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dfolson

How to address gaps in Eagle project

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Oh, and if the Eagle process is the sole responsibility of the scout I want to see all these helicopter parents with under 16 Eagles leave them alone and let them navigate this process alone and without a coach. We wouldn't have any Eagle under 16 then.

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How many Eagle scouts would we have if it were dependent on just the scout?  One would think that after 5 or 6 years of training they should be able to pull off the project all by themselves.  From idea, to proposal, to plan, to execution, to satisfying the beneficiary, to leading his team, to bragging about it to the EBOR.  This is MY project and this is what I did!

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The only "structural" thing that I can think of to guarantee a scout an eventually successful BoR, if that's what he really wants, is to remove the age 18 deadline. (Sorry to those of you who are tired of my soap box.)

Why not just extend scouts to 21? A really good 20 year old scout would essentially be an ASM so what's different. They still can't drive scouts around. Scouts would more likely stick around if they're having fun and that could be a welcome change from all us old farts. They'd leave when they're ready. It would reduce the artificial pressure you mention. And there would still be a time limit.

 

I'm not sure this really helps the original topic because the BSA would never go for it. But it's nice thinking about.

 

Anyway, your tired old soap box is better than some of the others.

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It all fits in with the convoluted rules of the BSA.  One can earn Eagle (a rank not of the Venturing program) as a  Venturing youth member, but not after age 18, and not if one is female.  One can be an adult in Boy Scouts while at the same time a youth participant in the Venturing program.  Unless it's Thursday then all bets are off.  It's kinda like the English language, none of the rules are really rules because there is an exception to every one of them.  But not on Saturdays between the hours of 6:00 am and 3:00 pm.

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Oh, and if the Eagle process is the sole responsibility of the scout I want to see all these helicopter parents with under 16 Eagles leave them alone and let them navigate this process alone and without a coach. We wouldn't have any Eagle under 16 then.

i disagree. I've seen 16 y/o's projects scuttled because of too many discouraging words about their plan. What really ticked me off was the boys who were showing the greatest independence and creativity were the ones getting brow-beat. That just didn't happen when I was a scout. Or maybe it was where I was a scout (more rural than sons' and daughter's district).

 

Half my job as a volunteer is coaching parents to back off.

The other half is simply telling boys that whatever project is on their heart, we will stand by them.

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i disagree. I've seen 16 y/o's projects scuttled because of too many discouraging words about their plan. What really ticked me off was the boys who were showing the greatest independence and creativity were the ones getting brow-beat. That just didn't happen when I was a scout. Or maybe it was where I was a scout (more rural than sons' and daughter's district).

Half my job as a volunteer is coaching parents to back off.

The other half is simply telling boys that whatever project is on their heart, we will stand by them.

I didn't say adults sometimes don't complicate the issue. But there's no way a 14 year old can manage the Eagle process without adult help. It's just too complicated.

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I didn't say adults sometimes don't complicate the issue. But there's no way a 14 year old can manage the Eagle process without adult help. It's just too complicated.

The process is certainly beyond the average teen. But we're not out to award average. Or, are we?

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I didn't say adults sometimes don't complicate the issue. But there's no way a 14 year old can manage the Eagle process without adult help. It's just too complicated.

It is my opinion that unless the scouts are trained from an earlier age, it would be very difficult for a pre-16 year old to pull off an Eagle project on his own.  This is why it is important to press for boy led from the first day of scouts.  If a boy joins up at age 11 and has 3 years experience of putting together service projects and/or activities with adult support, it is totally conceivable for him at 14 doing a nice job on an Eagle project.  However if no opportunity is given the scout, then an emphatic no would naturally follow.  But do adults encourage this?  Not very often.  No one is going to allow a TF scout lead on a one day service project of cleaning up the road ditches.  But should they?  Why not?  It's not the end of the world if he misses a spot or two and he will learn from his mistakes.  I have found that boys as early as 11 can handle these things.  

