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?? behavior - how common?

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I need to vent this because it breaks my heart and I am wondering if things like this are going on everywhere or if it is unique to our area.


Many, many scouters in our area just don't live up to the Oath and Law. Adult leaders brag about cussing out teachers, the principal and the administration; Eagle scouts give speeches at EBORs about how Eagle doesn't really mean anything in the real world and that Eagle Scouts, like everyone else, do drugs, get drunk and go to jail; Eagle scouts get girls pregnant out of wedlock and don't marry them; Eagle scouts are suspended from high school for bullying; Eagle scouts are posting pics on FB that show underage drinking and partying with girls dancing on stripper poles...

there are so many more examples of negative behaviors of scouts and scouters in our area.


Then people wonder why scouts and scouting have a bad reputation and numbers in our area are down.

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I imagine this is a very small percentage of the Eagle Scouts in your area. When you get enough folks doing anything, including become Eagle Scouts, things are going to happen. Does it make it right, no, but it's going to happen. I suspect the things you list happen are done much less frequently by Eagle Scouts than by non Eagle Scouts, or even non Scouts in general.


If these things are all happening in one Troop, perhaps it's just a bad Troop.


Since I don't know your specific cases, I can't hazard a guess as to whether there is something more going on.




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You didn't ask a question, except behavior - how common? There is various behavior, I hope bad behavior is not very common, and more the rarity. I hope good behavior is the normal status, with few errs in judgement bahavior. At least that is my view.


I discuss similar topics with fellow Scouting adults every so often. Not to discourage any past or potential Eagles.


I state Eagle Scout and Venturing Silver demonstrate what a youth can do in their own future. At least once they've stayed on a very narrow trail demonstrating independent skills, leadership skills, and citizenship, character and fitness traits. From that "trails end" they can go off on many new paths in their adult lives. Many will go on to do great things, their adult path may be a little easier for them to stay on tasks, they will be respected members of the community, if not community leaders. But there will be some Eagles and Silvers, that will be in jail, that will become corrupt. Chances are, from the narrow trails end, the majority with follow a more ethical path.


Then in comparison, I've stated. There will be any regular youth that had a difficult time, educational drop outs, minor crime, angry and hostile. Their future path will not be so easy, but a few will struggle to reform and make something of themselves as an adult. Chances and percentages are that many will continue down a conflicted path, but just a few will acknowledge their past and make themselves better.


Unfortunately, we cannot precisely predict the path any specific youth Eagle Scout or Venturing Silver will take. But I believe there is enough evidence to show most Eagles/Silvers are respected (while a few stray very far from the path), and most difficult youth regretfully become damaged adults (while a few become responsible adults).


Other friends will comment. The Eagle Scout and Venturing Silver is like a school/college diploma. Looks great on the wall, but what is the Scout going to do with it? Only that youth can decide.


The best a parent, mentor or Scout leader can do, is illustrate the benefits of staying on a positive and moral path, and show them where their own journey begins.


Scouting Forever and Venture On!

Crew21 Adv

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I agree, it's probably a small percent of the total scouter/Eagle scout population.


But when there are shenanigans in that demographic, it's obvious and runs counter to the BSA's image.


When I was a scout, I recall a fellow Eagle, an adult, who owned a mudwrestling bar in our town. He was active as a youth, but not as an adult. Talking with him one day (he stopped by the summer camp to visit old friends), he said he prided himself on having the best mud for wrestling...no sticks or rocks. And yes, there was an issue with some bounced checks that resulted in his temporary stay in the city jail, but it was really a misunderstanding and he was sure it would be cleared up.


If there is anything positive in all this, I think many scouts know, instinctively, that if their scouters misbehave, it's not something to be proud of. Yes, there will always be a few scouts that will think "cool!" But we don't give the youth enough credit for having a moral compass. And given the opportunity to express their thoughts, I think they are usually correct, and quite perceptive.


I also recall (in the '70s) a SM and ASM who regularly brought beer on campouts. One ASM brought his girl friend on a campout; she had a penchant for short skirts, as I recall.


Yes, the scouts in all five patrols chatted about this. But we knew the leaders shouldn't be doing that. No one had to tell us that.


Eagles run the gamut. Earning the rank is not a conferment of knighthood, nor sainthood, nor is it a coronation. Eagles can stray, and some just bluffed their way thru the program to get the rank. But the vast majority try to do the right thing. That much is true.

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Eaglemom2b, for a long time now I've denied the existence of hell. But I'm beginning to have doubts reading your list of things Eagles are doing. ;) Seriously, if all that stuff is happening around your area I have to wonder that you can eek out a life at all.


