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What do we (Scouters) expect from Eagle Scouts.

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  • #16
    What do I expect of Eagle Scouts? Strong character. Respect for authority and rules. Never to use terms such as "tarnishing the reputation of Eagles" or any other better-than-thou term.(This message has been edited by fred8033)


    • #17
      "I expect Eagle Scouts to have character and to never use terms such as "tarnishing the reputation of Eagles" or any other better-than-thou"

      I used that term in quotation marks because I saw it in another thread. Someone was discussing how business leaders in his community no longer give special considerations to Eagles because people are "tarnishing" the award. Being an Eagle Scout of 2011, I don't believe minimium requirement Eagle Scouts "tarnish" the award.

      Yours in Service,
      Sentinel.(This message has been edited by Sentinel947)


      • #18
        bnelon, I think you're missing the interesting part of the question. It's not "what are the requirement?" It's not even really "what should be the requirements?" It's "how do we measure success?"

        There exists a set of requirements, and a set of guidelines for how the requirements should be interpreted. There's also an informal set of interpretations for the interpretations, if you will, notions about if and when any of those rules should be bent or broken. Although there's plenty of debate about all three of those subjects, ultimately the real issue is whether the requirements, the guidlines, and the fidelity of adherance to both, are producing good results.

        Hence, "what do we expect from Eagle Scouts?" Followed closely by "How many of them are meeting those expectations?"

        It's no good to say "all we expect of an Eagle Scout is that he fullfilled the requirements as written" because that doesn't answer the question of whether the requirements are working or not. It may be sufficient to decide if that particular scout gets the rank or not, but for the larger picture of how well we're doing, it's insufficient. It's a tautology. As long as that's our answer, we have no feedback with which to assess our program.

        I like Basement's list. That's not necessarily just what I expect of an Eagle Scout, it's what I expect of a young man who has taken advantage of all that Scouting has to offer in the way of personal development. If the advancement method is to have currency all the way through a young man's scouting career, that's probalby a good list for Eagle Scout too then. It's a good list that we as scouters should have for our goals for the youth in our units.

        With Basement's list in hand, we can gather a collection of young men with red, white and blue patches on their pocket and make an assessment. How many of these young men pass muster with the list? If most of them do, then we're on the right track. If few of them do, then we need to do some assessment. Where are we going wrong?

        Can't even get to that question until we have a list like that though.

        But it makes a lot of people uncomfortable to have a subjective list. They prefer a cut and dried list of objective criteria like "was active for 6 months" where even "active" has no subjective component and is simply defined as "registered." It's a bureaucratic mindset in action. We've checked all the checkboxes, therefor we are done and succeeded. No, that's not good enough.

        We need to train young men to make subjective assessments, to be comfortable doing uncomfortable but necessary things. We can't very well train them to do that if we aren't willing to do it ourselves.

        I like Sentinel's question and Basement's answer.


        • #19
          Never to use terms such as "tarnishing the reputation of Eagles" or any other better-than-thou term.

          Yah, "better than thou"? Sorta like this sentence?

          I'm not sure what's wrong with da phrase. Boys pursue Eagle Scout in part because the Eagle Scout award has a reputation. They are told that colleges, employers and others will treat them differently because Eagle Scout has a reputation. They and their families invest time, money, and effort in pursuin' the award because of that perceived reputation.

          So yah, sure, anything with a reputation or public perception can be tarnished when one or many don't live up to da reputation.

          How do we improve the other Methods of Scouting? How do we make the program better catch the "Minimialist" Eagle Scouts. How can we convince them in a way that is fun to do more? Attend more trips, lead more? Encouraging them to give more to their communities and troops?

          The lads do what they are rewarded for, eh? Rewarded with patches, sure, but mostly rewarded in terms of the time, attention, and acceptance of others. If yeh feel for some reason that BSA advancement isn't workin' for yeh, then I'd say fix how yeh are thinking about advancement and ignore fred8033 or bnelon44. They represent to my mind a relatively odd viewpoint that's not in keepin' with what da Scouting program has been for 100 years.

          But the alternative is to just de-emphasize advancement and use other forms of recognition from da other methods. Recognize boys attention from adults, attention from peers, outdoor opportunities

          "Yep, Joe, yeh got your patch. Hey, Bill, that was an awesome job that you did putting together last weekend's patrol outing! Yeh totally rocked! Da SPL, ASPL, and a couple of of the senior guys are goin' out for ice cream after the CoH and wanted you to come along to talk about movin' up in leadership."

