Menu
Jump to content

What's with the ads?

Farrar

Boy Scout with Downs Syndrome article

Recommended Posts

There is a process for mbs being claimed that weren't actually earned. 

https://filestore.scouting.org/filestore/pdf/33088.pdf

See section 7. The tricky part is: did the boy actually EARN the mb? If he did not, using the written rules, he has not earned it. Why in heavens that would not have been caught before, I have no idea. 

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Reading between the lines a little , it sounds like BSA has some policies in place for accommodations , but the local scouts didn’t use that and instead just awarded badges for effort. Which was fine until they got to the Eagle Scout stage. Then BSA put its foot down .

 

I really sympathize that the kid is caught in the crossfire , but it sounds like the local leaders only did a halfway job in advocating for him .

 

Yes, this.

 

There have been many scouts who have had badges pulled because they were improperly approved.  Local units are not allowed to make exceptions to BSA rules.  The BSA has been adamant that local units cannot add to the merit badge requirements, nor can they take away from them.  

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

There are two more other possible scenarios for the entire kerfuffle--was the boy actually registered? It happens sometimes--it happened here. I kept pointing out to a boy and his mom that he had not actually turned in the application. She kept blowing me off, saying he'd turned it in. Well, everyone else got a particular mb, but not her ds. I suggested he look in his backpack (as I had suggested many times over) for the app. Sure enough, there it was! I solved the problem, but it was extra work on my part. 

 

 

We had a scout whose Eagle application was denied because it showed that he had earned one of the required badges BEFORE he was officially a scout.   It was an error, but it caused a lot of last-minute commotion in getting his Eagle. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

What an unfortunate situation.  I hope he can fix this and get Eagle Scout after all.  

 

We almost had to ask for alternative requirements before, for my oldest (Aspie) and my youngest with some hand issues.  He cannot (for example) do any rappelling or grabbing ropes or poles.  He was very upset for the camping MB as he had planned to rappel, but after grabbing the ropes for prepping, he didn't feel confident enough that he could actually hold on to it.  He ended up hiking and canoeing instead.  But he really wanted to rappel.

 

My older 2 have Eagle.  Youngest prob won't get it as his interest in scouting has faded.  He will have almost 20 merit badges (9 towards his 13 Eagle required) when he quits.   Sigh......it isn't my decision ultimately, and he wants to pursue sports.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Yes, this.

 

There have been many scouts who have had badges pulled because they were improperly approved.  Local units are not allowed to make exceptions to BSA rules.  The BSA has been adamant that local units cannot add to the merit badge requirements, nor can they take away from them.  

 

 

Yep the requirements have to be done as written. Which led to a lively argument between ds and dd. "No, I don't have to be on the correct diagonal for the 30 foot half circle." But dd, ever the Perfect Paula, "But it should be RIGHT! Don't you want to do it perfectly?" No, he really doesn't care for horses. He did the requirements and wasn't interested in learning the finer points of English riding.  :lol:

 

I had a go-round with a dad. "Why can't he count his garden from last year???" Because he was a Cub Scout then???? 

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

We had a scout whose Eagle application was denied because it showed that he had earned one of the required badges BEFORE he was officially a scout.   It was an error, but it caused a lot of last-minute commotion in getting his Eagle. 

 

 

Oops!

 

We had a mixup in one of ds's Eagle Palms. The advancement chair for the troop entered the Palm from TWO Palms ago as the date the SM signed it, NOT the date it was earned. We could not figure out why it wouldn't go in (made no sense because the Palm in between did). I finally figured it, and contacted the Council advancement person and got it straightened out. Our advancement chair almost never made a mistake, but had that time.

 

I do have to tell a funny on her. We went to check over her ds's Eagle book before sending it in to Council. She proudly declared it "perfect and error free". I found 11 errors, ALL of them missing signatures on blue cards (back then, they had to be turned in). The funny thing was that SHE was in charge of getting those signatures! Fortunately, the SM lived just down the street and it was an easy fix. 

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I am LDS and I can say that as in any group, some leaders are better than others. I happen to have two boys--one in a community troop and one in a church troop so I actually see both sides. For a while the community troop was definitely superior--number of boys, activities, leaders. Everyone was properly trained and you could tell that things were running really well. At the same time, the LDS troop was struggling. Strangely enough in the years since then, things have switched. I have my opinions on why, but training was part of it.

 

Trained leaders are better--I got trained when I was chosen to be a Cub leader many years ago and knew a lot more than some of the other leaders. I can say though, the other leaders at the training avoided me once they discovered that I was LDS (kind of funny since we were meeting in my church building). There is a huge disconnect between the community leaders and the LDS leaders and it comes from both sides.

