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Percentage of Scouts Who Become Eagle and Mean or Median Age

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In the thread about EBORs Krampus posted some numbers that interested me.  Coincidentally, I was recently asked by the parent of a Webelo II what percentage of our scouts became Eagle scouts and what was their average age when they did.

 

My response to her was that I don't track the percentage; then I talked about the three Aims and that Advancement is just one of the Methods to achieve them

 

I did acknowledge that I was a  bit intrigued about the question of age.  In my tenure we have had one scout achieve it when he was 13 and we have had plenty who were pushing their 18th birthday.  I told her I don’t think average age would reveal much, I suspect that if I look I wont find so much a curve as clusters.  I suspect there is a cluster right at the end of the 14 beginning of 15 year old mark and then another cluster at age 17. 

 

Krampus' numbers prompted me to take a quick look and here's what I found as a rough percentage. Our troop usually recharters about 30 -- 33 scouts, in the last 3 years we have had 9 scouts earn Eagle, so somewhat less than 10% or our scouts become Eagles.  Scouting.org says about 6% of Boy Scouts became Eagle scouts in 2013.

 

Determining ages will take some more digging, and I may try to do that this evening.

 

Anyone know the percentages and ages of your Eagle scouts? 

I could not imagine the district changing that. I think most of the units in our area would rebel. I also think we have WAY too many EBORs in our district to hold them all at one time. If you figure 40+ units with 6-12 Eagles each a year that's a HUGE number of scouts to review at one time.  ;)

 

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Sometimes it feels like ours lean heavily toward 17.999 :blink:

 

I've stopped obsessing over stats for which I won't collect a consultant's fee, but just guestimating:

 

About 1/3 of the boys who registered since Son #1 was in the troop earned Eagle. The age distribution seems to be in two heaps:

  • One around 15
  • One at 17.5

I was told by a previous scoutmaster that it was nowhere near as frequent an occurrence earlier, and it seems that we're starting to drift back to a more typical percentage. For example, son #2 was the only scout from his den to earn Eagle. We have more boys aging out at Star and Life. Our current SPL has no chance of making Eagle, but he is setting a fine example of a scout (much to the shock of those who knew him when he was younger).

 

But then again, we merged with a troop who was getting our cubs, and most of those are sticking around and setting a goal of roughly one rank per year, so who knows what'll be next?

Edited by qwazse

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Our average since our founding is just over 4/year. Over the last 5 years it has risen to about 7.5/year.

 

We are below the average for our area but our retention rate is one of the highest. We did find a high correlation between scouts making Eagle and parents involvement at some level within the troop. Nearly 90% of the boys who made Eagle had a parent who volunteered a great deal with the unit.

 

This is a fact we note for new parents eager for their Scout to make Eagle. ;) 

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Our average since our founding is just over 4/year. Over the last 5 years it has risen to about 7.5/year.

 

We are below the average for our area but our retention rate is one of the highest. We did find a high correlation between scouts making Eagle and parents involvement at some level within the troop. Nearly 90% of the boys who made Eagle had a parent who volunteered a great deal with the unit.

 

This is a fact we note for new parents eager for their Scout to make Eagle. ;)

@@Krampus to gauge what that means percentage-wise, what is your average of new boys per year? Has it increased or stayed the same.

 

I'd agree with the involved-parent observation (got two generations of personal data). Although sometimes it's the reversed causality. I did not bother with the activities my kids were marginally involved in. E.g., I loved music, they were "meh", so I didn't invest my time in those clubs, they loved soccer so to keep up with them I volunteered first as a coach at the Y, then as an announcer. Scouting was a true synergy so it wasn't too hard to get sucked in.

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Our average since our founding is just over 4/year. Over the last 5 years it has risen to about 7.5/year.

 

We are below the average for our area but our retention rate is one of the highest. We did find a high correlation between scouts making Eagle and parents involvement at some level within the troop. Nearly 90% of the boys who made Eagle had a parent who volunteered a great deal with the unit.

 

This is a fact we note for new parents eager for their Scout to make Eagle. ;)

How many scouts do you usually recharter year to year?

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Other than about 3 scouts, there is only one cluster in my troop. Technically you can get Eagle up to 3 months after your 18th birthday (so long as the SM signature is before) so my guess is our average is a bit over 18. Very few scouts can actually wear their Eagle award given that their coh is usually months after they complete the rank. We should just hand out knots.

 

We just had an ECOH for 3 scouts last night. All of them completed their rank after their 18th birthday by about a month, and it was all the same month. After his mom pinned the medal on one scout I joked and said he had to take it off after the COH. He looked at me with big eyes. I told him I was serious. He didn't believe me. His dad also told him. We finally told him about the Eagle knot. It was a fun evening.

 

As for how many get Eagle, a rough estimate is a third of scouts that join the troop earn it. That percentage is also close to how many parents help out or at least understand what it's about and think highly of it. But there are also those parents that push too much and everything blows up.

