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Percentage of Scouts Who Become Eagle and Mean or Median Age

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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.

I wouldn't say we discourage merit badge colleges (although I do personally) but it's more about encouraging the patrol method, high adventure and the outings over advancement as a whole. You know, the fun aspects of scouts. The advancement comes naturally if they participate in the program. 

 

 

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Yeah, we had all the "bells and whistles" when I was a kid. Called them MB pow-wows. Whatever.

 

I think there is something to knowing you have folks in you corner as you try to earn an award.  That could be parents, scouters, or Eagles whose projects you helped with and are willing to give you advise.

 

Maybe there is a little something to that monstrous project workbook. A little more structure.

 

My main concern: are we discouraging scouts who would never make Eagle from enjoying the program?  Sure, it's great to have a whole den of boys get the same bling. But I'm kinda glad that -- for the moment -- were back to a mix of boys with varying levels of drive toward that goal.

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I wouldn't say we discourage merit badge colleges (although I do personally) but it's more about encouraging the patrol method, high adventure and the outings over advancement as a whole. You know, the fun aspects of scouts. The advancement comes naturally if they participate in the program.

I think it is clear that Baden-Powell viewed advancement and awards as the way to keep boys invested in the program rather than the other way around.
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I think it is clear that Baden-Powell viewed advancement and awards as the way to keep boys invested in the program rather than the other way around.

It's clear to us, but it doesn't seem to be such common knowledge across the BSA. 

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My main concern: are we discouraging scouts who would never make Eagle from enjoying the program?  Sure, it's great to have a whole den of boys get the same bling. But I'm kinda glad that -- for the moment -- were back to a mix of boys with varying levels of drive toward that goal.

 

If a unit is focused on advancement then, yes, I think we run that risk.

 

If a unit is focused on FUN over advancement, then those boys seeking a fast Eagle go elsewhere.

 

Our unit has lost a handful (6 max) of boys over the last 8 years who wanted Eagle over outdoors. Fine. There are units that will cater to them. But the vast majority of our guys want to be outdoors. They may find other things that take their interest away from scouting, but that's going to happen with anything.

 

My biggest regret is a Scout who was a sure-shot Eagle, SPL and hall of fame scout. Gave it all up at 13 for "other stuff". He was just so busy with trying to make it in to college that scouting go in the way. Imagine that, being worried about making a top college at 13!!!! I wanted to tell him that where he goes to college does not matter when he's looking for that first job.

Edited by Krampus

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I don't know if this is sacrilegious or not, but the push for Eagle by 15 seems to be a mistake. 15-16 is the height of what we call the slacker phase and I understand that getting eagle before that will raise the numbers, but the scouts that make it through that phase seem to be much better scouts. They help out more, enjoy the activities more, the younger scouts look up to them more. I don't want to do the girl scout model and I won't prevent a scout from completing eagle early, but I sure won't encourage it.

 

@@qwazse said: are we discouraging scouts who would never make Eagle from enjoying the program? The only place I really see that is at summer camp. It's fairly well known and studied that kids learn best through playing. Scouts can ignore the rest of the advancement/merit badge push elsewhere (at least in my troop) but at summer camp that's hard, and summer camp is really important. Summer camp is primarily set up for advancement. It's not about playing. If you want to play on a canoe you have to sit through the whole merit badge. I'd rather see camps encourage scouts to play and then, if they want the MB, they can complete it. I know it's not quite that simple (scouts playing with rifles before safety instruction?) but the focus should be on safety and having fun first, and merit badges second. I don't see that.

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It's clear to us, but it doesn't seem to be such common knowledge across the BSA.

Nope, some at least seem to have it almost exactly backwards - that the program exists so that boys can advance.

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My biggest regret is a Scout who was a sure-shot Eagle, SPL and hall of fame scout. Gave it all up at 13 for "other stuff". He was just so busy with trying to make it in to college that scouting go in the way. Imagine that, being worried about making a top college at 13!!!! I wanted to tell him that where he goes to college does not matter when he's looking for that first job.

Well, at least he wasn't like one of our 1st class scouts who gave it all up for video games!

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The National rep at Sunday's Eagle Recognition Dinner said that of every 100 who join a troop, 4 will "earn" Eagle.  The percentage of those who stay at least two years would be much larger.

 

That number was 1 of 100 when in 1957.  Then, getting Eagle - at least in my troop - was both a bigger deal and less important.  Some will understand that situation.

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The National rep at Sunday's Eagle Recognition Dinner said that of every 100 who join a troop, 4 will "earn" Eagle. The percentage of those who stay at least two years would be much larger.

 

That number was 1 of 100 when in 1957. Then, getting Eagle - at least in my troop - was both a bigger deal and less important. Some will understand that situation.

I've heard the "4 out of 100" before too. I recall this article from last year which has recent rates higher. All time is 2%.

 

Anyone remember what change was made in 1990 to cause a full percent jump in 1991...and a doubling by 2005? Or is the record decline in membership part of this "increase"?

 

http://blog.scoutingmagazine.org/2015/03/30/what-percentage-of-boy-scouts-become-eagle-scouts/

 

EDIT: Compare the raw totals against the percentage increases, then compare against membership declines and you'll see why the % is increasing. It's an optical illusion. Since 2002 the deviation is roughly 4,000 eagles year to year, but membership dropped 3-4%.

 

http://blog.scoutingmagazine.org/2015/02/19/number-of-eagle-scouts-per-year/

Edited by Krampus
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Ever since I became a Scout in 2005, I've heard 4 out of 100. Not sure. I can't say I care particularly what the number is and whether it's above or below average. 

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Ever since I became a Scout in 2005, I've heard 4 out of 100. Not sure. I can't say I care particularly what the number is and whether it's above or below average. 

 

Agreed. In my area some scouters will use it as a benchmark to label your troop an "Eagle Mill" if you are what they think is significantly above the 4% "average". Oddly enough, the actually number of Eagles per unit should be more of a determinant in whether a troop is considered a mill (it that even matters). To my unit the issue has always been about the quality of the candidate, not the number or percentage.

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Agreed. In my area some scouters will use it as a benchmark to label your troop an "Eagle Mill" if you are what they think is significantly above the 4% "average". Oddly enough, the actually number of Eagles per unit should be more of a determinant in whether a troop is considered a mill (it that even matters). To my unit the issue has always been about the quality of the candidate, not the number or percentage.

Having seen over a couple decades the numbers wax and wane, but the quality remain the same in he same unit, I would suggest that there's no statistical way to suss out High speed low drag units.

 

You'd do just as well by judging the quality of thier coffee.

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Having seen over a couple decades the numbers wax and wane, but the quality remain the same in he same unit, I would suggest that there's no statistical way to suss out High speed low drag units.

 

You'd do just as well by judging the quality of thier coffee.

In the shadow of national that we are, the number of scouters that are WB, silver this or gold that, OA Vigil, etc. is very high. This is the good old boy network that drives most average scouters crazy. This group seems to take pride in denigrating one unit's approach to scouting over their's. You'd think, with such a large pool of "experts" from which to choose, there would be an abundance of UCs to teach those units that run afoul of what these guys think is the "proper way to run a troop" on how to do it right. Instead, they find it easier to sit at RT and make comments about how one troop is an Eagle mill because they produce 8 Eagles (out of 60) scouts every year when their unit produces 11 Eagles out of 90 scouts.

 

Yes, they are THAT petty. How Scout-like, huh?

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