 

 

 

I think some of the struggles on the LDS side tend to be from the fact that often the leaders are not there because of a love of Scouting, but because they were told it was their calling. We have a cranky LDS leader down valley right now because the bishop decided someone else should be the SM. The guy is bummed--he loved being a SM, and the new guy isn't trained and is making a hash of it. Our LDS troop is now 3 boys--they haven't had a SM for 2.5 years! The new guy is trying, but he's clueless. He's also not trained 

 

We're going to lose MORE leaders with this new YPT requirement. Whilst I agree with the training, the website is a mess! I spent over 3 hours yesterday, trying to get through it, and I still can't get my cert to print out. Took me over an hour to get IN the training, and then after every module I'd have to wait half an hour and restart my computer. When YPT was first required, years ago, we lost over half our mb counselors. The numbers have gone every year. It's hard when we live in the boonies (next closest town is 65 miles away over two passes) and our Council is HALF of CO! Scouts doesn't want boys to earn mbs from only a few adults. I agree--but 6 hours of driving is tough!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Right or wrong, good or bad, understandable or incomprehensible, this is bad publicity for scouting and correcting the errors made by this boy’s troop could have been handled in a more delicate and professional manner. Perception is reality. This is something that scouting hasn’t done very well with in recent years and it’s compromising the viability of the program on several fronts and with several demographics.

  • Like 11

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm appalled. The best thing about scouts (in my area anyway) has been the inclusiveness. The boy's troop has had low IQ kids and autistic kids, my son being one. It was one place to actually belong. This makes me sad. Off to read the article.

 

Sent from my SM-G950U using Tapatalk

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

We had a special needs scout grow personally by being held to the requirements. He and his parents figured he'd get a waiver on everything he couldn't do or they didn't want to pay for....

swimming mb..couldn't get in to the pool on his own, had never put his face in water

hiking mb...couldn't walk too far with his physical disability and his usual walking aids

cycling mb...couldn't pedal with his feet

 

could've knocked him over with a feather when he learned he was expected to use approved accommodations..

...pool was accessible, and he needed to take lessons like everyone else

...accommodations such as wheel chair allowed, just as if he was going about his daily business...

...handcycle allowed

 

his mother was just as shocked...she hadn't planned on taking him for swim lessons, or getting him a wheelchair, or a bike with a hand pedal. She wasn't involved in Paralympics, but the scoutmaster was....opened a lot of the world for them after they saw the videos of possibilities...  He didn't have much time left to build the muscle to earn Swimming or Biking, so ended up finding a wheel chair and getting his Hiking in.  He'll have a much better life now that he knows possibilities and a path to personal fitness. 

 

Our SM was kind to me..my son wanted to do his 20 mile hike but couldn't get another kid to do it and I was too ill to be hiking up and down all day with a full backpack, so he suggested to the SM that he could run the trail instead of walk, to shorten my time out.  Instead the SM suggested a flat trail that I could bike and take rests on while the kid and sib kept walking. Darn kid never finished his writeups, but I sure enjoyed not feeling like a patient while I was out there. 

Edited by Heigh Ho
  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

There is a process for mbs being claimed that weren't actually earned. 

https://filestore.scouting.org/filestore/pdf/33088.pdf

See section 7. The tricky part is: did the boy actually EARN the mb? If he did not, using the written rules, he has not earned it. Why in heavens that would not have been caught before, I have no idea. 

 

The section says that the process is limited, and this situation doesn't sound like it fits.  

 

At one point it says:

 

 The badge is his to keep and count toward his advancement. See “Personal Growth Is the Primary Goal,†2.0.0.3. The same holds true if a Scout, without intent to violate national BSA procedures or policies, fulfills merit badge requirements with someone who is not registered and approved as a counselor. 

  

 

Which would imply that even if it wasn't an approved counselor signing off, if the kid in question didn't know or understand that, the badge would still be his to keep.

 

At another point it says:

 

This procedure is not to be viewed as an opportunity for retesting on requirements, for interjecting another set of standards over those of a merit badge counselor, or for debating issues such as whether a Scout was strong enough, mature enough, or old enough to have completed requirements.

 

 

That seems likely to have been what happened here.  That someone looked at the scout, and questioned whether he was capable, causing them to interject another set of standards.  

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I can understand not allowing the boy to earn badges when the work was not completed (accommodations or no accommodations).  But if he was awarded these badges, then they should stand.  The time to revoke a badge was long ago, not after several years.  As far as his Eagle goes, no one is entitled to an Eagle honor, and he should have to complete the Eagle only after he completes the work as written and approved in his proposal.

Edited by reefgazer
  • Like 7

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

My thoughts exactly.

To be honest, I am ok with saying that if he can't follow eagle scout requirements as written he can't do it.  But, tell him ahead of time. 

 

But merit badges, I mean, they are little round fabric pieces with embroidery on them.  They aren't a means to employment, they aren't considered for scholarships, they are just a piece of fabric that show you learned something.  Taking those away from someone who didn't learn every single thing exactly as stated because he has special needs is...

 

just....I can't imagine being the person who made that decision.  

 

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

 

 

I had a go-round with a dad. "Why can't he count his garden from last year???" Because he was a Cub Scout then???? 

 

This made me giggle.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

 

 

  

 

Which would imply that even if it wasn't an approved counselor signing off, if the kid in question didn't know or understand that, the badge would still be his to keep.

 

See, I don't think that's implied at all.  The start of the passage makes it clear that the counselor has to be registered and approved.  

