August 04, 2014

The BS.... A

artistry by Jarom Vogel (a cousin)

As I said in my last post, we left our appointment with sad hearts thinking all was lost.  There would be no signature from Ms X making it impossible to meet with the board's monthly meeting in two days time.  On the ride home I discussed our options with my 2nd son.  There was the option of trying to find another who would sign.  Time being short that seemed unlikely.  We didn't even know where to start looking.  We could forfeit the court of honor party we were planning and spend the money on a plane ticket home some weekend in the near future with the only purpose of meeting with the elusive board.  That seemed like that was a silly way to spend 500.00 just because someone didn't like the spacing on your application.  Perhaps he would just like to be a Life Scout for Life.  I've known plenty of very nice men who never got their eagle scout award who turned out just fine.

It just seemed so sad to have come this far and not be allowed go the last 2% of the way.  I knew my son deserved this and more importantly he wanted it.  My apathetic son, who hardly found motivation in anything really, wanted to be an eagle scout.  He wanted to jump through the silly hoops to get himself there.  Even though the past month getting him through the hoops was painful, as long as he told me he wanted this, I was willing to keep holding his hand, guiding him through it.

His older brother had gotten his eagle two years earlier (with another frustrating experience with these scout enthusiasts).  I still recall that at my Big Boy's eagle court of honor, my Middle Boy seemed more excited about scouting and getting his eagle than I had seen before.  He wanted that cake and slide show party for himself one day.  I didn't want him to feel like he would be a life long 2nd to his brother in this department.  His older brother may rub his face in it.

Despite our pointless position I encouraged my son to work on the small details she had pointed out to him, and I contacted his Father who was away at high adventure campout for 3 days.  It was just the place my husband needed to be actually.  He was rubbing elbows with our scout district leader on the beach with boys from our stake at a scout outing.  The heavens where smiling down on us after all.  He talked to the right person who asked that we put down our situation in an email and send it to him.  T is good with words and wrote the most diplomatic reasonable explanation for why his son deserved to advance.  He simply explained our current situation, sited the BSA website where it explained that we only needed to provide references not actual letters in hand and asked for the board to consider meeting with him.

The email circulated all the way up to the district commissioner.  It basically started a firestorm of follow up emails.  One man being so upset that he accused us of feeling dismissed, waiting until the 11th hour, misrepresenting facts and going in the back door over their heads to get what we wanted, etc.  We just stayed silent.  Sometimes silence speaks the loudest.

The following day my son received a phone call asking if he was the scout that was leaving for college soon.  He replied that he was.  "Scan me a copy of your application and I will sign it for you" she stated.  We sent it.  Our date spacing was still off, that couldn't be helped a this point.  We also never changed his personal statement that she felt wasn't on point enough.  The board he met with said it was the best one they had ever read though : )

Ironically when I turned in his book at the official scout offices the secretary noted that there was no date by Ms X's signature.  I had to look hard to find it printed very small above her name.  On purpose?  Perhaps a way to have the last laugh on her part.  One last mini heart attack for the LDS scout slackers.  Well played Ms X, well played.

At the official board of review my son had a moment with one of the most angry of the emailers who decided to have 'a chat' with him.  This was relayed to me by our scout master who was close by. My husband and I were in the other room.  He asked my son "why on earth did you wait so long to be here tonight?  You did your project in 2012 for heaven's sake!  You denied yourself 2 years of serving in scouts as an eagle where you could participate in mentoring programs and so much more... why did you wait?!"  Evan kept his cool and replied "I'm good."  Even though he probably meant it as "I just didn't care about all this"  I really do think his wording was perfect, because he really IS good.  He's a good kid who on the following day helped a single mother for several hours with a move.  Too bad that didn't get recorded in a book somewhere so that he could report it as doing a good turn daily or something right?

Scouting represents a lot of good things.  It's really too bad when some people forget about being helpful and friendly, courteous and kind.  After it was over I did email the list of angrys.  I calmly thanked them for their accommodations, explained our situation, refuted the accusations and asked that kindness and communication prevail.  Never heard a word back.  Honestly I don't think they knew we were reading along all that time.  I also showed my son what you do when someone acts badly.  I walked up to that angry man looked him in the eyes, shook his hand warmly and thanked him sincerely for his time and for helping us out.  I was cheerful and brave.

Note the Fork

Boy Scout Law

A Scout is:
  • Trustworthy,
  • Loyal,
  • Helpful,
  • Friendly,
  • Courteous,
  • Kind,
  • Obedient,
  • Cheerful,
  • Thrifty,
  • Brave,
  • Clean,
  • and Reverent.


CSIowa said...

Noah finished the Cooking merit badge two days before his birthday in April. He had his Board of Review in May, but somehow a wrong form was submitted, so we are still waiting for the District Council and National Council to square everything up to make him official. I don't think a single person hassled him along the way. Court of Honor will have to wait until Christmas break, though.

Kelly said...

That is because in Iowa people actually are friendly