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sctmom

That retention thing again

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Talked to a few parents and scouts last night about retention of the older boys. A recurring theme I heard was "with the school load and honors classes, it's hard to stay as involved."

 

One young man, 16 year old, was asked if he thought being a scout would help him in college. His answer was "not academically". An experienced Scouter and long time Eagle explained to him how scouting would help him in college and in career.

 

Also, the theme of "my friends are all gone from the troop" came up. He said 1/2 just left and 1/2 had reached Eagle then left.

 

Right or wrong, I thought these were interesting comments about school. As far as I know these arent' kids who play sports. They feel that once they hit 11th grade they have to focus on getting the grades for college.

 

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I am not sure if this is still true, but there +was a time when having Eagle Scout in your college application was a huge plus, would like to know if that is still true. Seems many colleges are looking at the whole student not just grades. Would be a good idea for a student to check with his college of choice to determine if being Eagle would help him.

 

Boys Life Magazine has published many articles over the past few years on Boy Scouts, usually Eagles, who are snow board champs, ranked nationally in water skiing, nationally ranked climbers, etc. Those scouts remain active in their troop, although I am sure they dont make all events and meetings, but they still are scouts. I would use these articles to show it can be done.

 

And maybe all his friends left the troop, he was never able to make new ones?

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After hearing what OGE mentioned over and over again when my kids were in Scouting, that the Eagle was a big deal on a college application, imagine my surprise years ago when the admissions folks for Massachusetts public colleges told me that it was merely a tie-breaker. Were two applicants to come forward, equal in every way, grades, sports, etc., etc., but one had an Eagle, and the other did not, more consideration would be given to the Eagle. I was told that the Eagle on the application does not give one any more chance, or put one higher on a list of possible acceptance than a tie-breaker. That was a little disappointing. Having relatives who have worked in admissions in Mass., Connecticut, and New Hampshire public and private colleges and universities, the story seems to be truer than just the system I dealt with. It's important to note that some schools value the Eagle more than others, like military schools both public and private, but beyond that, some of the story we've all been told is just that, a story and nothing more. When looking for colleges, and the Eagle is something to be put on the application, one should ask right up front how the school views the award, and how it impacts a students ranking with that school.

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They should have been focuing on grades when they first enrolled in school twelve years ago. Kinda too little, too late if you ask me.

 

I tell my scouts that "Eagle Scout" written on an application may or may not get you anywhere.

BUT

Being an Eagle Scout by thought, word and deed will get you everywhere.

 

I think that simply telling kids that the presence of Eagle Scout on a resume or application will help them out is a huge disservice to them. What we need to stress is that living the Scout Oath and Law and being a living emodiment of our ideals is what will get them ahead in life. The resume candy can't hurt but ultimately it is all about how you carry yourself.

 

Ever think of having a "Gathering of Eagles" type trip or event?

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It's hard for a 16 year old to think past NOW. I pointed out that even the experience of sitting for a board of review is good for college. Many scholarships are based on personal interviews. I know I had never experienced such when I went for a scholarship. Had no idea what to do.

 

I recently read an article that said most (like 75%, I think) high school students have cheated in school and think there is nothing wrong with it. The kids said "it's all about making good grades, we have to do that to go to college". There is so much focus on grades and standarized tests, no matter what the costs.

 

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A favorite real-life story I sometimes share at Eagle COHs involves my younger brother. About 15 years ago he applied tio atgtend the University of Chicago (Harvard of the Midwest). It was during a very thorough admissions interview held by the Board of Admissions that he learned the value of scouting. My brother was the Salutatorian of his High Scool Senior Class, the highest ranked boy in the class. He was the President of the National Honor Society, and was recognized as the Oustanding Music student, Outstanding Science Student, Outstanding Foreign Language Student. He did volunteer work for the local Meals-on-Wheels program and was an Altar Server at our church from the time he was 10 till he was 18.

 

After the interview he was sent out of the room while the Board conferred. When he was brought back in he was told that not only was he accepted to the University but that he was the one of the best interviews they had ever had, there was one thing missing however from his credentials. (You probably see where this is going) The Board said they would have liked to have seen that he was an Eagle Scout.

 

The value of the Eagle Scout Rank is 10% what other people make of it, and 90% of what it makes of you.

 

Bob White

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There are some institutions that take Eagle very seriously. Specifically, it can have a big impact on whether or not one will recieve an ROTC scholarship. The NAVY and the AF were impressed with my son's Scouting achievements - most notably his rank of Eagle.

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Our local State University (25,000 students - with top notch Medical, Dental, Law and Engineering Schools) has a Eagle scholarship program which includes tuition and books. Hows that for taking Scouting seriously.

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Here in California the state university no longer gives any weight to Eagle Scout. However scouters here have been promoting scouts to apply for other awards that they can earn for work they are already doing in scouts. The Congressional Award or the Presidents Award are good for local college bound scouts. They can use the same projects that they are using for Eagle Scout. Now these scouts are given proper credit for their community service and leadership.

 

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I was at my council's annual Eagle Recognition Dinner last year as a sponsor. There was another adult at my table who related a story to the other Eagles at the table. He applied for a job & was actually less qualified than some of the other applicants. He got the job because he is an Eagle. His new employer told him he knew he could learn & do the job because he is an Eagle.

 

Ed Mori

Scoutmaster

Troop 1

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Look on most private college web sites--Eagle Scout is a big thing. They are not looking for just the "honors curriculum," but for well-rounded students. If you want to get into the big-name schools, you have to realize that they assume all their applicants have the academic ability. What separates them is what else they've done with their time.

 

Students doth not live on academics alone. However, a person who lives on academics, debate, Scouting and cross country, well, you've got a much better shot, even if they don't say so.

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But it is SO much more than just having something for your application or resume.

A boy who has been in scouting, especially an Eagle, knows about leadership, talking to adults, interviewing (board of review and merit badge work), team work, teaching others, perservance, service to others, independence. Plus all the things they learn from merit badges --- like the Citizenship badges and First Aid. Many of the merit badges introduce them to academic subjects -- chemistry, scholarship, engineering, forestry. They learn how to find out information for their merit badges, how to ask questions.

 

These skills will help them with academic subjects, dorm life, social activities, extra curricular clubs, scholarship interviews, and job interviews.

 

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In addition to colleges putting weight on Eagle Scout, the armed services award one grade in pay increase for an elisted man for being an Eagle Scout. A young man in my troop is getting this when his joins up this summer.

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Coming back somewhat to the original issue of this thread, retaining older scouts is difficult. If the program is exciting, they are more likely to stick around.

 

Concerning Eagle Scouts, I can't speak about college admissions, but I can speak somewhat about seeking employment. Over the last eight years I interviewed a great many new college graduates. I was always interested in what these young people had done in addition to studying, and personally had more interest in Eagles than anybody else directly involved in the recruitment. Of course this is the San Francisco Bay Area, and scouts are clearly politically incorrect. I even observed a few negative reactions towards young Eagles here. Sad but true.

 

I suspect that how the Eagle is viewed varies by region and the type of institution involved. I do like Mike Long's point however. Decorating the resume is important for getting the interview, but the skills and self confidence show up in the interview and subsequent performance. This is the correct response to youth who question the value of the Eagle.

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