Announcement

Announcement Module
Collapse
No announcement yet.

How do I explain this to a scout?

Page Title Module
Move Remove Collapse
X
Conversation Detail Module
Collapse
  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

  • How do I explain this to a scout?

    I have a scout that can't get Eagle. He's one of the best scouts I've ever had. More of an Eagle than most I've seen. He was a great SPL and everyone looked up to him. But, he didn't pay attention to the clock and did his Life board of review late. Part of this was due to the fact that he was putting so much time into the troop, While he is ultimately responsible, I also let him down. I think of all the scouts we've nagged to get things done on time, that don't come close to the caliber of this scout, and nobody paid attention because they just assumed he was taking care of everything. I can deal with my own stupidity, but what do I tell this scout? A lot of people say Eagle is junk but this kid made something of himself, learned a lot, and did some amazing things for the sole purpose of getting that medal.

    I already talked to him and said there was a possibility the appeals process wouldn't work (and it didn't) and I told him he is who he is because of what he's done, and not because of a patch and he understands that. But still, any ideas how to recognize this scout for what he is?

  • #2
    Tell everyone.

    Comment


    • #3
      Agree with Nike. No disappointment, rather public pride and appreciation in this young man who chose to serve his troop and others first.

      Done good MattR. Scouting builds boys into men by many methods, not by just advancement.

      Plenty of very accomplished Life Scouts out here - Bill Gates Jr is just one.
      Last edited by RememberSchiff; 12-04-2013, 05:05 AM.

      Comment


      • #4
        Neither of my sons made Eagle, because I chose not to nag them. They were both engaged in many worthwhile activities, including church, sports, student government, and jobs. I decided that if they wanted to make Eagle, it had to be THEIR effort, not mine. They are both now successful family men with good jobs and college degrees, and I couldn't be prouder of them.

        Comment


        • #5
          Congratulations on having the fortitude to assume that at least one of your scouts was taking care of everything. Hopefully you'll have the same fortitude for all of the other scouts. Just because boys from everywhere else in the world do math better, doesn't mean our boys are excused from backdating their own goals and figuring out when they need to get what done. Well, sounds like he's a first class scout (the term, not the patch). I've known college valedictorians to proudly put "Boy Scouts, Life rank" on their bio sketch. Probably the best recognition you could give is to invite him to become ASM. If he want's to work on venturing advancement, he could join a crew and still have a couple of years to earn Silver (or, whatever that'll be calling it). But, I doubt he's interested.

          Comment


          • #6
            Tell him to take pride in his accomplishments. If he's as good a man as you say , if he's about to be 18 invite him to be an ASM.

            As a poster above me said, scouting is about more than advancement. Your Scout has proven that he is a successful product of Scouting even if he doesn't have the final rank. Congratulations to your Scout on a successful scouting career.

            Comment


            • #7
              I'm thinking some sort of "birthday"/"graduation" party/celebration is appropriate for any scout that stays with the troop until he ages out regardless of his rank. Are you celebrating rank (ECOH) or are you recognizing the contribution the boy has made? After all give me a First Class scout that has done it all and turns 18 in the troop and I'll take him over any 14 year old ""Eagle" that somehow manages to "disappear" after his ECOH.

              Like I have said before, Eagle is nice, but there are other character measurements out there that I hold higher than rank.

              Stosh

              Comment


              • #8
                I'd rather have a great Life Scout than a good Eagle. BSA is WAY over-emphasizing Eagle. I have a son who is heavily engaged in the Troop and does a lot of stuff for others but he often falls behind on advancement. Sometimes the difference was an organized parent. It is a good life lesson as well. I agree on asking him to be a ASM. If he is really into Scouting he will appreciate the respect.

                Comment


                • #9
                  How about a nice letter of commendation or plaque from his SM, pointing out the good he has accomplished and the respect you have for him?