To help balance things, I can point you to Eagles who complete really demanding college degrees, who go on to become doctors or (horrors!) attorneys, or (even worse) scientists like me. You probably will even find Eagles devoted to public service or missionary work.


I try to remind the Eagles I assist on their path, that Eagle is a personal accomplishment, not a club. Every Eagle is unique and the award itself is almost irrelevant, compared with the sense of duty and drive and initiative and finally, accomplishment...that the boy accumulates or develops along that path. Every Eagle is different and some realize the full benefit of the experience for the rest of their lives. For others, it is merely an award given for having checked off the proper boxes on a form. But no individual should feel that they are necessarily associated with the success or failure of other individuals who happen to have the same award. The 'award' is an outward thing viewed superficially by other people. The 'reward' is an inner thing that does not depend on outward appearances.

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We are in a small rural area, less than 40,000 in the county. These boys represent a significant portion of the last 3 year's of Eagle classes (from 3 different troops), so maybe it is just this particular cohort.


Basement - I know they are people and I don't expect perfect behavior 100% of the time.

Heck , I don't expect it the majority of the time. I did expect some sense of honor, though, a maybe a little commonsense, esp. when these boys are connected to Scouting pages on FB and every other member of these groups can see what they are posting and doing.


It makes me think of the thread about the relevance of scouting. If all we are going to produce are men and boys who are expert campers, hikers, climbers and kayakers - in essence, great outdoorsmen - but who don't uphold the other values, then what's the point? We are no different from 4H or other organizations.


Maybe I expect more from the pledge to be 'morally straight' than I should.

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Our youth disappoint us, each generation looks down on the one that follows how poorly they are behaved or promiscuous they are.


Have you made a phone call to the young mens parents about the facebook stuff??? Maybe they don't know.


But scouting is no replacement for a parent.

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From an Eagle who has developed a penchant for cussing ... I made a pact with my youth, they have the right to call me on every offense just as I presume I have the right to call them. Humility stings, but it helps.


Regarding those speeches that point out the "bad" Eagles. Why are they pointing it out? Why don't they also point out the "bad" Tenderfoots, Football Captains who never were in scouts, non-scout class presidents, etc ...? Because these speakers have already "marked" Eagles for something more noble.


Getting an award like this doesn't make you a saint. It just makes people expect more of you -- sometimes more than you can possibly give.


So, if an Eagle's wasting in jail, he's still expected to dust himself off and somehow make life a little more tolerable for his cellmates and the guards and the wardens. If he's angry with the school or mayor or governor or president, he's still expected to dig deep and express himself courteously. If he's gawking at someone else's spouse, he's expected to snap out of it and direct his attention elsewhere. If he can't do it on his own he has to hunt down the pastor or counselor or group of guys who will help him or otherwise wrestle with his Maker until he does it anyway.


The badge won't help him do that. But the expectations that people have of him might.

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Because I'm in Scouting, and only because I'm in Scouting I know quite a few Eagle Scouts, not necessarily from my Troop. I'm going to say 20 - 25 just as a representative guess.

Now that is 20-25 Eagles out of 667(3% of all Scouts earning Eagle)-833 or 20-25 of 2000-2500(1% of all Scouts earning Eagle).

Of the 20-25 I know there's only 2 who couldn't borrow my car just by asking, and 1 of those is still 15.

Of the rest of the Scouts, there's only 2 I would hand the keys to, 1 of them is mine.


Of all the Scouts(not just the Eagles) there's one that had drug charges, but worked with the system and only did parole time. I know of no girlfriend pregnancies in the group, I know of no other criminal charges. In my locality I think a great predictor of High School graduation is involvement in Scouting - but it is empirical, I don't have data to back it up - I also don't know of ANY Scouts who failed to graduate.


I think Eaglemom2b MAY be seeing a local effect or just a cadre effect. But, I like the view from my Scout hut.

May it ever be so, and may the Sun rise over yours.

YiS, the Gunny.

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The real problem is the belief that "Eagle Scouts" are "better than thou".


Eagle Scout is no guarantee. People are people. Some are angels and some are hell raisers. And today's angels can be next month's hell raisers. ANd today's hell raisers might be tomorrow's leaders, ministers and life savers.


My favorite story is from two local scout leaders than have been in scouts their whole life. If you get to know them, you will hear stories of the 1960s when they were Eagle Scouts driving to OA events. They'd arrive at conclaves with the back of their car covered in mud after spinning donuts in local farmer's fields. They were Eagle Scouts, but no angels.


It's not about making perfect people. It's about giving youth tools to deal with life and to hopefully make good choices.




How common? Eagle Scouts are 5% better than the average kid. I don't know.

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