 

There have been threats in our council that merit badges not signed ff by an approved counselor at the time of completion are not valid.  I don't know if it's true, but apparently some scouts have lost badges that they thought they earned because the counselor wasn't approved.  

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I’m always a little wary of making judgments about articles like this. I feel like often there is more to the story than is portrayed in the press. And I’m not necessarily more sympathetic to big organizations, but I do think that it’s easier for an individual to appear sympathetic and for judgments to be made without really hearing all the details of what happened. 

 

For example, I’m not sure what it means that his Merit Badges were voided. Did they ask for him to physically return the badge? That would be cruel. Did they say they didn’t count towards the Eagle requirements...also upsetting but perhaps less cruel and more understandable depending on how they were earned. They mention offering a path to alternative badges to the parents. It’s not entirely clear what that means. It could be “start over†or it could be “he needs to also do these things in order to say he earned the badge for Eagleâ€. Those would be different. 

 

It also struck me that he’s only 15. Many kids don’t earn their Eagle until almost 18 and I believe there is precedent for allowing kids with disabilities to have “indefinite time†to work on Eagle. 

 

It looked to me that the BSA didn’t close the door completely, but instead said there were other things he needed to do and the parents are saying those aren’t fair. It’s hard to know without knowing all the details. The BSA does come out as being mean and insensitive, but I feel like that happens often in the media and may not always be fair (not just to the BSA but to any organization where the story is “little guy vs. big groupâ€.) 

 

 

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Yep, definitely an article with an agenda. I do think the parents hold some responsibility here. I can't imagine putting a child in an organization, especially a SN's child, without learning how the organization is run. It's not like this boy just crossed over at 11. Parents ARE expected to have read the handbook. If they had, they would have read page 418 where it says the requirements have to be done exactly as written. Of course, pointing that out doesn't sell magazines or newspapers.  :lol:

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

So this was our experience with a situation on the SM side.  Dh was the SM for our (LDS) troop for 5 years.  He has all the training up through Wood badge even though we have not had a scout aged boy until last year.  During his time as SM, in our troop was a boy on the autism spectrum.  The parents were informed (ad nauseum) about the appropriate accommodations that could be made for each merit badge being worked on as a troop.  The mom was insistent that her son earn all the merit badges without accommodations just by showing up.  She felt that if he showed up to the weekly troop meetings & the monthly merit badge class he should get the merit badge along with the other boys.  For example she expected that he would earn the swimming merit badge because he had shown up for the merit badge classes without ever getting into the pool.  She didn't want the accommodations that were offered.  This mom was so persistent that she wore down troop leaders &  merit badge counselors, and blue cards were being signed.  Unfortunately, she ran into Dh at the SM conferences for advancement.  It wasn't pretty.  She threatened legal action against my husband. 

 

My hope would be for the young man in the article that his merit badges would be reviewed with an eye for accommodation.  I would hope that there would be ways that the work he has already done for each merit badge could be considered and appropriate activities could be planned for him by merit badge counselors to complete each merit badge.  I also know scouts whose eagle project idea has been rejected, re-thought, reviewed, rejected, re-thought, etc, until the project was acceptable.  I hope that will be the case for this young man.  His project needs to be tweaked & reworked by the scout and an adult leader who understands this scout's abilities and the appropriate accommodations that can be made while still remaining within the rules.  Together they should come up with a plan for the scout to succeed.  There is time for these things to be worked out.

 

Amber in SJ

  • Like 8

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

This thread is making me glad my SN child is a girl and in an organization that is far less bureaucratic than BSA. I don’t know if she will be capable of planning and carrying out a Gold Award project but if she does not earn it it won’t be because National has decided to nitpick all her badges.

 

 

Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

  • Like 7

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

And the official word from BSA:  (lots of the article was bunk, as suspected)

There has been a lot of really weird stories concerning a Scout with Downs Syndrome who was working toward Eagle Scout. As a result, many Scouters thought that somehow the Scouting program was making a turn away from the disability community in this nation. Nothing further from the truth.

For the OFFICIAL record, here's the text from this evening's Scouting newsroom blog. Please share this along with the link provided below...and to those of you who reached out to us asking us to interviene, thank each one of you and know that we have done what we could to forward your and our concerns to the appropriate offices at the BSA's National Center...

(Settummanque/Mike Walton)

-------------
BSA Clears Up Misconceptions About Path to Eagle Scout Rank for Scout with Downs

Many local volunteers and Scouting professionals at the Utah National Parks Council have worked closely with Boy Scout Logan Blythe and his family to deliver a positive experience in our programs.

We want to be clear – the option to earn the rank of Eagle Scout has been – and still is – available to Logan. We remain inspired by his dedication to Scouting, and we hope to continue working with Logan and his family to support him in the effort to earn the rank of Eagle Scout through the engagement of our National Disabilities Advancement Team.

The Boy Scouts of America is committed to making sure every Scout benefits from the program and has the opportunity to earn the Eagle Scout rank. The process of achieving the Eagle Scout rank is rigorous for any Scout, but it is designed so that accommodations can be made for Scouts with disabilities or special needs. The National Disabilities Advancement Team wants to work directly with the Blythe family to review what Logan has accomplished based on his abilities and help determine a path to earn the Eagle Scout rank that is both appropriate and empowering for him.

