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  • LATEST POSTS

    • It may be encouraging to remember that while 2 years may sound like a tight squeeze, it's not impossible. Scouts have been doing just that for a century - starting at 11 or 12 and earning it at 13 or 14.  If they can do it at such tender ages, I'm sure these young women will be even more capable of making it happen, what with their advantages of maturity, desire, and resources. I will express, however, that if a young lady joins a unit with the driving goal of earning the rank of Eagle Scout, she may have already misunderstood the purpose of Scouting. The goal of a Scout should never be "to earn one's Eagle." This overlooks the vast and myriad spectrum of opportunities which Scouting affords our youth, the real goals which are represented by the rank of Eagle Scout, but not beholden to it. Learning how to camp, learning how to vote, learning how to treat a wound. Learning first aid, and communication skills, and crafts and sciences and cultures, becoming invested in the world around them, and using what they learn to help others. Discovering for themselves the possibilities - and responsibilities - of the world around them. Above all, becoming, truly, trustworthy, loyal, helpful, friendly, courteous, kind, obedient, cheerful, thrifty, brave, clean, and reverent. Those are the true goals of Scouting.  So, if you want to give these girls the most that Scouting has to offer, make this focus on personal development your top priority, using the Path to Eagle as a means of organizing, focusing and measuring their personal progress towards becoming better people, but never sacrificing the structure and integrity of its requirements for the sake of "pushing through it." It's a tool towards preparing young people with the vital life skills and knowledge they will need to be effective and honorable adults, and if a Scout follows the advancement program faithfully and diligently, with the goal of absorbing all that they can from the program, then they will have achieved the real achievement of Scouting - becoming a good, moral, contributing part of their families and communities. So, I opine that the single best approach, FOR ALL SCOUTS, is simply to follow the program faithfully, intentionally, and sincerely, using advancement as a tool to help you organize your activities and measure your progress as you work to learn all you can in the time allotted you, but not allowing it to become the reason you Scout. Those early ranks teach the core principles and skills of Scouting. They are not designed for "young Scouts." They are meant for new Scouts, of any age, and they are intentionally designed to create the essential foundation of skills and knowledge espoused by this program. I have more respect for the First Class Scout who has truly invested himself in mastering the requirements of his rank than for the Eagle Scout who brushed through them just to get started on his leadership tenures. For these new Scouts, it's FAR more important that you focus on ensuring the early ranks are passed thoroughly than it is to "skip to the higher ranks." Besides, success at those levels inherently depends on whether or not the Scout has truly demonstrated his competence in the requirements leading up to First Class.  It's wonderful that these girls are driven and willing to work. Your job is make sure that they are in Scouting to become Scouts, in the deeper sense of that expression. Working carefully, not hastily, towards Eagle will help them to get the most out of their experience. And even if they don't make it that far, such an approach will ensure they still reap the true benefits of the program for the rest of their lives. Good luck!
    • First, nobody *needs* to earn Eagle, but it's great that you have three great teens who want to within the time allotted to them. you don't want to take anyone for granted, but I suspect the 16 year old starting fresh will need most of your attention. She simply doesn't know scouts and scouters well, so you're going to need to make sure she gets connected to your better merit badge counselors, that she understands the first class rank requirements, and respects whatever younger scout may be her PL or SPL. We have similar issues with boys who join in their late teens. Sometimes they have a buddy who will show them the ropes, but they are often much more in need of adult guidance. Girls A and B are treading new territory. They will need to work a balance between troop and college. For them, you will need to constantly ask if they are having fun. A younger mom with a big heart might be a good mentor. On the flip side, their college classmates might have some cool things to offer your troop. Keep challenging them to find was to build synergy between their schools and scouting. I think this is a great opportunity for these girls, but your number 1 priority is building 1st class scouts. It sounds like you have a good idea of who is well on their way. Like any scout, you need to listen and watch and at SMCs give them honest appraisals.
    • I second Fred that for you and the Troop focus on having a good program and advancement will flow for anyone who wants it. If I was counseling these scouts, and this advice is for scouts who are 16,17, 18 and would not be the advice I would give to younger scouts, I would tell them the requirements for Eagle can be broken down to three categories: outdoor skills, leadership and service to your fellow scouts, merit badges.  A good deal of this is going to be about their time management.  They need to set themselves some interim goal points ---  1stClass AND five or six mbs in four months. I would emphasize to them to read through all the requirements and all the mb requirements, both right away and several more times in the future, the same way you do with a class syllabus.  That way you know when an activity is part of competing and requirement and you can be sure to add the extra touches necessary in real time to make sure your getting the whole requirement complete on your first possibility. This is a doable time table for anyone who is this age and motivated.  if you look at some of the things that challenge or trip up younger scouts, like Enviro Sci or Communications, those are no more than a good night's or at least a good weekend's homework for a high school senior or college student.. best of luck to them.  
    • The reason that turned into a discussion about more than merit badge couseling is because the FAQ references both merit badges and fundraising.  Merit badge meetings have always had the exception to 2 deep leadership, but when they say it's merit badge meetings AND fundraising, how do you not ask "well then what else might be ok?"
    • That idea has been proposed for 25 years with “all boy” Webelos. We tried something like it in our district and success at a unit level is very dependent on adult cooperation and leadership because there isn’t any high level guidelines. The units are on their own. Like the Venturing units, likely success will last for one generation of adults.  Our attempt at something like this was more about helping the cub level adult burnout problem. Troop growth would be a byproduct of the cub pack success. Barry
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