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nlorey

The New Eagle Cards, degrading?

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Hello, I'm new to the forums. I've been searching the internet trying to find a place like this. I have a huge issue with the redesigned eagle cards. If you do not know what they look like then do not continue reading. This post is geared towards Eagles or those who know what it looks like.

 

The old card had so much meaning and symbolized the scouts successes. The gold card was the gold medal of scouting and to me at least was very important. It was the thing I could show everyone. You can tell people that youre an Eagle but with this gold card you can show them and immediately gain their respect. However, the 2009 cards are in no way respectable. It shows a sky BG with a pixilated Eagle award and a badly cut out eagle head. I work with Photoshop everyday for my job and know bad design when I see it. I did the same design in 5 min and it looked better then what it is now. I understand things change but everyone I know, even my older fellow leaders have the gold card. To them, it symbolized the difficulty of achieving the rank. Back then for them it was 10x harder and the gold card was a symbol. When they saw the new card they commented on how it is more deserving at the bottom of a trash can then in an Eagles wallet. I just want you guys to know this isn't hate speech but I can't find any other way of describing this horrible excuse for an award. But, if the BSA didn't have enough fun, they put an advertisement on the back. Granted it is for NESA and I strongly encourage joining, but to put their business card on the back of such an important item is disgraceful to me.

Does any other Eagle or Scouter share my views on this? I know its just a card but to me and my fellow Scouters it meant so much more.

 

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Nlorey,

 

Welcome to the forum!

 

I'd like to pass along a couple observations from an 1977 Eagle....

 

First, I understand the heartburn when some is redesigned and the new one stinks. Many of the Eagles in the early '70s didn't like the "chicken in the mess kit" Eagle patch...lots of discontent.

 

But these things pass. The patch was redesigned a few years later.

 

Second, a fancy card will not gain respect outside a small circle of folks who understand such things. Respect as an Eagle comes from exemplifying the principles of scouting in your every day life. It's not about "Eagle bling"--it's about leading the way, in all walks of your life.

 

Third, I don't know when the gold card guys earned their Eagle, but I doubt it was 10x harder...it's always been hard, and as a statistics teacher advised me long ago, stress is relative. Many years ago bird study MB was required for Eagle--brutal to earn. Up until the '60s or so, Lifesaving MB was required and that stopped many a great scout at Life. For several decades, you had to send/receive morse code just to get First Class--another potential show-stopper for some. So you see my point. I salute the Eagles who earned it years gone by, but I also respect my peers and those who have earned it since 1977.

 

So I'm not minimizing your concern about the card. Just saying Eagles are Eagles, regardless of what year they earned, or what was presented at their ceremony.

 

If you serve as an adult scouter, you are going to find superb scouters who topped out at Star or First Class, or maybe didn't get past Tenderfoot. They have my utmost respect...often you will find them serving long-term, at all levels, providing outstanding leadership. They are just as much a part of the brotherhood of scouting as Eagles, and deserve every courtesy.

 

It's all about service.........

 

Best wishes, DR 77

 

PS There are hundreds of former scouts who didn't make Eagle out there who would give their right arm for the privilege of seeing their name embossed on that ugly card...please strive to be content, if not for your sake, at least out of respect for them.

 

(This message has been edited by desertrat77)

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I have to agree with DR77. This is like all the Eagles that complain that President X or Y signed their card because they don't agree with their politics. Get over it. The accomplishment of earning the rank does not rest in the wallet card, rather, it rests in the life experience which hopefully you do not attempt o carry around in your wallet.

 

I was never aware of a wallet card. I earned my Eagle in 1977 (which means my certificate was signed by President Jimmy Carter, oh woe is me!) Yet it was not until I returned to Scouting last year that I ever got a wallet card (signed by President George W. Bush.) I was not concerned then and I am not concerned now.

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Don't complain to me about Jimmy Carter. I'm a '73 Eagle and have Richard Nixon's signature on my Eagle certificate.

 

I suppose different things have different meaning to folks. I don't really recall a Eagle wallet card, but if I have one, it's in a scrap book and I can safey say I've never shown it to anyone. But if it's important to you, fine.

 

This may be important to you now, but in years to come I think you will see the value of your Eagle not in a card you show people but in the character of the man you have become.

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Eagle1977, got a chuckle from Jimmy Carter memory...my card also bears his signature. Twocubdad got me thinking...I don't think I showed my card to anyone...it stayed in my wallet for years. Got it tucked away in a footlocker now.

 

PS Got a certificate and a card(This message has been edited by desertrat77)

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I understand and agree with all of your comments.

