Author Avatar

Issue 214 – May 10, 2010

Hi Andy,

When the Cubs are bringing the flags to the front of the room on which side does the American flag go?Should the American flag lead and the pack flag follow?When carried, should the flag be at an angle to the bearer? (Art Aigner, CM, Greater Niagara Frontier Council, NY)

If the Cubs are carrying the flags single-file (one behind the other) then the American flag always leads. If the two carrying the flags are side by side, then the American flag is always to its own right, relative to the direction of travel. This means that someone in the front of the room would see the American flag on the left, facing him. Side by side, when the flags reach the front of the room, the American flag crosses in front of all other flags and is placed in the flag stand that’s to the audience’s left but its own right, facing the audience. Single-file, the American flag simply goes to the left, so it’s facing the audience from its own right.

Dear Andy:

Many years ago I was the Scoutmaster of the troop I grew up in. After having served on my district and council committees for about 15 years, I’ve elected to return to my troop as an ASM. The current Scoutmaster’s son will be aging out soon and so he (the Scoutmaster) is making rumblings that it’s time for him to step down. I’ve told our Committee Chair that Id be the new SM if no one else steps up.

When I was Scoutmaster before, I feel that I did a lot of things—like The Patrol Method—correctlyand some things maybe not so well—like issuing edicts” to get things accomplished and creating rules for advancement as well as other things. One rule I had was the “double-dinner rule,” which stipulated that a patrol couldn’t use a dinner menumore than oncein the regular Scouting season (September through June), my intent being to teach menu planning diversity; but it came across as an edict.”

Currently, the troop committee is holding board of review only three times a year, with the further stipulation that no Scout can advance more than one rank at each review, regardless of the rank requirements he’s completed, and I’d want to correct or adjust this.

So, if a Scoutmaster is a “mild supervisor,” how does he insist on following BSA standards and policies without coming across as draconian or dictatorial?For instance, how would I insist on the Patrol Method being used effectively without seeming like it’s an “edict”? (Steve Sassi, Theodore Roosevelt Council, NY)

Let’s start here: Who runs the troop? If you said, “The Patrol Leaders Council, led by the Senior Patrol Leader,” you’ve got it right. The Scoutmaster’s in the background, guiding, mentoring, and coaching the troop’s youth leaders, primarily the SPL. So, my first suggestion is for you, any ASMs, and the members of the committee to get out there and take (or re-take) the training for your positions, including Scoutmaster-specific and the Troop Committee Challenge. This is where you’ll all learn together such things as the unreasonableness of establishing “edicts from on high” and how boards of review are conducted as often as necessary on an as-needed basis, including back-to-back reviews for Scouts who have completed all requirements for, let’s say, Second Class and First Class, because one of the committee’s most important responsibilities is to encourage, not retard, advancement.

Menu” edicts”? Personally, I wouldn’t bother, because Scouts get bored with same-old, same-old time after time and will make menu changes all by themselves. Plus, if you’re truly using The Patrol Method, one patrol will start cooking something new and the others will see this and ask themselves, Hey, why can’t we do something like that, next time!”Plus, when you and your ASM cook a gourmet dinner for yourselves, your Scouts will spot this and take away some good ideas… they may even ask, “How do you do that, on the trail?” This is how you guide… By example(Works much better than barking orders!).

“Insisting” on The Patrol Method? Where’s the “insisting” part? The troop is merely the “shell” in which patrols operate. Without The Patrol Method, you’re simply not delivering Boy Scouting. Yes, you’re delivering something, but it’s definitely not Boy Scouting. So, if it’s not, now, the troop needs to organize itself into standing patrols that hang together, hike together, do meal-planning together, and camp together on-site. They also arrange their own transportation, have patrol flags, wear patrol medallions, have regular patrol elections, and so forth. Eliminate this essential element and you have a bunch o’ boys in tan shirts, but you don’t have Boy Scouting.

Good decisions spring from experience; experience comes from learning from our not-so-hot decisions. Simple as that!

