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2015 - Over 54,000 Eagles produced

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This has turned into a funny thread. It's well known that National wanted more Eagles and structured the Eagle program toward that goal. But the discussion should not be limited to easier Eagle requirements because the plan for more Eagles was "A Lot" more in depth than that. New Scout Patrols, troop guides, First Class in First Year, and Venture Patrols were all part of the overall design toward more Eagles. The BSA wasn't looking at more Eagles as the ultimate goal; more Eagles is an indicator of success of the program design changes. 

 

So when we have these NSP, aged base patrols, FCFY and other recent program change discussions, likely some of the Eagle bashers here are in a since supporting the new Eagle program.

 

Barry

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Scouting magazine says there were 21,175 Eagles in 1960 and 29,103 in 1970. BSA membership ranged from 5.2 million to 6.3 million in that decade. So today, very roughly more than twice the Eagles with a third of overall membership (fuzzy numbers).

The 6.3 million number from 1970 includes 1.6 million adult volunteers, so the true comparison would be between the 4.7 million youth members of 1970 and the 2.1 million (including Venturers) of 2015.

 

http://www.allcountries.org/uscensus/443_boy_scouts_and_girl_scouts_membership.html

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Why are there so many Eagle Scouts in Utah?  The 2015 Eagles broken down by state generally seems to follow state population.  More Eagles were awarded in Utah than California, despite the population of Utah being about 8% of the population of California?  Really?

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Why are there so many Eagle Scouts in Utah?  The 2015 Eagles broken down by state generally seems to follow state population.  More Eagles were awarded in Utah than California, despite the population of Utah being about 8% of the population of California?  Really?

LDS

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I don't know about most of those 54k, but I just received a very nice thank you note from one of them. The program does work.

 

There are lots of bits and pieces to the program but a few are critical. First is high adventure. Make memories and they will return. Second is the desire to earn Eagle. Third is a culture of helping out. I use the second as leverage to get a scout to do the third. And then I get a really nice thank you note.

 

The numbers don't bother me one way or another. Most of the program changes don't either (except for MBs at summer camp). The graph shows a big spike starting in 92. Maybe that's more a reflection of society than the program. When I was a scout nobody really cared about Eagle. And consequently nobody ever encouraged me to be a better leader, or do my Eagle project. So I never wrote anyone a thank you note.

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Except for # MB's, # POR, # Service hours, and a project how does an Eagle differ from the First Class scout?  Then ask oneself how much of an impact do MB's, POR's, Service hours and a project really make?

 

I don't know about most of those 54k, but I just received a very nice thank you note from one of them. The program does work.

 

There are lots of bits and pieces to the program but a few are critical. First is high adventure. Make memories and they will return. Second is the desire to earn Eagle. Third is a culture of helping out. I use the second as leverage to get a scout to do the third. And then I get a really nice thank you note.

 

The numbers don't bother me one way or another. Most of the program changes don't either (except for MBs at summer camp). The graph shows a big spike starting in 92. Maybe that's more a reflection of society than the program. When I was a scout nobody really cared about Eagle. And consequently nobody ever encouraged me to be a better leader, or do my Eagle project. So I never wrote anyone a thank you note.

Two of them were Tiger Cubs that I was Den leader for--both 15 years old--one was my youngest son, the other one of his friends. 

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LDS

Do they have different (easier) requirements for advancement? Do they push scouting and/or advancement harder than other religions?

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The numbers don't bother me one way or another. Most of the program changes don't either (except for MBs at summer camp). The graph shows a big spike starting in 92. Maybe that's more a reflection of society than the program. When I was a scout nobody really cared about Eagle. 

Yes, when I was a scout in 60s-70s, most scouts held Arrowmen with a higher respect of stature than the Eagle. During the five years I was in the troop of 80 scouts, we had two Eagles. A lot has changed with both programs.

 

However, when I started back again 1992, there was a big marketing push to use Eagle as a big reason for joining Cub Scouts, not to mention boy scouts. I was so taken by the heavy push that I asked our district representative to tone it down on Cub recruitment night. I'm not sure why I was offended with the heavy Eagle marketing , but I was.

 

Working with curves and data is part of my job. The trend change in 1992 is more sudden than a reflection of a gradual culture shift. My opinion is the change reflects a planned intentional effort to set a specific expectation at the parents for our sons. Parents who eventually become unit leaders.

 

That is not to say that setting an expectation of Eagle is a bad thing. High goals don't mean bad programs. And I'm not sure the Eagle requirements changes really had that much affect on the increase of Eagles. My observation is that adults are more tuned toward an Eagle program than in the past as a result of the marketing effort. I never heard of an Eagle counselor, guide, ASM, or whatever the troop calls them when I was a scout. But today many troops and districts have them to help scouts on their path toward Eagle. It makes more sense to me that the rise in Eagle numbers is more a rise in adult interest than the change in requirements. I am not criticising one way or the other, just an observation.

