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Cubmaster Pete

Boys "Eagle Out" of troop

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It's been my experience that the kids who get Eagle before 16 usually fall in to that latter category (highlighted). They check the box and move on.

 

Certainly generalizations are be drawn anywhere. My point is that we need to be teaching servant leadership, stewardship and obligation to these kids. If they can make Eagle at 16 and demonstrate these traits, then great. My experience has been that they usually don't show these traits until there has been some sacrifice on their part. This usually comes after 16 when they mature enough to know what self-sacrifice is.

But here's the rub. That "sacrifice" that everyone puts on a pedestal is not required for Eagle. Master first class skills, earn a few badges, camp, be responsible for the life of your troop, serve your community. That's all we're asking for.

 

The method of Boy Scouting is "Leadership Development" not "Leadership" per se. (Leadership is a method of venturing, and I pound that it to my crew. By virtue of calling themselves venturers, I am expecting them to be first class scouts -- with or without the patch -- and start making something of this crew.)

 

So, trail to Eagle, IMHO, is merely the preparation for making the sacrifices that mature youth should be expected to make (i.e., tend your family, serve your community, develp your career.) The boys who complete that preparation by age 14-15 may go on to:

  • earn Palms (which require leadership),
  • start Venturing (which as I mentioned, in a good crew, demands every leadership skill they've acquired so far),
  • get their troop backpacking, canoeing, snorkeling, reviving 50's pop songs
  • do great work outside of scouting.

If you do not encourage boys to hustle up and advance (assuming they've told you that advancing is their goal) you deprive the community of well-instructed youth. What good is their marking 4 years of time "maturing", when your neighborhoods are in desperate need of well prepared youth leaders now?

Edited by qwazse

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But here's the rub. That "sacrifice" that everyone puts on a pedestal is not required for Eagle. Master first class skills, earn a few badges, camp, be responsible for the life of your troop, serve your community. That's all we're asking for.

 

Respectfully, I know it is not required, nor do we make it so. That's not my point.

 

My point was teaching stewardship, obligation and self-sacrifice which is all part of character development. Giving back to the unit is how that is demonstrated IMHO, so we teach them early and often this concept so we don't get the Eagle-out syndrome.

Edited by Col. Flagg

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... teaching stewardship, obligation and self-sacrifice which is all part of character development. Giving back to the unit is how that is demonstrated IMHO, so we teach them early and often this concept so we don't get the Eagle-out syndrome.

I guess the "to the unit" IMHO is where we diverge. I'll admit I may be biased because I don't see Eagles quitting more frequently than boys of lesser rank. In any case I've seen lots of reasons why scouters should not presume that their troop is deserving of older boys' time ...

First, the unit may not provide the stewardship opportunities best suited to the boy's talents. For starters, half his community (I.e., girls) may have had little opportunity to hike and camp independently with their mates monthly. Another example, his church youth group may have mission opportunities worthy of his time.

Second, after providing First Class skills, the unit should not have expended much effort in getting the boy to Eagle. It's not like the unit provides MB classes. The boy could have had friends who weren't scouts working on his Eagle project. Aside from reviews and some paper pushing, the unit really need not be bothered with advancement to Eagle at all. And, maybe by distracting adults with reviews, etc ... the boys will be free to lead. ;)

Finally, boys can be as much a drag on the unit by taking their good old time with advancement and sitting in the corner with their buddies, planning nothing of value. Getting those boys to move on may do the unit a favor!

 

Now, if the troop is providing unique service opportunities suited to older boys, physical challenges suited to older boys, and fellowship opportunities suited to older boys ... things for younger boys to grow into ... then the few boys who quit will be of minor concern, as long as they aren't robbing liquor stores to buy drugs.

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First, the unit may not provide the stewardship opportunities best suited to the boy's talents. For starters, half his community (I.e., girls) may have had little opportunity to hike and camp independently with their mates monthly. Another example, his church youth group may have mission opportunities worthy of his time.