Hi Andy,

As a newly “de-throned” Akela, I’m taking deep breaths and trying to stay out of the way of my new Boy Scout son‘s advancement. OK, that’s a little more melodramatic than reality, but I’m trying to keep in mind Boy Scouts isn’t “Webelos 3.” That said, could you clarify for me asomething about Merit Badges? If a requirement, for instance, says, “visit a…” or “report on what you learned…” does that mean the Merit Badge Counselor must attend with the Scout, or could a requirement like that be fulfilled by the Scout attending with a group of other Scouts or as a family outing?The troop my son joined is a great troop and all the boys who just crossedover are well on their way to earningTenderfoot. My guy’s been having fun and didn’t even realize until the last meeting that he only needed three more requirements to earn Tenderfoot!(New Scout Mom)

When you get it that Boy Scouts isn’t “Webelos 3,” you’re on your way to being the best kind of parent a Scout can have! I’m delighted to learn that your son’s doing well and is completing requirements to advance to his first rank and beyond. As you review requirements for rank advancement, be sure to let him tell you, and not the other way around! This is the time for you to sit in the back of the Scouting “car” while your son does the driving.

Merit badges are available to be worked on and earned at any time (that is, there are no age, size, rank, or other restrictions on merit badges—any Scout can earn any merit badge any time he chooses). After your son decides what merit badge he’d like to earn, his Merit Badge Counselor will meet with him and they’ll discuss how he’ll go about completing the requirements. With specific regard to field trips and such, the Scout is expected to take the initiative for himself. Unlike den outings, Merit Badge Counselors almost never accompany the Scout on field trips, visits to locales, events, designated buildings, etc. The Scout will do this on his own, usually with a Scout buddy. Merit badges aren’t anything parents need to fret about, or consider “helping” their son with… He’ll do just fine by himself, and your role 99.9% of the time will simply be to get him to his Merit Badge Counselor’s home, and back again.

Dear Andy,

Does a Life Scout meet the requirement of being active, who rarely comes to troop meetings and hasn’t been on a campout in 16 months? (Name & Council Withheld)

OK, let’s start here: How long has he been a Life Scout? Next, in the past 16 months, how many merit badges has he earned, and has he done an Eagle project? Finally, what leadership position has he held for a minimum of 6 months since becoming a Life Scout?

He earned Life rank two years and two months ago. He’s earned no merit badges since then, and he’s scheduled to start his Eagle project in about two weeks. He was Quartermaster “Mentor”—a Scoutmaster-assigned leadership project—for a year and three months after becoming a Life Scout.

OK, this is a soluble situation… It begins with this Scout having served actively in his troop, while a Life Scout, for a period of 15 months while carrying out that Scoutmaster-assigned troop leadership project. This means that “active for 6 months since becoming a Life Scout” is now an academic discussion: It was accomplished a year ago. Moreover, since this Scout will need to earn the balance of the merit badges required and also carry out his Eagle project, including recruiting and managing his helpers, he’ll be devoting a lot more time to Scouting that may be immediately evident. In short, “active” is a non-issue right now and will remain a non-issue in the future.

The best support you can provide this young man is to encourage his planning out which merit badges he’ll complete before the summer, which he’ll work to complete during the summer, and what “strays” he’ll finish off in the early fall. You can also provide guidance and support to him as he carries out his service project in such a way that it will be accepted by his board of review for Eagle.

We’re here to guide young men to success. We’re not here to stick monkey wrenches in their advancement gear works. I’m sure you and the other adult volunteers associated with the troop see the wisdom of success based on personal initiative!

Dear Andy,

Does a charteredorganization thatsponsors a Cub Scout pack have the right to keep that same number so that if one day it wants to start a Boy Scout troop, it could have the same number as the pack? (Mark Fury, Istrouma Area Council, LA)

While it’s not mandatory that a unit number be held in reserve, it’s certainly a fine courtesy that can be extended by the council (usually the registrar), so have a chat (in-person; no email) and ask for it!

