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  • Eagle Coach - fact and fiction

    I must have missed the memo(s) on this, but last January some minor changes occurred with the Eagle Project workbook. One note there is an "Eagle Coach" which is a role as opposed to the Eagle Advisor which is a position? The Eagle Coach role, depending on what one reads or hears, starts AFTER the project proposal has been approved or BEFORE. The Eagle candidate is NOT required to have an Eagle Advisor or have anyone serve in the role as Eagle Coach if he so desires (old school is still possible )

    So some polling questions
    20
    My District requires Eagle Coaches be trained and offers a class
    0.00%
    0
    My DIstrict has a pool of trained Eagle Coaches available
    23.08%
    6
    What District? I can't find the District Advancement Chair.
    19.23%
    5
    No change here, either the SM does it or assigns an ASM as Eagle Advisor who does this role
    34.62%
    9
    No change here, the scout either asks a troop leader to be his Eagle Advisor or does without.
    23.08%
    6

  • #2
    I'll have to ask our Eagle advisor before I make an informed vote. Maybe he knows he's a coach or not? I'm confused. Missed one too many roundtables I guess.

    Comment


    • #3
      I did not have an eagle coach or mentor or buddy when I did mine......I had a half a dozen paged ditto packet I followed.....When I had a question I went to the scoutmaster....


      While this isn't PC or the soft warm and fuzzy they want the BSA to be...........Do away with them......or have a hand full of experts per district to answer the question....


      We don't need someone chasing an Eagle along making sure he is making progress.

      Comment


      • skeptic
        skeptic commented
        Editing a comment
        Sure we do Base; that way they are less likely to make a mistake and learn from it the hard way. And, if something goes wrong, then they have someone else to blame. Remember that in today's society in this country children are not allowed to experience negative events or feelings, as they might grow up emotionally damaged.

      • RememberSchiff
        RememberSchiff commented
        Editing a comment
        Agree. Back in the day, a scout flew solo on the Eagle project, as soaring Eagles-to-be should. In my case, I did mine over a summer only to get rejected by the Troop Committee. They agreed that I did some hard and helpful work but the project itself did not qualify and I should have checked with them first. You will have to start over. Hard lesson learned.

      • Bando
        Bando commented
        Editing a comment
        It's not as much chasing after their progress as making sure they're doing things correctly and safely.

        For the number of Eagle candidates I've seen just go ahead and do a project without going through the proper approval process, then get ticked because they have to do another project, or who messed up the complicated paperwork because they didn't read through things carefully enough, it seems to me having an adult look things over and explain the process is an important, if not mandatory part of becoming an Eagle Scout in 2013. Having someone in your troop with contacts at the council to sort out any paperwork snafus, who has read and worked with the material over and over and over again, and knows the best ways to navigate that horribly convoluted Eagle packet, is an invaluable thing for your scouts.

        "Hard lessons" are great and all, but the "back in the day" Eagle process no longer exists. There's no need to throw teenagers to the wolves for paperwork, technicalities, and BSA "cover-our-ass" legalities.

    • #4
      Well if you stupid enough to start a project before it has hall the proper approvals...................Well what can ya say, ya got what ya deserved.


      So what your saying is your SPL who has run the troop program for a number of months can't read the pamphlet and get it figured out.

      Comment


      • King Ding Dong
        King Ding Dong commented
        Editing a comment
        The reading skills of your average 11 year old Life Scout aren't what they used to be.

      • Bando
        Bando commented
        Editing a comment
        If only the world was an ideal place, the kind of place where kids carefully read a confusing pamphlet, where adults used one period instead of thirteen, and the difference between "your" and "you're" was easily understood.

      • Basementdweller
        Basementdweller commented
        Editing a comment
        My eyes aren't as good as they used to be.............posting on the small screen of a smart phone is tough........Auto correct works ok, but isn't perfect.

        Luv ya to bando.....

    • #5
      If reading the pamphlet included the information you need to complete the process, you would have a point, Base. But how much of the real, actual approval is left up to the local districts and councils to implement. Hell, the process here has changed two or three times SINCE the new workbook came out.

      We have long had a couple ASMs and myself who work with the Scouts on their Eagle projects. Before the new workbook came our, ours was a council that had a two page checklist of required touch points proposal were required to contain -- one of which was a copy of the completed checklist cross referenced with the page numbers where each item could be found. One of my ASMs is a black belt Six-Sigma instructor and he thought the process was insane.

      Now that the proposal process has been streamlined, we don't have to focus so much on paperwork and BS. One of my ASMs is a draftsman and helps the boys with the plans for their projects (typically earning Drafting MB along the way). For a number of reasons (mostly tradition) our guys tend to do projects which include some sort of construction, so there is a fair bit of ejamacation the scouts need. -- when in your Scout career are you taught to build a picnic table or lay brick for a fire ring?

      Comment


      • RememberSchiff
        RememberSchiff commented
        Editing a comment
        Twisted life lessons? Like being prepared, using a checklist, managing time, backup plans...Our scouts mail their own paperwork to Council, in some cases this was the first time they have used the US Mail.

