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or have the standards been lowered to much..
Has scouting adopted a "No Scout Left Behind Program"?
Does everyone really believe that so many get it at an earlier age simply because they work harder and are more dedicated now a days than when I grew up and we worked real hard to get just barely just before our 18th Birthday?
Our Troop has been very fortunate that once we get a boy to join, he most likely will stay with the Troop until he is 18.
Our retention is hovering at around 85%.
I like to believe that our Troop has a very well planned and executed program, that keeps the boys interested.
There is ample opportunity for advancement, and when one boy advances, well, it just seems to be contagious.
Most kids in our Troop, if they stick around past 16 yrs old, will most likely earn the Eagle Rank.
And yes, we have quite a few who usually are up against their 18th birthday, when they complete the requirements.
I guess my point is that if a boy is active in scouting, and sticks around long enough, advancement to Eagle rank can realistically be obtained.
Back in the Day: "You want to make Eagle? Worthy goal. You've got alot of work ahead of you. Good luck."
"You didn't make it? That's okay, hope you got something out of the program and that you'll stay on as an ASM."
"You made it? Congratulations, we'll have a special part of our next court of honor for you. Mrs. Williams always bakes a nice cake for such ocassions."
Today: MB universities, summer camps that are more focused on homework than adventure, pushy parents, SMs that skew the program towards square-filling and pencil-whipping, and presto! Time for another Eagle Scout coronation, complete with solemn Eagle oaths, 500 letters of congrats from people that don't know the Eagle, and other mummery.
Then Powerpoint Department at National can add another Eagle to the tally. Quantity over quality.
Anyone know the percentage of Eagles compared to the rest of scouts? It used to be somewhere around 3 to 4 percent.
As for program differences, I think a lot has change in the last 50 years, but not in tne last 25. So it is a curious record with the membership decline.
However, thinking about it, maybe the decline is fat that the program couldn't handle. Kind of like a Troop finds its natural size by the character and nature of the SM. Maybe the BSA is finding its natural balance and the present membership is leaner and meaner.
I agree with ASM162, if you can keep scouts around long enough, their odds of getting Eagle are better than 50 percent.
The 17.1 average age is very close to our troop Eagle average. But I am surprised because I think the average age of Eagles in our district is closer to 16. Maybe our district is skewed because we have two giant Eagle mills that promise Eagle by 14 if the scout follows their troops predesigned advancement program.
I'm not one to measure success by the number of Eagles, but strangely I find this record comforting.