Since its founding, the Boy Scouts of America has served youth members with physical, mental, and emotional disabilities. Scouting is uniquely positioned among youth programs to meet the needs of children with special needs by providing diverse programs and social experiences.

At its core, Scouting fosters the spirit of diversity and inclusiveness, and we are committed to continuing the Boy Scouts of America’s long history of working with Scouts with disabilities, including Logan Blythe, to help them succeed in and beyond Scouting.

FAQ

Were Logan’s merit badges revoked?

No, Logan still has the merit badges he worked on.

 

Was Logan demoted to a Cub Scout?

No, Logan is still registered as a Boy Scout.

 

Will Logan be able to earn his Eagle Scout rank?

The Boy Scouts of America is committed to making sure every Scout benefits from the program and has the opportunity to earn the Eagle Scout rank. The process of achieving the Eagle Scout rank is rigorous for any Scout, but it is designed so that accommodations can be made for Scouts with disabilities or special needs.

The National Disabilities Advancement Team wants to work directly with the Blythe family to review what Logan has accomplished based on his abilities and help determine a path for him to earn the Eagle Scout rank that is both appropriate and empowering for their situation.

 

  • Like 6

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

This thread is making me glad my SN child is a girl and in an organization that is far less bureaucratic than BSA. I don’t know if she will be capable of planning and carrying out a Gold Award project but if she does not earn it it won’t be because National has decided to nitpick all her badges.

 

 

Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

You think girl scouts is less bureaucratic? Not my experience at all. DD did brownies through finishing her bronze award and then dropped it to focus solely on 4H.

 

Her years of girl scout participation were definitely filled with bureaucracy and rigid rule following that made no sense. One example was counselors at gs camp not allowing DD to go to the latrine alone, but not getting her a partner to go. How do you let a 8 year old wet her pants twice in one week because you have a procedure. DD never went to go camp again. She did go camping with her troop and she did go to other overnight camps. DD encountered similar inflexible adherence to procedure throughout her time in girl scouts.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

 

And the official word from BSA: (lots of the article was bunk, as suspected)

U.S. Scouting Service Project (USSSP)

3 mins ·

There has been a lot of really weird stories concerning a Scout with Downs Syndrome who was working toward Eagle Scout. As a result, many Scouters thought that somehow the Scouting program was making a turn away from the disability community in this nation. Nothing further from the truth.

For the OFFICIAL record, here's the text from this evening's Scouting newsroom blog. Please share this along with the link provided below...and to those of you who reached out to us asking us to interviene, thank each one of you and know that we have done what we could to forward your and our concerns to the appropriate offices at the BSA's National Center...

(Settummanque/Mike Walton)

-------------

BSA Clears Up Misconceptions About Path to Eagle Scout Rank for Scout with Downs

Many local volunteers and Scouting professionals at the Utah National Parks Council have worked closely with Boy Scout Logan Blythe and his family to deliver a positive experience in our programs.

We want to be clear – the option to earn the rank of Eagle Scout has been – and still is – available to Logan. We remain inspired by his dedication to Scouting, and we hope to continue working with Logan and his family to support him in the effort to earn the rank of Eagle Scout through the engagement of our National Disabilities Advancement Team.

The Boy Scouts of America is committed to making sure every Scout benefits from the program and has the opportunity to earn the Eagle Scout rank. The process of achieving the Eagle Scout rank is rigorous for any Scout, but it is designed so that accommodations can be made for Scouts with disabilities or special needs. The National Disabilities Advancement Team wants to work directly with the Blythe family to review what Logan has accomplished based on his abilities and help determine a path to earn the Eagle Scout rank that is both appropriate and empowering for him.

Since its founding, the Boy Scouts of America has served youth members with physical, mental, and emotional disabilities. Scouting is uniquely positioned among youth programs to meet the needs of children with special needs by providing diverse programs and social experiences.

At its core, Scouting fosters the spirit of diversity and inclusiveness, and we are committed to continuing the Boy Scouts of America’s long history of working with Scouts with disabilities, including Logan Blythe, to help them succeed in and beyond Scouting.

FAQ

Were Logan’s merit badges revoked?

No, Logan still has the merit badges he worked on.

Was Logan demoted to a Cub Scout?

No, Logan is still registered as a Boy Scout.

Will Logan be able to earn his Eagle Scout rank?

The Boy Scouts of America is committed to making sure every Scout benefits from the program and has the opportunity to earn the Eagle Scout rank. The process of achieving the Eagle Scout rank is rigorous for any Scout, but it is designed so that accommodations can be made for Scouts with disabilities or special needs.

The National Disabilities Advancement Team wants to work directly with the Blythe family to review what Logan has accomplished based on his abilities and help determine a path for him to earn the Eagle Scout rank that is both appropriate and empowering for their situation.

