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Lodge 489

Scout "Too Young" to be an Eagle?

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The BSA program is designed to get a Cub Scout survivor to Eagle without ever walking into the woods with a pack on his back.

 

If an indoor boy loves paperwork and office manager theory, why not Eagle at twelve?

 

As for proven "leadership ability," how many Eagle Scouts have even one (1) night of what Baden-Powell considered Boy Scout camping? 1 in 10,000? 1 in 100,000?

 

Won't be tapped to be a NYLT Staffer? How many NYLT Course Directors experienced as a Boy Scout (or can even define) what Green Bar Bill called a "Real" Patrol? 1 in 10,000? 1 in 100,000?

Ok, well, ya, I kind of missed that point I guess...my bad

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If we do that correctly' date=' the scouts follow their own vision, not ours. [/quote']

 

That really is the salient point here.

 

I will disagree on the biology comment, however. It is true that biology (physical development) may be an obstacle to effective leadership (because physical size has an advantage), it can be overcome by how the boy handles himself with his peers. That really does come back to the boy, and to training.

Master and Commander is one of my favorite movies. What I mean by biology is that the human mind isn't really ready for independent responsibility until puberty. We are wired to run in groups because it is safer and leading makes us vulnerable because we are seperated from the group. That is why you can see such a dramatic change in leadership behavior after puberty. As for the sqeakers, privledge has it's advantages. Those boys were given the expectation of leading from the day they were born. Barry

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As has recently occurred in our council, a parent has worked the system through legal technicalities, threats, and troop and district changing until he got what he wanted, his eleven year old passed through. And, of course, even though he passed, the whole thing has simply left an acid pall over the proceedings. The boy has a lot of potential, and hopefully may yet prove himself; but I have a feeling even he realizes he really should not have passed; but he is too young to stand up to the parental intrigue. Bad example for the boy, and even a worse example for those that know him. It started in cubs where he somehow "earned" every loop and pin available, even though none of the other boys even knew the opportunity was being offered for many of them, and they were last minute by the, you guessed it, parental "leader". Moved into a troop at the absolute minimum age, then transferred soon afterwards when the leadership said he had not satisfactorily met certain requirements and that the "parent was not authorized to sign off stuff like in cubs". Buffaloed the new unit for a few months, then it again hit the fan, eventually resulting in parental legal threats and moving to another unit in a neighboring district. Again worked the system and got a board. Current unit had developed huge concerns, but nobody was willing to stand up to the realities of what went on and force a final challenge at National. Do not make waves is the norm once these things reach a certain stage.

 

The really sad thing is that the boy himself likely would have made it on his own and actually felt good about it; but you can tell he is embarrassed when confronted by those that tried to challenge him early on to "earn" rather than just get blanks signed and then forget, and to prove himself with his peers. Now he has little or no respect even from them. Still, he could grow into it, assuming he stays around long enough with his current peer level issues and the bad feelings generated on the adult level, he will have learned a really good life lesson. Of course, he will have to be able to confront the poor parental example to succeed. One can hope.

"Legal threats"? Yeah, right. Have your lawyer call me. When my phone doesn't ring, it's him.

 

My wise old Scoutmaster said before he retired: "Always go by the book, and you'll never be 'called out'".

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Interesting discussion. I have a 12 year son who is a Star scout and is on track to make Life Scout in January. He got Star 2 days before he turned 12. At the pace that "He" has set for himself it is entirely feasible that he will "EARN" Eagle before or just after he turns 14. He is extremely motivated and is setting his own goals. While I am a leader in the troop I have never signed off on anything he has done and refuse to. I will likely have to on some merit badges as I am the only on in the troop who is a counselor for them but they will be done with a group of scouts rather than one on one so to avoid any concerns of favoritism.

 

Some seem to think a youngster of this age can't possibly have it together enough to earn Eagle the right way. He is motivated and is a straight A student. He plays on a travel soccer team and last year asked to take the course to get is reffing license. He is a grade 9 ref and works games on a weekly basis to earn his own money. He was given Historian as his POR and has begun a project of putting together the history of all the prior Eagles in the troop. He has contacted (with moms approval) and tracked down and received pictures of the Eagles going all the way back to 1972. He has been able to obtain pictures for over half the eagles so far. He went through the training class and became First Aid/CPR certified rather than just do the first aid merit badge. The bottom line is he is very ambitious and has a goal in mind and is working hard towards that. Thankfully the troop leadership see that and wont try any nonsense of holding him back due to their own preconceived notion of when a scout is old enough to be eagle.

