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You won't believe this.......

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I was at a merit badge college recently helping out with the instructor in the Anthropology badge when before the session started two really young scouts started arguing. About who had the most could hike the greatest distance.......no, about who had the best campouts.......no, about who could tie the most knots.....no, they were actually arguing about who finished their Eagle the soonest. One had whipped his out at 13 yrs and 2 months and the other at 13 yrs and 1 month. Although the one said he would have gotten it sooner if his advancement chair hadn't been sooooo mean. These two boys added virtually nothing to the class. One never answered any questions or contributed at all to the presentation and the other only spoke up once or twice. The counselor was fighting an uphill battle with a hot classroom and unresponsive "just putting in my time" scouts. I would expect an "Eagle" to show a little more support, and a greater level of participation and enthusiasm. I had more respect for the 15ish Star scout near them who chimed in regularly and remembered to thank the counselor at the end of the sessions. Who passes these kids along?

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I hear ya. I know that this particular topic is a pet peeve for many Scouters. However, I have to say this. While it may be the exception, I have met a few 13 and 14 year old Eagle Scouts that did the badge no shame. I understand why many Scouters hate to see it. And usually, I can't defend the kids they use as examples. Nevertheless, there are some good ones out there.

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I can see where you are coming from. I'm 17 years old, and have my eagle scout. I see life scouts at 13-14 years old in my troop, and going for their eagle. I tell my mom the should wait for there maturity level to rise. To be an Eagle is to be an example, and help others. Please look up to Eagle scouts.

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Well I think that is the way it was origninally designed........younger scouts looking up to older scouts. Even if the 13 year old Eagle has done the paperwork (hence the term paper eagle) it's hard to look up to someone younger that you. I also agree with Rooster there are exceptional 13 years olds that do service to the Eagle but most are just flat tooooo young.

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Yep, that's quite an old concern, but still a valid one. But rules are rules, and the BSA says that leaders can not use "maturity" as a benchmark for Eagle...only the requirements as laid out in the book. Some leaders try to use the "scout spirit" issue to "hold back" the young ones. But on appeal, they'll lose every time.

 

It's the trick of a good troop and SM if the young ones can be focused enough on the tasks at hand, being instilled with enough enthusiasm and interest to spend a little time here and there on stuff that is of, or can be made to be of, interest to them, rather than attempting to be the youngest Eagle in town. They know they'll get there eventually, if they want it. But they're taught how to have fun and enjoy the journey, rather being the first one to the finish line.

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I am facing this very problem with my own 2 sons. The oldest is 12, and almost at Life. He is doing well though, and is taking on a lot of responsibility, so he should be reasonably mature by the time he hits Eagle, which might take a bit if he decides not to push it.

 

My other son is 11 and is much less mature, and I almost want to slow him down a bit to give him time to mature. On the other hand, I don't want him to get discouraged at all and quit if he stays in a rank for too long.

 

It is ultimately up to them of course, and that may end up working out the best in the end run.

 

Brad

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This is a job for the troop eagle advisor working with the district eagle review board. They should not advance scouts who do not have the experience for the rank of eagle scout. Most eagle scouts should have at least 3 summer camps and a week-long JLTC course. If a council or a district is not looking for these quality eagle canadites, then the adult leaders need more training. It is important that we keep these standards high. If your council dose not have an active advancement and awards comm. Start one.

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I would just concentrate on doing fun things and learning. Our troop typically has slow advancement and you won't lose boys because of slow advancement as long as they are having fun by doing things.

 

 

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Mike, I agree with your last.

 

K9gold-scout, I'm not sure agree or disagree...But here's my question- Aren't you imposing requirements outside of National (i.e., 3 summer camps and a week long JLTC)?

 

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I would point out that requiring 3 long term camps and JLT would be adding to the requirements for Eagle. Since my oldest attended Winter Camp last year, and has gotten on for a Winter council JLT, he would actually hit that, but not intentionally. :)

 

Brad

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My two cents worth......

As a Webelos Leader, and a mom of a soon to be Boy Scout, I don't want my son to rush through his Boy Scout ranks. I want him scouting for the activities and learning. Getting a rank should not be just another item checked off the list of things to do. I have reviewed the Boy Scout merit badges and rank requirements a lot lately. I don't see any sense in rushing them through this. I have had one scoutmaster say that if the boy is active in that troop he will reach Eagle by the time he is 14. What then? Will getting Palms be as impressive to the boy? I understand the theory of "fumes" (perfumes and car fumes). It seems to be if he already has his Eagle, was rushed through without the fun part, the fumes will be even MORE enticing. I once heard a phrase used by some 12-step program that I like -- "Progress not perfection."

 

I have some new Webelos in our Second Year Webelos den. Will they earn their Arrow of Light by next summer? I doubt it. I hope they do, and will do everything to help them. I will judge success of the program for them on the following criteria --- did they have fun? did they get to do something new & interesting? If those things happen, then we all won. I have told the parents, just be active in Cub Scouts over the next few months will prepare them more for Boy Scouts, don't get over excited about the Arrow of Light. Don't compare them to the boys who have been in Webelos for over a year.

 

Okay..that's my opinion :)

 

 

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This might put a different spin or perspective on this question. I think one of my Scouts said it best. During his Eagle BOR, he was asked what Eagle meant to him. His answer was not much. After the board recovered they asked him to explain and he said that while it is a great achievment he has known scouts who never achieved Eagle, but got the program. They could lead, follow and teach all the skills. He also knew some boys who were Eagles that could do none of these things very well. He said that he must know the boy before making any judgement based just on being an Eagle or not. By the way, he is a freshman at Harvard this year.

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EagleWB,

 

I understand the Scout's point, but to me...This is a sad statement - "He said that he must know the boy before making any judgment based just on being an Eagle or not."

 

There are always exception. Nevertheless, if we (the adult leaders) and BSA are doing our jobs, when one says he is an Eagle Scout, it should mean something to others. It should make a statement about that person's abilities and character. I like to think, in most Troops, it still does.

 

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You can get your AoL and all the ranks in several months and have fun doing it. My youngest son did. Though I probably pushed a bit there. But he was VERY excited when he got all the pins!

 

I had held him back a year as a Tiger because he was behind developmentally then. At the beginning of what became his Webelos year he met the school requirement, so I gave him the option of doing the full Webelos program or jumping into a 2nd year group and crossing over to Boy Scouts early. He choose the latter and has done well. I will watch not to push him now though, and he is enjoying most of the program. (Though he laments at boring meetings sometimes.

 

Brad

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