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WisconsinMomma

Let's talk about the Eagle Scout journey

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The most important thing in the Boy’s journey is just that, it must be the boys doing, not his moms. We find the most successful Scouts come into the Troop with a group of friends and all work together and push each other towards Eagle. 

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3 hours ago, NJCubScouter said:

Hmm.  Does that apply to performance in school as well?  To future employment?  To the military, if they go?  

You picked out three things that scouting is not supposed to be. 

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10 hours ago, David CO said:

I don't think boys should view advancement as either a goal or an achievement. It should be something that just happens sometimes during the course of a journey, like finding a really neat shiny stone while strolling down a path.

Then there be no Eagle Scouts. At least not in the age of the Eagle project.

One may stumble across the shiny stones called merit badges, maybe even the positions of responsibility, but not the Eagle project.

The project, by nature, requires a plan and thus a goal. No goal, no plan. No plan, no project. No project, no Eagle.

Besides, as teachers, we should be teaching our youth to set goals and strive to achieve them. If not, then they are in for a rude awakening as adults. 

Must their goal be Eagle Scout? No, but if that is their goal, we should not discourage them, or dictate what their goals should be. 

As for Eagle Scout being and achievement, it is. Just like a hiking merit badge, the mile swim, overcoming their fear of something and so much more.

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13 hours ago, HelpfulTracks said:

I do tell my Scouts I have never had an Eagle Scout tell me they regret earning their Eagle, but I have had countless others tell me they regret not getting theirs. I don't harp on that point, but I do try to get them to understand that someday the rank of Eagle may mean more to them than it does now, but it will be something they can not longer earn. 

I have a very different speech that I gave to all of my athletes and scouts. I told them that, in 5 years time, if any of them still cared one iota about any of the victories or losses they experienced in school, I would be very disappointed. 

All youth awards should have an expiration date on them, for those who get them as well as for those who don't. 

 

 

Edited by David CO
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22 hours ago, WisconsinMomma said:

 

 Of course, missing a goal is a huge lesson, but I'm curious how often this happens, and what you think about letting kids fail.  

 

 

Missing the goal of Eagle does not equate to failure for all Scouts. I met a life scout on staff at summer camp a few years back who was a Life Scout. All of the younger scouts in camp looked up to him. Everyone wanted to take MB with him and spend time with him outside of class. He had a group of boys just hanging around him talking all week long. 

One evening when he wasn't surrounded by boys, I bumped into him and he started chatting about how fantastic his summer had been in camp. Out of curiosity, I asked about Eagle?? His reply was "I'm now a Life Scout for Life". My 18th birthday was 2 weeks ago and I got so caught up in the fun of camp, that I forgot to complete my last 2 MB's. 

He said he wouldn't have given up anything that he had done to make Eagle. He selflessly gave to the Scouting program and enjoyed every minute of it. It's hard to put into words just how happy this Scout was with everything that he had learned while a Boy Scout. He certainly did not fail. 

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7 hours ago, David CO said:

I have a very different speech that I gave to all of my athletes and scouts. I told them that, in 5 years time, if any of them still cared one iota about any of the victories or losses they experienced in school, I would be very disappointed. 

All youth awards should have an expiration date on them, for those who get them as well as for those who don't. 

I have read this to my Scouts, athletes and other youth on numerous occasions.

“This is the beginning of a new day. God has given me this day to use as I will. I can waste it or use it for good. What I do today is very important because I am exchanging a day of my life for it. When tomorrow comes, this day will be gone forever, leaving something in its place I have traded for it. I want it to be gain, not loss — good, not evil. Success, not failure in order that I shall not forget the price I paid for it.”

I believe we should not live in the past or try and relive the glory days of youth. However, every victory and loss, every success and failure, each trial and tribulation is a stone in the foundation of who we are.

I would urge youth to keep their wins and losses in perspective but remember and care about the things that make them who the are.

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15 hours ago, David CO said:

You picked out three things that scouting is not supposed to be. 

"Be", no.  But Scouting is not isolated from the rest of what a person does in his life.  The BSA's main marketing slogan (unless they've changed it) is "Be Prepared. For Life.

But I think the better point is that advancement, to the point of earning Eagle, is not just something that a youth picks up along the way by engaging in Scouting activities.  MOST, but not all, of the Scout-to-First-Class requirements probably do fall into that category.  An example of one that does not is the First Class requirement where the Scout is to discuss with an attorney, teacher, elected official, etc. the rights and obligations of citizenship.  I have never seen a patrol or troop meeting in which the Scouts discuss the rights and responsibilities of citizenship as a planned program.  There is no requirement, through First Class, that the Scouts participate in any organized activity where they would learn this information.  They either learn it in school or they pick up the handbook and read about it, and have the discussion (usually with me, in my troop.)  In other words, they do it on their own, and it is something they would not be doing otherwise (in Scouting) if it wasn't required.  Past First Class,  and on to Eagle, it is a real mix.  Some required MB's build on the specific skills that were demonstrated in Scout-1C, such as Camping, Cooking, First Aid and Swimming.  Others really don't, and you have to kind of "make your own path" (using your analogy) to get them.  I already mentioned Cit in the World and Personal Management.  I think most of the requirements of the other Cits and Communications also are things that do not derive from "regular" Scouting activities.  One could debate how to classify Personal Fitness, Family Life and and E-Prep, for example.  As for the non-required MB's, very few are extensions of earlier Scouting activities.  The only ones that come to mind right now are Pioneering and maybe the boating/canoeing etc. and maybe there are a few others but they are a small fraction of the total.