 

Our troop has a couple more that will likely earn Eagle by 14 but we also have some that have turned in paperwork with only hours to spare.

 

In my opinion as long as the troop leadership is doing their job from the beginning while the scout is working his way towards Eagle then there should not be a question of whether he has Earned it or not.

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I will have a 13 year old eagle if he schedules his Board of Review anytime soon. It depends on the kid, his brother is 16 and still only Star. If you have a highly motivated kid who does everything he's supposed to age should not be an issue. I've heard similar grumblings here, which is why you have to document everything. My son decided when he was 10 years old that he would make Eagle before his brother and set himself on a course to do so. I'd hate to see any child punished for being motivated and industrious.
"I'd hate to see any child punished for being motivated and industrious." ... Very well said.

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Interesting discussion. I have a 12 year son who is a Star scout and is on track to make Life Scout in January. He got Star 2 days before he turned 12. At the pace that "He" has set for himself it is entirely feasible that he will "EARN" Eagle before or just after he turns 14. He is extremely motivated and is setting his own goals. While I am a leader in the troop I have never signed off on anything he has done and refuse to. I will likely have to on some merit badges as I am the only on in the troop who is a counselor for them but they will be done with a group of scouts rather than one on one so to avoid any concerns of favoritism.

 

Some seem to think a youngster of this age can't possibly have it together enough to earn Eagle the right way. He is motivated and is a straight A student. He plays on a travel soccer team and last year asked to take the course to get is reffing license. He is a grade 9 ref and works games on a weekly basis to earn his own money. He was given Historian as his POR and has begun a project of putting together the history of all the prior Eagles in the troop. He has contacted (with moms approval) and tracked down and received pictures of the Eagles going all the way back to 1972. He has been able to obtain pictures for over half the eagles so far. He went through the training class and became First Aid/CPR certified rather than just do the first aid merit badge. The bottom line is he is very ambitious and has a goal in mind and is working hard towards that. Thankfully the troop leadership see that and wont try any nonsense of holding him back due to their own preconceived notion of when a scout is old enough to be eagle.

 

Our troop has a couple more that will likely earn Eagle by 14 but we also have some that have turned in paperwork with only hours to spare.

 

In my opinion as long as the troop leadership is doing their job from the beginning while the scout is working his way towards Eagle then there should not be a question of whether he has Earned it or not.

I do not like internal counciling of merit badges by troops..... He needs to go outside the troop for the merit badges......Please read the merit badge councilors training guide.

 

Very simply you are not using the merit badge program to its full potential in growing your boys.

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If he was not fit to be an Eagle those issues should have been addressed long before now. So this Scoutmaster has allowed 3 PORs and is just now having second thoughts. If he was elected to his PORs and fulfilled his duties to the satisfaction of his peers then what's the problem? We have a rocket scout in our troop, in 7th grade and is about to get his Life BOR. He is a good scout, very mature and very smart. I never seen one problem with him. My issue is the SM has not held him to a high standard for his current POR.
My problem would be with the SM who is subverting the efforts of the scout. That in no way fits in the scout law and is dishonest.

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While a SMC is neither pass or fail.....A SM can use scout spirit or performance of the POR to slow a lad down. But if a lad is gung ho then how can you fail him on scout spirit barring any behavior issues, which I bet the lad doesn't have any.....

 

As KDD pointed out.....it should have been done at either star or the Life position.

Fully agreed. Plenty of previous chances to address issues. Goal tending on Eagle Scout is poor form.

