Ask the District Commissioner[To Top]
If you have a question about any Scouting policy and/or procedure, please send me an email. Questions and answers will be published here and questions will be posted anonymously. Please remember, if you believe that you have some misinformation or a confusing policy matter that needs to be cleared up, others may have similar issues and questions as well. There is no such thing as a dumb question, so I encourage you to ask away. Thanks for your continuing support!
Gil Johnson, Sagtikos District Commissioner
Q:My sons are currently Scouts in a local Boy Scout Troop. We used to receive the Scouting magazine but we moved and we realized that we have not received any magazines since. Several members of the troop have mentioned articles but we can't read them. How can I have our address updated?
A:Your request and current address is being sent to our Council Registrar for updating. The change may take a while before your sons get their magazine, but you should receive future issues.
If you have any new address changes in the future, be certain to contact the Council Service Center directly to inform them of any changes, including phone numbers and email addresses.
Q:I am currently serving in the area of organizing membership recruiting efforts for my troop. I have been trying to reach the marketing director. Is it still Lauren Vlachos?
A:Brian McAuliff is the volunteer who chairs it.
Q:I have a question about getting extended time to obtain Eagle. I have heard his Scoutmaster mention this a few times, that a Scout could be considered for an extension for special circumstances. My son will be turning 17 next week and in the 10th grade, he has almost finishing Life Scout. He has a severe illness which effects every aspect of his life, he has also been hospitalized a few times since joining Scouts, but he continues to try and live a normal life. Please let me know what we need to do just in case he needs this extra time to finish Eagle. I hate to see him come so close only to fail.
An extension may be granted for a Scout to work toward Eagle Scout past his 18th birthday. The circumstances calling for the extension must be beyond the control of the Scout.
Examples might include a health-related incident requiring a hospital stay, a disabling injury, a significant employment conflict, a family emergency, a natural disaster, severe unseasonable weather that could not have been anticipated, or unforeseen actions of others affecting the youth's ability to complete the requirements.
Process for Submitting and Evaluating an Extension Request
The Scout, his parent or guardian, his unit leader, or a member of the unit committee may file the request. It is sent to the council service center to the attention of the council's designated appeals coordinator. It is preferred that requests be submitted before the 18th birthday. The request must indicate the number of months after the 18th birthday that will be necessary to complete the requirements.
The request must document the circumstances. For example, if the cause is health related, then a statement from a health professional must be provided. It is not sufficient simply to provide a summary of occurrences without the support of information from those with personal knowledge of what happened.
The council advancement chair and staff advisor select at least two council advancement committee members who will research the request and prepare a summary report for the council advancement committee. They should obtain statements from those with knowledge of the case, or interview them and then prepare written summaries. The candidate must be included in the process in order to ascertain circumstances were beyond his control, as must any adults available who committed errors or provided misinformation. The council advancement committee must review the evidence and prepare a position statement. This is shared with the Scout, his parent or guardian, and his unit leader.
The Scout then decides whether to pursue the extension with the national Advancement Team. If affirmative, the Request for Extension of Time to Earn Eagle Scout Rank form must be completed and then signed by the Scout executive. It must provide a recommendation for acceptance or denial, and indicate the length of the desired extension. A packet with the evidence, the position statement, and the extension request form is then forwarded to the national Advancement Team. A decision can usually be delivered within two to four weeks.
Please contact the District Advancement Chair, J. Micheels, for additional information or assistance.
Q: At the next event as large as a camporee, can it be implemented from the beginning to have all dangerous road crossings manned by the event staff? If it is a liability issue can we contact the local authority's for assistance?
A: As part of the planning for such events, adult safety procedures are put into place to manage the crossing of high-traffic roadways in-lieu of contacting outside agencies for assistance. These cover both the start and the closing of the event. If these safety procedures are not followed, for one reason or another, safety issues then become apparent. That being said, If it is necessary to get assistance, the necessary agencies can be contacted at least one month to two weeks before the scheduled event.
Q: At a past camping event, suggestions for possible locations for a camporee were asked for. What about Belmont Lake State Park! It is in our district-It has everything and more to conduct an event this large and best of all they would be open to the idea!
A: A good idea, but unfortunately, Belmont does not allow large group camping. If we wanted to hold a day event, that would be possible. Parking is also fee based. But we may be able to work that out.
Please forgive the delay in answering
Q: I have a question concerning the policy for a scout to obtain Eagle Scout. My son is a Star Scout who will be advancing to Life Scout in about 2 weeks when he has completed the time he needs in his position of responsibility. He is turning 17 in December and has been planning on doing an Eagle Scout project. Last night his troop announced troop expectations at the meeting. Among other things, the scouts were told that in order to become an Eagle Scout it would be mandatory that they have held the rank of patrol leader, senior patrol leader or assistant SPL at some time during their scouting career. My son has not held any of these ranks and was in fact discouraged from running as patrol leader at the last elections because he plays soccer for his school and sometimes misses meetings in the Fall. He can run for next years positions, but if he is not elected, he will not have held any of the positions.
