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Eamonn

Eagle Scout coordinator?

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And what makes the SM better at selecting advice providers for the boy than the boy himself? Of course one could assume such a conclusion if the boy's leadership ability isn't up to the requirements of the Eagle project.

 

What really bothers me the most is that adult involvement in the project has become such an intricate part of the process that no one ever questions it anymore. That is unfortunate.

 

Stosh

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For the project, yes, I'm not as concerned. You are correct, the Scout needs to work through it lumps and all. Our District advisors pretty much just tell them after he is ready to start, "call me if anything comes up, otherwise let me know when you're done." The only time I or any leaders get involved is when I see something really headed in the wrong direction. But typically it's just the routine 'how's it going' kind of thing. We need to watch that Dad isn't doing too much, while I can be suspicious it's hard to tell what is going on at home!

My hang up is with the application paperwork. That's where we really want to walk him through it under close supervision. Had an 11th hour kid not realize he needed to provide stamped envelopes with the CC address on it. He just assumed his references would know what to do. He had to do some real hustling to get them out in time to be mailed in to turn into District. He wasn't paying attention when we told him about it. Almost blew it....

But some have done it all at home and didn't need anything more than a proofing. The procedure isn't written out and the Scout and his family have no idea what all is involved unless the parents have been through it with a prior Scout. So that's why we help guide them through it.

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And I surely do understand the desire on the part of the adults to make sure the boy gets his Eagle, and that statement alone is the sum total of the problem. Often times, especially with the last minute scout, the adults take over and make sure the boy "earns" his Eagle.

 

"Proofing his application"? No, I only sign it. That's the approval part of the requirement. It's up to the boy to proof it. It's up to him to turn it in, make corrections if it's rejected, and/or anything else necessary to do the job on his own merits. If he asks me to proof it, I will of course. But the leadership and directive always begins in the boy's own backyard.

 

If the project is heading toward a train wreck, then so be it and when the boy comes and asks for assistance in straightening it out, I'm there for him.

 

I find though that the closer to 18 the boy is when he does his project, the more adult involvement goes into the project to make sure the boy gets the patch. When my boys start at 13-14 with their projects, it gives them 4-5 years to make mistakes and learn leadership, decision making, and problem solving along the way, those things I believe an Eagle project is all about.

 

I don't do the square knot tying for my boys, I teach them how to do it themselves. By the time the boy get's to his Eagle project it's time for him to put all that learning together and show he can operate on an adult level. A lot of adults are capable of doing a great Eagle project, but the requirement is how the BSA program determins if the boy can do it. If adults "help" with leadership guidance, decision making, directives, or anything other than what the boy asks for, then it can no longer be interpreted by me as showing the boy's leadership, but the leadership of the adults that want him to succeed and will direct (i.e. lead) the project enough to make that happen. I stay away from the project so that doesn't happen. And by the way, the boys do just fine on their own...

 

Stosh

 

 

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ursus, my question was to Jet. I do not see how he can anticipate that a Scout will know which adult has had what training or would be knowlegdeable in this area.

 

Why set the scout up for a problem by having him select an Eagle counselor who may not know the correct process. It would seem to make a lot more sense for the unit's adult leadership to make that assignment based on the adult's training,knowledge, and experience, rather than have a Scout guess as to who might be good.

 

And no, your response did not seem logical.

 

 

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"Why not instead of assigning some arbitrary person, hypothetically, just for fun...-> let the boy take the lead and pick who he feels is best qualified to answer his questions?"

This assumes the boy actually KNOWS who is best qualified. The fact that this discussion is happening is evidence that a boy may have plenty of unqualified adults to choose. I agree with Bob White.

 

"And I surely do understand the desire on the part of the adults to make sure the boy gets his Eagle, and that statement alone is the sum total of the problem."

Then DON'T do this. That would be the sum total of the solution.

I tell the scouts in this unit that no one should be ashamed of ending with the rank of Life. I tell them that while I want them all to have every opportunity to make it to Eagle, such advancement is on THEM. Their parents are free to do whatever they want but I make sure that they boys have the opportunity to succeed on their own, or to fail to earn the rank...ON THEIR OWN.

Either way, the experience could be a valuable life lesson, perhaps one of the last, before adulthood.

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And I agree with Packsaddle. There is nothing wrong with leaving Scouting as a 1st Class, Star, or Life Scout.

 

We have a young man right now who will be aging out of Boy Scouts in about 8 weeks. He has 57 merit badges, he has been to Northern Tier Canoe Base, Philmont High Adventure Base, National Jamboree, has held a regional youth office, is an officer in the OA chapter, and has accomplished many other things both in and out of Scouting.

