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Author Topic: Eagle Scout?  (Read 34214 times)
asymptotic
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« Reply #30 on: April 10, 2010, 12:14:47 am »

I'm proud of having been kicked out of scouts just before getting Eagle rank for allegedly practicing "satanism" during one of the many mandatory "non-denominational" prayer services. I just don't know where that goes on my CV.

It took you that long to figure out that scouting wasn't for you?  You weren't  the sharpest tack in the box, were you?  I'd leave it off the C.V. entirely.

To be fair, Scouting has (as I understand it) changed significantly over the years.  When I was in, the part of the Scout Law that said "reverent" was clarified by explaining that "reverence" could mean reverent towards anything including Nature; one did not need to call it God.  It explicitly asserted that Buddhism (for instance) was acceptable.  Gradually, I think a more Christian tilt within the organizationš has become explicit, and such would have alienated me as well.  It may be that Lerasmus saw the change occur during his time. 

I understand that the organization has been ever-more-strongly influenced by a certain denomination˛ that is most common around Salt Lake City, Utah.  If this understanding of mine is correct, then Lerasmus, like many other former and current scouts may be excused with a paraphrase of Captain Kirk's words from Star Trek IV: Save The Whales By Time-Travel (or whatever that movie was called): You'll have to pardon him.  He did a lot of LDS when he was younger.


šPlease note: I am criticizing traits that I perceive in Scouting, and the BSA here; not Christianity or any other organized religion.  I'll criticize those later.

˛Here we go; as promised, criticism of an organized religion.

I think that's a more of a localized phenomenon. I was in a Jewish troop as a non-jew and my faith to anything was never questioned! And the movie was Star Trek IV The Voyage Home. Great flick.
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msparticularity
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« Reply #31 on: April 10, 2010, 12:38:08 am »

For someone in an environmental field, I would think that a passing mention of being an Eagle Scout might belong in the cover letter, as a part of the description of one's early interest in the field. If one were still involved in scouting in some way, it might belong at the bottom of the CV, along with other community service commitments.
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systeme_d_
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« Reply #32 on: April 10, 2010, 12:45:13 am »

Not so localized, Asymptotic.  Conjugate's assertion is actually backed up by current scholarly literatures that examine the growing number of texts (and practices) designed to co-opt/ appropriate scouting by the Christian and LDS right.

Here are examples of the literatures being studied: http://www.amazon.com/Trails-Testimony-Bringing-Through-Scouting/dp/1439228434/ref=sr_1_7?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1270874433&sr=1-7

http://www.amazon.com/My-Honor-American-Values-Fighting/dp/0979646227/ref=pd_sim_b_7
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totoro
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« Reply #33 on: April 10, 2010, 1:35:05 am »

I'd heard the term but I had to Google it to find out what it actually means. If I saw this on a CV in an appropriate section I would think it odd but it wouldn't make me reject the candidate or something. But I can't see it helping. I mean if someone has degrees in geology or ecology or whatever then they've obviously done fieldwork successfully. I did quite a lot of fieldwork in my geography degree as an undergrad. So how does this scouting thing help?
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barred_owl
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« Reply #34 on: April 10, 2010, 1:49:59 am »

I'd heard the term but I had to Google it to find out what it actually means. If I saw this on a CV in an appropriate section I would think it odd but it wouldn't make me reject the candidate or something. But I can't see it helping. I mean if someone has degrees in geology or ecology or whatever then they've obviously done fieldwork successfully. I did quite a lot of fieldwork in my geography degree as an undergrad. So how does this scouting thing help?

If nothing else, it would demonstrate a certain stick-to-it-iveness that might be lacking in other candidates.  Then again, other candidates could demonstrate that trait in ways that are more relevant--undergrad research experiences being among those.

