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- Dec 2007
fred, the discussion has gone on for 10 years but now the ground rules have changed and units can set their own expectations. That's a big change over National's previous definition which essentially was if you paid you're active.(This message has been edited by Eagle732)
- Apr 2009
It might but it also burns way too many scouts.
How many scouts does it burn, really?
How many "marginal" boys will be put off scouting and will never participate again (even though they hardly participated at as Life scouts year after year)?
How many boys involved in "outside activities" don't even bother to call in weekly or put forth an effort to drop by an activity even for half a day? Not even for half a year?
How many boys care so little about their troop, that no amount of verbiage is going to convince an SM that his signature belongs on the bottom of an Eagle app?
I'm betting it's not all that many. But if it were 5 million, none should be Eagle.
Yah, fred8033, these debates have been goin' on for as long as parent-driven advancement have been goin' on. It's a societal phenomenon, eh? There are kids suing school districts all over da place over the criteria for Valedictorian or athletic eligibility or pick-your-recognition-for-their-darling. Attemptin' to lawyer a kid into a recognition (or out of a failure) has become part of modern American culture. There's no social sanction against it anymore.
Until that culture changes, these discussions are goin' to go on in da BSA, and da BSA materials are goin' to waffle between standards and "everyone deserves an award" dependin' on who is on da committee each year. The pressure, though, will always be in da direction of grade inflation / everyone deserves an award because that's the easiest road, eh? It takes da least effort, it causes da least conflict, it consumes da least amount of staff time and resources.
It also achieves the least in da lives of our kids, but that's somethin' that only folks with real backbone and commitment to the lads manage to remember. It often is not somethin' folks just workin' in da office consider.
Havin' high expectations for kids doesn't "burn" any of 'em, eh? That's a fiction that gets perpetuated to try to justify this silliness. Getting or not getting Valedictorian doesn't make or burn a kid. What makes or burns a kid is whether or not they were pushed to learn and achieve durin' their time in da program. Yeh can be Valedictorian or Eagle and have been completely short-changed by inept adults who felt yeh would cry and pout if yeh didn't get "your" award, and yeh can have just missed Valedictorian or Eagle and be an outstanding young man who will go on to do great things and remember your time in the program with affection because your effort was genuine and it really meant something.
I'm sorry yeh are part of da modern American culture of entitlement for kids. It wasn't always like this. I fear for da future of our nation when parsin' words matters more than showin' up and workin' hard. But in our younger years we were taught that commitment meant commitment, so I'm afraid you'll just have to put up with some of us old fogeys for a few more years.
- Feb 2008
Beavah - I am going to restate one thing that is the source of the problem - actual, concrete value to Eagle. With colleges giving points to Eagles (though at least one system looks for SPL to go with it), the military given automatic rank advancement to Enlisted - there is now money in Eagle. Once there is money in something, the fighting gets harder.
Similar to the class ranking games in schools - that impacts college applications as well. I had an issue with a high school counselor who wanted to put in the assumed drop outs from my class when determining my class rank. She was doing this out of spite due to an issue between me and her son. Tell me, by fighting this one was I being legalistic and entitled? I was fighting for something that could impact my scholarship and my college of choice, while she was doing something that could be argued either way - and yes, I make a negative assumption about her real reasoning.
With everyone being told to go to college, more kids are going to hunt all of the slots that they need to get accepted. Those slots (like Team Captain) that used to be just for the kids that wanted it now have a numerical value. The stakes have been raised.
Yes - we have entitlement issues. We also have a game that has changed, and that brings in new problems.
- May 2008
Unrelated to Scouting, but Beav, the most egregious case of this I saw in our local school district was about two years ago. A woman complained to the HS principal that the existence of an Honors band program was an unfair advantage to the kids enrolled in it. They had the potential of having a higher grade point average (than her kid, which was the subtext), therefore a higher class standing. The principal washed her hands of it by referring the matter to the town school committee, who then acquiesced.
All along, I thought the argument was ridiculous. The only way it could be construed that it was an unfair advantage is if the course was an easy grade. But it's not -- it takes significant amount of work (in school and out), and mandatory participation (evenings and weekends), and most likely money (high quality instruments and private lessons) to get an A.
Yah, GKlose, that sort of stuff is goin' on everywhere, eh?
I know school districts that have given up on honor rolls and Valedictorians and other awards and just eliminated them. They don't want to deal with it any more, and they want to use da money and time they spend fightin' on other things.
- Jun 2002
We've been in the throes of college applications around here for the last couple years and I can tell you based on the conversations I've had with several college admission staffers, Eagle just isn't that big of a deal. Grades, test scores, grades, difficulty of course work and grades are what they look at.
All the extra curricular stuff is judging how well "rounded" you are, that is are you fairly balanced and stable or are you a total academic freak who will jump off the top floor of the library the first time you be a "B"?
One of the most encouraging things I heard from an admissions officer was they look at the breadth of extra curriculars, not the numbers. Back in the day, we tried to get our name on as many high school clubs as possible, even if they only meant showing up for the first meeting of the year. What this lady said they look for are students who excell in organizations and programs with which they are engaged for years; master the program, develop into a leader of the program and in some way give back to it as a senior member. Of course, Scouting is ready made for that sort of envolvement, but it doesn't necessarily describe every Eagle's career track.
Eagle is one of any number of things kids can demonstrate that sort of dedication, mastery and service.
- Jun 2005
(This message has been edited by venividi)