 

BSA Clears Up Misconceptions About Path to Eagle Scout Rank for Utah Scout With Down Syndrome - Scouting Newsroom

SCOUTINGNEWSROOM.ORG

This reads like a press release (one that makes a couple of key blunders to boot) and doesn’t take responsibility for whatever it is that the Blythe family reacted to in their email. I feel like we still don’t know what happened. If the family is so dedicated to scouts, I’m inclined to believe them when they say their son doesn’t want to go and when they say his merit badges were essentially nullified.

  • Like 4

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

 

And the official word from BSA:  (lots of the article was bunk, as suspected)

 

Wait...why should we assume everything the BA states in its "official" release is 100% truthful?  This is the organization that kept sealed files protecting predators for decades so it isn't like they are above reproach.

 

 

  • Like 3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

You think girl scouts is less bureaucratic? Not my experience at all. DD did brownies through finishing her bronze award and then dropped it to focus solely on 4H.

 

Her years of girl scout participation were definitely filled with bureaucracy and rigid rule following that made no sense. One example was counselors at gs camp not allowing DD to go to the latrine alone, but not getting her a partner to go. How do you let a 8 year old wet her pants twice in one week because you have a procedure. DD never went to go camp again. She did go camping with her troop and she did go to other overnight camps. DD encountered similar inflexible adherence to procedure throughout her time in girl scouts.

The “buddy†rule is for safety reasons and just plain common sense. Girls should not be wandering off by themselves. My daughter’s school has a similar rule for their students.

 

 

Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Wait...why should we assume everything the BA states in its "official" release is 100% truthful?  This is the organization that kept sealed files protecting predators for decades so it isn't like they are above reproach.

 

 

Well, first off, no boy would be demoted in rank to Cub Scouts. That's not how the programs work. 

 

And as I've worked with 100's of Scouter volunteers, to a one, I've seen that they have the best interest of their Scouts at heart. The media has blown this up, without getting all the information. But, folks don't want to hear that--they want "the story". 

  • Like 5

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The “buddy†rule is for safety reasons and just plain common sense. Girls should not be wandering off by themselves. My daughter’s school has a similar rule for their students.

 

 

Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

One example of stupid decisions. And think about it how long do you wait to find a buddy? And once you've blown it with a kid do you make the same mistake again a couple days later because humiliation is fun for 8 year olds.

 

I'm not going to go through the list from 6 years of gs. Both my boys were/are in boy scouts. I don't have a similar list from their experiences.

 

My DD did have a nice leader, who was also heavily involved in boy scouts. She had a venture crew that was just older girls from the girl scout troop. They started doing everything under the auspices of venture crew. Too much red tape to do stuff as girl scouts.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

So this was our experience with a situation on the SM side.  Dh was the SM for our (LDS) troop for 5 years.  He has all the training up through Wood badge even though we have not had a scout aged boy until last year.  During his time as SM, in our troop was a boy on the autism spectrum.  The parents were informed (ad nauseum) about the appropriate accommodations that could be made for each merit badge being worked on as a troop.  The mom was insistent that her son earn all the merit badges without accommodations just by showing up.  She felt that if he showed up to the weekly troop meetings & the monthly merit badge class he should get the merit badge along with the other boys.  For example she expected that he would earn the swimming merit badge because he had shown up for the merit badge classes without ever getting into the pool.  She didn't want the accommodations that were offered.  This mom was so persistent that she wore down troop leaders &  merit badge counselors, and blue cards were being signed.  Unfortunately, she ran into Dh at the SM conferences for advancement.  It wasn't pretty.  She threatened legal action against my husband. 

 

My hope would be for the young man in the article that his merit badges would be reviewed with an eye for accommodation.  I would hope that there would be ways that the work he has already done for each merit badge could be considered and appropriate activities could be planned for him by merit badge counselors to complete each merit badge.  I also know scouts whose eagle project idea has been rejected, re-thought, reviewed, rejected, re-thought, etc, until the project was acceptable.  I hope that will be the case for this young man.  His project needs to be tweaked & reworked by the scout and an adult leader who understands this scout's abilities and the appropriate accommodations that can be made while still remaining within the rules.  Together they should come up with a plan for the scout to succeed.  There is time for these things to be worked out.

 

Amber in SJ

 

 

 

 

And as I've worked with 100's of Scouter volunteers, to a one, I've seen that they have the best interest of their Scouts at heart. The media has blown this up, without getting all the information. But, folks don't want to hear that--they want "the story". 

 

 

What worries me most is that with this blow-up, volunteers are going to take another hit.  Leaders are going to think, why bother?  Participating in Boy Scouts is a huge time commitment for leaders, and even good leaders occasionally make mistakes.  I'm not sure where the initial mistake was made with this situation -- was it a pushy parent who wasn't counseled about rules at the early stages?  Was it a scout leader who wanted to do good without checking protocol?  And if scout leaders at the unit level make a mistake, should National automatically just let standards slide?  Whatever the situation, this story did not deserve to be made into national news. It's an unfortunate event, but it seems like, even from the early news stories, that the scouting organization is trying to work it out.  It sounds like the dad just does not like the solution.  I find this story to be just another jab at the Boy Scouts because the media loves to put them down.  

