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Yet another Paper Eagle

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I am glad to see other people that don't believe that National has cheapened the Eagle rank. Yes the requirements have changed over the years but mostly the the betterment of scouting or to bring us into a more modern era. Many of the required badges have changed with some of them being eliminated as required badges. The first one that comes to mind is the Cooking merit badge. It is no longer required for Eagle like it was for me. Many people believe that it should be still required. That could be a good argument. If you have noticed National has addressed that argment by changing the cooking requirements within the first 4 ranks. (up to 1st class). Those requirements have became more intensed for those ranks. Thanks National for improving those requirements and trying to instill safe food handling and cookig practices. With all of the increase health problems dealing directly with food handling and cooking, it has been a great improvement. These requirements are more difficult than they were in the 60's, 70's, 80's or 90's.

In the 70's they included new alternates for required merit badges for the Eagle rank. This is the most drastic change I have seen in Scouting in the past 90 years. It has improved the program tremedouosly. Yes I believe that Swimming and Lifesaving is important, but so is Emergency Prepardness. In Emergency Prepardness we are taught how to "save lives" in the water as well as other places. Recently they have added Hiking as an alternate for swimming. If I remember correctly the requirements are fairly difficult for that badge. It also instills factors dealing with the great outdoors, the basics scouting was founded on many years ago.

I also believe in not penalizing a eager, mature, and qualified 13 year because he is not "old enough" to be an eagle. I have met many students or scouts who were only 13 that were more mature and qualified than a 17 year old. I am not jealous of a 13+ year old scout for earning the Eagle rank. (it seems that many people are) Instead I admire him for his commitment and eagerness to earn the Eagle rank at an earlier age. Yes I know that there are some "eagle factories" out there, I feel sorry for the injustice that is implied to the boys and the Scouting progam as a whole. Many of those boys who were "handed" their rank without earning it know who they are, they sometimes stick out like a bruised thumb. They do not soar with us real Eagles, they are only papered. It reminds me of how many people go to college to get a degree while the rest of us go to get an education. We both have the same piece of paper, but our actions show much different. With those Eagle factories I hope the boys and not the committees are earning those badges. And like someone mentioned earlier most scouts recognize the real eagles from the papered eagles. Unfortunately in our society many people do not require the best, they should because they are a decay for the rest of us who do.

I do know that in the earlier years we also had young Eagles and people were also questioning if they were mature enough. It will probally continue for years to come. I am glad that they boys now have more oppertunities than I had while growing up as a Boy Scout. And look at all of the trained leaders now, Where were they in the 50's, 60's and 70's? Modern era, and more resources might have helped this problem. I think as a whole scouting has improved over the years and not declined, unfortunatley more boys do not take advantage of it. Maybe if they did we could live in a better world. Just think....


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Consider this: The United States Marine Corps will automatically promote a Private to Private First Class "if he has earned" Eagle Scout. I think this says something about the Scouting Movement, but it should also say something to the Scouting Movement.


I am a new scoutmaster, I was never an eagle scout, I am former active duty marine corps and presently in the marine reserves. My scout experience was invaluable to me in the corps, as it so happened I was a combat engineer. When I say experience, I not only mean knots and general pioneering and outdoor skills, but leadership and just general responsibility and accountability.

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