Jump to content

Recommended Posts

  • Replies 107
  • Created
  • Last Reply

Top Posters In This Topic

"Do not degrade this scouts Eagle simply because of one presentation."


Uhhhh...why not?


The public at-large has been led to believe that Eagle Scouts are some kind of great equalizer for the ails of our society's youth. The public is even "expected" to give preferential treatment to those who have earned Eagle. (Statements by politicians, check boxes on applications, etc.)


So, if a Eagle is not up to this perceived standard, we should let him have a pass?



Link to post
Share on other sites

I agree with Eamonn that making Eagle is not the be all or end all in scouting. Scouting is all about the experiences, trips, leadership opportunities, learning new skills and making good friends. Rank advancement is a means to an end, an Eagle scout is not a better scout for example than a First Class scout. They may have different priorities or desires about what they want to get out of scouting and that is just fine. When I was a SM as soon as a boy made Star in the SM conference we would determine if getting his Eagle was something he really wanted to do, if he said yes we would create a plan of how to achieve that goal, if not then that was fine too. There were NO deathbed Eagles in my troop, all of them once they made the committment were set on the path to Eagle with a lot of support from the adult and youth leaders in the troop, their parents,and all of them completed all the requirements no later than 3-6 months before their 18th birthday. No teens feeling pressured, no parents interfering or calling the council all upset that they hadn't heard about their sons Eagle application and he was going to be 18 in less than a week. The process worked well in my old troop and they are still using it today.


With all that said however, becoming an Eagle should never be the only reason a boy becomes a scout or the ultimate goal unless he really wants to put in all the hard work necessary to get there. Scouting should be FUN first and foremost, the rank is really unimportant in the greater scheme of things.(This message has been edited by BadenP)

Link to post
Share on other sites

----Personally, I'd take the 17 1/2 year old Eagle over the 14...clearly the 14's parents earned the Eagle.-----


Actually, when I earned my Deathbed Eagle at the ripe old age of 17-1/2, I had my Eagle Court of Honor with another Scout who was 14 (or maybe even 13).


Yes, his parents earned it. And so did mine. They earned it by spending many hours driving scouts places, serving as leaders at camp, counselling MB's, etc., etc., etc.


But I can assure you that he also absolutely earned it, just as much as his mother earned the pin he presented to her.(This message has been edited by clemlaw)(This message has been edited by clemlaw)

Link to post
Share on other sites

Engineer61: "clearly the 14's parents earned the Eagle."


Clearly? There is not room for the possibility that the scout earned his Eagle on his own? When does this doubt start to occur? Could he have done it on his own if he was 15?

Link to post
Share on other sites

One thing to keep in mind about Eagle is that there really isn't any single requirement that's particularly difficult. For most scouts, there are probably one or two that are a real challenge. But for the most part, they need to get 21 little badges. A few of them can be earned in one day. A few of them might take a year or more. Most are somewhere in between. But for about 99% of the available merit badges, almost any scout, if he decided he wanted that badge, can earn it. Most merit badges have 5-10 individual requirements. So to complete the basic requirements for Eagle (other than POS, service projects, etc.), it's really no much more than doing 150 little tasks, some of which are very easy, and a few of which are difficult.


So the main thing that Eagle shows is that a scout has set a goal, and has some basic organizational and motivational skills to make sure he completes those 150 requirements on time.


As far as I can tell, that's pretty much the way it's always been. Arguably, back in the day, among those 150 requirements, there were more "difficult" and fewer "easy" ones. I'm not sure that's true, but it was still basically the same--most of them were easy, and a few of them were hard. The Eagle award showed mostly that the scout was motivated to do them, and put forth the effort to do those 150 things on his "to do" list.


When I was in Scouts, it was theoretically possible to get Eagle at the age of 12 years and 6 months. (Yes, we sat around adding up the time of service requirements as we theorized about this.) There was always an urban legend about some kid who did exactly that, just as there was an urban legend about the kid who earned all of the merit badges (which, we surmised, meant that he lived on a farm, since it would have required keeping cattle, chickens, hogs, etc.)


In the meantime, we went camping and did other activities. Occasionally, someone would look at our book, and remind us that we had completed all but one requirement for ___ rank or for _____ merit badge. Then, I guess the "Eagle Mill" would come into operation, and we would be encouraged to get that requirement done.


This seems to be the way that most troops operated. Maybe in some of them, the reminders came a little more often, in which case they I guess they were an Eagle Mill. In other cases, the little reminders probably came less often, in which case they had Deathbed Eagles.


But as far as I know, nobody worried too much about which category they were in. Maybe some troops had more fun and let a few Deathbed cases slip through the cracks. And maybe some troops were full of overachievers and had a little bit less fun. But nobody seemed to worry about it either way.

Link to post
Share on other sites

"Personally, I'd take the 17 1/2 year old Eagle over the 14...clearly the 14's parents earned the Eagle. "


Really? I have seen high levels of parent participation at all levels. My younger Eagles tend to have involved parents - not helicopter, but Assistant Scoutmaster types. This meant that the Scout never missed a meeting or a campout since dad was coming anyways. My own son "benefited" in this way. Since I am at every meeting and campout, he was too. He couldn't HELP but be involved and advancing.


My 17 1/2 year olds come in a few different buckets.

- There is the one with 45 merit badges, 3 years or more as a Life Scout, service in multiple positions, who finally decides to do his Eagle project in the 3 months before his 18th birthday.

- There is the one with 25 merit badges, earned Life years ago, served his 6 months in a POR years ago, earned his 6 months "active" years ago, who suddenly realizes his Junior year of high school that an Eagle would be nice to have and shows up to do his project.