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

One example of stupid decisions. And think about it how long do you wait to find a buddy? And once you've blown it with a kid do you make the same mistake again a couple days later because humiliation is fun for 8 year olds.

Eh, it’s on the leaders in this example and not the Girl Scouts or the buddy rule. Scout y needs to go to the bathroom and needs a buddy. She tells the leader she needs to go to the bathroom, leader says girl x go with girl y. Problem solved. It happens all the time with our troop. Since we have Cadets to Brownies, often a Cadet goes with as a buddy, but two Brownies can go. If you have a buddy already identified, tell the leader and head off. If you don’t, in about two seconds the leader can arrange it.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Eh, it’s on the leaders in this example and not the Girl Scouts or the buddy rule. Scout y needs to go to the bathroom and needs a buddy. She tells the leader she needs to go to the bathroom, leader says girl x go with girl y. Problem solved. It happens all the time with our troop. Since we have Cadets to Brownies, often a Cadet goes with as a buddy, but two Brownies can go. If you have a buddy already identified, tell the leader and head off. If you don’t, in about two seconds the leader can arrange it.

Again read the rest of the post. I have many more examples. But the thread isn't about problems with girl scouts. So I'm not going to there with their bureaucracy.

 

I'm just saying the idea that you can avoid levels of bureaucracy in girl scouts is silly.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Well, first off, no boy would be demoted in rank to Cub Scouts. That's not how the programs work. 

 

And as I've worked with 100's of Scouter volunteers, to a one, I've seen that they have the best interest of their Scouts at heart. The media has blown this up, without getting all the information. But, folks don't want to hear that--they want "the story". 

 

I can't find where the family claimed he was demoted to Cub Scouts in the article. 

 

Your personal experience doesn't mean the press release is 100% accurate.  You obviously are taking the side of the Boy Scouts which is fine, but you can't claim everything the family says is a lie by simply pointing at the press release.  The Boy Scouts have lied and committed quite a few reprehensible acts over the years (some of their behavior covering up for pedophiles was downright criminal) so it isn't reasonable to expect people to just accept their word. It's also a bit silly to think a press release is always 100% truthful.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

It was in one of the original articles. I can't find it now, because,,,drum roll please...I have a disability after eye surgery.

 

No, my personal experience does not mean that they're aren't some bad apples in BSA, as with all organizations. That's why those Scouters work so hard to weed them out. 

 

As I've stated over and over, Logan was let down. Let's move forward and fix it, allowing him to achieve what he can achieve, whilst following the policies and rules as written, as the parents agreed to when they signed him up.

 

And now you're have to excuse me. I have work to do, to make sure each of my boys has the BEST camp experience this summer! Off to do mountains of paperwork, again. 

  • Like 3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

 

As I've stated over and over, Logan was let down. Let's move forward and fix it, allowing him to achieve what he can achieve, whilst following the policies and rules as written, as the parents agreed to when they signed him up.

 

Sounds like that ship has sailed, BSA press release or not.  Now we can see it play out in court and see which side is telling the truth.

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

As a legal matter, I am not sure the court has jurisdiction to tell BSA what to do about merit badges and eagle awards.

 

Is there precedent for this sort of thing being fought in court?

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

As a legal matter, I am not sure the court has jurisdiction to tell BSA what to do about merit badges and eagle awards.

 

Is there precedent for this sort of thing being fought in court?

 

BSA is obligated to follow ADA, just like other organizations, and section 504 when it benefits from federal government funding such as meeting in a public school building.  

 

The question here is whether the organization has been discriminatory.  Since disability is a protected class, it's absolutely an appropriate question to bring to court.  

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm in the situation of working with accommodations for mbs on a regular basis. (I'm the District Advancement Chair). What has happened, many times, is that the boy's parents don't want to go through the process.Now, the accommodations can be applied for (written form from an MD and then it goes to Council) and received. And THEN the mb can be earned. https://filestore.scouting.org/filestore/pdf/33088.pdf See section 10. 

 

My other guess on what happened is that registered mb counselors were not used. Was each mb counselor registered and had he received training? Quite possibly not.

 

And the article made it seem that the boy and his parents worked on the Eagle project together. Nope. The project has to be conceived of, and developed BY THE BOY! I just had a conversation with a boy not an hour ago--nope, you're not ready. All the paperwork is not filled out, so you can not begin. And no, I won't chat with your parents about it. It's YOUR Eagle, not theirs. 

 

An epic fail? Not on BSA's part if the boy and his parents didn't follow the procedure. 

 

Right, but there was no way that was solely on the boy and his parents. A leader signed off on those merit badges. A district or council leader signed off on the eagle project plan. An eagle board was convened and three people signed off on that paperwork before it was sent to National.

 

As a leader, I have found the training (on the district and council level) about working on MB and projects with accommodations really poor.  It's always been the, "I think there is a contact at Council for disabilities."  How the actual guidelines should play out is not communicated effectively.

