub scout age - spend a lot of time doing scout things. They spend 1 hour at church every week and then there are the jillions of things we have to complete at home. I'd rather have them do that than spend all their time playing video games!

On another rant - not scouting but still related to the topic.

My kid plays soccer. He gets a trophy every single soccer season. It's a trophy. He could have sucked all year long or stood on the field picking grass the entire time but he still gets a trophy. So, what does he get if he actually becomes a really good socer player? The exact same trophy. And then, of course, since you're not allowed to keep score, there's really no winning or losing anyway.

No wonder American soccer players are pansies. Woops.

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Okay, why is it a "waste of time"? That doesn't make sense! My 2 boys - and they're cub scout age - spend a lot of time doing scout things. They spend 1 hour at church every week and then there are the jillions of things we have to complete at home. I'd rather have them do that than spend all their time playing video games!

On another rant - not scouting but still related to the topic.

My kid plays soccer. He gets a trophy every single soccer season. It's a trophy. He could have sucked all year long or stood on the field picking grass the entire time but he still gets a trophy. So, what does he get if he actually becomes a really good socer player? The exact same trophy. And then, of course, since you're not allowed to keep score, there's really no winning or losing anyway.

No wonder American soccer players are pansies. Woops.

I wonder the same thing w/ t-ball and such. My kids has destroyed his trophies, I think he knows he really didn't earn them.....

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Today our receptionist got in a "discussion" with a Scoutmaster of an LDS troop who is known for every boy getting his Eagle.?

The problem with this scoutmaster appears to be that he's more interested in his own reputation than he is in the development of the youth. Time for a new scoutmaster; the committee should show him the door.

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The problem with this scoutmaster appears to be that he's more interested in his own reputation than he is in the development of the youth. Time for a new scoutmaster; the committee should show him the door.

AMEN, Brother MOE!

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Today our receptionist got in a "discussion" with a Scoutmaster of an LDS troop who is known for every boy getting his Eagle.

Scoutmaster proudly explained that he has half the ward signed up as merit badge counselors... and tells them not to teach the merit badge, just sign the card and bring it to him. He says he doesn't want the boys to "waste time" and "feel bad" about not getting a merit badge.

Basically, all the boys are getting free Eagles.

Does anyone else actually find this ethical?

Methinks the receptionist or the Scoutmaster was exaggerating. No intelligent and reasonable person could think this kind of crap.

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I am an Eagle Scout, my son earned his Eagle Scout. I have been a Scoutmaster for over 20 years in different wards I have lived in. I have been a District Commissioner and served in other Scouting positions during my 40 adult years.

For me this is not acceptable and unethical and is teaching just the opposite of what Boy Scouting is.

Earning merit badges is not all that is required to become an Eagle Scout. Often those who have gotten their merit badges are caught in the review process to Eagle.

It is sad when it is all about getting badges and not about earning merit badges for the things you have learned.

Personally I have used many of the things I learned during and after my personal Scouting years in my daily life. Sadly if these boys don't learn these things they will miss out later.

I bet some of these same boys are the ones who come home from a mission after a week or a month because it was "too hard".

Ben Raines

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First he needs to get punched in the face......welll prob shouldnt do it, but he does deserve it if that is in fact what he is doing.

 

Anyway- I have been involved in scouting (all LDS troops) quite a bit over the years and almost without exception, it was a lousy experience. I never saw anything that bad, but the general indifference to the scouting program and the lack of effort to make a good program has taken its toll on me. I dont want a part of it anymore.

 

Most LDS scout leaders do not want to work in scouts in the first place so they just do their time and do what their scout leader did- have the kids play basketball. I came from a halfway decent troop into  the one I am in now and I got them to let me go (release me)since it was such a joke. Of course now I'm that guy who handed them their calling back. Just waiting to get called in to be counseled on being a team-player. No corruption as described in the original post, but no one here cares so go figure what the results will be. On a positive note, we dont have any eagles as of late so at least none are fakes from what I can tell.

 

I think in general many members look at the BSA as a marginalized program now with the gay thing and all. I'm dying to see what the friends of scouting take is from the church members this year. I know many who have stopped giving. I used to give several Cs a year and now I'm spending it on something less politically correct.

 

Just my 2 cents.

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Former scout master and current mb counselor here. Yes that sounds obviously wrong, and I would hope that it was said as a joke from him. That teaches the boys the opposite of what scouting is about. 3 of my 4 boys have gotten their eagle through a lot of hard work.

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