Nitpicking your answer just a but, but no disrespect intended. Stewardship as a concept needs to be taught by the adults to the Scouts. The "opportunities" for stewardship exist regardless of if one is trained or not to manage and address them. So the concept and opportunities exist, but the importance of one person addressing them is what the adults are for. We help the boys realize the importance of stewardship by illustrating what the LACK of stewardship can do (e.g., narcissistic culture develops, troop fails, etc.).

 

Stewardship of the UNIT is what I believe an Eagle owes back. It's fine he helps his youth group, does outstanding stuff for his band, helps organize food drives for his school. Great!! Anyone THAT driven can find some time to help his unit. No one is advocating he's chained to the oar ("What service have you seen, 41?") for three years to pay back the troop. But cutting and running after his ECOH without so much as a month's help afterwards is not right either.

 

Second, after providing First Class skills, the unit should not have expended much effort in getting the boy to Eagle. It's not like the unit provides MB classes. The boy could have had friends who weren't scouts working on his Eagle project. Aside from reviews and some paper pushing, the unit really need not be bothered with advancement to Eagle at all. And, maybe by distracting adults with reviews, etc ... the boys will be free to lead. ;)

Finally, boys can be as much a drag on the unit by taking their good old time with advancement and sitting in the corner with their buddies, planning nothing of value. Getting those boys to move on may do the unit a favor!

I had to laugh about not expending too much effort after FC for an Eagle. Of course the unit does MB classes...at least we do. Why? Because the "colleges" simply hand out blue cards with patches attached it's that easy. We want our kids to actually learn Radio MB, not watch someone do it and get an MB at the end of a 4 hour session.  :cool:

 

MB classes, TLT, wilderness first aid training, Eprep activities, CPR/AED every two years, PLC advising, service project advising, counseling, additional leadership training, SMCs, BORs, recruiting, fund-raising administration, etc. All those things from which he benefits which fall outside of the Patrol Method, Boy-Led program he benefits -- arguably -- even more from AFTER First Class. Not to mention the counsel he gets during Life on his Eagle project. I won't even go in to the rides to/from meetings every week and to each event. Even with the boys leading, planning and doing nearly everything, there's enough going on behind the curtain that supports each Scout.

 

No, there's plenty spent on the Star-Eagle crowd. Less observation perhaps, but an equal amount of effort nonetheless from which he benefits.

 

HOWEVER, I am NOT advocating he pay THIS back. I am advocating that the concept of Stewardship helps to keep the boy side AND adult side of things flowing. Otherwise you end up with fewer and fewer people getting involved, fewer service projects, few fund-raisers, etc., because no one can be bothered. They think someone else always will do it. Our point is simply this: YOU be that someone else. YOU lead. YOU make the example and others will follow.

 

Now, if the troop is providing unique service opportunities suited to older boys, physical challenges suited to older boys, and fellowship opportunities suited to older boys ... things for younger boys to grow into ... then the few boys who quit will be of minor concern, as long as they aren't robbing liquor stores to buy drugs.

 

This is up to the PLC and the troop as a whole. But since this is boy-led it requires the older boys to have some skin in the game. One cannot complain about the lack of high adventure opportunities when they don't participate in program planning, PLC and event planning and execution.

 

To (grotesquely) paraphrase Col. Jessep, We have neither the time nor the inclination to put up with Scouts that complain about the activities that we provide, and then questions the manner in which we provide them. We would rather they just said "thank you", and next time help plan them,"

Edited by Col. Flagg

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I don't call it nitpicking. We're working from two sides of the same coin.

...

To (grotesquely) paraphrase Col. Jessep, We have neither the time nor the inclination to put up with Scouts that complain about the activities that we provide, and then questions the manner in which we provide them. We would rather they just said "thank you", and next time help plan them,"

:) Thanks to my venturers' shorter attention span. I just remind them, "This is a youth led movement."

 

Like I said, we don't have a lot of Eagles quit, so I've never felt we needed to voice this concern.