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I'm with Brewmeister on this one, we don't have enough information to know why the Scout is motivated to earn the Eagle so fast. I was reading the other day of an 11 year old who is going to an Ivy league college to become a doctor of something or other . The article didn't say if his parents are behind the boys motivation, I just assumed he isn't a run of the mill kid. Our job is to provide a program where every scout has the same opportunities to the activities as all the other scouts. If we do that correctly, the scouts follow their own vision, not ours. If the program is developed correctly, advancement and leadership are just two of the eight methods. The other six should keep the scouts busy and balance their experience in the troop. Since I have this T-shirt, I can say that a boy who is capable of earning Eagle by 13 typically has a lot of other special talents that a well meaning SM can tap from the scout. Still, my experience is the best a SM can expect is a one year delay. Also we can talk about leadership all we want, but biologically, 13 year olds aren't mature enough to understand the value of leadership. Maturity is really what is at stake here. Maturity of physical and mental health, maturity of character and maturity of citizenship. I'm guessing this 13 year old is not practicing enough of one or more of those areas of the program, or the program is failing all the scouts. Better check their camping program. Barry
But ya don't know that. 99% of eagles earn it at 17 years old and 11 months. Given that the BSA requirements set it up so that a scout "could" complete Eagle just before turning 13, means that there will be cases of a 13 year old eagle. Or even a 12 year old Eagle. And that's 100% fine if the scout earned it.

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Interesting discussion. I have a 12 year son who is a Star scout and is on track to make Life Scout in January. He got Star 2 days before he turned 12. At the pace that "He" has set for himself it is entirely feasible that he will "EARN" Eagle before or just after he turns 14. He is extremely motivated and is setting his own goals. While I am a leader in the troop I have never signed off on anything he has done and refuse to. I will likely have to on some merit badges as I am the only on in the troop who is a counselor for them but they will be done with a group of scouts rather than one on one so to avoid any concerns of favoritism.

 

Some seem to think a youngster of this age can't possibly have it together enough to earn Eagle the right way. He is motivated and is a straight A student. He plays on a travel soccer team and last year asked to take the course to get is reffing license. He is a grade 9 ref and works games on a weekly basis to earn his own money. He was given Historian as his POR and has begun a project of putting together the history of all the prior Eagles in the troop. He has contacted (with moms approval) and tracked down and received pictures of the Eagles going all the way back to 1972. He has been able to obtain pictures for over half the eagles so far. He went through the training class and became First Aid/CPR certified rather than just do the first aid merit badge. The bottom line is he is very ambitious and has a goal in mind and is working hard towards that. Thankfully the troop leadership see that and wont try any nonsense of holding him back due to their own preconceived notion of when a scout is old enough to be eagle.

 

Our troop has a couple more that will likely earn Eagle by 14 but we also have some that have turned in paperwork with only hours to spare.

 

In my opinion as long as the troop leadership is doing their job from the beginning while the scout is working his way towards Eagle then there should not be a question of whether he has Earned it or not.

BD, he may not have a choice. Not every district has a "dean of merit badges" to compile a district counselor list. I've seen this happen once: units maintained their own internal list of counselors. He may be the troop's only counselor for that badge.

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Give me a motivated 13-year-old Eagle over an 18th-Birthday Eagle any day.
Love it. Great term. "Deathbed Eagle". Just as appropriate as others using the term technical Eagle to diminish the accomplishments of a scout. Seems even more appropriate as the scout won't wear Eagle on their uniform except for their ECOH.

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The plain fact is that 14-year-old (and younger) Scouts have been earning Eagle from the beginning. If they pass all the requirements, they should not be held back. I will admit that a 12-year-old Eagle (which is theoretically possible) would set off my alarm bells as to whether he has actually passed all the requirements. I have never seen a 12-year-old Eagle, so the subject does not come up. In my troop I have never seen anyone make Eagle until he was past his 15th birthday, but that is not due to anyone being held back. In fact, until about two years ago the youngest Scout to make Eagle was about 16 and a half. (All of these statistics are for the past 10 years, I don't know about before that.) We have had three 15-year-old Eagles since then, two just in the past few months. Of those two, one was just re-elected SPL for a year and the other was re-appointed ASPL. We also have an Eagle as our JASM, though I think his BOR was either right before or right after his 17th birthday. That track record sounds pretty good to me, that they don't all just run off when they make Eagle. Of course we have our share of last-minute Eagles too, like my son who was 17 years and 363 days when he got the last signature he needed before his birthday, and was 18 when he had his BOR. But at least he was participating actively the whole way through, no leaving and coming back -- it just took him a long, long time to get his project together.

