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Scout "Too Young" to be an Eagle?

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  • #46
    "I am a Eagle Scout. I earned my Eagle at 16. I believe he is to youg...he has not experienced anything about scouting. I have been to a National Scout Jamboree, Philmont Scount Ranch in New Mexico, 7 years of summer camp, many Klondike Derby's, fall and spring camporees etc. I am also a member of the Order of the Arrow. What are his "Scouting" experiences besides bookwork?"

    flwolf, that attitude, to put it too bluntly, sucks. My first son was a past-18 BoR Eagle, and is an ASM, 3 years of camp staff, 5 years of summer camp, OA Brother, Elangomat, etc., etc. Yay for him.

    My younger son is 13... Star... should be Life before Christmas and has been to the last Jamboree, 1 year of summer camp, OA member, and yes many camporees etc. He has also completed 2 50 miler awards and is currently away at CS daycamp as a staffer... not just a staffer but this is his 3d year on staff and he is now working as an area director, that's a 45 hour workweek at a daycamp with over 600 Cubs. His age is the main thing that keeps him from having your resume. But for you to say he has not experienced anything about Scouting is a load of crap. His goal is to earn his Eagle rank by 8/2015 (will be 14) so he when he gets to high school/job time he can't get held back by the fumes he hears so much about... but also not too soon because he has read and heard these "too young" conversations and knows that some folks will always look at him as a lesser Eagle... and I hate that. It is snobbery at its finest. Your experiences are no more or less valid than his.





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    • #47
      Originally posted by Eagledad View Post

      For a person who doesn't put much stock in Eagles or military hierarchy, you sure have high expectation in their hierarchy of rank in the BSA. I know the answers to all your questions because I have observed all those situations. If you want any credence to your skepticism, then stop referring to Eagles by some systematic hierarchy of expectations. In the world you describe stosh, the Eagle isn't the problem, the Tenderfoot is. If the Eagle is truly the last of the scouting experience as you keep hinting, then the only way to raise the bar of the Eagle in your program would be to raise the bar of every rank before it. Not a bad idea really, but the Eagle isn't the highest or end-all to a boys scouting experience. It is just one step of many.

      Barry
      I just love it when one finds it necessary to consistently take another's comments out of context.

      For one thing I don't put much stock in Eagles in general. Why? Because some Eagles turn out a rather poor example of what the program is intended to be, while others excel well beyond expectations. Pretty hard to "put much stock" into a conversation when one hasn't defined which Eagle one is talking about. Like any other situation in life, there are the good, the bad and the ugly. In some cases, yes, the Eagle is the problem and in other cases no the Eagle is not. The Eagle that does just enough to get by is not the same as the Eagle that we are surprised at what he has been able to accomplish in just 7 years. A 13 year old Eagle and out is not the same as the 13 year old Eagle that has put in 4 fantastic years helping others get their Eagle too.

      Raising the bars do nothing more than motivate the lazy ones to step it up a bit. The others spend all their time looking down to see where the bar is out of a sense of curiosity at best.

      So what does earning the Eagle rank have to do with scouts that are doing it for themselves, i.e. resume line item and the Eagles that earn it so that they are prepared to help other people at all times. Both earned it. Fine. But that's where the comparison stops according to BSA. So yes, I have high expectatins, but it has nothing to do with the hierarchy of the BSA ranks.

      So if one were to add on a few more ranks, it still wouldn't make one iota difference in the way I feel about Eagles or whatever the next rank or two might be.

      Yep, he earned Eagle and has also earned every MB offered..... All for himself. What did he do for his buddies? It's easy to have a disparaging attitude towards Eagle when it can be earned with little or no leadership ability along the way. This process starts with TF, and theoretically improve through the ranks. But there's nothing there in the ranks to promote that.

      Stosh

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      • #48
        Baseballfan ... I fully agree with you. ... " because he has read and heard these "too young" conversations and knows that some folks will always look at him as a lesser Eagle... and I hate that. It is snobbery at its finest. Your experiences are no more or less valid than his. "

        I'd also add jealousy to the mix. Highly motivated kid. Very supportive parents.

        When I hear people "paper Eagle" or similar, the arrogant rude gall of the statement reflects on the speaker and not at all on the Eagle Scout.

