Jump to content
Stosh

Just wonderin'

Recommended Posts

True.

 

But a troop that allows a somewhat active Scout to barely complete the minimum set of requirements to become Eagle does not strengthen the Eagle or Scouting brand. Such Scouts are the Scouting equivalent of bench-warmers. They still show up, do the bare minimum and yet still get the ultimate prize...many times with mom or dad bulldozing the way for them.

I am as disinterested in the Eagle or Scouting brand as it is possible to be.  It is not one of my goals to strengthen any brand, nor is it one of my goals to weaken it.  I don't care what impression people have about what it means to be an Eagle Scout.  I also don't care whether any, all, or none of my scouts do or do not make Eagle, and I am vocal about that at every opportunity I can be, with parents, and more importantly one on one with scouts.  If you join our troop and come camping with us you will have all the opportunity you need to advance, if that's what you want to do.  You are just as welcome to come camping with us and not advance.  I believe any time a kid is camping with us he is spending his time better than almost any alternative choice he has.

 

My goal is to use our program to help each kid that joins to be a significantly better citizen, family member, and part of society than he would have been absent my efforts.  The brand I care about is that individual.

  • Upvote 3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Apples and oranges to me. Teams makes choices for individuals on the team to benefit the performance of the whole team. The Eagle is an individual accomplishment that doesn't require a team to succeed. Scouting has always had the advantage that individuals can set and work toward their own personal goals within set published requirements. Loan Scouts is an example of that advantage.

 

A few thoughts:

  • Teams select people that first attend practices and other training sessions. If you don't do that you can't get any further. I'd like to see troops do this

     

  • I think Eagle is partially an individual requirement. There's a whole host of people who play a part in that "individual" accomplishment. It may not be an official team effort, but it is like a NASCAR driver winning. The driver gets the glory, but without the pit crew, pit boss and a host of supporting folks, he wouldn't make it one lap.

     

  • I'd have no problem with a highly active Scout who does not advance. That's my "recreational" Scout. Love them. They tend to have the most fun. I also have no problem with the highly active Scout who advances like Patton on Red Bull. They tend to show others what's possible...as long as they are doing it without parents flying air cover too much.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hmm, I have never been one to promote Eagle as an individual accomplishment, the Scout Law mandates, "help other people at all times." One doesn't attain Eagle of any worth if it is for just one's individual gain. Real Eagles lead (and help other people) at all times. One needs other people in order to have followers.

  • Upvote 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

"advance like Patton on Red Bull" - awesome visual! 

Edited by KenD500
  • Upvote 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hmm, I have never been one to promote Eagle as an individual accomplishment, the Scout Law mandates, "help other people at all times." One doesn't attain Eagle of any worth if it is for just one's individual gain. Real Eagles lead (and help other people) at all times. One needs other people in order to have followers.

The Scout Law is: “ A Scout is Trustworthy, Loyal, Helpful, Friendly, Courteous, Kind, Obedient, Cheerful, Thrifty, Brave, Clean, and Reverent.

 

The Scout Oath is: On my honor I will do my best to do my duty to God and my country and to obey the Scout Law; to help other people at all times; to keep myself physically strong, mentally awake, and morally straight.

 

 

The Scout Oath mandates the individual scout (I) to help others at all times. The Scout Law gives the individual Scout (A Scout is)  gives the scout the outward traits to act toward others.

 

Guiding scouts individually toward their personal dream and developing personal skills for reaching their dream is a lot more challenging than pushing a team of scouts toward the one Scoutmaster's dream. 

 

Barry

  • Upvote 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Doesn't a scout have to fulfill positions of responsibility to earn Eagle?  Where he leads other scouts or performs duties to support the troop?  Lead others during service projects?

 

Pursuing the rank may be an individual goal but unless he's a Lone Scout, he's going to have work and play well with others...if he earns Eagle fair and square, that is.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Doesn't a scout have to fulfill positions of responsibility to earn Eagle?  Where he leads other scouts or performs duties to support the troop?  Lead others during service projects?

 

Pursuing the rank may be an individual goal but unless he's a Lone Scout, he's going to have work and play well with others...if he earns Eagle fair and square, that is.

 

Exactly. But there are both individual and team elements in Scouting; hence the NASCAR driver analogy.

 

The driver gets the glory (Eagle), but realizes that without the pit crew (troop), pit boss (SM), sponsors (parents/CO) and fans (all others that supported him) he'd have gotten no where.

  • Upvote 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Exactly. But there are both individual and team elements in Scouting; hence the NASCAR driver analogy.

 

The driver gets the glory (Eagle), but realizes that without the pit crew (troop), pit boss (SM), sponsors (parents/CO) and fans (all others that supported him) he'd have gotten no where.

I'm tracking.

 

The role of quarterback comes to mind as well.  Lots of glory, but without blockers he's nothing but a tackling dummy.

  • Upvote 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

True.

 

But a troop that allows a somewhat active Scout to barely complete the minimum set of requirements to become Eagle does not strengthen the Eagle or Scouting brand. Such Scouts are the Scouting equivalent of bench-warmers. They still show up, do the bare minimum and yet still get the ultimate prize...many times with mom or dad bulldozing the way for them.