 

The best "war story" I can provide is a 13 year old, non-medicated ADD scout who lacked focus was allowed to run the popcorn sales for the troop.  He became so focused on the task that he did it all except for the signing off of the popcorn inventory which needed to be done by "an adult".  It was the most successful sale the troop ever did.  He hounded the boys to get out there and get their sheets filled up, he collected them and made sure they got into the prize opportunities for the boys, he and his buddies sorted them all out and then hounded them to get their money back in on time.  And by hounded I mean hounded!  He was almost too focused, but no one could argue he wasn't on task.  Was he ready for an Eagle project after that at 13 years of age?  Really close!

 

Too often adults "steal" away these opportunities for the boys and then complain when they need a ton of help with the learning curve at the last minute and bail them out.  It doesn't need to be that way if done correctly. 

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The process is certainly beyond the average teen. But we're not out to award average. Or, are we?

I've yet to meet a 14 year old Eagle that could navigate this whole process alone. Few 16 year olds could.

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Every one of my Eagle scouts navigated this process alone.   They ranged in age from 15 to 17, however.  But they were totally on their own, but could have done it earlier if they had focused more on advancement.  They don't seem to be in a hurry and spent time learning how to do and lead projects before they attempted one totally on their own.

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Every one of my Eagle scouts navigated this process alone.   They ranged in age from 15 to 17, however.  But they were totally on their own, but could have done it earlier if they had focused more on advancement.  They don't seem to be in a hurry and spent time learning how to do and lead projects before they attempted one totally on their own.

You sound like one of those old coger's that would drop off a group of 13 year old boys at the front gate of a 1300 acre ranch with nothing but some vieanna sausages, the water they brought with them, their compasses, and the distance and degrees to their next marker.

 

Man I hated those vieanna sausages.

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Posted (edited)

But if one uses bacon cheeseburgers as bait at the final destination, it's surprising how well even the 11 year olds do.  :)

 

One of my Eagles went on into the Air Force and was part of an airborne tanker refueler.  As training for if the plane goes down, they got them up at 3:00 am put them on a chopper and flew them out into the desert.  They handed them a map and compass and said breakfast is at 6:00 am.  No one in his group knew what to do, but breakfast was beckoning.  He got them back to base in time to shower before breakfast.  One team didn't make supper that day.  Musta used the wrong kind of bacon.

Edited by Stosh

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Dang you must have even taught that one about declination. Well done sir. And those bacon cheeseburgers will do it every time. My little ones (and their parents) will be doing their first course this weekend. They will have brand new compasses and homemade donuts at the end.

 

And as for the eagle candidate remember that while he made some mistakes he is still a kid that is trying to show he can be an effective leader. Not that he necessarily already is the most effective leader. I got my eagle nearly 20 years ago and still somehow seem to make mistakes. I always felt a lot of being an effective leader was how you deal with the hiccups when they arise. Shoot when was the last time anyone on here planned something that would be the equivalent of an Eagle Scout protect and it when as planned.

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... when was the last time anyone on here planned something that would be the equivalent of an Eagle Scout protect and it when as planned.

I have a vintage pocket door hanger that's been reminding me for 3 months that things don't go as planned. :(

But then, I've only put in maybe 18 hours max of effort ... A few hours every weekend.

I guess it boils down to: did the boy go through enough twists and turns to push through a plan?

Sometimes that effort doesn't get put down on paper, and that's why we need BORs.

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I have a vintage pocket door hanger that's been reminding me for 3 months that things don't go as planned. :(

But then, I've only put in maybe 18 hours max of effort ... A few hours every weekend.

I guess it boils down to: did the boy go through enough twists and turns to push through a plan?

Sometimes that effort doesn't get put down on paper, and that's why we need BORs.

No. What we need is a process that will match what the expected outcome is. No one goes through all those steps just to get to a BOR and have someone torpedo him and his work. The final decision MUST come when everyone signs the final report and either accepts or rejects the project as having met the requirements. Doing such at the EBOR is not only silly, it's unfair!

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