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J-dawg168

13/14 Year Old Eagle Scouts

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"Once saw a "Merit Badge University" where the boys went to a weekend of different MB classes and came away with 5-6 MB's including Cit. in Comm, Nation and World. Did the boys really get anything out of earning??"

 

Citizenship Merit Badges are Fake Scouting, the exact opposite of Baden-Powell's explanation that Scouting is outdoor "Education" not classroom "Instruction."

 

B-P's Scouting is an outdoor game with the single aim of Citizenship learned though camping as a Patrol living the Scout Law ("Education"), as opposed to Citizenship Merit Badges ("Instruction").

 

Citizenship Merit Badges were designed by the same "exact opposite of Real Scouting" people who divided BSA Troops into Patrols by the Scouts' height, weight, or social class:

 

The Patrol Leader and the Scout Master

 

Care should be taken by the Scout Master that the patrol leaders do not have too great authority in the supervision of their patrols. The success of the troop affairs and supervision of patrol progress is, in the last analysis, the responsibility of the Scout Master and not that of the patrol leader. There is also a danger, in magnifying the patrol leader in this way, of inordinately swelling the ordinary boy's head. The activities of the patrol should not be left to the judgment of any patrol leader, and if the Scout Master wants to delegate the work of the patrol and troop, the whole group should reach a decision in regard to the plan [Handbook for Scout Masters, First Edition, page 85].

 

If a Council offers an opportunity to earn all Citizenship Merit Badges in a day, it sounds like the best of all possible worlds to me: Render unto the Council that which is the Council's!

 

Eagle Scout (like King's Scout) should stand for an absolute mastery of outdoor skills. In Traditional Scouting this started with an adult-free 8 mile hike at Second Class, an adult-free overnight 14 mile backpacking Journey for First Class, and from there progressed to increasingly more demanding wilderness Journeys as the final test for every rank.

 

The reason that Scouts can now earn Eagle at 13 is because these true "Boards of Review" (Outdoor Journeys that test mastery of Scoutcraft) have been dumbed out of the BSA.

 

It is now possible for a Scout to earn Eagle without ever walking into the woods with a pack on his back: Well within the comfort zone of a Girl Scout!

 

A 13 year-old who has completed all the requirements for Eagle but is told that he must wait until 14 because Eagle represents values that he can't understand has been cheated twice: Once by a program more concerned with "making ethical choices" than with the practical Scout Law values that come from the rigors of a rugged outdoor program, and then cheated again by paper adults whose un-Trustworthiness and dis-Obedience to this watered-down program proves that Parlour Scouting does not produce true Scouting values.

 

Kudu

 

 

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Horizon,

 

You need to check out the Scoutmaster's Handbook on the Merit Badge purpose and process.

A part of the purpose is to fulfill a method of Scouting; associating with adults. The responsiblity of a Scout's advancement is his own. The Troop's resposibility is to provide opportunities to learn and practice skills required for advancement.

The process is when a Scout selects a MB he wishes to work on, he goes to his SM. Together, they sit down and select a MBC from the SM's copy of MBC list provided to him by his District Advancement Committee. The Scout fills out a blue card, his SM signs it. The Scout should also try to find another Scout to work on the MB in order to fulfill YP guidelines.

It is the Scout's responsiblity to contact the MBC and make arrangements to meet on their own time, not the Troop's. Working on a MB at a Troop meeting is not apart of the 7 part Troop meeting.

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I was a 17 year old eagle scout in 1980. I did it because I wanted it. Not because my friends were doing it, or it was easy. The Eagle factory's do cheapen the accomplishment of those that have walked before them. IMHO a scout should not earn the eagle by merely showing up to the meeting, which is exactly what the Factory's do. I am sure they have canned projects and all the forms are filled out and the scout is coached on how to answer questions at his board of review. How does this develop character?

 

I came from a small troop who had NO in troop merit badge councilors. I earned all of my badges by attending summer camps and making appointments with Council merit badge councilors. I spent 6 months trying to figure out a project. I submited it several times with it getting returned.

No coaching for the board of review,

 

Again my 2 cents, Are these Eagle factorys doing anything wrong? No, But I believe it is against the spirit of what an Eagle is. The Eagle is not merely a checklist.