 

I remember reading somewhere that one cannot add or subtract from the requirements so doing the bare minimum is meeting the standards set.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm tracking.

 

The role of quarterback comes to mind as well.  Lots of glory, but without blockers he's nothing but a tackling dummy.

My oldest son was part of the O-line in freshman and JV football.  When they mess up, everybody yells at them. When they don't mess up, the quarterback is doing a great job.  The O-line also never gets their names called, as do almost everybody else on the field. The D-line gets recognition for tackles. The receivers/running backs for moving the ball.  The O-line is the ultimate team player.  

  • Upvote 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I remember reading somewhere that one cannot add or subtract from the requirements so doing the bare minimum is meeting the standards set.

 

Correct. And showing up to football practice every day is meeting the minumum, but that does not guarantee a starting role or even the right to play.

 

The point being that Scouts is one of the only things I can think of where you can achieve the pinnacle of the program doing just the bare minimum. Even attendance in Scouting is not required, so in effect one could meet the "alternate test" in the GTA for showing activity, complete the bare minimum and still make Eagle. Can't do that in any other program I am aware of.

  • Upvote 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Correct. And showing up to football practice every day is meeting the minumum, but that does not guarantee a starting role or even the right to play.

 

The point being that Scouts is one of the only things I can think of where you can achieve the pinnacle of the program doing just the bare minimum. Even attendance in Scouting is not required, so in effect one could meet the "alternate test" in the GTA for showing activity, complete the bare minimum and still make Eagle. Can't do that in any other program I am aware of.

 

It's a little more complicated than that, isn't it? Because the bare minimum for Eagle Scout is probably the equivalent of a starter role in a sport. Look at how many kids start scouting that chose to not even do the "bare minimum." If the bare minimum was just showing up, we would all have troops full of eagles. Hell, I'd be an eagle scout too but no such luck. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Even if the requirements were increased, successful completion of them would still be meeting the bare minimum. The only difference is defining what is considered the minimum. To equate this with making a team or playing time does not compute since there is no limit to how many scouts one can have in their troop, or go on outings. Perhaps if some adventure was only available to the top 6 elite scouts in a troop, then there would be a comparison. Often scouts and scouters will cry foul when a "ringer" patrol shows up at a camporee and wins all the events. I suppose that patrol was made up of those elite scouts who did more than the minimum, yet that is discouraged. /RandomStreamOfThoughts

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

It's a little more complicated than that, isn't it? Because the bare minimum for Eagle Scout is probably the equivalent of a starter role in a sport. Look at how many kids start scouting that chose to not even do the "bare minimum." If the bare minimum was just showing up, we would all have troops full of eagles. Hell, I'd be an eagle scout too but no such luck.

 

You can make Eagle, or any rank, by using the "alternative test" in the GTA 4.2.3.1. Which means, you can have an Eagle not show up to ANY meetings and such, yet still fulfill their requirements for service and camping elsewhere, as long as the latter is under the auspices of Scouting. 

 

I am not talking about the Eagle who shows up to the troop every once in a while which is the norm. I am talking about the Eagles that play the system to it's very basic minimum.

 

Even if the requirements were increased, successful completion of them would still be meeting the bare minimum.

There's a difference between a 3 drink minimum and a ten drink minimum. The latter is for serious drinkers. The former just gets the riff raff to pay their dues.

Edited by Col. Flagg

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

This all started by the suggestion of using the Eagle as a Gold Standard to represent Boy Scouting. Flag suggested that by raising the qualifications for Eagle, the Gold Standard perceived by the public would raised as well.

 

One issue I have with that idea is that the Eagle should not be the Gold Standard, character should be. And character was the standard until National decided to push the program to get more Eagles. All scouts develop character no matter what rank they reach by the end of their scouting career. But using Eagle as the Gold Standard implies success and failure of a scouting career. How many people can relate to the Boy Scout helping the little old lady across the street. Nobody ever said that scout was an Eagle. 

 

As for the team analogy, teams work toward the goal of one. A scout may need to develop a team to reach his goal, but my point of this discussion is that the individual scout sets the goals and creates the paths toward those goals. Not the SM. I believe the SM responsibility for each scout is to guide them to develop skill of making decisions and to learn from those decisions. Part of that is guiding the scout to be creative and to initiating the actions toward goals. I use the analogy of a golfer, swimmer, tennis player, and sprinter who don't work as part of a team for their individual success. They make decisions to direct, manage and lead resources to develop the skills and materials required  for personal success. 

 

All scoutmasters are different and as a result use different styles for working with scouts. My style of Scoutmastering was never take any credit for any of my scouts growth. I never thought of myself as a team member for the scouts, instead I was on the outside looking in as a mentor. I also did my best to build a program that got out of the scouts way of their growth and a big part of that was getting the adults as far away from them as possible. I am their biggest cheer leader, but not a team member.

 

Maybe it's a flaw in my character, but I admit to struggling with adults who want some credit in their scouts success. Because it is so hard, I think just getting out of their way should be our greatest contribution.

 

Barry 

Edited by Eagledad
  • Upvote 4

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

×