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WisconsinMomma

Let's talk about the Eagle Scout journey

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I KNOW scouts do better and learn more when they go at their own pace. I was pushed by both my uncle and cousin to get Eagle before high school, and was well on my way too. Like HT's son above, I got sidetracked by the adventure and fun of Scouting and earned Eagle at 18. I was active, did lots of things, but was having too much fun to focus on MBs as they became boring.

My oldest is 14 and Life. I think I "pushed" him twice. Once was to honestly earn a MB he was given at an MBU, and the second time to do the one requirement for Cooking MB, meals not requiring refrigeration, and show the trek leader so he could get that MB. At the moment, all he needs is 6 Eagle required MBs, do a project, and 2 more months in a POR. Since school is #1 priority, and kicking him in the butt, he set a goal to do the MBs over the summer, and the project in 2019. He want to Eagle at 16.

We have one guy who will have his EBOR Monday nite. He's 18, and it was the earliest the EBOR could do it. He squeaked by, but he did it. Part of his challenge was he was trying to get a new troop up and running. As you know that has been a challenge, and we are still facing it.  But he did it on his own. From when I first met him, to today, he has grown tremendously. He's ready and deserving.

On the opposite we have one Scout who is pressured to get Eagle. Cannot get his license until he earns Eagle. He is burnt out and is there. He's not having fun, and is going through the motions. Sad things is he has done a great job in the past, but dealing with adults has burnt him out. Especially this last batch that just came in.

But the one I feel sorry for is the Life Scout who has 7 months before turning 18. He is being pushed, and pushed hard. He's going through the motions, and was the one that voted against himself for PL. I do not think he cares at all, except dad is pushing him. It's to the point that Dad has been "helping" with the Eagle project, making calls, etc.  At the moment Dad is ticked off at the DAC because the DAC told him in two or three emails the son needs to contact him, not Dad. Dad refuses, citing safety and YP issues. Now the DAC is no longer responding to the emails from Dad.

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@Eagle94-A1 got it. My parents stayed out of my way and let me succeed and fail in my own and I learned so much. A few of my friends had a lot of help from their parents and they are less able all around. 

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On 12/21/2017 at 9:48 AM, 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...

 

It's certainly not a failure to be a scout but not reach Eagle. I think sometimes it gets equated to "failure" or "not finishing" if someone doesn't earn Eagle, but from an achievement perspective it's still years of work, commitment, and effort required just to be a scout at all. If a kid joins in 1st grade and is active into high school but doesn't reach Eagle, that's still a decade-long effort in a fantastic youth leadership organization. 

If it's a question of documenting participation in something (Johnny should finish Eagle so he can put it on his college application) a kid can (and should) still put scouting on that application form, no matter what rank they reached. I think it still is way more impressive than joining a club in high school for a year just to have something else to show on the "extra curricular activities" page. 

From a purely personal achievement perspective, there might be some regret in the future about not earning Eagle. But that's life. Lesson learned. I don't think there's anything wrong with some parental encouragement. Lord knows I needed some when I was 17 and could have very easily not finished up those last 2 merit badges and the project. But there's a big difference between providing encouragement to a scout that might just be in a motivational rut at the time, and forcing a scout to go further when they have zero desire to do so. 

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I wonder how many soldiers in the US army feel they were a failure because they didn't reach the rank of general?

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1 hour ago, Stosh said:

I wonder how many soldiers in the US army feel they were a failure because they didn't reach the rank of general?

Is that their ambition when they join? Should it be?

Is Eagle a Scout's ambition? Should it be?

 

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42 minutes ago, Chadamus said:

Is that their ambition when they join? Should it be?

Is Eagle a Scout's ambition? Should it be?

 

There are thousands of young men and women who join the military to serve their country, not earn rank.  To those I offer my deepest and most sincere appreciation.  But then there are those that feel self promotion is what the military is all about, a means to personal success, i.e. getting Eagle to jump a rank out of Basics.

It doesn't take a lot of thought for me to see the difference.  I am exposed to it all the time in Scouting.  How many young people join scouts to do their duty to God and Country and help other people at all times and how many join to make it to Eagle.  This is the rub that chafes me.

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I'm thinking the answer to your question about the Military is more than we'd like, unfortunately. Same with the rank of Eagle.

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4 hours ago, Stosh said:

How many young people join scouts to do their duty to God and Country and help other people at all times and how many join to make it to Eagle.  This is the rub that chafes me.

I think most join to have fun. Hopefully we can instill the character and purpose of duty to God and country and helping others. If they earn their Eagle, then good for them.

As for how I divide my limited time. If a Scout has a singularity of focus, I tend to divvy up more of my time first for those that focus on service, second for those that want to have fun and lastly for those whose singular focus is Eagle Scout. Fortunately, most Scouts I meet have a reasonable balance of all 3.

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On 1/15/2018 at 2:47 PM, Stosh said:

I wonder how many soldiers in the US army feel they were a failure because they didn't reach the rank of general?

Not a good analogy. There are a limited number of general positions available. There is no limit to the number of Eagles.  

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