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Beavar82: The 7 part troop meeting includes 15-20 minutes (at least) for skills. For younger Scouts, I see that as working towards the skills that they need to demonstrate for T-2-1. For older Scouts, that can be the skills they learn as part of a merit badge. The entire troop meeting should not be a merit badge class, I agree completely. However, when I have ASMs who can teach Merit badges, why not have them hold small sessions during the skills training?

 

BasementDweller: You say that you earned merit badges at summer camp. You didn't request those MBCs, they were made available to you. Do you consider those badges to be less earned than the ones that you earned by calling the Council?

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Horizon you bring up a valid point. The merit badges I earned at summer camp were the typical canoeing, rowing, wilderness survival, orienteering along those lines. I probably wouldn't or couldn't have earned them any other way. In those days they didn't offer merit badge weekends or if they did we were not privy to the information.

 

To sum extent you are correct, The merit badges earned at camp took much less effort.

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I feel that any Scout receiving their Eagle Scout Rank by the age of 14 does not truely have the the rank. They may have gone through the motions and earned all their merit badges but what have they truly learned about leadership?

 

First of all, at 14, a young man is just beginning to learn about himself. He's learning his strengths and weaknesses and discovering who he will be as an adult.

 

Second, he has barely had enough time to earn the respect of younger Scouts and probably many older Scouts also. He doesn't have the maturity level (most of them) to adequately plan, implement, and complete an Eagle Scout project.

 

Granted, some Scouts at age 14 really do deservce the rank, and I respect them for that. But it would be the the other 14-year-old "Eagles" that don't bring honor to the badge.

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t4eagle137:

 

- Project: I will put my Eagle project up against others. My meetings with the City Council. The budgeting. They use of 6 other Scouts to achieve my goals. The finished project still visible today over 30 years later.

- Learning: I can tell you how I earned each of my merit badges. I still have many of the books, and compare them to the ones my son uses.

- Leadership: I can tell you about being APL, then starting my own patrol. Serving as Troop Chaplain. Serving as ASPL.

 

I understand your comments, but at the same time I wonder. If we don't think that Scouts are capable of leadership positions at 13, then change the rules. Patrol Leaders must be 15. SPL must be 16. Any POR must have someone 14+ years old. The truth is that there are Scouts who are leaders at a young age. They can serve early, and EARN their Eagle by 13 if they so choose.

 

You claim I do not have the rank? Fine - I raise and call. What do you need to see to accept that I EARNED the Eagle knot (at age 13 - a few weeks before my 14th birthday) that now sits on my shirt as Scoutmaster?

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Anyone who believes that 13-year-olds are not capable of "leadership" has probably never once in his life followed Baden-Powell's admonition that real Patrols never camp closer than 300 feet apart.

 

Baden-Powell was aware that even the youngest Scouts are capable of real-world leadership if you give them real responsibility:

 

I said to one of these boys on one occasion, when he came in through a rather heavy fire: "You will get hit one of these days riding about like that when shells are flying." And he replied: "I pedal so quick, sir, they'd never catch me." These boys didn't seem to mind the bullets one bit; they were always ready to carry out orders, though it meant risk to their life every time (Baden-Powell, "Camp Fire Yarn No.1: Mafeking Boy Scouts," Scouting For Boys).

 

Watch "Master and Commander" and you will see why B-P positioned the above passage at the very beginning of the very first Scouting book for boys.

 

Sample Scouting questions for using "Master and Commander" at your next leadership weekend can be found at the following URL with a source for locating used copies of the DVD for as little as $1.54

 

http://inquiry.net/patrol/training/movies.htm

 

Kudu

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I have a 13 year old scout at the rank of Life. He has never camped without his mom. He came to our troop a few months ago already at Life from another troop. When he camped with our troop it was the first time he had ever slept in a tent without his mom being in the tent. He now can go camping and sleep in a tent with his patrol buddies but his mom still camps nearby. We have culled her into sleeping and eating with the adults but nature has a away of teaching animals where the easy food is. He finds his way to his mom.

 

He could make Eagle and never camp without his mom. Other than the several semi-skilled and not so skilled nudges I have given about the scout needing some room and so forth, there is not a lot I can do. I fear that once this kid comes out from under all this oppression he won't be the same kid. I'll write about this when it happens.

 

 

The kid is normal in behavior and intellect. She is a registered leader but not an ASM.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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>>I fear that once this kid comes out from under all this oppression he won't be the same kid. I'll write about this when it happens.