However, I agree that inclusion of the Eagle achievement is something that is probably best relegated to an "other" category on the CV.  For someone applying to grad school, it might be placed more prominently; for a faculty position, though, I view it as an "other" that is unlikely to sway my decision in any way.  Even in ecology/geology or other field-oriented disciplines, I would hope that the student's experiences doing field work or undergrad research are much more extensive, and noteworthy, than those provided by completion of Eagle Scout requirements.
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asymptotic
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« Reply #35 on: April 10, 2010, 2:03:28 am »

Not so localized, Asymptotic.  Conjugate's assertion is actually backed up by current scholarly literatures that examine the growing number of texts (and practices) designed to co-opt/ appropriate scouting by the Christian and LDS right.

Here are examples of the literatures being studied: http://www.amazon.com/Trails-Testimony-Bringing-Through-Scouting/dp/1439228434/ref=sr_1_7?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1270874433&sr=1-7

http://www.amazon.com/My-Honor-American-Values-Fighting/dp/0979646227/ref=pd_sim_b_7

Interesting. Again, in fairness I don't now that this reflects the attitudes of many individual scouts. It most certainly didn't when I was there, but perhaps things are changing. Is it believed that these attitudes are in danger of becoming official doctrine of Scouting? I sure hope they aren't trying to push out all non-Christians.

I truly embrace our values of respect, honor, loyalty, courage, benevolence, environmentalism, etc. I do not want to exclude homosexuals and agnostics/atheists from scouting if they embrace the other ideals.
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jerseyjay
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« Reply #36 on: April 10, 2010, 2:10:20 am »

Out of interest, I did a google search (CV+"Eagle Scout") to see how many people actually list eagle scout on their CVs. I found: there are more pages devoted to debating this issue than there are CVs that include it, although perhaps if I had searched resumes it would have been different; those that did include seemed more likely to be graduate students than faculty; one of the few faculty members who did list it is also heavily involved in the local Scouts; scientists (broadly defined) seem more likely to have earned it (or to care about listing it) than humanists. In none of the CV is it all that prominent, usually listed several pages into the CV under awards.

(For what it is worth, I was a Scout for several years because I liked to hike. My first troop was run by the local Mormons. Hiking was not really their focus; the next troop I belonged to was Lutheran. They were much more active in terms of hiking, but they also let it be known that while I was free to join and do activities, there was a sort of glass ceiling for non-believers like me in terms of moving up in the ranks. Needless to say I never was an Eagle Scout.  I joined both of these troops because I had friends in them; I do not remember if there were any non-religious Scouts where I was.)
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qrypt
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« Reply #37 on: April 10, 2010, 7:05:13 am »

I'm proud of having been kicked out of scouts just before getting Eagle rank for allegedly practicing "satanism" during one of the many mandatory "non-denominational" prayer services. I just don't know where that goes on my CV.

Ooh, I wish I had thought of that one when I was a scout. 

Mostly I did scouts for the dodgeball games we always played before meetings.  I quit when they put a stop to the dodgeball.
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msparticularity
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« Reply #38 on: April 10, 2010, 1:26:43 pm »

Scouting seems to be one of those activities that is almost completely influenced by the individual parents/troop leaders. I have known many people (including my uncle and cousin) who came up through Boy Scouts entirely by dint of adherence to the advertised principles. More recently, though, I have noticed--like others here--that scout troops often seem to be led by parents who are more concerned with religious indoctrination and "wholesome" activity than with the older ideas. In the way of volunteer groups, these are also the people who rise into leadership, leaving us with yet another organization that has veered into right-wing religious fundamentalism in the last couple of decades. 
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"Once admit that the sole verifiable or fruitful object of knowledge is the particular set of changes that generate the object of study...and no intelligible question can be asked about what, by assumption, lies outside." John Dewey

"Be particular." Jill Conner Browne
mad_doctor
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« Reply #39 on: April 10, 2010, 2:37:11 pm »

