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Why Eagle?

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  • #16
    I can tell you why I did, but I suspect the answer is not only different individually, but based on generation. When I was a youth, no one knew when the last Eagle was in our troop, or even if there had been one before. I was active on the council level, as a camp staffer, and Arrowman, and only knew of a hand full of active youth eagle scouts, it was just that rare. I wanted the challenge, I wanted to see what I was made of, to set myself apart.

    I hear people say “an Eagle is an Eagle, but that’s poppycock. With the tools and tech available today, requirements made easier, and the “no fail” policy for boards of reviews, Eagle has become easy. When I got my Eagle I felt tested, like my scout skills and leadership ability had been proven, and I had earned the right to soar where others only dared to dream. We need to put the teeth back in Eagle, and chuck this “everybody wins” garbage, so our youth may again have a challenge they can truly grow from.

    The OP mentioned the OA, the same there. Let’s get rid of the “everybody gets in” mentality, and make it select again, so that youth will strive to meet the standard set my their fellows. Scouting has gotten soft, and in doing so stopped teaching the lessons it was intended to teach.


    • qwazse
      qwazse commented
      Editing a comment
      If it's all that much easier, why aren't more boys earning it at age 14-16 like they used to?

      I've seen boys in my troop not earn it at SMC or BORs, basically for a failure in scout spirit. And most SM's I meet are very concerned about being to lenient with their boys. So I think a boy still has to work at it to earn it in most troops.

      So what's changed? Well back in '82 there were a lot of troops like yours where nobody tried to make eagle. Fewer SMs and ASMs were Eagle scouts. There weren't as many adults and older youth who said to a boy, "This award is well within your reach." It was very much like the situation is with venturers today (where you can easily find a crew like mine where not one person has their eye on a Silver award.)

      Are there "rolled off a mill" Eagles today? Yep. But -- and this is important -- there were also "rolled off a mill" Eagles back in '82. I don't like it now and I didn't like it then.

      But, for example, my scout/venturer who passed his BOR last night is all the Eagle I was at his age. My impression is most Eagles are "all that." Let's encourage everyone to keep it that way while still doing our best to nudge every first class scout (the term, not the patch) to make a run for it!

  • #17
    You may be correct Qwazse, I may be incorrectly assuming my scout carrier was the norm, then and now.


    • #18
      Little more than two years ago, we had a 15 year old join us on a hiking weekend, he loved it and joined the next week. He was on fire for scouting. He decided then he wanted to make it to Eagle. I and the COR met with him, and laced out the difficult road in front of him. He charged into it. PL and SPL duties he did, summer camp twice, National Jamboree, and 30+ merit badges. He has his Eagle BOR tomorrow night. He's crammed more scouting in 2.5years than some scouts do in 7. Good kid. Proud of him.


      • Bando
        Bando commented
        Editing a comment
        Saw something similar happen when a good friend attended my Eagle COH when we were both on the brink of 16. He saw that most of his friends were already there and having fun, decided he wanted to join the troop, and pretty much set out on an instantaneous and meteoric rise to Eagle. Did his BOR after his 18th birthday. Earned about 35 MBs, went on a couple big trips, did as much camping as his absurdly busy school and sports schedule would allow, and had a great time. Worked his butt off. All told, a pretty impressive achievement. But, then again, he was a pretty impressive kid before he joined up, so you could tell what was going to happen.

    • #19
      "Laid out" Gurrr auto spell