 

To go into more detail about my 10x harder statement may sound insulting but where I'm from its the truth. Today, about 5% of scouts recieve Eagle, only about 2% earned it. There is a term called "pencil-whipped" and it means that a leader writes off merit badges to advance scouts more quickly. In no way do I feel a 13-year old child is deserving of this rank. My fellow leaders in my troop the higher ups in my district agree with me. For them pencil whipping wasn't a big issue, I'm assuming it was because of the times. I know I'm bias because I'm basing my views off my own observations but they are true enough. The "gold card" was a symbol, nothing more nothing less. But, symbols can mean a lot. Its hard to relate to my views without living here. I do agree with what you have all said and understand your points. Again, this is just a very personal thing. Off-topic but I just hate to see a boy get his eagle then shove it in the rest of his awards like it was nothing. I hate to see a boy get his Eagle then walk away and forget about it all. I should probably leave this place, I'm a strongly opionative person with a great deal of passion for Scouting. Some would say I'm critical, I would just say I'm old-fashioned.

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Nlorey, I'm not suggesting that you pretend like you didn't earn it. Be proud of it. But there is a balance. Your service to others as an Eagle, over time, transcends the award itself.

 

If you've got strong opinions, that's good. You've come to the right place. Just be willing to accept the fact that others have strong thoughts too, and honing your communication skills (and humility) is a good thing.

 

Pencil whip is a phrase we are all familiar with...in scouting and on the job.

 

Are there Eagles out there in the world that didn't earn it correctly? Yep. And there will be more.

 

Some of these Eagles will show their true colors in due course. Most "grow into" the rank as they mature and gain a better appreciation of what scouting was trying to teach them.

 

The only thing you can do is square away your part of the Earth. If you are the leader, ensure the program is run the right way. The problem might be world-wide, but it can only be solved locally.

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As a brief aside, in 1980 I was a young political science major at Penn State seeking knowledge of all thing political I decided to run as a delegate to the Democratic Convention. I sought out the advice of my mentor and he advised me to hitch my rope to the star of President Jimmy Carter if I wanted to go to New York and witness the convention. So there I was the second youngest elected delegate (by something like two weeks) to the 1980 Democratic Presidential Convention. What a wonderful experience. Talk about citizenship in the nation!

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Earned my Eagle in '79. The card, badge, and medal went into a box of stuff and I never really looked at any of it since I was an Explorer at the time and no place to wear the badge on the uniform. Never gave any thought to how ugly or nice any of it looked.

 

25 years later my sons join the program. Pulled the stuff out of the box and looked at it. Fond memories of my boyhood scouting adventures and pride at the award. Starting reading the forum and found out that the badge and medal had changed over time and that various badges and medals were considered the ugly ones. Guess what? I had been awarded the designated ugly ones.

 

I am still an Eagle. I wear the red, white & blue knot on my uniform now. The only time anyone asked to see my card was when I purchased the knot at the scout store. Othewise it rests in my memory box in the back of the closet. The card to me is just a piece of memoribilia. The fun times I had as a boy, the way I live my life, and the ethics I teach my sons are the real rewards of my scouting expierence.

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My card from 1959 is the same as all the other rank cards of the time, except it has the dangle Eagle in a circular background at the top. Same for the palm card. To make things worse, for some reason I carried them for a while and managed to fall in the water with them in my wallet. Now they are soiled, ragged, and the ink ran in places. Still, they have a special place in the memory book. As pointed out already, it is not the card, or the certificate that makes one an Eagle.

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Earned my Eagle in 1976. My card was signed by President Ford during the Bicentennial Year. Pretty cool. I Don't know anything about Gold Cards except American Expres never gave me one.

 

My paper Eagle card is tucked away and I have no reason to carry it. My NESA card is in my wallet and usually works if I need to purchase Eagle items.

 

I have not seen the new card mentioned, but I guess I would agree thata NESA ad might be inappropriate. The again the old handbooks were filled with ads.

 

I agree with other posters that making Eagle doesn't make us any better. There are many fine Scouters who never achieved Eagle. But that is just the point. Having earned the badge does set us apart. We have achieved something many others have not. Wear your badge with pride, but with the knowledge you are now challenged to live your life as an example to others.

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TwoCubDad - Greetings from another Class of '73. We were on a camp counselor outing when Nixon resigned... Where were you?

 

The only two places I can remember ever stating that I was an Eagle was on my college application and during Plebe Summer at US Naval Academy when the "Firstie" was looking for another squad leader. The other two squad leaders were a Recon Marine and Navy Wet Crewman, and if y'all know anything about those two disciplines in the military, I was proud that Eagle ranked up there in that Midshipman First Class's mind!

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