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Mike Rowe Offers a Potential Eagle Scout His Eagle Perspective

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  • Mike Rowe Offers a Potential Eagle Scout His Eagle Perspective

    Someone on a local scout group sent this along from Mike Rowe (Dirty Jobs, Deadliest Catch). It's his response to a dad asking for help encouraging his son to get his Eagle.

    Mike Offers a Potential Eagle Scout His Eagle Perspective
    Still: Trustworthy, Loyal, Helpful, Friendly, Courteous, Kind,Obedient, Cheerful, Thrifty, Brave, Clean and Reverent...okay maybe not so clean!

    I'm not sure where I heard that you are an Eagle Scout, which brings me
    to my question. Could you PLEASE take a moment & post to my 13 year old
    son Kelby & encourage him to finish scouting (& anything else that'll
    help with this?) Reason I'm asking is that he only lacks 1 1/2 - 2
    years in reaching Eagle, but some of his buddies have got him to thinking
    scouting isn't cool at his age.
    Thanks much, Gary -- scooterdave

    Your Dad asked me to drop you a line and say something
    inspirational that might persuade you to dig down deep and find the
    determination to make the rank of Eagle Scout. It's a reasonable
    request, from a father who obviously wants to see his son succeed. But
    here's the thing - The Eagle Award is not really meant for people who
    need to be dragged across the finish line. It's meant for a select
    few,and I have no idea if you have the guts to see it through.

    Statistically, I suspect you do not. Only one out of a hundred
    Scouts make Eagle, so if you fail, there will be lots of other people
    with whom you can share excuses. Quitting now might disappoint your
    Dad,but I doubt that he or anyone else will be overly surprised. Anytime
    99 out of 100 people do the same thing, it's not exactly a shock.

    I'm not trying to be cute with a bunch of reverse psychology.
    When I was 15, there was nothing that anyone could have said to me
    thatwould have inspired me to do something I didn't want to do,
    especially a stranger with a TV show. So I'm not going to assume you're any
    different, or pretend that I have some influence or insight that you
    haven't already heard from a dozen other people who actually know and
    care about you.

    I'll just tell you straight up, that doing something
    extraordinary can be very lonely, and most people simply aren't cut
    out for it. Being an Eagle Scout requires you to be different than most
    everyone around you, and being different is really, really hard.
    That's why the award is called "an accomplishment."

    Personally, and for whatever it's worth, the best decisions I've
    made in my own life, are those decisions that put me on the outside of
    being cool. Singing in the Opera, working in home shopping, staring in
    the school play when the entire football team laughed at me, and
    especially earning my Eagle, were all choices that required sacrifice,
    hard work, and delayed gratification. I have no idea if you possess
    those qualities, or even envy them. But I can tell you for certain,
    that NOT getting your Eagle, will be one of the easiest things you've ever

    Anyway, I have no idea if you would prefer an easy life of
    predictability and mediocrity, or if have the passion to follow the
    road less traveled. Only you get to decide that.

    Good Luck,

  • #2
    Well said Mr. Rowe. Of course, when I said similar things to my son my wife smacked me with a frying pan and said that I was being negative as well as not being supportive.


    • #3

      I told my own son much the same thing..."if I have to spoonfeed you in order to make Eagle, then you're not Eagle material". He's still pissed at me about that (he's a Life for Life, but it was HIS choice to make, not mine).


      • #4
        this is absolutely great. it is something i've said for some time. i shared it with my troop. unfortunately, i believe that most of the parents (the ones doing the dragging) won't understand the message. the demands will still be as strong, the expectations will still be there.