      • Bando
        Bando commented
        Editing a comment
        Not sure why it matters, but in a troop of about 120+ very motivated and impressively high-achieving kids (we are and always have been a big troop, even when we spun off new units to try to bring numbers down), we get about 5-8 per year, I'd say. Sometimes more, but usually never less than that. Most guys finish between ages 15-17. We'll have a group of about 25-30 new scouts every year, and by the time they graduate, there will be about a dozen or so left. And it's amazing how the seniors, on their own accord, go out of their way to motivate their buddies to finish their Eagle. We're a town with a very strong scouting tradition going back to the 1920s, and there's no shortage of great opportunities for projects with local organizations and agencies that absolutely love working with our kids. It's really a great thing.

        And RememberSchiff, that's definitely something our scouts learn from the process. But the BSA always doesn't make it easy for them to do so, especially when there are district and council egos that can get in the way, or project agency contacts that drop the ball or do something screwy along the way. The Eagle Coordinator isn't a crutch, but a last line of defense (and occasional advocate) to make sure the scout's efforts towards fulfilling the process are successful. He hands the scout the all-important BSA packet, gives him some pointers on the basics of how it works and the right order of doing things in terms of what needs approval and what doesn't, and it's the scout's job to follow up periodically with his progress. The kids usually find a project that interests them, though if they need some guidance or a good contact or two to pursue, they'll ask, and they'll get it. Especially if the troop has been contacted by an agency with a specific need (for instance, when the local food bank we often work with was in crisis mode and desperately needed a food drive so they wouldn't have to close their doors to needy families). If scouts need help along the way, they'll ask, and they'll get it. If a kid gets a packet and disappears for six months (which sometimes happens with kids who are playing sports, doing other activities, etc.), he might get a phone call asking if everything is OK. And if there's a problem, it often gets caught early enough to not waste both the scout's and the council's time. A little vigilance on both parties' parts can go a very long way, especially with the way the Eagle process is now constituted.

        In sum, the scout does the work, but the adults are there to help him along the way if he needs it. Emphasis on needs. Some kids are total self-starters, while some guys need a little prodding along the way. In this age group, that's normal. Not all scouts are created equal, and holding them all to the same standard of rugged individualism isn't always fair or useful. It's the Eagle Coordinator's job to know the difference, and to know how to best handle each situation. After all, we want our scouts to be successful, right?

      • DuctTape
        DuctTape commented
        Editing a comment
        I hate the workbook. I hate the standardization. Too many professional BS'ers attempting to improve something which needed no improvement. No coaches should be needed to hold the scouts hand. There should be no hoops to jump through, no standard forms to fill out for the project. The only form that should exist is one filled out and signed by the SM when the Scout has completed all requirements and needs his Eagle BOR. /rant

    • #6
      Interesting discussion. Our scouts are responsible for taking care of paper work and getting it to council. They are responsible telling the SM the date they set their BOR. We did not realize how challeging that was until we had a 16 year old transfer who only needed 6 badges to finish. He showed up one meeting with his dad to ask why the scouts were responsible for paperwork and taking care of BOR instead of the adults like his previous troop. No one had ever asked that before, so I was caught off guard. But I simply said we expect our Eagles to act like adults. That was a satisfactory answer for dad, so we help the scout get started and he did fine. I'm not sure if that was the reason, but the scout told us later that he was glad he got the Eagle in our troop instead of his previous one. That scout was a local hero a year later when revived an infant found at the bottom of a pool. My thoughts on Eagle coaches is district should train unit leaders the process the district and council expects. The biggest problems I've seen with eagle applications in our district is the confusion (ignorance) of unit leaders with district and council Eagle committees. Its ok to point the scouts in a direction and wait for questions, but when the coach becomes a crutch, they went to far. Barry

      Comment


      • #7
        My $.02 worth.

        Isn't that part of the SM's job? i know that way back in the day when I was getting ready to do my project, I talked to my SM about the entire process. I admit my paperwork was a lot simpler than today's, which lead to some problems at the BOR, but the process was the same: plan it, get it approved , revise it if need it, get the revision approved, execute the plan. Any questions I had went to the SM.

        Comment


        • #8
          The "when I got Eagle" thing just doesn't apply here. I finished in 2001, and the kinds of hoops the scouts are expected to jump through now are nowhere near what I had to do. Even with the newly streamlined paperwork, it's a new world out there. The SM simply isn't the point man in all cases in most troops I've encountered along the trail.

          Comment


          • Basementdweller
            Basementdweller commented
            Editing a comment
            That's funny bando......with your arrogant attitude and riding me about stuff.....I had you pegged at being at least 70 and not 30......

            You should get out more.

          • Bando
            Bando commented
            Editing a comment
            If clearly articulating a point using a proper amount of punctuation, clear grammar, and a viewpoint that isn't constantly trying to find fault with everything is arrogant, well, I don't know what to tell you.

