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KenDavis500

Eagle Advisor?

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Does your Troop have an Eagle Advisor? Why or why not?

 

I find many references online to individual Troop's Eagle Advisor but nothing from National.

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Yes, because most of our boys' projects are major contracts, and a little personal coaching from folks who do subcontracting work helps them to choose and plan effectively.

Sometimes, they just need someone to help them schedule their next couple of moves. Son #1 and DiL just did this for Son #2. Well, not every boy has that older brother to help with that sort of thing.

And the paperwork is ridiculous! Not every boy works well with it.

 

So, if you've got a scouter who can help a boy see the forest for the trees -- especially if there are more than 1/2 dozen Life scouts clamoring to complete their projects in a year -- it's good that the boys know he's their go-to guy.

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Re-reading your question made me realize it can be asking from many different directions ... For the duration of an Eagle Service Project. For their whole rank. Or, someone who serves the troop working with each Life scout to make sure they have a plan to earn Eagle. Or, someone sitting on the troop committee who works a plan to get as many scouts to earn Eagle as possible.

 

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But per a simple reading ... our troop lets the scouts work with any of the registered leaders as a coach or advisor (for the whole rank or for the project) ... or their parent or another adult they trust. We just make sure we contact that person and make sure they know the eagle process and will give good advice.

 

For the future, if it's not a family member, we'll make sure it's a registered scouter.

 

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KenDavid500 ... Please note that your question was excellent because it caused me to read and learn something I did not realize. BSA documents the project "coach" in the GTA section 9.0.2.9 "Eagle Scout Service Project Coach". BSA uses the term coach, not advisor.

 

http://www.scouting.org/filestore/pdf/33088.pdf

 

I learned that the district / council is supposed to assign a coach (whether from council, district or unit scouter pool) to each scout as part of approving the proposal.

 

BSA writes in GTA 9.0.2.9 paragraph six ... "Regardless, it is considered best for the council or district to designate one for every Scout who submits a project proposal for approval. The coach should then contact the Scout and suggest a first meeting, or telephone or video conference."

 

So ... it's "best" (not an inflexible rule) if a coach is assigned when the proposal is reviewed. Hmmm......

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My Troop has a handful of experienced Scouters to work with Scouts on their Eagles. It gives the Scouts a person to go to when they have questions.

 

As an project coach for Scouts in my troop, I'm there to help them with questions and figure out the paperwork. The work itself is all on them, but it'd be a shame for a Scout to get stuck because they don't understand the process or the paperwork.

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We have a Committee Member who helps scouts to navigate the process. He has a good idea of what kind of projects will or won't be apprved by the DIstrict and helps scouts figure out where the holes are before they submit their project proposal; he also helps make sure the scout knows how and when to interract with the District person who coordinates the approval process and EBOR. Any and every other leader, including the scout's parents, will help if asked or needed, but this person is the point person for the scout.

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As Scoutmaster, I make myself available for any questions about paperwork/bureaucracy. We have a number of Adults with a variety of professional skills that fit nicely with many different Eagle projects - the Scouts are free to go to anyone (including existing Eagles) for help as they believe necessary.

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We have them. They ask lots of questions of the scout. It's mostly explaining the process, which really is contorted. That project book is difficult.

 

We do it because whenever I ask an Eagle candidate if he's ever done anything similar, where he has to deal with the wide open nature of the Eagle project along with real people and their quirks, they always say no. This is where the "adult association" method really works well. There have been problems with lazy scouts and adults that step in too much but for the most part it's very positive.

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Yes, we have an experienced Scouter help the boys navigate the project and the final application process.

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Does your Troop have an Eagle Advisor? Why or why not?

 

I find many references online to individual Troop's Eagle Advisor but nothing from National.

 

We have. I'm about to be the next Troop Eagle Advisor, as I've been with the troop longer than anyone else (my oldest son finished his Eagle, and my youngest is in process of writing his project proposal). It's needed, because somebody needs to know the rules. For example, about a year and a half ago, (September 2013), I warned three of the four boys we had working on Eagle that they needed to finish their paperwork before December 31, or they would have to do Cooking Merit badge. Two of the boys heeded my advice, and were Eagle Scouts by the end of January 2014. The third didn't, and was delayed by six or seven months because he had to complete Cooking Merit badge (which wasn't one of the 50 or so MBs he had).

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There are two of us. I help the guys with the proposal Eagle app paperwork, another guy helps with more construction-oriented stuff, if needed.

 

We do not have the district-appointed coaches contemplated in the Guide to Advancement.

