From the above article on a Bronze Hornaday recipient:
Michael’s other notable Scouting achievements include Eagle Scout with 11 Eagle Palms, Varsity Scout Denali Medal, all four National Catholic Committee on Scouting (NCCS) Scout Religious Awards, all four God & Country Scout Awards, the BSA Triple Crown of high adventure (Philmont, Northern Tier and Florida Sea Base), the Congressional Gold Medal for Community Service, Brotherhood in the Order of the Arrow, and the National Youth Leadership Training (NYLT) veteran staff pin for five years of volunteer service.
There seems to be widespread negativity toward younger Eagles in general - not exclusively, but in general. When I read an article like the one above about a very high achieving Scout, it renews in my mind the question of who is really to be the judge of the worthiness of a Scout's achievements regarding the timeline they follow, as long as the requirements are achieved according to National's standards? It should be the Scout's decision alone. I would bet, and the math would indicate, he did not achieve all he has achieved in a Troop which emphasized "protecting" Eagle rank from the younger ones.
The Scout in the article may not be typical, but there is so much more they can actively pursue after Eagle while remaining in Scouting - if we'd only let them. Most will aim for Eagle first, before ever contemplating other highly involved and very time consuming projects or awards. It dismays me greatly to see them Eagle sometime during 17, then generally disappear, because Eagle has been portrayed as the end of the road in many cases.
By continuing to push for later and later Eagles, it almost seems they are being robbed of later and equally valuable opportunities for achievement, continued personal growth, and leadership display, while the BSA movement is robbed of retaining valuable, active and enthusiastic Scouters to lead it into the next generation. It would be better to have young men stay active, to bridge from younger Eagle to adult Scouter without interruption, rather than to Eagle and disappear, only to think about possibly returning years later should they eventually have a son of their own. It also doesn't seem to respect what is valued by the Scout - what does HE want his Scouting experience to be vs. what do the adults want to impose on him, and how will they do that?
The way it is now, it seems the message to most Scouts is "Eagle and done". Especially for the fast runners, I think a more functional message would be more along the lines of "If you're hungry, go for it, because there's so much more to Scouting after Eagle, if you want it!"
What do you think?