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13/14 Year Old Eagle Scouts

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4 months 1C to Star.

6 months Star to Life.

6 months Life to Eagle.


That's 16 months.


There's the (IIRC) 4 weeks requirement in Fitness for Tenderfoot. That's 17 months.


I guess your timeline presumes that all the skills of S-T-2-1 for the absolute minimum model can be learned/evaluated in one month?


I'm not bashing, I'm just saying back what I thought I saw you write :)

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John-in -KC


You are correct, I am going by what is the minimum requierd time in the Troop. Whether or not a Troop would schedule the events required to have a scout move to First Class in 4 weeks is up to them. THis also assumes that PORs are immediately assigned as the scout advances. I also said "get" Eagle, not earn Eagle but that discussion has been held. So, a scout earning Eagle in 2 1/2 years is very doable.

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Interestingly, I actually did my first SM Minute at my very first CoH on just this topic. There was a question from on of the "helicopter moms" (you know ... the ones that hover over everything little Johnny does) as to why her son's friends were advancing faster than he was. I explained to her (though she didn't want to hear it) that her son's advancement (a 14 yr old 1st Class Scout) was HIS responsibility. I reminded her that Boy Scouts is not Cub Scouts and that her son does not automatically advance when his friends do.


I've give you a quick quote from my SMM that got caused the biggest controversy: "It depends upon the maturity, experience and most importantly (in my opinion) the leadership, he has had at that point in time. I know of several GREAT 14-year-old Eagle Scouts. Conversely, there are 12, 13 and 14 year olds who say that they're Eagle Scouts, can produce a $10.25 medal and a $.55 card which supports their assertion, BUT, can't convince me that they're SCOUTS, let alone Eagle Scouts!"


As has been mentioned by others ... I have nothing against a 13 or 14 yr old Eagle as long as that Scout has EARNED it and not had it spoon-fed or watered down just so that Troop can scarf another Eagle.


As a SM of a 97 yr old Troop that has over 130 Eagles in our "nest" (and by no means are we an Eagle Factory!) - I tell all of our new parents the same thing ... we hold our Scouts to a higher standard in our Troop. We really do feel that our boys are "that much better" because of it. We need to hold our boys to a higher standard. If we dont, scouting will be just another club to join. We need to set the bar higher challenge them more expect more. And when we do, and have done, our boys meet and often exceed our expectations. They are all more than capable of it WE just have to let THEM do it.


Just my opinion.



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Unfortunately, I have seen "Eagle Factories". 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?? these merit badges...


As part of any Scoutmaster Conference I do, for T-Life, I have an Eagle patch with me. I ask the boy "Does he want to be an Eagle?" Of course he says he does, so I tell him to put it on, he is now an Eagle! They try to give it back say no they haven't earned it yet. NOW we can talk can get talk about what they are getting out of Scouts, not just pieces of cloth with colorful thread, but expierences, skills and fun.


Interestingly enough just did an EBOR from a 17 year old boy that I did a conference with about 4 years, I had the patch and asked him what it meant and the lesson had stuck with him! (After the EBOR I gave him the Eagle patch with my congrats)

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>>Of course he says he does, so I tell him to put it on, he is now an Eagle! They try to give it back say no they haven't earned it yet. NOW we can talk can get talk about what they are getting out of Scouts, not just pieces of cloth with colorful thread, but expierences, skills and fun.

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"Sadly, I see more 14 year old Eagles in our neigboring LDS troops than anywhere else. It's an edict from the church president that all boys are expected to get their Eagle. So, they get them..."


I've never heard of such an edict and don't believe it was issued. Maybe the President said that all boys should get their Eagle, but he certainly didn't mean they should get it artificially.


As to the topic of shoddy MB instruction...


My scoutmaster provided solid teaching, and in his home I learned to tie knots and lash for myself. But many of my own merit badges were earned at summer camp. In those classes, I think I probably experienced the "we taught this, you heard it, therefore you demonstrated knowledge" fulfilment of requirements on some occasions, and I missed out on some solid learning this way.


For example, I don't know how to sail very well, despite having the merit badge. I was signed off on the waterskiing merit badge, but I know for a fact (it was the most recent MB earned) that I shouldn't have gotten it, even by a reasonable stretch of the requirements--you're supposed to slalom ski for 30 seconds, and I probably managed twelve.


Then, on the other hand, I've done a lot of sailing at scout camp, and even managed to upturn capsized craft that was way out of my league. I know enough to be a fair tillerman and sailor. I was one of the better water-skiiers in my group, and I found it to be something I genuinely enjoy. I learned, and isn't that the point? Besides, with the amount of (albeit clumsy) sailing I did, I'm sure I demonstrated the required knowledge that was assumed in class.