 

One of the scouts last night told everyone in the audience he went through 3 stages in his boy scout career. The first was fun and excitement, but he was embarrassed to tell anyone he was a scout, the second was indifference/boredom, and the third was giving back and pride of what it meant. That describes most of the Eagle scouts from my troop. I've learned there is a constant search for matching scouts in that middle region with leadership positions that are important to the scout. Anyway, one of the Eagle scouts in my troop that got Eagle when he was 14 doesn't have nearly the maturity or appreciation for what scouts is about compared to any of these 18 year old Eagles from last night. One more tidbit, another scout, that is currently in that middle phase, came up to me last night and said he was going to forgo track this year so he can get more involved with scouts. ECOHs are great advertisement. It was a good night.

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@@Krampus to gauge what that means percentage-wise, what is your average of new boys per year? Has it increased or stayed the same.

 

 

How many scouts do you usually recharter year to year?

 

We average in what we average out. That's by design. We try to stay at the same level of scouts years to year. Of course we go over or under that number sometimes, but on average we have been at that same number (with a standard deviation of +/- 5 scouts) for around 10 years.

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We average in what we average out. That's by design. We try to stay at the same level of scouts years to year. Of course we go over or under that number sometimes, but on average we have been at that same number (with a standard deviation of +/- 5 scouts) for around 10 years.

So you're on par with the rest of the nation, seeing a percentage increase in boys obtaining Eagle?

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So you're on par with the rest of the nation, seeing a percentage increase in boys obtaining Eagle?

 

Yes. Historically we used to average 2-4%, Now we are around 6-8%. Sometimes it is higher or lower.

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Can confirm, my troop had a big bump in number of annual Eagle scouts. Went from perhaps one or two a year to maybe 4-5 a year starting in about 2011. I can only speculate as to why this change took place. 

 

The bulge was not temporary. We've gone on each year to have 4-5 Eagles a year. I think the trick is actually our retention has improved but I don't have the data crunched to prove anything. My focus is program, not crunching numbers. 

 

I can't really say why the number of Eagles is going up nationally. I'm inclined to point the finger at the BSA overemphasizing advancement but that may be to simple an explanation. 

For my Troop, I think creating a system of Eagle project coaches helped a lot. A few of the more timid Scouts who may in the past have looked at the process of earning Eagle to be too big and too confusing were able to navigate the process and earn their Eagle with the help of a Project Coach. As I like to tell my Scouts. "If you have the desire to earn Eagle, and the willingness to do the work, we have the resources and experience to help you accomplish that." 

Unlike Krampus's troop, our troop's leadership (including yours truly) is full of bleeding hearts, so we haven't put any caps on the number of Scouts in our troop. Our membership has gone from around 50-55 in 2009 to roughly 75 in 2015. We should see a bump in Eagles in the next few years, assuming our retention of those Scouts was at least as effective as it was in the past. 

Sentinel947 

Edited by Sentinel947
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One of the scouts last night told everyone in the audience he went through 3 stages in his boy scout career. The first was fun and excitement, but he was embarrassed to tell anyone he was a scout, the second was indifference/boredom, and the third was giving back and pride of what it meant. That describes most of the Eagle scouts from my troop. I've learned there is a constant search for matching scouts in that middle region with leadership positions that are important to the scout. 

You are pretty much describing our troop. Most of our scouts' ECOHs are very near their 18th birthday.

 

What's interesting about the phases your scout speaks about is that we can see the phase by how he dresses. At first it's full uniform with a little embarrassment. Then the scouts kind of wears the uniform. Then about 15 he always wears full uniform with pride. Stages of life.

 

We did create a tradition that when National acknowledges our scout is officially an Eagle, the SPL gives the scout an Eagle Patch to wear until his ECOR. 

 

Barry

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I can't really say why the number of Eagles is going up nationally. I'm inclined to point the finger at the BSA overemphasizing advancement but that may be to simple an explanation. 

 

 

Merit badge colleges, First Class in one year, summer camp MB mills, troop meetings focusing on rank advancement rather than outdoors and fun, helicopter parents, watered-down requirements, etc.

 

I'd say there's your smoking gun.

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Merit badge colleges, First Class in one year, summer camp MB mills, troop meetings focusing on rank advancement rather than outdoors and fun, helicopter parents, watered-down requirements, etc.

 

I'd say there's your smoking gun.

In the past I might have been inclined to argue, but I've realized the truth a while ago. 

 

Now I just accept the system for what it is, and I try to make what impact I can. I think that's all we can really do. 

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In the past I might have been inclined to argue, but I've realized the truth a while ago. 

 

Now I just accept the system for what it is, and I try to make what impact I can. I think that's all we can really do. 

 

Agreed. In our unit we try to get the word out that we discourage such things and hope those scouts looking for that easier path choose a different unit.

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Our average since our founding is just over 4/year. Over the last 5 years it has risen to about 7.5/year.

 

We are below the average for our area but our retention rate is one of the highest. We did find a high correlation between scouts making Eagle and parents involvement at some level within the troop. Nearly 90% of the boys who made Eagle had a parent who volunteered a great deal with the unit.

 

This is a fact we note for new parents eager for their Scout to make Eagle. ;)

 

That's what we've found--the more parental involvement, the greater chance of making Eagle. I think it's two things: 1) the scout is more often present; and 2) the scout realizes that scouting is important to his parent(s), and much more by volunteering than just by saying it's important.

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