Either one of these buckets can have different levels of parent ownership. I have parents who won't let their kid earn their driver's license without an Eagle. I have parents who drag their kids to meetings. I have parents who do nothing, and don't show up to the COH.


Age tells me nothing about how the boy earned his Eagle.


As for me, mom and dad had zero roll in my Troop. They did not serve in any capacity, including MBC. Their entire roll was participating in the carpool for meetings and campouts. To state that my parents earned my Eagle is completely and utterly wrong.

Link to post
Share on other sites


Not an urban legend as I know one that did Eagle at that age, and promplty left Scouting having met his goal. Let's just say that put a lot of pressure on me at family get togethers.


But as others have said, Eagle is not the goal of Scouting. I got my Eagle at 18 years, 1 month, and 4 days due to scheduling of the EBOR. I finished the last requirement 5 days before turning 18, and spent the bulk of my time as a youth at Life Scout since I earned Life at 13. I could have earned Eagle at 13.5, esp. Since I finished my project at 13 years, 7 months. So why did it take so long? I was having Fun!


You see although my cousin got Eagle at 12, and knowing my uncle the "Double Eagle" (uncle earned Eagle and the Silver Award as a youth) he wasn't cut any slack and did earn it, he didn't have the adventures I had. he didn't take a HA program at summercamp, working on MBs instead. He never when through advance leader training like Brownsea 22. He didn't get into the OA as a youth, but had to wait to get in as an adult. He didn't go to jambo, or do 2 Fifty-Milers. And I can go on. We're both Eagles, and no one has asked me how old I was when I got it, or him to my knowledge. But I think I had a lot more fun on the way to eagle than he did.

Link to post
Share on other sites

---Not an urban legend as I know one that did Eagle at that age-----


Oh, just because it's an urban legend doesn't mean that it can't be true. :) (And I doubt if the scout in our legend was actually the same person as your friend.)


Incidentally, I didn't get a chance to read the article yet, but the latest NESA magazine has an article about 3 brothers who all earned every single merit badge. (Apparently, you don't need to have your very own cows, chickens, or pigs any more to do that.) So that urban legend is also true, apparently.


I suspect they had some fun along the way, and they probably learned the basics of a lot of things that I never did. But I bet they also missed out on some things that I did get a chance to do. AFAIK, "Capture the Flag" isn't a requirement for any MB, but a lot of scouts seem to do it anyway.

Link to post
Share on other sites

"Eagle Scout is an individual goal. It shouldn't be used as a measure of success or failure of a troop..." And I agree with Sherminator505. I'd only add that it shouldn't be used as a measure of success or failure for the scout either. I know plenty of boys and had plenty of buddies that aged out with Life or Star or even First Class and they were outstanding young men in the outdoors or otherwise.

I was the first Eagle ever for my troop a long time ago, in a galaxy far away.;) The next one was the same year and then it took about 5 more years for more of them. I'm thinking that we probably wouldn't have qualified as an Eagle Mill. Rather, we had a troop that sounds like a cross between something Eamonn and Kudu would have led.

I earned the rank at age 15, something of a gray area from the sound of it in this thread. But I didn't do an Eagle project either. Oh well.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Let me pose a question. One that may ruffle some feathers, so to speak, but it's not meant to do that. It's asked in good faith to generate a discussion.


Assume a Scout receives his Life Award and sets out to earn Eagle in the minimum time, 6 months. He needs to serve in a POR, so he takes over as PL for Panther Patrol. During the next six months, he completes his 21 additional MBs (an average of nearly 1 per week) as well as planning and executing his service project. During this time, he is also presumably continuing his schoolwork, and whatever other community involvement he has.


How much leadership do you think he's really giving to the Panthers?



Link to post
Share on other sites

It currently takes at least 17 months to earn Eagle. If you cross when you are 10.5 years old, you could earn Eagle at age 11.


My take, JMHawkins, is that you have overly high expectations of an Eagle Scout. The requirements simply do not require excellence at anything. Mostly they require perseverance, some organizational skills (sometimes provided by parents or leaders), some opportunities as provided by the troop program, and a reasonable attitude about participation and learning.


This actually is one of my hot buttons - although the way you tell the story is not at all offensive. I've seen Scouts berated publicly for not behaving "like an Eagle", or frequently hearing phrases like "I'd expect more from an Eagle." Somehow, this Eagle Scout is now having his rank used against him.


I've learned to mellow out about the expectations. There are some great Scouts, and there are many ordinary high school kids who earn Eagle. I'll work with them all.

Link to post
Share on other sites

"During the next six months, he completes his 21 additional MBs (an average of nearly 1 per week) as well as planning and executing his service project."


Only 10 additional MBs beyond what was required for Life. Only 5 are Eagle required. Typically, by the time they earn Life they have already earned at least 5 of the MBs for their Eagle with at least a couple of them being Eagle required. So they likely only have about five Merit Badges to go. For most scouts I would expect those to be Personal Fitness, Personal Management and Family Life. Perhaps Camping or Emergency Preparedness/Lifesaving. Other than Lifesaving the toughest thing for any of those are the longs the scouts need to keep. Very little time is actually involved.


"How much leadership do you think he's really giving to the Panthers?"


He could be doing a fair amount. Patrol Leader is not that burdensome. Go to all the meetings he normally would, add an hour long PLC meeting once a month and maybe another hour a week in planning and preparation.


But 6 months would be unusual. Even the youngest of scouts will take 8-9 months on Eagle and most run about two years.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
  • Create New...