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J-dawg168

13/14 Year Old Eagle Scouts

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Some observations:

 

* Five merit badges over the course of a weekend does seem a bit excessive. To do this, a Scout would have either had to do quite a bit of prep work beforehand, or would have had a lot of pencil-whipping done on his behalf. At summer camp, maybe. Over a weekend, no.

 

* Interesting comments by Kudu on the Citizenship merit badges, considering that those merit badges and their precursor, Civics, have been on the required MB list for Eagle for many, many years.

 

* I'm not philosophically opposed to the idea of a 14-year-old Eagle, but I wonder if a Scout who went through that quickly really got the full benefit of the program.

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sherminator505 writes:

 

Interesting comments by Kudu on the Citizenship merit badges, considering that those merit badges and their precursor, Civics, have been on the required MB list for Eagle for many, many years.

 

Yes, back to the days when modern leadership theory trained adults to organize Patrols by the Boy Scouts' weight and height, with BSA specifications down to the half-inch. This anti-Patrol System leadership theory specifically did not allow Patrol Leaders to make any decisions.

 

http://inquiry.net/adult/methods/1st/index.htm

 

Citizenship (the single aim of Baden-Powell's program), was supposed to be the opposite of school: Something a boy learned with his hands in the backwoods in a Patrol without adult supervision.

 

The natural desire to replace Patrols with adult-imposed classroom citizenship was why the YMCA sought out Boyce. If you read Scott & Murphy's The Scouting Party, it is evident that the ONLY thing that either William Boyce or Edgar Robinson knew about Baden-Powell's Boy Scout program was that they wanted a monopoly on it:

 

http://www.scouter.com/forums/viewThread.asp?threadID=298037

 

This government-imposed monopoly is how the BSA turned "Scouting Into School:"

 

http://www.scouter.com/forums/viewThread.asp?threadID=236888

 

To its credit, the BSA before 1916 did a good job of incorporating Baden-Powell's advancement requirements, but the most important requirement that tested the backwoods competency of individual Scouts (The First Class Journey) was discarded.

 

At long last Hillcourt introduced the Patrol Method in the late 1920s. It was based on a Patrol Leader's backwoods competency (the ability to take a Patrol into the woods without adult supervision). Soon after Hillcourt's retirement, however, Wood Badge replaced Scoutcraft competency with indoor office formulas ("Fake Leadership"), which are best demonstrated by forcing teenagers to camp in Cub Scout family camping venues under the close supervision of Webelos III dads.

 

Compare this Fake Leadership with the leadership that twelve-year-olds demonstrate in Baden-Powell's writings and "Master and Commander:"

 

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

 

The bottom line is that any cupcake can now pick up an Eagle badge without ever walking into the woods with a pack on his back. As such, "Eagle Scout" is the Scoutcraft Leadership equivalent of a Baden-Powell Second Class Scout.

 

So certainly any twelve-year-old who is good at classroom citizenship and other indoor book-learning subjects is more than capable of earning this middle school badge.

 

It is only the Fake Leadership requirements (PORs) that delay Eagle until age thirteen.

 

Yours at 300 feet,

 

Kudu

http://kudu.net

 

 

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Scouts should attain Eagle by 14 1/2 -- 15 at the latest. Otherwise, they'll not have enough time to earn the Hornaday silver medal before they age out.

I do not belittle merit badges. MBs teach how to meet and deal with adult strangers unless the troop conducts the travesty of working on merit badges at troop meetings. As they get older, they'll be interacting with strangers all their lives; better they learn how earlier on.

MBs also introduce several vocations -- hands on, and not just reading about them. It's also possible a Scout will find a life-long hobby thanks to a mb earned.

A large part of Scouting is community service and giving back. What better way to show this than to improve the environment in which your community exists? What better way to show you have the Scoutcraft skills you think you have -- to be judged on them by an outsider rather than by an in-house mutual admiration society.

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I am pretty happy with how our troop does merit badges. The boys are not allowed to do anything merit badge related during the meetings from 7:30 to 9:00, with two exceptions. They are allowed to turn in a completed merit badge before 8:15PM. Also, before 8:15PM they are allowed to request a blue card.

 

We do occasionally offer a Merit Badge taught as a class, but only on non meeting days. I was very impressed to sit in on a Cycling MB class a few weeks ago. It was a 4 hour class and not one thing was signed off on in those 4 hours. It was taught and then the boys were advised to get a MC Counselor and show them the skills they learned.

 

Of course, we were the MC counselors teaching the class. We even had enough to sit 1 on 1 with a scout and instruct them on how to change a flat tire. We sat by their side and gave advice and corrections. The boys were then told that they should go home and practice and show their MC counselor that they can do it without any advice.