Hi Andy,

We’ve just started a co-edSea Scout ship. On our first at-sea trip, we had the mother of a girl ship member along as her supervisor, plus the girl’s father and youngerbrother. Now I’m all in favor of the family going along on trips (it pretty much looks like this will be the norm from here on out), but I have some questions... First, from a liability standpoint, should these parents be registered as Scouting Parents”? If so, should they be required to take any of the training that registered leaders need to take? Further, if theseparents aren’t going to become registered volunteers, and/or they don’t need to or wish to take any training, and the family comes on our ship’s trips so that the mother can act as the female supervisor for their daughter, do they need to sign a waiver that releases the BSA, the ship, and us volunteers with the ship from liability, and, if so, what form do they use? Also, what’s the BSA policy on taking these youth out of school to attend our trips?

I welcome family participation, and we need the mother for our co-ed group. At this point, the mother and father aren’t going to sign up to be registered volunteers, and the younger brother can’t be left at home while the parents go on these outings.

What do we do here? (Name & Council Withheld)

To volunteer in the newest BSA unit-level position“ScoutParent Unit Coordinator”is to take on some major responsibilities, including “Host an activity or a pool party for the ship, go on a trip with the ship as an adult chaperone, be a consultant on a career or hobby by teaching the skills of your trade, be one of the key adult leaders involved with the ship, offer your property, business, etc. for activities, assist with unit fund-raising, support your Sea Scout about their program and provide guidance and participation with them on meetings and events projects, encourage other youth to invite their friends to join the program and help with sign-ups, attend and help provide support to annual or regular parent involvement night events, offer your talents and other organization resources in support of the program, be one of the key adult leaders involved with the ship, help collect a Program Capability Inventory or Talent Survey from all families and other community resources in support of the program, encourage and support youth in leadership and mentoring, assist with transportation on activities or meetings.” I certainly would encourage at least one of these parents to get involved in a more formal and regular basis than merely monitoring their daughter and tending to their under-age (for Sea Scouting) son.

However, beyond this, there‘s a fundamental issue you’ll need to come to terms with, and when you do, everything else that flows out of it will be crystal clear: What kind of youth program do you wish to deliver?

You see, if you wish to deliver the Sea Scouting program as written, then you’ll need to make some important decisions about families such as the one you’ve described. That’s because Sea Scouting is a youth program; it’s not a “family” program. In fact, I’m going to challenge you here: Read any issueof the Sea Scout Manual or the Handbook for Skippers that’s been written in the past 98 years and find the phrase, “…the Sea Scout and his/her parent/father/mother…” The bottom line is that you won’t. Sea Scouting isn’t a “Dad n’ Lad” program; it’s not a “Mom n’ Me” program—It’s a youth program in which the young people interact, learn from, and have fun and adventures with and among themselves, under the quiet and unobtrusive guidance of their Skipper.If Sea Scouting had been intended to be a family program, then the manuals and handbooks would have been written that way. But they weren’t, and that’s not by accident.

Sea Scouting’s goal is to encourage and instill personal competence, personal accomplishment, independence, and inter-dependence among young people, by creating an environment in which young people are responsible for and to themselves; its purpose is not to “strengthen family ties” by “doing things together as families.” (And it’s certainly not intended “for the whole family, regardless of age.”)

The Sea Scout Manual doesn’t have a single sentence in it about “…you and your parent…” The Handbook for Skippers doesn’t have a single sentence in it about “…the Sea Scouts and their parents…” This is absolutelydeliberate. It is also not to be meddled with. Meddle with this one and you may have a fine program for youth and their parents; you simply won’t have Sea Scouting.

This isn’t about my “opinion”—My only “opinion” is that we need to strive to understand the principles underpinning all Scouting programs and then make the conscious decision to deliver the Scouting program we’ve volunteered to deliver as it’s written and designed to be delivered. Once you’ve done this, you’ll know exactly what decisions you’ll need to make.

