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andysmom

Statement of ambitions and life purpose

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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.)

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I don't know when it was added, but it is currently mentioned only, and briefly, inside the BoR requirement:

"7. Successfully complete an Eagle Scout board of review. In preparation for your board of review, prepare and attach to your Eagle Scout Rank Application a statement of your ambitions and life purpose and a listing of positions held in your religious institution, school, camp, community, or other organizations, during which you demonstrated leadership skills. Include honors and awards received during this service." (emphasis added)

 

 

 

What do you look for in a life statement?

 

I asked the same question. The advice that I was given was that the "life purpose" was a statement of how I see my life and actions impacting others around me.

 

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I may get flamed for this but this is what I do instead of using our council form that asks for Career Choices #1, #2, & #3.

 

I have the Scouts write an essay. Give them a clear format and tell them in advance the purpose of the essay is to make his BOR more valuable to him as a life counseling session rather than waste time asking background questions on awards. I tell the Scout:

 

1. Essay is NOT, repeat NOT, a justification for Eagle so it should be brutally honest.

2. They have to answer 3 Questions in the essay: Who they were. Who they are. Who they think they want to be.

3. Essay 1-2 pages.

4. 5 Paragraphs long. Intro, Body is 3 paragraphs with one per question, conclusion and body could have a 4th paragraph if they want.

5. Since most of our Eagles tend to be 2nd semester HS Jrs or 1st semester HS Srs they are at a crossroads right now. Reflect on the past six years and then look forward 6 yrs (4 college and 2 post-college.)

6. I discuss with them what a journal or a diary is and this essay is basically that.

7. I instruct them they are NOT to sit at a keyboard to type it out. Take a yellow pad and lay on their bed or go to a park for an hour and reflect on how Scouting has impacted their life the past 6 years and how it may continue to do so for the next 6 years.

8. They shouldn't start writing without first doing brainstorming and an outline - basically actually do what they have been taught to do by their HS English teachers for years but likely never do since they likely rush to get English essays done at the last minute.

9. I tell them to do it the right way since they are doing it for themselves and no one else. I asked if they have ever reflected before or not and this is the time to so; perhaps for the first time.

10 Only requirement, other than being brutally honest, is it has to be grammatically perfect. Everything I do with Eagles for Advancement is Life Skill related and I ask them if they know what a "cover letter" is. Most don't and I informed them that college, scholarship, and job cover letters will come soon and they have to be free of errors so unlike the English papers they have written the past few years this is their first real attempt to be error free.

 

I then have the Scouts email me a "perfect" draft. I only review for 2 things - errors and whether or not it was written honestly from the heart or not. I want and encourage them to have the courage to make themselves vulnerable by being honest since our BORs never knock down Scouts at their Eagle BORs.

 

Never had objections or push back; not once out of 20. Had a "tough guy" Scout early on put down he enjoyed reading and writing poetry. It was an eye opener for the BOR. For about half the Scouts, after they give me Eagle paperwork to copy and submit to council about half the time I show the Scout the council "fill in the blank form" and ask them if the time spent on the reflective essay was a waste of time or not. 100% of them said no and were very glad they took the time to write the essay. 100% of the Scouts follow the "letter of the law" but the great thing is about 75%-80% of them follow the "spirit of the law" and write some wonderful things about their lives, how they almost quit Scouts at some point but didn't, how inspirational Philmont was, how great it was to be mentored and rewarding it was to mentor as young leaders.

 

Yup, not a "requirement" and if someone balks they'd be fine. I know the rules on not adding requirements but also know my true job as a Scouter is to develop and prepare fine young men for adulthood and appreciate what they have and how they've grown. It works and the District volunteers who sit on our BORs really think this essay exercise is a good thing.

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Good luck with this. I was well into college before I could honestly answer any of these kinds of questions. I wanted to be a minister when I was in high school, went to college and took classes to be a music teacher, then switched to business, then graduated and went into seminary. I haven't worked as a minister for 25 years. :) I think at my age when I retire in a year or two I'm going to become a greeter at Walmart.

 

Stosh

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Yep, in fact there's an academic discussion that continues forever with regard to the idea that college students 'know' what they want to do with their lives. I am reminded (and MattR will appreciate this) of the old Woody Allen joke, "Wanna make God laugh? Tell him about your plans."

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