 

And, to be honest, how many merit badges actually go through registered merit badge counselors at your current Council? At my previous Council, I'm guessing less than half.  It's very rare, IME, unless someone is super diligent about it to have the boy initiate the process with a blue card, get that approved, get him assigned to a registered merit badge counselor, and do the proper followups....  I stirred up a lot of water, as advancement chair, when I stepped in and began requiring those things.  I got a lot of negative feedback, and when we moved this fall, I did not register as a leader with a new Council.

  • Like 3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

BSA is obligated to follow ADA, just like other organizations, and section 504 when it benefits from federal government funding such as meeting in a public school building.  

 

The question here is whether the organization has been discriminatory.  Since disability is a protected class, it's absolutely an appropriate question to bring to court.  

 

OK, so if there are procedures that the boy / his parents chose to ignore, that is one thing, but if it comes out that the BSA really did not make accommodations available on a reasonable basis, that is another....

 

Sounds like they do have accommodations and other boys with Down syndrome have gotten eagle.  Sounds like the local BSA folks screwed it up, but it is not a fatal error as the boy is still years younger than many typical boys who make eagle.  The boy should still be able to make eagle once the correct accommodations are provided.

 

The fact that BSA rejects plenty of eagle projects of typical boys should work in BSA's favor, I think.  Being given a "do over" does not sound discriminatory under the circumstances.  Though I don't have all the facts, of course.

 

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

My kids are in AHG and I've been looking over the requirements for its highest award (Stars and Stripes).  My kids are of normal to above-normal intelligence / work ethic, and yet it would be a stretch for them to get their stars & stripes before age 17.  My nephew was 16 IIRC and he was one of the youngest around to get his eagle.  So I may be a bit biased about this boy suing because he isn't getting his eagle at 15.  But again, maybe there is more to the story.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

BSA is obligated to follow ADA, just like other organizations, and section 504 when it benefits from federal government funding such as meeting in a public school building.  

 

The question here is whether the organization has been discriminatory.  Since disability is a protected class, it's absolutely an appropriate question to bring to court.  

 

 

So, this is an interesting question I think. 

 

What does that mean? Is it enough to include Scouts with disabilities in all activities of the troop and to provide opportunities to earn merit badges, etc. in ways that are appropriate to that Scout? Or does it meant that there might be circumstances where a disability means that that particular individual cannot achieve the exact same things that others without that disability can achieve. 

 

For example, a school has to (and should) provide accommodations for all students as far as academics. But if a student who had a disability tried out for basketball and didn’t make the team, they don’t have to allow them to play. Same would be true of theater or the academic team or orchestra or whatever. (And not just for kids for disabilities, true for anyone that tries out and doesn’t make it..they aren’t given an alternative activity.) 

 

Is Scouts similar? They provide paths to Eagle for those with disabilities. But is there a point where it’s ok to say that you can be part of the organization and fully participate in every way but perhaps will not make Eagle? After all, most kids that do Scouts don’t get all the way to Eagle and many find value in the activity without that final step. 

 

I genuinely don’t know the answers to the above...either legally or what I think ethically. I don’t know enough about the details of the ADA. And it’s more of a broader question than a comment on this specific situation. 

 

ETA: I know a lot of people on this board have kids with disabilities. I hope this post doesn’t sound insensitive. I’m not trying to argue for exclusion at all. I’m just trying to educate myself. 

 

Edited by Alice
  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Right, what about public schools where you have to pass certain college-prep courses to get a "diploma" vs. a "certificate of completion"?  How is that allowed?  (Honestly that bugs me.  But I haven't heard of it being legally challenged.)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

OK, so if there are procedures that the boy / his parents chose to ignore, that is one thing, but if it comes out that the BSA really did not make accommodations available on a reasonable basis, that is another....

 

Sounds like they do have accommodations and other boys with Down syndrome have gotten eagle.  Sounds like the local BSA folks screwed it up, but it is not a fatal error as the boy is still years younger than many typical boys who make eagle.  The boy should still be able to make eagle once the correct accommodations are provided.

 

The fact that BSA rejects plenty of eagle projects of typical boys should work in BSA's favor, I think.  Being given a "do over" does not sound discriminatory under the circumstances.  Though I don't have all the facts, of course.

 

 

Of course, none of us know the whole story.

 

I think that it's important to note that every individual with Down syndrome is unique, and the accommodations they need are unique as well.  So, the fact that a set of accommodations has worked for one person with Down syndrome, or many people with Down syndrome, doesn't tell us whether or not that set of accommodations is appropriate for Logan.  

 

For example, people have mentioned hand cycles as the way that BSA accommodates people with physical disabilities, but a hand cycle is an accommodation that works for a very small subset of people with physical disabilities.  I can't think of a single student that I've worked with who would benefit from that particular accommodation, and I have worked with many students with physical disabilities.  

 

As far as your argument that not everyone chooses to get Eagle, or follows through and gets it, legally there's a distinction between not getting something because you made a choice, and not getting it because it's inaccessible or because you're discriminated against for your membership in a protected class.  

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

So, this is an interesting question I think. 

 

What does that mean? Is it enough to include Scouts with disabilities in all activities of the troop and to provide opportunities to earn merit badges, etc. in ways that are appropriate to that Scout? Or does it meant that there might be circumstances where a disability means that that particular individual cannot achieve the exact same things that others without that disability can achieve. 