                  Comment


                  • qwazse
                    qwazse commented
                    Editing a comment
                    Good point. Boys this age need references for anything these days. Make sure he knows he can use you and that you would give a favorable recommendation. You could even draft one "to whom it may concern" for him. That way, he'd already have the particulars ready for any last-minute interview that may come his way.

                  • blw2
                    blw2 commented
                    Editing a comment
                    that's exactly my thought process, qwazse.
                    besides the pride of accomplishment and bragging rights, etc.... A primary advantage to earning the eagle (and this is from my aged and experienced perspective, not having earned the rank) is for the resume.
                    A letter of commendation can mean a lot for that same purpose.

                    I was actually thinking of a letter, not written "to whom it may concern", but to "the scout and all who view this letter".... something printed nicely that would be suitable for framing but that could also accompany job or college applications as a reference letter. It might also serve as a keepsake or reminder of good things for the scout.

                • #10
                  I did tell him I'd write a letter of recommendation for any place. The idea of writing it now and giving it to him is a good idea.

                  I was thinking about a story about someone that dealt with failure well. Lincoln was a complete failure until he became president. Or maybe something along the lines of "Not only is character what you do when nobody is looking, but nobody can give it to you or pin it on you. You have to earn it."

                  Comment


                  • Sentinel947
                    Sentinel947 commented
                    Editing a comment
                    Failure to earn Eagle doesn't make his time in Scouting a failure. He sounds like a great young man who challenged himself, made new friends and went on some awesome trips. Top it off that he's obviously a young man of great character and Id be loath to frame this situation as a failure.

                • #11
                  Originally posted by MattR View Post
                  I did tell him I'd write a letter of recommendation for any place. The idea of writing it now and giving it to him is a good idea.

                  I was thinking about a story about someone that dealt with failure well. Lincoln was a complete failure until he became president. Or maybe something along the lines of "Not only is character what you do when nobody is looking, but nobody can give it to you or pin it on you. You have to earn it."
                  good idea, but I would caution about focusing on a failure. He didn't fail, if the goal is to become a good man.

                  Comment


                  • #12
                    I found a nice quote: "Reputation is what men and women think of us; character is what God and angels know of us." --Thomas Paine

                    Maybe I can put it on a plaque and present it to him. Not sure if putting an eagle with it would be a good idea or not.

                    Comment


                    • jblake47
                      jblake47 commented
                      Editing a comment
                      BSA First Class logo is always appropriate.

                      Stosh

                  • #13
                    I can totally see a small frame or plaque with the BSA logo, a nice mounted letter, and a small engraved plate with that quote.
                    Just my thought, but I would stay away from The eagle logo.
                    IMO, it's not about him not earning eagle rank, it's about his accomplishments and good that he's done. Stay on the positive, not on the negative. Don't point out what he didn't do, point out what he did do. Again, just my opinion.

                    Comment


                    • #14


                      Scout #1: Earns eagle at 14 and leaves the troop.
                      Scout #2: Earns his eagle, but took a 3 year hiatus coming back only to get the rank.
                      Scout #3: Earns whatever rank he wants, and stays active and contributes for 7 years in the troop.

                      A scout is trustworth, loyal, helpful... Gimme #3 any day over the other two "eagles".

                      Stosh

                      Comment


                      • perdidochas
                        perdidochas commented
                        Editing a comment
                        I would prefer Scout #4. Earns Eagle at 14 and contributes to the troop until he ages out.

                      • jblake47
                        jblake47 commented
                        Editing a comment
                        Oh, really? There is such a thing?

                        Your #4 is listed in my #3.

                        Stosh

                      • perdidochas
                        perdidochas commented
                        Editing a comment
                        Good point.

                    • #15
                      blw2, I wasn't thinking of the Eagle emblem, just a soaring eagle, but I like the idea of the First Class emblem. Better to stay away from eagles all together.

                      Stosh, I agree with you that an active 18 year old that "gets it" is worth more than the eagle rank, but this scout doesn't understand that. He really wanted the rank. That challenge was a huge motivation. Part of the problem is my troop puts a lot of emphasis on Eagle rank yet we don't know how to recognize scout spirit. We have an honor scout each COH but that's nothing compared to your own Eagle COH.