And then the example that Helpful Tracks gave, the Eagle project, is really the best one of all.

So the point is, if a youth is doing advancement (especially past First Class) the way it is supposed to be done (as opposed, for example, to simply being "advanced" by adults, or earning MB's in "classes" where they aren't actually doing the requirements individually), they cannot simply stay on the "path" and pick up the shiny rocks.  They have to blaze their own trail, and in the case of the Eagle project, they then have to recruit a road crew, pave the path and put up a plaque.  :)  

Edited by NJCubScouter

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On 12/21/2017 at 2:17 PM, Eagle94-A1 said:

I've told the Tale of Two Eagles often enough on this website that I don't think I need to repeat it.

I'm interested in your thoughts. Rather than repeat your "Tale of Two Eagles", could you provide a link to what you said earlier?

Edited by gblotter

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12 hours ago, gblotter said:

I'm interested in your thoughts. Rather than repeat your "Tale of Two Eagles", could you provide a link to what you said earlier?

Towards the bottom of the page on November 9th.

 

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I was a scout for over 5 years and made first class, scouting was one of the best things that I remember from my teen years. I got a lot of merit badges that I found fun, but going for eagle was not part of my path in scouting. As a first class scout I was allowed to go on week long 50 mile hikes, that is what I wanted more than anything. I never felt bad about not getting eagle. I have always admired the guys in my troop that got eagle, because they truly earned it on their own.  My son is a scout now and a very good one. Whatever rank he gets does not matter to me as much as seeing him be a good scout. My son has his own personal journey that I do not want to interfere with, he has to scout out his own path with his friends. I just provide a basic level support for their plans and act as a safety net of  last resort to make sure the boys come home alive. Pushing boys to become eagle is not something that I do, however our troop has life scouts that a getting very close to getting their eagle and they did it without adults pushing them. When they get eagle it will be a very meaningful and personal event for them. 

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I’m not sure why this is even a question. I can navigate school without my parents. I navigated applying for colleges without my parents. I got jobs without my parents. I did my homework since middle school without my parents. Why should I need my parents to help me make Eagle? I can read and write. I have a brain. I can keep my own schedule, use a phone and make conversation. I can prioritize my life. If I fail then I fail. If I succeed then I succeed. Why should my parents be involved at all beyond nagging me like parents do? As a young adult I really don’t get this mentality of parents wanting to step in. I really don’t. When do you stop stepping in?

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Tell us how you worked through managing your workload when you went for Eagle.  Thanks.  Did you start early?   Did you pound it out towards the last minute?  When did you decide that Eagle was your goal?  How was it balanced for you vs. Troop life? 

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1 hour ago, Back Pack said:

I’m not sure why this is even a question. I can navigate school without my parents. I navigated applying for colleges without my parents. I got jobs without my parents. I did my homework since middle school without my parents. Why should I need my parents to help me make Eagle? I can read and write. I have a brain. I can keep my own schedule, use a phone and make conversation. I can prioritize my life. If I fail then I fail. If I succeed then I succeed. Why should my parents be involved at all beyond nagging me like parents do? As a young adult I really don’t get this mentality of parents wanting to step in. I really don’t. When do you stop stepping in?

Well said. I’m 2 badges away from Eagle. I’ve done my project & everything else. It’s not difficult if you put effort and are organized. I’ve had my problems with my project, (beneficiary had me change it last minute) but I got through it. 

I also agree with your last statement, if you need your parents to do your work or all of it, then you don’t deserve Eagle in my opinion. You didn’t learn anything, didn’t experience anything, and all that.

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On December 24, 2017 at 8:58 AM, WisconsinMomma said:

Tell us how you worked through managing your workload when you went for Eagle.  Thanks.  Did you start early?   Did you pound it out towards the last minute?  When did you decide that Eagle was your goal?  How was it balanced for you vs. Troop life? 

If your asking each of us, that's gonna be harder for some than others!

I had an older brother who's SM went AWOL, taking all troop records with him. That was part of our family consciousness, so I went in knowing there was a badge to earn. It became mine to earn at age 12 when I started reading the book and tying the knots therein. Five years of personal growth, and I was ready for my EBoR.

Balance? For me, simple: Watch less TV, get more time.

Speaking of which, time to stop watching Dr. Who and get out in the snow for a lakeside family portrait.

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On 12/24/2017 at 8:58 AM, WisconsinMomma said:

Tell us how you worked through managing your workload when you went for Eagle.  Thanks.  Did you start early?   Did you pound it out towards the last minute?  When did you decide that Eagle was your goal?  How was it balanced for you vs. Troop life? 

I never actually went for Eagle.  My son did.  He procrastinated as long as humanly possible (or even beyond that) and got it by the skin of his teeth.  Do not try this at home. 

During the entire time, he was fully participating in the troop program, meetings, service projects, camping trips, summer camp, etc.  He also spent a lot of time on the robotics team in high school.

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