          "Yep, Joe, here's your patch. Hey, Bill, that was really great effort on Climbing MB. I know a few guys from the Venture Patrol are going to the Climbing Gym this weekend, and based on how you really worked to master all of da skills of the badge we think you're ready to join them."

          "Hi Joe, congrats on your patch. Hey, Bill, I really trust your Orienteering skills, so you get to lead the hike today on your own. No adults coming along. We trust you. We'll see you at the final trailhead."

          Now, it works better if receiving the patch matches a genuine increase in recognition and skill, eh? That's the point of Step 4 in da Advancement Method: A Boy is Recognized. That means more than getting a piece of cloth. It means genuinely being recognized by your peers and adult leaders for the knowledge, skills, abilities, and character you possess. If yeh get a patch but don't really merit da recognition, I think you're doin' advancement wrong. The patch by itself doesn't mean a thing. It's da "reputation" of the patch as meaning that yeh merit real recognition which is what counts.

          But even if yeh make the mistake of allowin' your badges not to have a meaningful reputation, yeh can still make scouting work through real recognition with the other methods.


          (This message has been edited by Beavah)


          • #20
            Thanks Beavah!


            • #21
              Beavah wrote: "If yeh feel for some reason that BSA advancement isn't workin' for yeh, then I'd say fix how yeh are thinking about advancement and ignore fred8033 or bnelon44. They represent to my mind a relatively odd viewpoint that's not in keepin' with what da Scouting program has been for 100 years. "

              Generally what Beavah said is good. But if you ignore what bnelson44 and I write, you better just recognize as Beavah did earlier today that you should just ignore BSA too. That's what it really going on. On the flip side, if your tired of representing an undocumented program that contradicts what BSA publishes, you should just ignore most of what Beavah says.


              • #22
                I think Beavahs points about recognizing Scouts, and encouraging them is certainly valid, and not contradicting the BSA.


                • #23
                  Not in any manual that I've read, but ...

                  I expect an Eagle to have a certain sense of dissatisfaction. Most recent example:

                  Had an eSMC last week for a 17.9 y.o., and we pointed a number of areas that the boy would need to sharpen (chapter 1 material) before his board. He's a smart guy, I'm sure he could cram the night before and be good to go. But got a call from the SM today, and the boy wants another conference even though the paperwork was signed, checked, and approved. He is not satisfied with his performance, and wants to make a better showing to be sure he's prepared for the board. He also, I believe, sincerely cares that *we* respect him. He's in college, and has held down steady jobs, so this medal doesn't affect his standing with anyone. Bottom line: he will not be satisfied with himself until he can make up for the shortcomings he discovered at the last conference.

                  Other examples: I expect an Eagle to be dissatisfied if he let his sports team or coach down. I'd expect him to be disatisfied if he wasn't the best musician in the band. Not getting straight A's would bother him, not to the point of worry, but to the point he figures out what's keeping him from learning everything put before him. If a disaster hits, I would expect him to wonder why he couldn't prevent every death and be rankled by every home that's not restored. I would expect him to think deep thoughts about his creator and think about the next step in his spiritual growth.

                  That's the biggest distinction, as far as I can tell, between Life and Eagle.

                  Fact is, most guys grow into that mentality, they just do it long after their 18th birthday.


                  • #24
                    Sentinal your assuming they even met the minimum standards...

                    Had an SM award newly crossed over webelos first class after 5 months with the troop....... What is your opinion of this situation??????


                    • #25
                      I expect them to make proper choices in life and be good citizens.


                      • #26
                        Basement: I personally, in my time in the BSA (only 8 years) have never met an awarded Eagle who did not meet the minimuim requirements. Perhaps I don't get out enough.


                        • #27
                          IMHO I would say my unscientific impression of our Eagles are:

                          25% Super-achievers who would make Eagle in most environments.
                          50% High attenders who either got an early push by parents or rushed to finish by 18--but did most of the work honestly.
                          25% Highly suspect, weak skills, and Mom/Dad lawyering. They frequently vanish from sight shortly after the ECOH. Frankly having the parents gone is a relief...

                          What do I as a Scouter expect of an Eagle:

                          - Proactive leadership coaching of younger Patrol leaders.
                          - Pitching in to show first year scout skills without being asked.
                          - Keeping an eye on the bully problem.
                          - Spinning Yarns of great past Troop stories to the younger boys.


                          • #28
                            Sentinel, consider yourself lucky.
                            I can introduce you to one if you'd like. It''s a fascinating story that continues today.(This message has been edited by Eagle732)