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As long as all the I's are dotted and the T's are crossed and the boy has actually fulfilled the list of requirements, he technically is qualified to earn Eagle. That being said, he is going to be viewed by most people as a technical Eagle, right or wrong. An Eagle with an asterisk beside his name. He may be an Eagle, but he isn't old enough to staff camp. He isn't going to be tapped to serve on an NYLT course or be a course leader. He won't be considered a serious candidate if he were to run for Lodge Chief if he is in OA. Heck, depending on just how young we are talking here, he may not even be eligible to attend a High Adventure base. Etc., etc., etc. He doesn't have the time, breadth, depth and maturity that most people will expect of an Eagle. I never, ever want to squash a boy's desire or spirit. that being said, an SM needs to have a sit down with a boy's parents and the boy as well and have a long discussion. There is the destination.......and there is the journey. The journey is far more important to becoming an Eagle than the destination is. A good SM will channel the boy's ambitions back into the troop instead of simply obtaining a rank. A good SM will convince the boy of how very important the journey is in relation to the rank. Just my two cents.
Not old enough to staff camp? Won't be tapped for NYLT? Won't be a serious candidate for Lodge Chief? May not even be eligible to attend a High Adventure base? OK... but none of those is an Eagle Scout requirement.

 

"He doesn't have the time, breadth, depth and maturity that most people will expect of an Eagle." Were that so, it could be because "most people" have expectations that come from their preferences rather than the actual rank requirements.

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The OP doesn't intimate that the boy hasn't earned his way so far. Maybe we're missing some details. If not, this could be the rotorwash of Helicopter-Scouterism hovering over the boy as the SM tries to ensure his scout experience is paced as the SM thinks it ought be.

 

The rank won't be diminished because a boy earned it. It is a rank for Boy Scouts. It's not a Ranger Tab or a PhD.

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Interesting discussion. I have a 12 year son who is a Star scout and is on track to make Life Scout in January. He got Star 2 days before he turned 12. At the pace that "He" has set for himself it is entirely feasible that he will "EARN" Eagle before or just after he turns 14. He is extremely motivated and is setting his own goals. While I am a leader in the troop I have never signed off on anything he has done and refuse to. I will likely have to on some merit badges as I am the only on in the troop who is a counselor for them but they will be done with a group of scouts rather than one on one so to avoid any concerns of favoritism.

 

Some seem to think a youngster of this age can't possibly have it together enough to earn Eagle the right way. He is motivated and is a straight A student. He plays on a travel soccer team and last year asked to take the course to get is reffing license. He is a grade 9 ref and works games on a weekly basis to earn his own money. He was given Historian as his POR and has begun a project of putting together the history of all the prior Eagles in the troop. He has contacted (with moms approval) and tracked down and received pictures of the Eagles going all the way back to 1972. He has been able to obtain pictures for over half the eagles so far. He went through the training class and became First Aid/CPR certified rather than just do the first aid merit badge. The bottom line is he is very ambitious and has a goal in mind and is working hard towards that. Thankfully the troop leadership see that and wont try any nonsense of holding him back due to their own preconceived notion of when a scout is old enough to be eagle.

 

Our troop has a couple more that will likely earn Eagle by 14 but we also have some that have turned in paperwork with only hours to spare.

 

In my opinion as long as the troop leadership is doing their job from the beginning while the scout is working his way towards Eagle then there should not be a question of whether he has Earned it or not.

BD, I would estimate that half or over of his merit badges were earned outside our troop. Mainly summer camp or badges put on at the university. The others were done in the troop but I have not been a counselor for any of them. As 00Eagle brought up there is no list of counselors in our district to know who to contact. There are some I know personally but not many. I have read through the training guide but just don't remember it frowning on doing them with counselors in the troop. Can you expand on the downside of doing them with in the troop assuming I am not his counselor? It seems to be standard practice with most troops around our area. There are merit badge Blitz's but he has not participated in any of them at this point.

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