                      I guess the real question is how do we recognize exceptional scout spirit to the extent that we recognize Eagle? Eagle is easy to recognize - check boxes to measure progress, court of honor, patches, and speeches to show recognition. The problem with Eagle is that the most important part of Eagle, scout spirit, is buried under a ton of bureaucracy. Scout spirit isn't about doing the absolute bare minimum to get recognition. Doing 1200 lines of requirements for merit badges has little to do with an Eagle Charge or Oath.

                      Do I take this plaque and make it the troop Scout Spirit award and present it to scouts solely based on cheerful service and active participation? No nagging, no check boxes, no hand holding, no whining about requirements, just know what's right and do it. Present yourself to the committee and make your case whenever you want. They'll talk to other scouts to verify what you say and tell you if you meet the standard. If they say yes on your 18th birthday then you get a plaque, otherwise you can talk about how to improve yourself. This whole thing would just be a way to let the scouts know that scout spirit is highly valued.

                      Comment


                      • jblake47
                        jblake47 commented
                        Editing a comment
                        First of all as the boy approaches his 18th birthday, he has a SMC where the SM reemphasizes his/her appreciation for all that he has done FOR THE TROOP. Stay off the FOR YOURSELF focus.

                        Secondly he has a Exit BOR. Here a committee of adults and SPL review his scouting accomplishments and has an "exit interview" with him about his scouting experiences. This needs to also focus, just like all other BOR's, on his past accomplishments (of what he did for others?) and future scouting career (what are you going to do for others?) . What are his plans for adult training at all levels so he's ready when his son is, etc. Wood Badge discussion could also be included. Eagles are "expected" to give back to Scouting? Well, you have a far better chance of having this boy "give back" than a lot of Eagles make with some sort of "pledge" they make and immediately ignore.

                        Third, on the weekend following his 18th birthday, he crosses over yet one more time. Boy Scouts to Scoutering (is there such a word?) I don't think Scout Spirit should be as big an emphasis as Scouting Servant Leadership, where he is recognized as a valuable part of the program that will continue on in his adult years and the opportunity to help others in their scouting careers.

                        A review of his accomplishments, i.e. table of his scouting history, etc. just like ECOH would be appropriate, and testimonials from his buddies on how much his contribution to the troop meant especially those he may have mentored, could also apply.

                        There's a lot of things that mean a lot of different things to different people. You must know the boy well enough to know what is really important to him that may in fact be more important than an Eagle patch. I never reached Eagle as a boy, but I wear 2 Eagle Mentor pins on my dress shirt collar that mean more to me than any other award I have ever earned on my shirt including any WB beads or knots.

                        This birthday marks his passage into adulthood and what better place to recognize that than in Scouting where 7 years have been dedicated to getting him ready for that transition. Now is not the time to wallow in self-pity, but be recognized for how important he is to others now that he's reached adulthood.

                        Maybe the award could be the Leo Award, with Leo being one of the main characters in Herman Hess's book "Journey to the East". Kind of a good read about true leadership.

                        Stosh

                        Oh, yeah, one other thing... the gift from the troop. A coffee mug.


                        OMG, my daughter just sent me an appropriate example to use.

                        The Dr. Who award. A time lord, super hero that travels through time and spaced armed only with a sonic screwdriver, in his TARDIS space vehicle which looks like a Police Call Box where people can come for help and he is unique in that he has two hearts. Really kind of a nice symbol.
                        Last edited by jblake47; 12-05-2013, 03:13 PM.

                      • perdidochas
                        perdidochas commented
                        Editing a comment
                        MattR,

                        Did he really want the rank? If so, I think he would have been more aware of his timelines and his drop-dead date. That said, while Eagle is a nice bonus, I would view as Scout Spirit as the more important thing for his future.
                    Working...
                    X