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No, my boys have never taken on projects that are too big that they need coaches, advisers, or whatever. Showing leadership doesn't need to involve other adults as part of the process. I as SM have been the only adult that the boys seek out when they have questions, but they could ask others if they so choose.

 

Of course my boys right from the beginning (Tenderfoot) start doing leadership projects. It might be a service project, organizing a hike, or whatever that by the time their Eagle project runs around they have many years of putting together a project on their own without any adult intervention. Yes, I have had Tenderfoot scouts organize service project for their patrol and do very well. I have also had 13 year old scouts do the troop popcorn sales without adults hanging around telling them what they should be doing.

 

I also have never had a boy take on a project that requires subcontractors.... kinda defeats the purpose of the project.

 

Never heard of a district-appointed coach in our council.

 

Stosh

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Very often I hear of Troops who have an Eagle advisor position, unofficially. This is typically an Assistant Scoutmaster who has a good rapport with the older Scouts. Also, our Troop Committee advancement chair is typically a good resource when it comes to filling out the Eagle application, service project proposal, etc. Personally, I don't think I see the need for a dedicated Eagle advisor. In my opinion, if a Scout wishes to apply himself and earn Eagle he should be able to navigate the process himself.

 

When I see a Scout in my Troop and I know he is interested in earning Eagle--typically learned through SM conferences, formal or informal--I give him words of encouragement from time to time. I think if there was an ASM who was constantly hounding a Scout to earn Eagle the boy would likely get fed up with it and drop it. Being there and gently offering to help is a different matter. Eagle-shaming is no good. (I mean beating Scout over the head with the idea that if they don't earn Eagle they aren't good Scouts.)

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Very often I hear of Troops who have an Eagle advisor position, unofficially. This is typically an Assistant Scoutmaster who has a good rapport with the older Scouts. Also, our Troop Committee advancement chair is typically a good resource when it comes to filling out the Eagle application, service project proposal, etc. Personally, I don't think I see the need for a dedicated Eagle advisor. In my opinion, if a Scout wishes to apply himself and earn Eagle he should be able to navigate the process himself.

 

When I see a Scout in my Troop and I know he is interested in earning Eagle--typically learned through SM conferences, formal or informal--I give him words of encouragement from time to time. I think if there was an ASM who was constantly hounding a Scout to earn Eagle the boy would likely get fed up with it and drop it. Being there and gently offering to help is a different matter. Eagle-shaming is no good. (I mean beating Scout over the head with the idea that if they don't earn Eagle they aren't good Scouts.)

 

I do agree Eagle shaming can't work. That said, I do a bit of Eagle boosting (and I will grant there is a fine line between shaming and encouraging sometimes). I have told more than one of my Star and Life Scouts that they are definitely Eagle Scouts, they just need to prove it to the rest of the world.

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My troop did and I assume they still do as I'm no longer active with them. We created the position somewhat in self defense as many kids in our district would get turned down on their initial BOR. This had much more to do with the district advancement chair and Eagle coordinator and lack of training and consistency. We always had volunteers on the EBOR's each month and knew the process. We had an Eagle adviser in the troop who would walk the boy thru each step. Don't get me wrong, we didn't tell them what to do, find projects, do the write up or anything like that. They did all the leg work, we merely looked over their shoulders and made suggestions on how to polish it so it would get thru the first time. It worked. We had one kid in the troop who chose not to avail himself of the opportunity and did it "his way". It took THREE EBOR's to get his project approved and TWO to get it signed off. Things have changed since then as our retired SM has taken over as district Eagle coordinator and runs a pretty tight, trained, consistent and efficient ship. That being said, I do sit on EBOR's every month and I'm shocked at what some of the boys bring to us that their SM and CC have signed off on. An adviser is a good thing to help a boy learn how to put his project together and present it.

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How much leadership is supposed to be demonstrated in the Eagle paperwork? I'm thinking if it takes multiple times to make a proposal then there are expectations beyond the requirements going on. If a boy is totally capable to leading a major project, but has been denied because of the paperwork, it's not the boy's fault.

 

We had a boy in the council who had difficulty with reading and writing, so he made his proposal via video. SM asked him the questions on the form and he answered them verbally. The committee turned him down. Needless to say the backlash straightened things out rather quickly and the boy went on to do a good job on his project. One must be careful that one does not add to the requirements. After all this is not governmental grant writing here, it's a young man doing his best to get an opportunity to show his leadership abilities. Last time I checked the ability to read and write was not necessary on the resume of a true leader.

 

Stosh

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