We have had a lot of older boys who haven't yet earned Eagle, but are slacking. Those are the examples we don't want the young ones to emulate. So, for example, the SM might encourage them to get involved in my crew. Hopefully, then, I can help them define more customized goals that may involve serving younger scouts or doing some good somewhere. This hazards them quitting the troop, but on the flip side, they aren't lounging there being a bad example.

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I don't call it nitpicking. We're working from two sides of the same coin.

:) Thanks to my venturers' shorter attention span. I just remind them, "This is a youth led movement."

 

Like I said, we don't have a lot of Eagles quit, so I've never felt we needed to voice this concern.

We have had a lot of older boys who haven't yet earned Eagle, but are slacking. Those are the examples we don't want the young ones to emulate. So, for example, the SM might encourage them to get involved in my crew. Hopefully, then, I can help them define more customized goals that may involve serving younger scouts or doing some good somewhere. This hazards them quitting the troop, but on the flip side, they aren't lounging there being a bad example.

 

I am moving to a Crew Advisor role later this year for a start-up Crew. I am learning a lot about the differences between what worked in Scouts and what works in Venturing. I learned pretty fast that the organizational capabilities of a 15 year-old girl outpace those of a 17 year-old Rockwellesque Eagle Scout given the right conditions. :unsure:  :blink:  :eek:  :)

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:)  Organizational skill is not leadership, it's management and females do better with that in the fact that they do better with multi-tasking nurturing/feelings than do their competitive counterparts.

 

Case in point: ->  when some kid gets hurt to whom does he run?   Dad who tells him to suck it up or Mom who comforts him and finds him a bandaid?

 

One doesn't need to be chauvinistic to understand this, it's basic psychology which isn't just dependent on one's physical attributes.

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You're in for a wild ride:

I am moving to a Crew Advisor role later this year for a start-up Crew. I am learning a lot about the differences between what worked in Scouts and what works in Venturing. I learned pretty fast that the organizational capabilities of a 15 year-old girl outpace those of a 17 year-old Rockwellesque Eagle Scout given the right conditions. :unsure:  :blink:  :eek:  :)

At first, like @@Stosh, I observed that male-female distinction. But that first class of venturers was pulled together by highly motivated girl scouts with Seabase on their mind.

Since then, every class of venturers in my crew has defied generalizations!

I think the crew really wins when it has a balance of youth from different groups. It really, really wins when venturers spent their Jr. High years being expected to lead their GS or BS troop.

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To the extent this thread is dead, I am resurrecting. Just to take ownership of that fact.

 

I am watching my second son go through the Eagle application process, ad got to thinking about the phenomenon of "eagling out". So I searched out the forum and found this thread.

 

Like the OP, the term "Eagle out" bothers me. But what prompted my wandering was watching the futility and frustration of the Eagle project and Eagle application process.  Between those two events, my son has probably had to schedule 15 to 20 meetings with adults for various planning, approval, and signature requirements. All of these meetings are with adults who have no compulsion to meet with him and over whom he has no influence and control. Many of these meetings were follow-ups for truly trivial things. LIke, not enough pictures in your project notebook and then later insufficient captions on the pictures. Silly stuff like that. Many of the meetings consisted largely of sitting and listening to adults expound on scouting for hours when he has homework or college applications or other things that need doing. For example, to get the Committee Chairman's signature on the Eagle application will take a meeting of at least a couple hours. As another example, when he came home from his approval meeting with the guy at district, he knew all about that guy's Eagle project, the guy's opinion that it wouldn't pass muster today, where he works, all the things he has done in scouting...you name it.

 

I know it's supposed to be hard. As my son said, "It's supposed to be hard. If it was easy anybody could do it." But I can really see how after finishing that Eagle scout project a scout might want to get to the things he has been putting off to do tham and won't be all that anxious to head back to the meetings again. Are we in fact burning out some of these scouts by making it arbitrarily hard? By occupying so much of their time with things that are really trivial? Or are these things not so arbitrary and trivial? 

 

Would love to hear if anybody has any thoughts on these points.