Thanks for the advice. It’s funny that just the other day a fellow Scouter told me about a Camporee at which some of the parents were upset with him because he didn’t have “family activities.” His response to these parents was straightforward: This is a Boy Scout camping experience; not a family camp-out.

I think I need to get the mother to register as a Mate, so she can accompany the daughter andadditional girls that will join as the ship’s membership grows, with the understanding that she’ll need to take training, and I need to tell the father the same thing. Then, the parents need to figure out what to do with the younger brother (e.g., get a sitter) if both of them plan to attend the same trip. Please let me know if Im on the right track here, because, if I am, I’ll need to talk to the district and the council folks to get this nipped in the bud up front.

Yes, you’re on the right track, with a possible couple of tweaks here…Are you sure, for instance, that you want this particular woman to register? Perhaps some other female parent might be better suited to the task of registering as Mate and taking SSOST? After all, didn’t this woman already state that she’s not interested in registering, etc.?Having someone else would also mean that the father doesn’t need to register and take SSOST, which means that the younger brother definitely stays home. Now it may turn out that these parents attempt the ploy of demanding that the brother tag along, “or we won’t be going and we’ll withhold our daughter.” If they play this card, simply tell them that it’s their choice, as parents, to encourage or deny their daughter, and if they choose to keep her from participating, well, that’s the end of the story, because you’re not going to submit to threats.

Hang in thereYou’re getting it right!

OK, one last question on this issueIf the Sea Scout ship we’re on has a female adult leader, I can use her and not the mother, yes? I’m thinking that the mother and father can help transport the Sea Scouts to the ship, but unless they’re registered and trained, they can’t board or go on the cruise. Is this OK to do?

Yes, all you need is a registered female leader and all girlSea Scouts are covered! With a registered-and-trained adult female leader on board, you can definitely tell all non-registered parents that, until further notice, they’re landlubbers. Parents who help drive the ship’s youth members to and from the launch-point are necessary, of course, unless you have access to a multi-seat van of some sort, but their responsibilities stop at dockside.

Fair winds and following seas —

Dear Andy,

I’m a parent with a son very active in Scouts whos repeating a grade, so he’ll no longer meet age or grade requirements. What happens now? Some say better to let him move on than to hold him back, because if he’s made to repeat requirements, he may lose interest and drop out. Others say hes stuck, because he can’t re-earn a rank, and at the same time he can’t move on.

He loves Cubs, and this would tear him apart. The Cubmaster says to let him move on, but he, himself, is stepping down, and I don’t know what the next Cubmaster might say. Will this catch up with him if I leave it alone and let him ride, as the Cubmaster said? Im totally lost here. Do you have any suggestions? (Cub Scout Mom)

It’s going to be OK… Just tell me what he is right now… Tiger? Wolf? Bear? Webelos I?

He’s currently a Wolf and 8 years old. He’s almost finished repeating first grade. But, to go to Bear, he’ll still be 8, not 9, and he’ll be starting second grade.

Keep him moving forward in Cub Scouts… Bear is the next stop, beginning with the end of this school year. Cub Scouting levels (i.e., Tiger, Wolf, Bear, and so on) are designed to be age-specific, so he needs to be doing things soon at the Bear level, because Wolf stuff would be no challenge (besides, he’s already done this, so a repeat would bore him to distraction!). Just have a conversation with his Den Leader, so that he or she knows he’ll be sticking with his same den in the fall and beyond.

Dear Andy,

I’m sure there are background checks for registering adult volunteers, but does that include background checks of parents, also? How can someone be in charge of children when they, themselves, have had their own taken away from them by the state for neglect as well as drug use? Is it okayed with the other parents of Scouts? (Name & Council Withheld)

The BSA criminal background checks are done for all registering adult volunteers who become members of the BSA through their packs, troops, teams, crews, or district or councils, or as merit badge counselors. Since the BSA does not collect information on adults who do not fill out and turn in an application, such as parents who help out unofficially from time to time, there’s obviously no “paper trail” to follow for background checking.