 

The only question I have about it, is it okay to take them on group rides. The MB specifically says the scout should plan the rides. Does that mean if I have 4 kids going for the MB we have to go on 20 rides for each to plan 5?

 

When I first joined the troop I did not understand the process, but now I can see the difference in the older scouts who are entirely self sufficient and it is fun to watch.

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>>"The only question I have about it, is it okay to take them on group rides. The MB specifically says the scout should plan the rides. Does that mean if I have 4 kids going for the MB we have to go on 20 rides for each to plan 5?"

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boomerscout writes:

 

I do not belittle merit badges. MBs teach how to meet and deal with adult strangers

 

Merit Badges could just as easily do that if they were based on Scouting rather than school.

 

Even more so:

 

Merit Badges only indicate a passing interest, whereas Baden-Powell's Proficiency Badges all indicate CURRENT proficiency in Scoutcraft (worn on the right arm), or Public Service (such as First Aid) worn on the left.

 

http://inquiry.net/traditional/por/proficiency_badges.htm

 

So you can tell at a glance if a Boy Scout's First Aid skills are CURRENTLY certified by an outside agency.

 

Because a Scout must re-qualify for every badge every 12-18 months under Baden-Powell's system, Boy Scouts meet more often with outside experts.

 

boomerscout writes:

 

MBs also introduce several vocations -- hands on, and not just reading about them.

 

If a boy wants to learn vocations rather than Scouting, we should encourage him to join Junior Achievement.

 

boomerscout writes:

 

It's also possible a Scout will find a life-long hobby thanks to a mb earned.

 

That is what Chess Club is for.

 

To those who champion replacing Scouting with school, I ask "Why not Little League?"

 

Really, once a boy has swung a bat, run a base, and caught a ball why not do what our corporation does: "sign him off" on those "first year skills" with "no retesting."

 

Then Little League millionaires could emulate our professional millionaires and "broaden the appeal of baseball by attracting boys who hate baseball."

 

This would free up "modern" boys to move indoors to learn classroom citizenship, personal management, and corporate team-building skills like Boy Scouts do.

 

Leadership experts could then hand out "Little League World Series" awards to boys who hate baseball, in the same way we hand out Eagle Scout badges to boys who have never walked into the woods with packs on their backs. :)

 

Yours at 300 feet,

 

Kudu

http://kudu.net

 

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me< "MBs also introduce several vocations -- hands on, and not just reading about them."

 

Kudu< "If a boy wants to learn vocations rather than Scouting, we should encourage him to join Junior Achievement. "

 

I love JA. But, not every Scout wants a career in business. The plumbing merit badge looks good.

 

me< "It's also possible a Scout will find a life-long hobby thanks to a mb earned."

 

Kudu< "That is what Chess Club is for."

 

Hard to work on model railroading or horsemanship at a chess club meeting

 

"Because a Scout must re-qualify for every badge every 12-18 months" What a terrible idea!

 

 

 

 

 

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boomerscout writes:

 

Hard to work on model railroading or horsemanship at a chess club meeting

 

My point exactly!

 

If Chess Club was more like Scouting then Chess Club millionaire executives would use their government-imposed monopoly on "Chess" to include model railroading so as to "broaden the appeal of Chess" by attracting boys who hate Chess (but whose parents want the "Bobby Fischer" award on their son's business resume).

 

Eagle Scout advancement requirements are to the mastery of Scoutcraft, as checkers is to chess.

 

Horsemanship is a valid Scoutcraft skill. Baden-Powell's equivalent to an Eagle Scout Project was the option to organize a 200 mile trip by horseback without adult supervision:

 

http://inquiry.net/advancement/traditional/journey_requirements.htm

 

boomerscout writes:

 

"Because a Scout must re-qualify for every badge every 12-18 months" What a terrible idea!

 

Only if you like plumbing and model railroading more than Current Proficiency in Scoutcraft.

 

"Young man, I see you are a Boy Scout! Can you help my child? He's choking!"

 

"Sorry, I was already signed off on that so I forgot. But I can help you with his model railroad!" :)

 

Yours at 300 feet,

 

Kudu

http://kudu.net

 

(This message has been edited by Kudu)

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Kudu wrote:

"Young man, I see you are a Boy Scout! Can you help my child? He's choking!"

"Sorry, I was already signed off on that so I forgot.

 

Wow, does that resonate with me. I ran a first aid scenario at district Klondike again this year. The scenario was composed of first aid for a broken collar bone and first aid for a bleeding wound; straight out of first class requirements. Out of 10 patrols, none could make a proper sling, and only two treated the bleeding wound correctly. Three patrols treated the bleeding wound by applying a splint.