 

For example, a school has to (and should) provide accommodations for all students as far as academics. But if a student who had a disability tried out for basketball and didn’t make the team, they don’t have to allow them to play. Same would be true of theater or the academic team or orchestra or whatever. (And not just for kids for disabilities, true for anyone that tries out and doesn’t make it..they aren’t given an alternative activity.) 

 

Is Scouts similar? They provide paths to Eagle for those with disabilities. But is there a point where it’s ok to say that you can be part of the organization and fully participate in every way but perhaps will not make Eagle? After all, most kids that do Scouts don’t get all the way to Eagle and many find value in the activity without that final step. 

 

I genuinely don’t know the answers to the above...either legally or what I think ethically. I don’t know enough about the details of the ADA. And it’s more of a broader statement than a comment on this specific situation. 

 

Our local public schools are under a federal court order to provide equivalent sports opportunities for students with disabilities.  Section 504 and ESSA absolutely address extracurricular activities and require schools to accommodate students with disabilities in them.  

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The BSA's wording that the merit badges "Logan worked on" are still intact sounds like a classic press release dodge to me. The family says badges were revoked. It really sounds like the BSA revoked badges that they think he didn't work enough for.

 

  • Like 5

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

This thread is making me glad my SN child is a girl and in an organization that is far less bureaucratic than BSA. I don’t know if she will be capable of planning and carrying out a Gold Award project but if she does not earn it it won’t be because National has decided to nitpick all her badges.

 

 

Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

At the time my disabled DD earned her Gold, the way it worked was that all the requirements needed to BEGIN the gold project were already done and approved and earned at the troop and council level. Those requirements were simply listed on the Gold paperwork.

 

I'm sure someone will correct me but I don't think National was even involved.

 

DD worked with a Council assigned Gold award mentor who really pushed her as well as supported her. None of the requirements ended up needing to be adjusted but since DD was really sick throughout a lot of it, it was always a consideration and possibility to adjust things.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Our local public schools are under a federal court order to provide equivalent sports opportunities for students with disabilities.  Section 504 and ESSA absolutely address extracurricular activities and require schools to accommodate students with disabilities in them.  

 

504 and ESSA require reasonable accommodations and do not automatically grant equal access to competitive sports.

 

Good summary of the related issues:

https://www.nfhs.org/articles/disabilities-law-and-reasonable-accommodations-in-sports/

  • Like 3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

504 and ESSA require reasonable accommodations and do not automatically grant equal access to competitive sports.

 

Good summary of the related issues:

https://www.nfhs.org/articles/disabilities-law-and-reasonable-accommodations-in-sports/

Yes, and BSA isn’t a public school program so they absolutely don’t apply to BSA. BSA falls under ADA. ADA requires “reasonable†accommodations.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The BSA's wording that the merit badges "Logan worked on" are still intact sounds like a classic press release dodge to me. The family says badges were revoked. It really sounds like the BSA revoked badges that they think he didn't work enough for.

Yep. It sounds like they are claiming the physical badges are still intact rather than clarifying if they are still being counted towards requirements. No one accused them of cutting up the badges with scissors.

 

My sons have both been cub scouts, my younger son still is. I just wrote a painfully large check for scout camp this summer. I’m not anti-scouting.

 

But my bs-meter is beeping loudly at the wording of the BSA’s press release. It is and continues to be a misstep.

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Yes, and BSA isn’t a public school program so they absolutely don’t apply to BSA. BSA falls under ADA. ADA requires “reasonable†accommodations.

 

True, but I was replying to a post that said, essentially, that since schools don't have to accommodate in sports or provide alternative activities, BSA wouldn't either. 

 

504 does apply to BSA depending on where the troop meets.  This troop is probably meeting at an LDS church, so it probably doesn't apply to them.  504 applies to organizations that benefits from federal fundings.  If BSA is benefiting from a public school building, a rec center etc . . .  then 504 does apply.  You are correct that ESSA doesn't.  

 

I think you can make an argument that a scout leader who gives you accurate information about how to earn merit badges, given a disability, is a reasonable accommodation.  It seems at least possible that Logan did not receive that, which is why I think the courts are the right place to decide this.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

True, but I was replying to a post that said, essentially, that since schools don't have to accommodate in sports or provide alternative activities, BSA wouldn't either.

 

504 does apply to BSA depending on where the troop meets. This troop is probably meeting at an LDS church, so it probably doesn't apply to them. 504 applies to organizations that benefits from federal fundings. If BSA is benefiting from a public school building, a rec center etc . . . then 504 does apply. You are correct that ESSA doesn't.

 

I think you can make an argument that a scout leader who gives you accurate information about how to earn merit badges, given a disability, is a reasonable accommodation. It seems at least possible that Logan did not receive that, which is why I think the courts are the right place to decide this.

I would assume that community groups using a school space are paying for it. I have rented school rooms for a variety of political, youth and community groups. We paid a fee and were certainly not covered by 504. A church can rent a high school gym, doesn’t make the church subject to all of the provisions of the fair labor standards.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

×
×
  • Create New...