Dear Andy,

I’m advancement coordinator for our troop. We have a Scout who just successfully completed his Life rank board of review. I didn’t sit on that particular review, but I was informed thatit was a tough decision on their part, with considerable angst regarding the degree of active participation on the part of this Scout. The people on the review also had problems with this Scout’s inability to recite the Scout Oath and Law correctly. I pointed out to them that making decisions as to what they think constitutes “active participation” is a particularly dicey thing to do, so they moved on, although somewhat begrudgingly.

Now the hard part... This Scout’s 18th birthday is now upon him, less than two months from the date of his Life board of review. He lacks six merit badges, three of which are required for Eagle, and his leadership service project. Plus, he’ll clearly not meet the six month participation and leadership position tenure required between Life and Eagle ranks, before his 18thbirthday. His father is now aggressively seeking an extension beyond the 18thbirthday from our council, and it’s probable that the troop committee will be asked for a letter showing support of this request. The father’s rationale for requesting the extension is an ADHD diagnosis.

Well over a year ago, at the request of this father, I worked up a specific timeline for this young man, specifying the deadline dates that he’d need to meet in order to complete his advancement to Eagle before his 18th birthday. Now, despite this, it seems that it’s now simply too late in the game, despite the current flurry of activity.

I’m personally not in favor of deviating from BSA advancement requirements, and I believe that, in this case, such a deviation would be a disservice to a long line of Scouts who have earned their ranks while staying within the boundaries of BSA policy. Moreover, we have, and have had, Scouts in the troop with physical and/or mental challenges equally if not more daunting who have asked for no special favors of any kind. Nevertheless, I feel honor-bound to provide objective input to the committee on this matter, so any insights you can share would be much appreciated. (Name & Council Withheld)

Question for you: Has the ADHD “card” ever been played before? If not, this might be an uphill climb for that family. According to the BSA,they do need to have written documentation from a licensed medical professional, stating that this young man has a permanent disability, in order to request special consideration. Since the disability is, apparently, in the mental arena, an evaluation statement by a certified educational administrator will likely also be required. If they don’t have these, the show’s over. If they do have them, they’ll need to present them to the council advancement committee for consideration (see page 13 of the BSA’s 2010 Boy Scout Requirements book). This, however, typically applies to the ranks below Star; not to Star, Life, or Eagle. If they’ve never done this before, in the past seven years, the council advancement committee may take this into consideration. At any rate, the full procedure is described in the book I mentioned. In this regard, it does not seem necessary for the troop committee to take a position one way or the other. This is a council-level decision.

As for his board of review for Life, that’s water under the bridge… While we could spend a lot of time talking about it (it sure sounds like it was a far cry from ideal—on everyone’s part!), that would accomplish little.

My personal recommendation for the future is that you, as advancement coordinator for the troop, hand-pick board of review members, selecting only those who understand what the role of the review actually is and who follow it, meanwhile training or re-training others on the troop committee so that they get it right next time. I also think that you need to be chairing the reviews for a while, until you get some folks better educated…

To return to the original subject for a moment more, neither you nor the troop committee nor the Scoutmaster is obliged to take a position one way or the other regarding this Scout, except to observe that while in the troop he successfully advanced to the rank of Life Scout by the time he was 17 years, 10 months old.

Dear Andy,

I’ve looked through many of your past columns for a reference that deals with this particular issue, but I wasn’t quite able to find any… Specifically I pointed out to our committee members – this from the 2010 Boy Scout Requirements book:The Scout is not required to attend any certain percentage of activities or outings. However, unit leaders must ensure that he is fulfilling the obligations of his assigned leadership position. If he is not, then they should remove the Scout from that position.” Based on this statement, I noted that it’s clear that a troop cannot deny a Scout rank advancement based on attendance.