Also, I am concerned that if he starts a project soon, which was his intention, that they will not let him become an Eagle. I had a similar problem with my older son with this troop in that he put in a proposal for an Eagle Scout project, was approved by the Scoutmaster and Committee Chairperson to do the project, completed all of the work on the project, only to be told that the Committee Chairperson wasn't going to sign his application because she felt that he was not as active as she would have liked him to be because he played Varsity Football and couldn't go on trips and other activities in the Fall. After a drawn out battle between the Scoutmaster who felt that my son deserved his rank and was satisfied with his participation and the Committee Chairperson, my son was awarded his Eagle badge. My concern is that my son will need to begin planning and carrying out his plans for a project and then if he is not elected as a patrol leader, they will not allow him to earn his Eagle rank. l forgot to mention that the Scoutmaster has changed since my older son went for his Eagle rank, but the Committee Chairperson is the same and she is the one that has come up with all of the new rules.
Are they allowed to do this?
I have read the requirements and see that the requirement is for a position of responsibility, it does not say that the scout needs to be a patrol leader.
A: Below is a copy of a section of the Eagle Scout Application. This lists the various positions that a Life Scout may serve in to meet the requirement. No unit or leader may change this or set any other requirements.
REQUIREMENT 4. While a Life Scout, serve actively for a period of six months in one or more of the following positions of responsibility. List only those positions served after Life board of review date. Boy Scout troop. Patrol leader, Venture patrol leader, assistant senior patrol leader, senior patrol leader, troop guide, Order of the Arrow troop representative, den chief, scribe, librarian, historian, quartermaster, junior assistant Scoutmaster, chaplain aide, instructor, Webmaster, Leave No Trace trainer.
Eagle Rank Requirements as found at the Official National Website http://www.scouting.org/scoutsource/BoyScouts/AdvancementandAwards/eagle.aspx
Be active in your troop, team, crew, or ship for a period of at least six months after you have achieved the rank of Life Scout.
Demonstrate that you live by the principles of the Scout Oath and Law in your daily life. List the names of individuals who know you personally and would be willing to provide a recommendation on your behalf, including parents/guardians, religious, educational, and employer references.
Earn a total of 21 merit badges (10 more than you already have), including the following:
- a. First Aid
- b. Citizenship in the Community
- c. Citizenship in the Nation
- d. Citizenship in the World
- e. Communication
- f. Personal Fitness
- g. Emergency Preparedness OR Lifesaving
- h. Environmental Science
- i. Personal Management
- j. Swimming OR Hiking OR Cycling
- k. Camping
- l. Family Life
You must choose only one merit badge listed in items g and j. If you have earned more than one of the badges listed in items g and j, choose one and list the remaining badges to make your total of 21.
While a Life Scout, serve actively for a period of six months in one or more of the following positions of responsibility:
Boy Scout troop. Patrol leader, assistant senior patrol leader, senior patrol leader, Venture patrol leader, troop guide, Order of the Arrow troop representative, den chief, scribe, librarian, historian, quartermaster, junior assistant Scoutmaster, chaplain aide, instructor, Webmaster, or Leave No Trace Trainer.
While a Life Scout, plan, develop, and give leadership to others in a service project helpful to any religious institution, any school, or your community. (The project must benefit an organization other than Boy Scouting.) A project proposal must be approved by the organization benefiting from the effort, your unit leader and unit committee, and the council or district before you start. You must use the Eagle Scout Service Project Workbook, BSA publication No. 512-927, in meeting this requirement. (To learn more about the Eagle Scout service project, see the Guide to Advancement, topics 184.108.40.206 through 220.127.116.11.)
Take part in a unit leader conference.
Successfully complete an Eagle Scout board of review.
From the Guide To Advancement 2011 (Current update as of 10/21/2012) found at http://www.scouting.org/scoutsource/GuideToAdvancement.aspx
Policy on Unauthorized Changes to Advancement Program
No council, committee, district, unit, or individual has the authority to add to, or subtract from, advancement requirements. There are limited exceptions relating only to youth members with disabilities. For details see section 10, â€œAdvancement for Members With Special Needs.
Mandated Procedures and Recommended Practices
This publication clearly identifies mandated procedures with words such as must and shall. Where such language is used, no council, committee, district, unit, or individual has the authority to deviate from the procedures covered, without the written permission of the national Advancement Team.
Q: Please provide me with the list of Troops in the West Islip and surrounding area's, and their respective leader contact information.
A: Specific contact leader information can be obtained by contacting the District Executive at (631) 924-7000 x131.
- Troop 95 West Islip
- Troop 179 West Islip
- Troop 399 Babylon
- Troop 194 Babylon
- Troop 43 Bay Shore
- Troop 153 Bay Shore
- Troop 207 Islip
- Troop 151 Islip
- Troop 370 Islip
- Troop 25 Brentwood
- Troop 292 Brentwood
- Troop 371 Brentwood
Updated 10/22/2013. Earlier, a question was asked about the units in the Babylon, W. Islip, Islip area and I regret that 1 unit failed to be mentioned. This unit is Troop 1, who meets at the United Methodist Church in Babylon on the 2nd, 3rd and 4th Thursdays of the month, 6:45 pm to 8:30 pm. I apologize for them not being mentioned at that time.
Q: Are there any details for the fall camporee?
A: E-mails were sent out to all registered Scoutmasters, Cubmasters and Committee Chairs, in June and August. Also, the June, August, and September Roundtables had all the information.
The information, including the registration form and information sheet, can be found here on the district website below this feature (see Webelos Woods Camporee). You can also find the information on the district Facebook page.
If you need any more info, please feel free to contact Jim Davolio at email@example.com or call him at (631) 884-0316.