 

My only concern with the higher emphasis of Eagles is that it has overshadowed the traditional priorities of the values and outdoors. I am a patrol method character developing zealot and national has made that more challenging in my opinion.

 

My problem with the criticism I hear of Eagles today is the admitted lack of respect for todays recipients. Disrespecting today's Eagle with terms like pencil whipping dilutes the overall reputation of the award for all Eagles, including my dad who earned his Eagle in 1944. I understand a discussion of the differences, but some folks seem to want to punish today's recipients for not working toward yesterdays expectations. I don't think that is fair

 

Barry 

Edited by Eagledad

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Congrats to the two of them!

 

Thank you.  One was my son, and the other honored me as his Eagle mentor at his ECOH.  They are good Scouts, and I'm proud to have been part of their Scouting experience, and truly enjoyed watching them go from First grade Tiger cubs to High School student Eagle Scouts. 

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Working with curves and data is part of my job. The trend change in 1992 is more sudden than a reflection of a gradual culture shift. My opinion is the change reflects a planned intentional effort to set a specific expectation at the parents for our sons. Parents who eventually become unit leaders.

 

That is not to say that setting an expectation of Eagle is a bad thing. High goals don't mean bad programs. And I'm not sure the Eagle requirements changes really had that much affect on the increase of Eagles. My observation is that adults are more tuned toward an Eagle program than in the past as a result of the marketing effort. I never heard of an Eagle counselor, guide, ASM, or whatever the troop calls them when I was a scout. But today many troops and districts have them to help scouts on their path toward Eagle. It makes more sense to me that the rise in Eagle numbers is more a rise in adult interest than the change in requirements. I am not criticising one way or the other, just an observation.

I think you have hit this one on the head. The reason we have so many more Eagles, is that it has become a focus of the BSA. With MB colleges, Trail to Eagle classes at summer camp, the emphases on merit badges, etc.. All this is adult driven and part of a push toward advancement as a goal.

 

My problem with the criticism I hear of Eagles today is the admitted lack of respect for todays recipients. Disrespecting today's Eagle with terms like pencil whipping dilutes the overall reputation of the award for all Eagles, including my dad who earned his Eagle in 1944. I understand a discussion of the differences, but some folks seem to want to punish today's recipients for not working toward yesterdays expectations. I don't think that is fair

 

Barry

I agree with you. I have met some excellent recent Eagle Scouts (and some poor Eagles "back in the day"). Each is an individual.

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Allow an Eagle Trek in place of Eagle project where a candidate plans and leads a patrol solo, no adult (I can think of at least 4 HA to do this) :)

This I agree with! But I would add the requirement: "Come up with a plan to avoid the arrest of the adults for allowing the no adults trek." ;)

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I would say "produced" fits right in with how National views rank these days.  The program seems far more focused on rank advancement and getting merit badges versus learning and doing than it was some years ago.  In some ways, it's good for the boys, their path to advancement is a lot clearer and seems pretty structured.  On the other hand, the requirements in merit badges seems a lot looser -- more of an orientation than a learning level of exposure - and the program is more of a mill than an institution for teaching and molding youth.

 

A lot of the new Eagles are great boys and I'm proud to welcome them to the ranks.  A lot of the new Eagles ... well, okay ...

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Eagle is something known and understood from those outside or movement.

They have no way of knowing if the qualify of an Eagle Scout today is comparable to one in the 60s or not.  I'm not sure I do.

 

I had always understood that a true goal of Scouting was to get the Scouts to 1st Class.  This rank represents that we as a program have taught the necessary skills of citizenship and civic responsibility (first aid, appreciation of nature, basic survival skills, etc).  Eagle became much more about leadership and personal perseverance and dedication.  As such, maybe we should be reporting the first class numbers as well, even if the public doesn't yet understand them.

 

For me, I've always focused more on retention.  When I reported to my COR last year, I could say that of all the cub scouts we bridged (which was all of them), only one or two (we couldn't verify one) out of 19 in the last three years had left the scouting program, which to me indicated that (1) we have good troops and (2) that we prepared our cubs well for boy scouts.  Separately, out of 50 or so boys, we tend to lose 3-4 a year for reasons unrelated to moving, etc.  So are we offering a program that the scouts and their parents value - to me, this is the real statistic we need, and nationwide, I don't think those numbers nationwide are currently where we should be aiming.

 

At our most recent bridging, we had a second-go-round den leader; we brought back his first den (bridged in 2012), of the 11 of the 12 of them that were there, 10 were still in Scouts and half were star or life.

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Meeting the requirements of rank isn't always synonymous with citizenship development, moral character, or leadership ability.  Scouting used to emphasize these ideals over rank accomplishment.  That has changed.  An Eagle scout that has worked on his citizenship, morality and leadership along with the requirements is different than the Eagle scout that has just met the rank requirements.  Both receive the same honor.

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