The response to this, from a committee member, was: “Please remember that all units have the ability to set the standard they expect for their individual Scouts—so long as this is in writing and presented to each of the Scouts. This goes for all aspects of expectations, conduct, and required elements for advancement.We have such a document,which has been in effect for a number of years now. As council has stated and agrees to: Any unit has the right to determine their own requirements and expectations for their Scouts, as long as these are reasonable, enforceable, and uniform for allScouts.”

My son is in this troop and they do have a document—it’s been in existence for about seven years—that states the exact attendance percentages required of the Scout, in order to advance in rank. I know that BSA national standards do not permit this, but this man has indicated that “council” has allowed this. Hes a long-time member of this troop and he certainly seems more knowledgeable about such issues than I, but where would I look to find out what rules “council” can impose, superseding BSA national standards, and by what authority they can override national policies? You’ve pointed out in various columns that these violations are wrong, but could you please give me a reference to cite…some official rule that says that BSA national standards or policies cant be violated, altered, or circumvented?

Your fundamental question’s actually an easy one to answer. Page 13 of the BSA’s Boy Scout Requirements book (No. 34765) states clearly: “No council, district, unit, or individual has the authority to add to, or to subtract from, any advancement requirements.”

But here’s the unfortunate part: Any individual or group of individuals who needs to be shown this, in order for them to understand that we just don’t have the right to make stuff up when it should be a plain as the nose on their face that national standards can’t be superseded for any reason, are pretty hopeless…to the point where I’d probably have to say that your son and his friends are in the wrong troop and need to get out and find a troop that gets what they’re supposed to be doing right. If the people in your son’s present troop need to be “convinced” of something so seminal as this, it’s already too late.

You see, the only purpose to being a Scouting volunteer is to help boys and young men succeed; it’s not to find ways for them to fail. When adults create ways for boys to fail, they’re, in effect, anti-Scouting in principle. But to change this “from within” is unlikely, because the most likely situation is that calcification has set in and the only way to effect change is not by convincing but by removal.

The Scoutmaster Handbook tells us that the Scoutmaster’s single-most important responsibility is to train the youth leaders of the troop, so that they can run their own troop. This is classic “OJT,” with course adjustments all along the way, so that, in the end, all Scouts succeed.To wait in ambush at the end of the trail, in order to tell a Scout that, well, he just hasn’t lived up to expectations, is about as anti-Scouting in principle and spirit as one can get.

So, my personal suggestion here is to consider ending your quest to shovel water upstream with a pitchfork and, with a few other parents, go out and visit other nearby troops, till you find one that gets it right, and then transfer your sons into that troop as fast as you can! The people associated with the troop your son’s in at the moment should be—as B-P himself observed—taken out and shot.

Hello Andy,

I’m having a problem trying to figure out what to do about our town’s troop. I’m Committee Chair of the “feeder” pack and my son will be going to this troop in two years.We’ve recently sent five of our Webelos Scouts to this troop and all five have either transferred to another troop or dropped out of Scouts entirely, because they were made to feel like outsiders.” It seems that, on Webelos visits, the troop just plays games for about 45 minutes and then does “Scouting things” for maybe about 20 minutes or so (all was the same in the three visits I’ve made). So how do we help the troop become a troop that we’d be proud to send our boys to and know theyll strive for great things?I did pose this same question to our District Executive, but he just said that it’ll probably take a while to work itself out.Meanwhile, our chartered organization doesn’t take much interest in either our pack or the troop they sponsor, too. (Eric Scarberry, Simon Kenton Council, OH)

The first thing we need to keep in mind is that D.E.’s are virtually powerless when it comes to the quality of the Scouting program a unit delivers—so don’t blame your D.E. for giving the appearance of shirking what he can’t control! Responsibility for program quality ultimately lies with the chartered organization—that’s where the buck stopsand so if they’re really not much involved, this may be an insoluble situation.