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        • #49
          Originally posted by fred johnson View Post
          Baseballfan ... I fully agree with you. ... " because he has read and heard these "too young" conversations and knows that some folks will always look at him as a lesser Eagle... and I hate that. It is snobbery at its finest. Your experiences are no more or less valid than his. "

          I'd also add jealousy to the mix. Highly motivated kid. Very supportive parents.

          When I hear people "paper Eagle" or similar, the arrogant rude gall of the statement reflects on the speaker and not at all on the Eagle Scout.
          Like any other stereotype, there is no such thing as one size fits all for Eagles. Some Eagles are parlor scouts/paper Eagles who's only goal was to get the rank for themselves which they accomplished. Then there are the real scouts who put in 7 years of leadership development, build a strong basis for their character, serve and lead others to improve their lot in life, etc.

          While they both get the same certificate, wear the same medal and have achieved the same ranking in Scouting, they are not judged equally by those who know them and/or get to know them down the road.

          Just remember Robert E. Lee graduated at the top of his class at West Point while George Armstrong Custer was at the bottom of his. So, how did that work out for old George and the men he was supposed to be leading? It tells a lot about the character of a man when the men who served under him referred to him as a circus on a horse.

          So, sometimes when someone refers to Paper Eagles it just may be reflecting on the scout....

          Stosh

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          • #50
            jblakely ... Be careful. When you just said can easily be turned around to infer character and quality issues about you as a scout leader.

            Dimishing comments reflect more on the speaker than the scout.

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            • #51
              Holds true for everyone, especially those with a hidden agenda.

              Stosh

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              • #52
                Seems you have a lot of anger there stosh. Someone sure stepped hard on your toes. Barry

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                • #53
                  It would seem that there are those on the forum who tend to participate in such activity.

                  Like Fred says, " Be careful. When you just said can easily be turned around to infer character and quality issues about you as a scout leader.

                  Dimishing comments reflect more on the speaker than the scout."

                  Stosh

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                  • #54
                    I earned my Eagle at 16, and would have had it at 15 if I hadn't gotten tapped for OA and got busy with that. Alot of the requirements along the way were not easy for me. Some were easy as pie. Personal aptitude definitely played a role in the speed of my advancements. I can imagine a scout just being one of those people that everything comes easy to and with supportive parents, pushy or not, making Eagle earlier than most. I belonged to a small troop, I think we had a max of 8 boys the majority of the time with little parent involvement and little money. At that time I was aware of large troops, as well as troops with more finacial backing or parent support, that the boys shot up the ranks like rockets.

                    That said, I don't agree that the emotional maturity is the same at 12 and 13 as 16 or older regardless of how exceptional a boy is or how much financial or parental support he has. If you are a slob or a screw up (as an example) or not, by a certain age you learn to cope with your own bad habits and compinsate for them, you overcome your faults to get the job done, to lead. I honestly don't see a 13 year old being emotionally and mentally self aware or mature enough to do that, or being able to win the respect of others to lead them.
                    My son is almost 12 and even though I have taught him how to use a hatchet, and his mother trusts him to be safe with it, I wince openly when he picks it up. I know without a doubt that as soon as he is out of my sight he is going to try to throw it or something else impulsive because he's a young boy and that's what YOUNG boys do. So I definitely wouldn't want him leading a patrol of other possibly equal impulsive boys. As I recall, you have to hold specific leadership roles for 6 months at a time to meet one or more of the upper ranks. These requirments may have changed but if so, they shouldn't have. If those requirements remain how can someone so young even be put in such a role? Or maintain it successfully? So I am really unclear how ANY boy can make Eagle at 12 or 13 period.

                    As for the SM's, I agree with others posts, the problem should have been dealt with before it was a problem. It doesn't take but 6 months to figure out when a parent is riding their son for the glory and the boy is shooting past everyone else who's attendance is equal to his. Once the SM understood what was going on there should have been discussions with the parents and the boy about the value of what was occurring. Its to late now and its not fair to the boy to sit on him. Instead a strategy for earning palms or focusing on OA or other scouting activities needs to happen. If hes earned Eagle what else can he earn?

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