          • Basementdweller
            Basementdweller commented
            Editing a comment
            I find fault with

            ADULT LED Program and all that entails,

            Huge Expensive trips that clearly the boys didn't plan or show leadership in,

            Adult's who want a high speed low drag program

            Adult's mincing words regarding advancement

            Overbearing parents

            Merit badge clinics, Fair or universities.

            Woodbadge, Jim Jones used Flavor aid for a reason. Hides the taste of the poison.

            National Over billing events and failing to deliver on the hype,



            Seeing a trend here.......ADULTS.

        • #9
          Bando,

          The hoops were there back then too. I also had the added hoop of a DAC asking me what I would do if I wasn't approved for Eagle. When I asked why and was told because HE didn't approve my Eagle project, I had to emphasize that A) the then DAC, who was sitting on my EBOR, reviewed it, approved it and it was executed as such and if that is the only reason for my denial, then how do I go about appealing the decision becasue it is NOT correct.

          RS,

          Agree completely. I prefer how my council growing up did it with a district/council rep on the committee's EBOR. BUT the challenge with that is that you have to rely on when the individual can meet. We had 1 Eagle who could not get his EBOR before going to boot camp with delayed entry, and when he did get back, the rep couldn't be there until after the deadline. So he appealed to council/national for the post 90 day extension and got it.

          Comment


          • Bando
            Bando commented
            Editing a comment
            E92, well of course we all had individual experiences in our trails to Eagle that weren't conventional. That's the nature of the beast.

            What I'm saying is beyond local circumstance and personal experience, the paperwork, regulations, and restrictions the BSA continues to build into the Eagle advancement process is far and away more complicated now than it was even ten years ago. We all had snafus and problems along the way, but the complexity now considered the basic expectation from Nationals (and their increasingly confusing, mixed messages about how changes are to be implemented) only amplifies these kinds of things. Having worked with a lot of scouts who were trying to get from Life to Eagle, sat on a few dozen EBORs in the last five or so years, and seen firsthand the kinds of changes being made, it's a testament to the kinds of well-trained and patient leaders we have in our neck of the woods (at the troop, district, and council levels alike) that things still find a way to go smoothly most of the time. The BSA isn't making it any easier, as usual.

        • #10
          My son did not have an eagle coach or eagle advisor. We saw them mentioned in the stack of paperwork he had to fill out, but it was a PIA just to track down the person who is supposed to sing off so he can start, let alone try to find anyone else. The man who signed the OK for my son's project didn't even read the proposal.

          I've always wondered how a boy could earn his eagle by completing a project that the city didn't want, didn't approve, and ultimately removed; now I understand exactly how that happens; there isn't anyone to actually help the lads!

          Comment


          • Basementdweller
            Basementdweller commented
            Editing a comment
            Seriously that is a really stupid comment.

            How in the world is an eagle coach going to know that the Church is fighting with the city.......

            He will look at the project and see if it is something that will have enough hours, leadership and able to be done by the boy. thats it....

            You understand that the project isn't really the goal.......It is nice and fluffy PR.....But is about the boy demonstrating leadership...

          • NeverAnEagle
            NeverAnEagle commented
            Editing a comment
            BD: Exactly what kind of leadership is a boy demonstrating when he willfully disobeys city ordnances?

            There are only 32,000 people in the entire county, maybe 12,000 in town. Everyone knew about what was happening with the school. When the school wanted to expand from 1st thru 6th to PreK thru 8th all the surrounding neighbors were up in arms because there was no parking and they were tired of being blocked in their driveways every morning and afternoon and things got really crazy when there were school events. A condition of expanding the building was that they put in a parking lot. The parking lot was put in, but they tore out the sidewalk in the process, then fenced it off so cars couldn't actually park there. (They put in 2 sets of basketball nets though.)

            City ordinances require a sidewalk along the street for all buildings. The legal case was in the paper almost daily because the neighbors were threatening to file suit if the city didn't. The School untimely lost the issue of the sidewalk because you have to follow the ordinance, but won on the parking lot because the condition was that they install a parking lot, which they did. There was no condition that the parking lot had to be accessible to cars.

            There should be someone to read the proposal and make sure that the kids are following the local laws. When my kid was working on his project all that fell to me. I was the one to tell him he needed to attend city council meetings, library board meetings, and planning and zoning meetings; Kids don't think of those things on their own.

          • Basementdweller
            Basementdweller commented
            Editing a comment
            If everyone in your little mayberry knew what was going on......

            Why would a Eagle Candidate chose to violate the cities wishes......Because you said everyone knew.

            The boy, his parents, SM and YOU are to blame for this failure. You all knew and still the Eagle project went forward.....You should all be a shamed of yourselves and you should really be a shamed......whining about it on the internet.

            Secondly you say he didn't show any leadership during the project.......WOW.



            He should obviously tear the Unearned eagle patch from his shirt go immediately to the location of his destroyed project and burn it with FOX news rolling cameras.

        • #11
          I know some beneficiaries do not realize exactly what the Scouts are capable of. I've seen some extremely shocked faces of beneficiaries because they didn't realize what the scouts were going to do and how well they actually did it.

          Comment

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