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Adults with big egos love to add to the requirements when it comes to Eagle projects.  I taught my boys how to avoid this by being confident and sticking to the job at hand.  Anytime someone got off on a, 'When I was a boy...' tangent, he would interrupt with an Excuse me, but what does this have to do with my project? 

 

What was interesting was when one of my boys entered the room for his EBOR, he came in, saluted the panel.  They didn't know what to do so after an awkward few moments they told him to sit down.  He said he wasn't done yet, gave the Scout Sign and proceeded with the Oath and Laws.  Then he sat down.  Then one of the panel members said, it was not appropriate for scouts to be saluting other people, it was for the flag only.  To which he quoted the page number out of the handbook that said else wise.  They asked him only 4 questions during his one hour meeting because the scout when on and on about all the things in scouting he had done relative to the question.

 

He's a fully trained SM today, including WB.  Show no fear!  :)

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To the extent this thread is dead, I am resurrecting. Just to take ownership of that fact.

(snip)

 

For example, to get the Committee Chairman's signature on the Eagle application will take a meeting of at least a couple hours.

 

(snip)

 

Would love to hear if anybody has any thoughts on these points.

 

Good night!  Two hours for a CC to sign a piece of paper?  I'm a CC, and that takes me ten minutes tops, including checking the i's are dotted and t's are crossed.

 

I agree the paperwork aspect of it is out of hand.  I see how it can be a good preparation for later (applying for college, scholarships, etc.)...but there's for sure room for improvement.

Edited by Chisos

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Good Lord!!! Two freakn hours!!!!

 

Our Eagle coach makes sure everything is square with the candidate before he meets with the SM. The SM reviews proposal and plan BEFORE the meeting with the candidate, then takes 30 mins or so to review and sign. TC Chair take 5-10 mins. District guys does 15 min sessions. Maybe an hour for all three signatures TOTAL.

 

I'd want to quite too after that two hour ego fest.

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Yeah. Eagle is much harder to earn today. I show scouts my three page (typed, triple spaced) project report and hand drawing of a table. And they are jealous.

Ban the workbook .pdf, give the boys a rubrik. Have them bang out a free form report in plain text, and you'll go a long way in making service project planning great again.

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Yeah. Eagle is much harder to earn today. I show scouts my three page (typed, triple spaced) project report and hand drawing of a table. And they are jealous.

Ban the workbook .pdf, give the boys a rubrik. Have them bang out a free form report in plain text, and you'll go a long way in making service project planning great again.

I agree the paperwork aspect of it is out of hand.  I see how it can be a good preparation for later (applying for college, scholarships, etc.)...but there's for sure room for improvement.

The workbook PDF was a major step to simplify the process. Maybe the current process is too much, but it's way way more simple than it was six years ago. If the workbook is a problem now, it's because of adults that want to add their contribution to making sure scouts earn Eagle ... and thus making the process more than it was supposed to be.

Edited by fred johnson
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The workbook PDF was a major step to simplify the process. Maybe the current process is too much, but it's way way more simple than it was six years ago. If the workbook is a problem now, it's because of adults that want to add their contribution to making sure scouts earn Eagle ... and thus making the process more than it was supposed to be.

Why did it need to be simplified?

Not for the scout. Most can text coherent paragraphs better than you or I can type.

Not for the parents. One boy asked me to help him with his draft plan at summer camp, which he was writing in a notebook. His mom was going to type it for him when he got home. I thought his handwriting was good enough.

Not for the beneficiary. They get stuck waiting for boys to log in and download before writing up manicured project plans. If they want paperwork, it's probably not NESA's PDFs.

Not for any of my adults. In these parts, we've accepted handwritten bids and recieved work well done. (The Mrs and I just lined up an Amish builder to do work ... all on a handshake.)

 

The reason I drew a table for my project report was because I felt that I needed a schematic to show the parts I purchased.

The reason I needed to type three pages was because it took about 30 scentence story answer the questions on my project instructions.

The reason I typed was because my penmanship was hopeless.

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