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I think it all depends on the boy. I have seen 13 year old boys that are good natural leaders and would make fine Eagle scouts and I have seen 17 year old eagle scouts that are not good scouts. I would much rather have a boy work hard for three or four years and make Eagle than have a boy drop out and then come back and expect you to bend over backwards to help him get his Eagle at the last minute.

 

But, when all is said and done your Eagle is what you put into it. If you got all of your merit badges the easy way and didn't grow and take advantage of leadership opportunities, you got what you wanted but you didn't get what you could have had. I think you have to look back after many years and see if you actually earned your Eagle and decide what it means to you. Was it worth it and did you do your best or was it just handed to you because your were there. That is for you to decide, no one else.

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I have always felt that a boy is less of an eagle the younger he gets it. and yet lately I have been made to feal like a second class member of the club by geting eagle when I was 17. Im just not sure where everyone got the idea that this is some kind of a race.

 

 

I have no problem with a scout that gets eagle at 14, as long as he stays in the troop and continues to contribute. what gives us a bad name ar the 90% of 14 year old eagles who get the rank and are never heard from agen.

 

 

as soon as I hit first class I slowed down a bit, I was a bugler, instructor, guide, asst. patrol leader, patrol leader, aspl 2 times, and spl. the whole time I worked on my rank, but helped my troop befor my self.

 

 

the oldest youth member of a troop should not be 15. working at a camp I see alot of that. apon asking the SM why that is its always the same answer. they get the eagle when there 13-15 and leave. thats a problem. when I ask an older scout in my troop to help a younger scout, im talking to a 17 year old helping a 11 year old. and I am proud of that.

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I agree with what thebigguy put in his post. I have seen quite a few scouts earn Eagle at 13-14, and really just quit scouting. On the other hand, I have had a couple that stayed active, earned a few palms, and helped the younger scouts along. I do have something I can share from an Eagle ceremony we had this past Saturday. We had a Distinguished Eagle Scout attend, and he was asked to come forward and say a few words. He happened to be a friend of the family of the newly minted Eagle. He challenged the new Eagle to stay involved (new Eagle is 16), earn some palms, help the younger scouts, help the scoutmasters, and if not, "I'll come back and get you! I'm 82 years old, and I don't have much time left, but I'll still come back...." I wish I had a tape recorder going for his entire speech. It was very inspiring to me, and even some of the other boys have commented about it.

 

As you can tell by my forum handle, I, too, am an Eagle. I earned it a couple of weeks before my 18th birthday. Does this make me "less" of an Eagle than someone who earned it at 13, 14, 15? I don't think so. I do believe that the second part of the Scout Law is "Loyal;" I can actually remember giving that as an answer during my Eagle BOR about being so close to aging out. I actually enjoyed being part of the troop, the campouts, the leadership opportunities, etc. I know that there are many Eagles involved in Scouting as adults; I am one of them. I wonder how many of the "involved" Eagles are those that earned it early, or those that earned it later?

 

I do not agree with the "Eagle factory" concept, and the troop I am scoutmaster for does not either. We do have some "homegrown" merit badge couselors, but we also use the council resources (counselors) for many of the Eagle required badges. I try to advise the scouts to take advantage of summer camp, and earn as many badges there as they can as many of those style badges are better to earn there with the resources that are present.

 

 

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Yah, I reckon there are some bright lads who are capable of leadership and such at age 13 and 14, eh?

 

I also figure that far too many of the lads who earn Eagle at 13 and 14 don't fall into that category, eh?

 

To my mind, both suggest weak programs.

 

The latter is obvious.

 

The former is a weak program because it didn't guide and challenge the bright lad enough on the road to Eagle. Such over-achievers should be pushed - not to chalk up attainments faster, but to achieve better and deeper. Not to skate by quickly, but to challenge themselves to perform to their full ability.

 

Eagle shouldn't be a middle school award. Not even for a bright, high-achieving middle-schooler.

 

Just MHO.

 

Beavah

 

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My troop is kind of sad. We have 15 kids, and we've had 10 Eagles in 50 years. The last one was the Scoutmaster's son, who got it when he was 17 and 11 months. Absolutely no boy leadership, and the adults seem tired and bored. The fact I got Eagle, with pretty much no help, was a miracle in itself. I might have to move my son to a faster pace troop.

 

It is nice to think that whoever gets their Eagle here really deserved it though. I'm pretty sure the Scoutmaster's son was an okay kid. I think we have the opposite of an Eagle Factory on our hands.

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