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Older Eagles

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I follow the threads pretty closely and have tended to agree with concerns raised on the extremes of age when a Scout gets Eagle. I have certainly been biased toward thinking that the 17 1/2 - 18 year old Eagle is really being slid through. That was what I was seeing from our troop. The average age of our Eagle Scouts is well over 17.

 

BUT, I wanted to tell you about one of our scouts who has returned to the troop to work on his Eagle. He is 17 years old. He has all but one merit badge done and has all the leadership requirements completed. So basically all he has left is his Eagle leadership project. He came back to the troop, talked with the Scoutmaster about how he figured if he was going to do his Eagle project he'd better get involved with the troop so the boys have a clue who he is. He's not coming to every meeting (he's a lifeguard at the local pool so doesn't get off until our meeting start time) but when he's there he has been taking on the troop guide role. Last night he did CPR instruction with the boys to help meet a merit badge requirement and the 1st class requirement. He did a nice job.

 

Also, his Eagle project isn't our "typical" project. We expected a more labor intensive project (the Eagle doesn't have to plan much and the entire troop does labor for one or two weekends) but his project will require a much higher level of planning on his part. AND, he's talking to us about his project! So many of the other Eagles that I've had contact with didn't talk with the committe, leaders, or scouts about his project until he needed them to work or sign the paperwork.

 

I for one am pleased.

 

 

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Thanks for sharing a good story with us. I hope the young man has a successful project and continues with the troop after he is 18. Sounds like a very good role model for the younger boys.

 

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While I am impressed by this young man to come back and finish what he started, my experience that a lot of Scouts are waiting until 17 years, 9 or 10 months to get serious and turning in the paperwork on their 18th birthday.

 

I have served on my district's Eagle Board of Review several times, the norm seems to be for the candiates to be over 18 when we see them.

 

One thing that we as leaders should work on is to encourage the Scouts to complete the Eagle Trail at an earlier time in their Scouting career. Some of the reasons for this are that there serveral good scholarship programs available for Eagles to participate in, but several I am aware of requires the Scout to be in High School or a Senior to be eligable. When they are past 18 when they recieve their award, the odds are that they will no longer be in high school when the scholarship cycle starts.

 

I have seen in other thread talking about young Eagles, however, this issue gives more pause to me in my dealing with Scouts that I see in my duties to my Council. I appauld every Scout that obtaines the Eagle Rank, but I think we can try more to encourage Scouts to earn Eagle earlier so that more of the fruits of that rank are available to them.

 

I know about that there are a lot of the factors that causes Scouts to wait until the last moment, but, some can be overcome by encouragement.

 

In my own case, I was 16, a Star Scout, and spent good deal of my Scout time as SPL and holding my troop together. The last SM I was under, Carey, sat me down shortly after my 16th birthday and ask me if I serious about becoming an Eagle. At that time, we set a goal and 1 year later, I was an Eagle. I had the opportunity to participate in several scholarship programs, went to Community College on the one I did get.

 

It worked for me, and as for the Troop I am affilated with, I serve as Eagle Project Advisor, with the goal to get every Scout who wishes to the Eagle Rank. I have sucessfully gotten 6 Scouts to that point and 3 on the way.

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