 

He will end his Boy Scout career as a Life Scout, by his own choice. It is not for lack of encouragement or for not knowing what needs to be done, nor is he a bad young man in any way. He had a project he was excited about doing, and it was mishandled at the district advancement committee level and now he has no enthuiasm about doing an Eagle project.

 

He is happy abou what he has done and learned through Scouting and has no problems saying that he is a Life Scout. He still has a couple years to complete his Quartermaster rank and may choose to do so, or he may not. Either way it will be his decision and not not force-fed to him. As far as the unit leadership is concerned he is a good young man and that is what is important.

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How does the boy know who to ask? Well, if he's been around the troop for 2-3 years, he should have a pretty good idea of where to start looking. All he has to do is ask around if he's new to the troop. He does not need a SM or EPC to "guide" i.e. lead him, to resources. One of the main dynamics of leadership is the ability to seek out resources and evaluate their effectiveness with what they have to offer relative to his project. To have a SM and/or EPC guide the boy to those resources reduces his need to actually provide leadership in selecting his resources for the project.

 

Somehow to me, this "need to be sure the boy gets the right person" smacks of adult intervention/interference in the boy's Eagle project leadership.

 

Stosh

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I think you greatly misunderstand the role of the Eagle counselor, it is not to help the scout with the project but to help guide him through the application process and project paperwork.

 

No one has suggested that the counselor help the scout with planning or leading the project.

 

(This message has been edited by Bob White)

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"ursus, my question was to Jet. I do not see how he can anticipate that a Scout will know which adult has had what training or would be knowlegdeable in this area."

 

I'm a bit confused. I was responding to Stosh's solution of letting the scout ask whoever they want. As for your question: "how is a scout going to know that?" I would not expect a Scout to have any idea who knows about what is involved in an Eagle project or in completing the paperwork. Typically the scout comes to me and asks what he should do. I'll generally give him an answer and let them know about the advisor who can help him as well. Some use the advisor, some still come to me, and some go it alone.

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How is the Scout gonna know? He asks! The asks his SM or ASM or even the last Eagle in the Troop.

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At our last roundtable I sat next to someone on our District Advancement Committee. Both she and her husband have been on this committee reviewing Eagle Projects and doing EBORs for 25+ years.

 

During a break we were talking with her about Eagle project ideas as my son is struggling with making his mind up about a project.

 

The topic turned to the Eagle to Life Mentor.

 

She said you would be amazed at the number of Scouts that turn in Eagle project workbooks for approval that are half filled out or missing required signatures and are rejected.

 

The worst case just happen in June where a Scout had his project rejected and he had started before he had approval and had it finished.

 

Usually none of these Scouts had been working with and Eagle to Life Mentor and tried to do it on their own.

 

One of the other problems the Advancement Committee is encountering is that they meet once a month for project approvals and on a busy month they are trying to get through 7 or 8 projects and dont have enough time to do a good job with explaining the process to the Scout.

 

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Wouldn't it appear to be rather strange that there's a booklet that is handed out that explains everything one needs to know? Can't the boy read? There's a line for someone to sign, it says who signs? Are the boys too lazy to read it for themselves that they need some adult to read it for them? If a boy can't read through and understand the Life to Eagle booklet, surely he's not ready for taking on any leadership project.

 

My boys know that they have the responsibility of doing their own project, they read the book and then very strangely, they don't have all that many questions. The last boy that did a project, designed it, wrote it all up, applied for it, did the project and wrote it up, all by himself. The only involvement any adult had in the project were application signatures, reference letters, work crew members and eventually the Eagle BOR personnel. I'm expecting that EBOR next month and the Eagle COH before Christmas. Not bad for a 14 year-old that can read. Oh, and by the way, he's a transfer-in, less than 12 months ago from out-of-state.

 

For those that feel the need to have coordinators, fine, but from my experience they are not necessary for the proper execution of an Eagle advancement process.

 

Stosh

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jblake47, this isn't conclusive evidence but a lot of graffiti in Georgia consists of a series of XXXXs. This is because a lot of people can't....you know....

They MIGHT be able to read...I'm just not sure. ;)

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Our "star to eagle" guy is a former SM who is familiar with the paperwork and sits on Eagle boards for scouts of other troops.

 

He is available to meet with our Life scouts and coaches them to develop a *written* timetable to finish up the MB's they need and develop a project. He basically helps them write out a plan that is realistic to accomplish certain objectives by specific dates. When they fall behind he counsels them on the importance of setting goals and then putting in the work to achieve them.

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