Being what most on the left would probably label a "right-wing religious fundamentalist" myself, I find it interesting that parents who choose to raise their children by engaging them in "wholesome", "patriotic" activities, as well as the children themselves, should experience so much resistance for doing so in a free society.  The Boy Scouts are a private organization, and they may espouse whatever values they want as a private organization.  If the parents want to flavor local troops according to their own particular value system, and the Boy Scouts are ok with that, then they are all free to do so.  Free-thinking, tolerant, open-minded people like us should be able to accept that.  I have no desire to limit the freedoms of liberally-minded parents who want to raise their children in "left-wing secular fundamentalist" organizations, and I have no particular bias against people who choose to pursue their self-fulfillment through the Peace Corps, Greenpeace, the Sierra Club, or the ACLU, or other "left-wing secular fundamentalist" organizations, as long as they don't try to restrict the freedoms or destroy the credibility of "right-wing religious fundamentalist" organizations or other groups they don't agree with.  There's no law preventing left-wing, secular parents from forming their own left-wing secular youth organization, so why not do something constructive like that instead of tearing down the Boy Scouts and their supporters?
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systeme_d_
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« Reply #40 on: April 10, 2010, 2:44:05 pm »

There's no law preventing left-wing, secular parents from forming their own left-wing secular youth organization, so why not do something constructive like that instead of tearing down the Boy Scouts and their supporters?

Such studies as I alluded to above are done because it is the job of a scholars in certain fields of study to analyze various cultural phenomena.

Starting a "left-wing secular youth organization" is not part of the job description of a scholar.
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mad_doctor
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« Reply #41 on: April 10, 2010, 3:07:45 pm »

There's no law preventing left-wing, secular parents from forming their own left-wing secular youth organization, so why not do something constructive like that instead of tearing down the Boy Scouts and their supporters?

Such studies as I alluded to above are done because it is the job of a scholars in certain fields of study to analyze various cultural phenomena.

Starting a "left-wing secular youth organization" is not part of the job description of a scholar.

That's a good example of what I was just talking about, systeme_d_.  Those books you cited appear to be very positive, complementary treatments of what you call the "co-opting" of the Boy Scouts.  I don't hear any complaints from the Boy Scouts about this "co-opting".  It seems the Boy Scouts can peacefully co-exist with religious, patriotic, family-oriented people.  So, what's the concern here?  We're still a free nation, and this "co-opting" is a sign of the healthy exercise of freedom.  Free-thinking, tolerant people such as we should be able to acknowledge the virtue of scouting and the achievement of Eagle Scouts as much as we can the Greenpeace or ACLU "Teen of the Year" award (if there were such awards, I would weigh them about as well on a CV as I would weigh an Eagle Scout).
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qrypt
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« Reply #42 on: April 10, 2010, 3:23:12 pm »

I certainly agree that as a private organization the BSA are entitled to adopt whatever policies/views they want.

But I then see no reason why public entities should continue to give them preferential terms for access to public facilities when they violate the various non-discrimination laws that have been adopted in various locations.
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offthemarket
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« Reply #43 on: April 10, 2010, 3:26:54 pm »

You hear now complains about co-opting?  I've complained in this forum, there is a rebel organization called Scouting for All, and many people have mailed their badges back to the BSA in protest, myself included.

There is anger and a movement to get the BSA towards the policies of honor, respect and inclusion that once defined the organization.
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mad_doctor
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« Reply #44 on: April 10, 2010, 3:57:58 pm »

You hear now complains about co-opting?  I've complained in this forum, there is a rebel organization called Scouting for All, and many people have mailed their badges back to the BSA in protest, myself included.

There is anger and a movement to get the BSA towards the policies of honor, respect and inclusion that once defined the organization.

Parents and local communities are free to attempt to "co-opt" their local troops, the BSA is free either to accept or reject it, and Eagle Scouts who disagree are free to protest or form their own scouting organizations.  None of these are reasons to diminish the honor and achievement of attaining the rank of Eagle Scout, or to discriminate against Eagle Scouts who are proud of their achievement.
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