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Should We or They Be Embarrassed; or Both?

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  • Should We or They Be Embarrassed; or Both?

    Not sure which place to put this; maybe it belongs in the more controversial forum.

    Thinking about how often we discuss the "honor" and "respect" Eagle Scouts so often are shown, and how they are such great positive role models in our society. And, this is primarily very true. But, I am finding myself more and more challenged to accept certain Eagles as particularly good examples to scouts or society. What is particularly embarrassing to me are the great many that now populate our government at high levels, both on the national and state levels.

    It seems to me that the majority of these individuals have forgotten the simple precepts of the Scout Oath and Law. Certainly few are adhering very well to them, based on their lack of simply doing the jobs for which they were elected. Some have come out with positions and statements that blatantly slap the ideals of Scouting directly across the face. Of course there are similar examples in other areas of our society; but the worst, and most egregious to me are the ones getting overpaid by us to run our country, states, and communities, yet do nothing but spar and barter for money and power for themselves and their immediate "connections".

    Maybe these are the Eagles that should be returning their medals, since they seem to have forgotten what it still represents, in spite of their actions.
    Last edited by skeptic; 08-29-2013, 12:49 PM. Reason: Minor typo/spelling error

  • #2
    I think we are over valuing an award won by teenagers for essentially completing a task list. It's an award, not sainthood.

    Comment


    • Scouter99
      Scouter99 commented
      Editing a comment
      Don't tell mommy.

  • #3
    nor even knighthood.

    Comment


    • #4
      Of course, then there are Eagle Scouts who become lawyers..........

      Comment


      • NJCubScouter
        NJCubScouter commented
        Editing a comment
        ::Cough cough:: I am sure there are even Eagle Scouts who go on to become insurance claims adjusters. No offense meant to anyone. Well, maybe a little...

        As for lawyers, there are even some Life Scouts who become lawyers. ::Waving::

        I agree with others that Eagle, or any other achievement or recognition, is what you make of it. A human being with an Eagle patch is still a human being, subject to the same opportunities and pitfalls as the rest of us.

    • #5
      Eagle is an illusion.....

      Eagle is a brand.....

      The is absolutely zero quality control at any level......We have pot smoking, shoplifting, bullying, and fist fighting young men earning it.

      So what level of leadership to earn eagle???? is a figure head SPL good enough or does it need to be a PL who runs patrol hikes and Patrol only campouts and outings.

      I think a whole lot less of eagle now then I used too.

      Comment


      • #6
        In order to be embarrassed, one has to have a certain level of caring about the situation. If people do certain activities because they don't care whether it matters or not, then they will never be embarrassed.

        Stosh

        Comment


        • #7
          Eagle is but one measure. It is a step that say i did something. It is not much different than a high shcoold kid that make state championship football.
          I actually started to wear my fish to scout meetings to keep the eagles quiet.

          Comment


          • st0ut717
            st0ut717 commented
            Editing a comment
            Nike Yep ....

          • dcsimmons
            dcsimmons commented
            Editing a comment
            Just a checklist .

            FWIW, ET1 Simmons, Reactor Div USS Carl Vinson, 81 - 87.
            Last edited by dcsimmons; 08-30-2013, 10:52 AM. Reason: added my person "street cred" to the original post poking fun at a sub-mariner :). Oops, I did it again :).

          • st0ut717
            st0ut717 commented
            Editing a comment
            cough cough skimmer puke cough

        • #8
          Can you judge the value of Eagle by a handful of bad examples? How many Eagles are there living productive lives, rearing their kids, serving their families and communities honorably? We don't hear about the regular every day Eagles like that. And ultimately, isn't that what we are shooting for? Everyday heroes? There have been 2,000,000+ Eagles. How many bad actors? A handful? 2%, 5%?

          Eagle means a lot of things to a lot of different people? Should an Eagle be Bear Grylls AND Mr. Smith Goes to Washington AND an astronaut AND movie maker AND a deep sea explorer AND.....

          Maybe I'm wrong and in fact 50% of Eagles do go on to become congressmen and hedge fund managers but I suspect there are many more living simple lives.

          Comment


          • Basementdweller
            Basementdweller commented
            Editing a comment
            Here is a fun statistic......

            We are churning out 50,000 eagles a year so best case we have 1,000 new Eagles a year who are bad eggs.....worst case using your numbers ......2500


            I personally know 4 eagles 20 somethings in da hood.......From good families.....all caught in the substance loop. They are not from da hood but from the rich burb a crossed the beltway.

          • dcsimmons
            dcsimmons commented
            Editing a comment
            There are three Eagles in my workplace of 150 or so folks; all working for a living, paying taxes, supporting their families families. I suppose they could also be walking down to 63rd St. for a fix every afternoon but they don't strike me as such. Small sample sizes and all. My point to the OP is even if you look at all the Eagles in Congress and the State House etc. I think you're still judging a large group by an unrepresentative (either in size or scope) sample size.

          • Basementdweller
            Basementdweller commented
            Editing a comment
            I work with 4 Scoutmasters and 20 some eagle scouts.....of course there is 8,000 folks in my building. Earning a decent living......

            Just saying...

            My point is Eagles are just people and as nike pointed out they merely completed a checklist
            Last edited by Basementdweller; 08-29-2013, 07:43 PM.