However, since you have two years before your own decision needs to be made, you may want to consider getting yourself into the position of Chartered Organization Representative for both units—the pack and the troop. If you can do this, then you’re in control of all adult volunteers. As CR, you can, for instance, insist that they all take training for their positions (and if they don’t, you can replace them with absolute impunity). You can insist that the troop follow The Patrol Method to the letter, and that they use the Troop Meeting Plandeveloped and run by the Patrol Leaders Councilfor all troop meetings. You can do these things not by being “The Big Cheese” but by applying diplomatically gentle pressure…relentlessly. This way, in two years’ time or, ideally, a lot less, this becomes a model troop that any boy would be excited to join and have fun in!

Understand this very clearly: You absolutely cannot change a corrupted organization “from within”The only way to change it is from the top. So make your decisions ruthlessly, but carry them out compassionately.

Dear Andy,

My son applied to his Scoutmaster and troop committee for the rank of Eagle Scout, having met all the requirements including completing his leadership service project. The Scoutmaster refused to process his application, stating that my son didn’t meet the troop’s 75% attendance requirement, and he didn’t meet the leadership requirements that the Scoutmaster wanted. When my son appealed this decision with the council, the Scoutmaster and troop advancement chair de-registered him, his brother, and me, and of course we appealed these actions as well. The council advancement committee stated that neither the troop’s attendance requirement nor its additional leadership requirements met with BSA national policy, and that my son had, in fact, exceeded the Eagle Scout rank requirements, granting his appeal and advancing him to the rank of Eagle Scout in a subsequent council-level board of review.

Unfortunately, however, the two troop leaders now refuse to recognize my son’s legitimate advancement to the rank of Eagle Scout and will not provide him a court of honor. Hes now 18 years old. He received his Eagle Scout documents, badge, and medal in the mail. I’m seeking your advice and closure. (Martin Jacobson)

Congratulations to your Eagle Scout son!

There’s absolutely nothing whatsoever prohibiting you from celebrating his achievement. Schedule a date and time, choose a location (your home, church, or other place large enough to hold a crowd), and invite the Chair of the Council Advancement Committee and the members of your son’s board of review to come and enjoy the festivities. In fact, you may even wish to ask the chair to make the actual presentation. Invite your son’s best friends from the troop, any families that you’re close with, neighbors, his teachers and principal, local dignitaries, and your own Scouting friends. Use official Eagle Scout invitations (available at your local Scout shop or online at, order a cake, and have a blast!

As far as those two jerks are concerned forget ’em. They don’t deserve any consideration beyond remembering that throughout our lives we’re going to run into jerks (God must love jerksHe sure made a lot of ’em!). Here’s the important thing: Your son refused to be walked on, because he refused to lie down like a door mat! Instead, he took action and as a result the right outcome prevailed!

Hats off to all! Now go have the party you all deserve!

Happy Scouting!



Got a question? Have an idea? Send it to (Please include your POSITION and COUNCIL NAME or TOWN & STATE)(May 10, 2010 – Copyright © Andy McCommish 2010)

Letters to AskAndy may be published at the discretion of the columnist and the editor. If you prefer to have your name or affiliation withheld from publication, please advise in your letter..


About AskAndy

Andy is a Board Member of the U.S. Scouting Service Project, Inc.

Andy has just received notification by his council Scout Executive that he is to be recognized as a National Distinguished Eagle Scout. He is currently serving as a Unit Commissioner and his council's International Representative. He has previously served in a number of other Scouting roles including Assistant Council Commissioner, Cubmaster, Scoutmaster, Den Leader, and--as a Scout--Patrol Leader, Senior Patrol Leader, and Junior Assistant Scoutmaster. His awards include: Kashafa Iraqi Scouting Service Award, Distinguished Commissioner, Doctor of Commissioner Science, International Scouter Award, District Award of Merit (2), Scoutmaster Award of Merit, Scouter's Key (3), Daniel Carter Beard Masonic Scouter Award, Cliff Dochterman Rotarian Scouter Award, James E. West Fellow (2), Wood Badge & Sea Badge, and Eagle Scout & Explorer Silver Award.

Read Andy's full biography

Comments are closed.