No, that doesn't negate the fact that requirements may not have been met. I wish my experience had been otherwise, and I think there will always be some lingering doubt in my mind about whether I really earned the ranks I recieved. I guess that's something I'll just have to live with. But I don't think my scouting experience can be completely discounted, just because of the shoddy instruction I, and countless other scouts, have received.





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  • 2 weeks later...

I was a 13 year-old Eagle Scout (I turned 14 a few weeks after my COH).

I was a member of the "Eagle Factory" that a poster referenced above. We did not call it an Eagle Factory at the time, but after years of insults delivered by others - the troop decided to take the term and make it their own.


I can walk you through my 25 year-old merit badge sash and tell you what I did for each badge.


Here is how they did it:


1) It was a boy run troop. Every meeting started with the SPL, announcements, and then split to advancement classes. After class was patrol meetings, then the Scoutmaster's minutre and finally the closing ceremony.

2) Skill Awards were taught by Eagles only (yes, it was in the day when it was skill awards that got you to 1st class). That is where those Eagles went - they became instructors for skill awards.

3) Merit badge Counselors were available at every meeting for all core badges.

4) Merit badge Counselors were available at every campout.

5) The summer camp schedule was always packed as well. I earned 5 merit badges at every summer camp.

6) There were enough boys working on their Eagle project that there were always opportunties to earn service hours.

7) The SPL had a large enough staff to camp as a separate patrol (and build the model campsite every campout).


None of this was paper Eagle - it simply was a troop where resources were made available to the boys. It helped that there was critical mass - enough adult volunteers to staff the classes and enough boys to fill them.


I am now an Asst. Scoutmaster (and incoming SM). I will model my time based on what I had as a scout. 13-14 might be too fast for some, but at the same time if you offer boys the opportunities - they will take them. That is not leading them to the water - it is providing the water.

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Congratulations on your Eagle Horizon. I'm sure you worked very hard for it. The only problem I have with the way that your Troop was run was the MB counselors spoon fed to the boys at every event. Part of the experience (and EDUCATION) of the MB is to get the boys to do their work and then contact the counselor on their own to set up a meeting to review their work. This helps to prepare them to make calls to set up meetings and interviews as adults. By having a staff of councelors sitting in wait for the boys defeats this purpose and takes that learning experience away from them. It wasn't so much the providing the water for them to drink as it was taking away the experience of digging the well themselves that I have issue with.


Other than that ... it sounds like a very well run and organized unit that used its resources to their fullest. Well done.



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I have some serious heartburn when people put thier own spin on what the age should be for an Eagle Scout.

There is no age requirement for an Scout to make Eagle. I earned Eagle at the age of 15 and I could have gotten it at age 13. I was a late bloomer in my Troop. Most of the guys in my troop earned Eagle at early ages, we did not do merit badges in troop meetings and we were a boy lead troop. Age 13 and 14 Eagle Scouts are out there and these young men should be congratulated and not critizied.


Cary P

Eagle Class of 1981

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Well.. can't resist jumping in here.


I am a 13 1/2 year old Eagle. This is back in 1982. My troop had not had an Eagle in over 8 years and was sorely lacking in resources to get one thru the system. Our Scoutmaster at the time had not even had one in his entire career.


Skill awards were the order of the day for up to 1st Class.


I have to tell you I am glad to hear of the numerous sets of resources available to Scouts these days. It was a huge struggle to move thru the merit badges in rural NC.. especially in a troop that loved camping but was a little lean in the advancement part of scouting.


I see even in some of my Cub Scouts (DL now) the same drive I had back then. The challenge to reach the very top. I went on to earn an additional 20 MBs, God and Country, Philmont (only scout from my troop to go EVER).


Let's not necessarily discount the amount of work a current scout does to earn their Eagle... just because info is easier to find.. or resources are closer.. or the trail has been walked more often and no longer needs blazing. These boys are still hungry and the confidence they get from the journey still makes all of the difference....


They just haven't walked to school uphill in 10 foot snow.. both ways... *chuckl*

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How available should MB Counselors be? As I said, I had them easily available at all troop meetings and at all campouts. We still had to do the work (including discussion, demonstration, etc.).


Is part of every badge having to call someone at the district office to find the MB Counselor for badge x?


5 scouts at the last PLC asked for a Physical Fitness MB class to be held so that they could earn the badge. By making that available, am I cheating them? Should they be told that they need to call the Council office?


I don't understand how having a list of counselors, and having them available at troop meetings, is cheating the Scouts of part of their education - as long as you don't give credit for just sitting in the class.

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