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andysmom

Statement of ambitions and life purpose

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There is some friction about our newish SM and our long term CC about the Life Statements of our Eagle candidates. The last 3 years or so we have seen a dozen or so scouts earn their Eagle ranks with atleast 4 more coming up and 2 applications sitting on my desk ready to be delivered to council this afternoon.

Our SM is in his 2nd year, very passionate about the program. a wood badger and staffer, a district trainer. He pretty much lives and breathes scouting. Our CC is going into his 19th year, has a bit of an ego, demands to sit on every life and Eagle BOR, until recently was the only person who was "allowed" to check Eagle references, knows the program but is a bit old school in his thing. His job requires that he travel quite alot which has lowed down some advancement since, as I said, he is the final check on everything and doesn't always respond to email.

 

The new SM is very literal when looking at requirements and believes the interpretation of the statement of ambitions and life statement on the Eagle Scout application should be left up to the scout. He feels the important thing is not what the scout writes but how he acts and lives. Our troop has about 29 boys. The SM is available for an hour before every meeting for help with advancement or SMC, as well as to have a place for boys working on merit badges, etc to meet.. The CC doesn't know most of the younger scouts by name, he isn't at may meetings and doesn't make himself available for BOR for lower ranks. He has been finding the Life Statements of our Eagle candidates "weak" and seems to want to impose some sort of standards. He expects the boys to show their "character" in the life statement. He has wanted to have some scouts re write them, something that the new SM is strongly opposed to.

 

I can't find anything regarding what should be included in the l9ife statement in the guide to advancement or on any national website.

What do you look for in a life statement?

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Don't expect a doctoral thesis, (as seemingly your CC does) these are teenagers we're talking about! Your SM is on the right track. There are no guidelines for this in the GTA. "Do Your Best" is the guideline here.

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... What do you look for in a life statement?

Sincerity, and a little bit of introspection. That sometimes may be tough for younger scouts. On the flip side, when it comes time to write essays for scholarships, etc ... they'll have a leg up!

 

Sounds like the SM and CC need to talk to your district advancement chair.

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I will talk with the district advancement chair, we see him fairly regularly. I will be seeing the council advancement chair tomorrow evening as my son is working with him on a merit badge and I think I will ask him as well. I spoke with the council Eagle processor about it, he said he just checks to see if there is one and he doesn't even read it.

 

Many of our more recent Eagle Scouts have been extraordinarily bright and have written outstanding life statements. Most of the scouts that he has been critical of are not academically at the same level, coupled with the fact that the CC doesn't regularly interact with boys of "scout age" (his youngest son aged out atleast 5 years ago) I think he is out of touch with the capabilities of the average 16 or 17 year old.

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Your CC is trying to "add to the requirements" which is a violation of BSA policy. He should be woodshedded as soon as possible. The only "standard" is that the Statement of Ambitions and Life Purpose be written "neatly."

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We Quakers have a "thing" we call a "Query", which is a question or series of questions intended to make one think about a particular topic or idea, especially as it pertains to one's spiritual life and how that affects one's living. I view this essay exercise in the same vein. It is meant to lead the young man to consider, perhaps for the first time, some ideas about his life and living.

If any question might be asked about this essay, the only one I can conceive of might be "did you write this yourself?" and then make no further response to him except "thank you".

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BTW, congratulations to the boys in your troop. When more than half make Eagle, the dynamic changes. It is a good indication that they are inspiring one another "to go for the silver."

 

It's almost a breath of fresh air when a boy ages out at a lower rank.

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""The society which scorns excellence in plumbing as a humble activity and tolerates shoddiness in philosophy because it is an exalted activity will have neither good plumbing nor good philosophy: neither its pipes nor its theories will hold water. ""

= John W. Gardner =

 

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"Life is what happens to us while we are making other plans." - Allen Saunders

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My older son's Eagle app was kicked back because he didn't include the statement. Apparently it had been recently added to the application (it isn't list as an actual "requirement", although I understand that will change in the next edition of the BSHB.)

 

When our Eagle coordinator (who also serves as a district Eagle BoR rep for other troops) returned the application to him, he quipped, "My life's ambition is to be Chief Scout Executive so I can fire the idiots who come up with this stuff." To which the Eagle coordinator replied, "if that's you life's ambition, who am I to argue?" Of course he though better of that idea when he actually wrote the essay.

 

But, our Eagle guy had the right idea, who are you to tell me what my life's ambitions are?

 

Personally, I've always thought of this as nothing more that a conversation starter for the Board of Review. That the second half is to include a resume-like listing of accomplishments and activities would seem to back that up. Then again, if the Board of Review members aren't sharp enough to ask the candidate about his future plans, we probably need to recruit better board members. I don't really see it as some big, hairy introspective process. If the Scout has the statement ready when I do his conference, I'll read it and make it part of the conversation. If not, I just make to check the box and make sure it's included in the final packet.

 

Your committee chair needs another hobby. It's not his life's ambition, not his Eagle application, nor is it his job to critique Scout's essay.

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<>

 

 

Yep.

 

 

Two Cub Dad's post has the right idea as well.

 

 

Now the issue is....

 

 

How do you get the point across to the CC?

 

 

I'd consider copying this thread and giving it to the CC, together with an invitation to visit these forums!

 

 

 

 

 

 

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