 

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"Young man, I see you are a Boy Scout! Can you help my child? He's choking!"

"Sorry, I was already signed off on that so I forgot. But I can help you with his model railroad!"

 

Ha-ha! That is funny, if not sad. I was going to suggest inter-troop competitions as a way of keeping skills current. After reading Venividi's post, it looks as if these competitions need to be more than once a year.

Don't see how re-certifying will be any better. They'll just forget that too (there is follow-up demonstrations of proper technique at your Klondike?)

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"It can be a race, but the best Eagles I've seen have made it a journey."

 

I fully agree. I've seen young boys dragged by their heels to Eagle, and only too late for the dad to say it was not the best thing to do. But I've also seen boys slow down of their own accord because they said they weren't ready/mature to make Eagle yet.

 

The best Eagles make it a journey and learn about themselves along the way.

 

 

 

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boomerscout writes:

 

Don't see how re-certifying will be any better. They'll just forget that too

 

The same thing could be said about BSA Lifeguards.

 

 

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Very interesting discussion here. I have a couple of points on getting the Eagle Award:

1. Not all Eagles are created equal. Every troop has Eagle Scouts that not only fulfill the requirements, but take in every growth opportunity possible from the Scouting program. There are also those who do the bare minimum to get their Eagle, then are never seen or heard from after their ECOH. In either case, the young man is not a finished product, but the ones who make the most of their Scouting experience are the ones who tend to be more productive adults.

2. Getting the Eagle award takes about two solid years of work. By that, I mean a Scout actively working on advancement every week (whether at troop events or on his own). Very few Scouts have the self discipline or drive to do it when they come in as an 11 year old. A good friend got his Eagle at 13 1/2 and continued to learn in grow in Scouting (Jamboree SPL, Lodge Chief, etc.) His character and the way he conducts his life today are what any Scouter would agree was an ideal Eagle Scout.

 

As for myself, I made it to Life in 16 months, but then got inducted into the OA a month later and became a chapter officer a month after that. I also started middle school (7th grade) at that same time. While I didn't get my Eagle for another five years (about 5 months before 18), I took in everything the Scouting program had to offer. I became very active in the OA, participated in three Jamborees, was SPL of my troop on two different occasions. I simply chose to focus my energies on other aspects of Scouting rather than on my own advancement. Both of us look back very fondly on our Scouting careers and what we learned from them.

 

3. As far as merit badge counselors go, I do feel a very important experience for the Scouts is to contact and work with Merit Badge Counselors with whom they do not know. I recall the first couple of times I had to call an MBC over the phone and how nervous I was. Reaching out and asking for help from someone like that is a lesson everyone should learn.

 

4. Ultimately, what a Scout learns from earning his Eagle award is up to him to utilize as he gets older. Hopefully, as Scout leaders, we have made enough of an impact to help him make the most out of it.

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I'm just getting back into Scouting after 20 years. Just to set the stage for my following comments, I'm an Eagle Scout and earned it from a Troop that I was the only Eagle in a 12 year period. I've been a SM, ASM, OA Chapter Advisor and more in my Scouting career. I am also a Silver Beaver. As the OA Chapter Advisor I had the opportunity to observe almost all the troops in our district and having run a number of our district Camporees. I was always dismayed by the Eagle factories that a lot of LDS units in the District were producing. At Camporee my Tenderfoots knew more Scouting Skills than their Eagles. From the OA I knew how many nights each unit was camping and I knew many of these units were signing off the Camping MB requirements without 20 nights of camping. I tried asking these boys at EBORs 2nd and 1st Class scouting questions and they couldn't answer them. I wish I could have "flunked" them in their BOR, but it was not allowed. I finally asked not to be on any more EBOR. It was just too painful to watch an award that I was proud of and worked extremely hard for cheapened.

 

After returning to Scouting after the 20 year break, I was amazed that at Roundtable that at least 6 Scouters in the District was getting their Silver Beavers this year. Where I was from, it was about 1 per district that earned that per year. Did these folks truely earn the SB? I don't know these folks well enough yet to know for sure, but I suspect that this district may be more into the adult glorifing and producing the largest numbers of Eagles that they can.

 

I have two adult sons, one got his Eagle, one got to Life. As a SM I could have made it easy on the second son to get his, but then he wouldn't have really been an Eagle.

 

Hoping to change things from the inside,

Steve

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Welcome back, magic823! And thanks for livin' up to your Eagle Charge by continuing to give back to da program. Yep, keep workin' da change from within!

 

B

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