        • #9
          The award is the tasks, it doesn't mean any more.. What you hope, is that the time spent doing the award was spent working with a good group of people both adult leaders and peers that help formulate the values you are hoping he receives at the end of the journey.. But some troop do not give this added bonus, they just go through the tasks like a shopping list, and there are no side benefits..

          Even if the troop gave the young man a good foundation, they leave scouting and as the time slips away, so could be the values they learn depending on what other people and situations they get into..

          The strangest thing I hit was going to an Eagle court for a young man who was in my sons cub scout den, but then they went to different troops, after the ceremony part as we had refreshments, I found out that the man getting his Eagle award was currently incarcerated for drug trafficking in his school.. The prison system gave him a one day furlough so he could attend his own Eagle court.. Don't know if he had his Eagle Board before being arrested or not.. I have a feeling that even if he was arrested before it, there was any way that the Eagle Board could deny him the award because of it, because he had done the shopping list of tasks, and this was a situation outside of scouting.

          Comment


          • #10
            I've always believed that earning Eagle is what you make of it. It can be just a checklist, or it can mean so much more than that. Ultimately, it is a checklist. It's what happens during the filling out of the checklist that really matters. Not the checklist itself. We are trying to build boys into men of character. When the checklist (The means) takes over the character (the ends) the program is failing. This is on the leaders. However, EVERYONE is responsible for their own actions. If young men, Eagle Scouts, are getting arrested, dealing drugs, whatever, that is THEIR fault, not Scoutings. Maybe Scout leaders could have influenced the Scout into a better direction, but this is not always possible.



            As an adult, I don't try to make the checklist any harder, rather I spend my time trying to drill the ideals of Scouting into the Scouts.Being team players, following the Scout Oath and Law. The sort of stuff that after they get pinned with their Birds, they'll carry with them. That's what really counts after all.



            Just my 2 cents.

            Comment


            • #11
              IMHO, people aspire to the labels assigned to them whether those labels are good or bad. I really hope I never talk about Eagle Scout being too common or awarded to bad kids. That's wrong thinking.

              Essentially, I've seen many people that remember they are Eagle scouts and they have tried to act better. Having that rank influences behavior to be better. It's a mark that they are stuck with and many any spend their entire lives trying to live up to the ideals of Eagle Scout.

              I'm with Sentinel947 on this. Encourage and develop a value to the ideals of Eagle Scout. But don't try to guess who should or shouldn't earn it. It's a checklist. If they complete the checklist, they get the rank. Then help them value the accomplishment.

              Comment


              • #12
                The value of anything is determined by the individual. If the wearer thinks it is of value and the observers don't, well, that's what it is. Nothing more, nothing less. Of course the opposite is true as well.

                Stosh

                Comment


                • #13
                  So the potential solutions take on a familiar appearance:

                  1) do nothing and just whimper along like we're doing right now

                  2) 'can' the rank. Do away with it because it has attained a status of little or no meaning on average

                  3) figure out how to make it more meaningful, even if this results in disappointing some boys who thought it would be easy

                  The first two options have the advantage of being the 'easy way out'. My guess is that on the whole, we'll take door number 1.

                  The third option is the hard road, the one that the kind of Eagle we think everyone ought to be would take. Like that irony? But it has the disadvantage of being ambiguous and risks ending up as a matter of local interpretation....kind of like door number 1.

                  Comment


                  • #14
                    Fred Johnson, I agree wholeheartedly. I don't think we should be handing out the rank like candy but I don't think we should be expecting perfection either. I think the fact that being an Eagle, along with the process of earning an Eagle, influences behavior - mostly in the positive direction.

                    Comment


                    • #15
                      Interesting responses, though some are a bit disappointing. While it is obvious that there are those that do not hold the rank in any real esteem, and that was a given, a few of the comments have indicated a disdain that is somewhat over the line, or so it seems to me. The more thoughtful are more to the real point.

                      The reason I noted initially that I was not sure where this belonged was because the majority of these "Eagles" are those some still hold up as good examples who are in the middle our political morass. They are the ones that I certainly DO NOT hold up as good examples to scouts. But, reality is that being a "Boy Scout", whether Eagle, or simply a member, is construed as being weak and ineffective and often used as a put down. The simple idea of actually living up to the basic tenets of the Oath and Law is somehow simplistic and shows a naivete that is to be made fun of.

                      But, of course, we still have those like Mike Rowe or the majority of the Eagle astronauts. Just wish those in the various levels of government would try to simply "Live the Twelve", and remember that duty to self is preceded by duty to God and country and duty to others when discussing the meaning of the scout emblem.

                      Comment


                      • Basementdweller
                        Basementdweller commented
                        Editing a comment
                        Sorry your disappointed....

                        When we have 6 eagles in a jambo troop that refuse to do community service whose failing is that??? Those are the ones I know of.

                        When we have Eagle scouts teaching at a Webelos event incorrect first aid techniques whose failing is that?????? I instruct my guys by the scout book

                        Or the Eagle who could not build a fire in the fire place in the big lodge at a council event???? Watched him for an hour before I stepped in.....Sorry the hall was freezing...

                        I would like to think that your right skeptic, Just as one scout troops bad behavior at a camp ground erases the hundred troops who were good outdoor community members at the same location.......


                        Ya I am disappointed in what I am seeing.....In the current batch of scoutings Youth and adults.

                        How many boys and adult quit as soon as the eagle is awarded??? All but a handful from what I see.
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