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gblotter

Minimal Effort Eagle

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Posted (edited)

Freds right, if the scout has done what is required of him, anything else is adding requirements. Now I'm not preaching about the goods and evils of adding requirements, I personally think there are times and places for everything when it comes to growth. But, I have observed and experienced similar situations like this one and if push comes to shove all the way up the ladder to National, the scout wins every time.  

Actually this situation is very common with new scoutmasters because they tend to get emotionally tied up in old business trying to set their new standards on the troop program. And what makes it worse is the other adults have and opinion as well, which just adds complexity and confusion for the new SM. 

In  reality this young man is not your scout because you weren't his mentor. I used to teach Scoutmasters that most problems like this scout don't just suddenly happen. The scout was allowed by his mentors to developed habits that has put him where he sits today. To some degree, I feel for scouts who have go through several scoutmasters because each scoutmaster his a different set of standards and expectations. In my mind, this scout should have had a few conferences before now.

You are the new counscience of the program and you can work with scouts more actively as they grow and mature in the program to prevent this kinds of situations. But is it really fair to hold this scout to your new more rigid expectations now? Learn from this experience to better prepare you for the next, because there will be a next. 

And by the way, leave what you think about dad out of the equation. Yes, he might very well be the scout's main motivation. But adding that detail to your mix only makes you more frustrated and doesn't change the outcome at all. It's just a note in how to work with families of your future scouts. 

Barry

Edited by Eagledad
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It's rare to have one's mind changed in social media but it does happen to me frequently in this forum.

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""Eagle looks good on the college application"". 

So does a 4.0 average,  AP classes,  being a Rank Captain/Drum Major/student conductor in Band,  Student Government Senator,  ROTC Second Lewy,   appearing in three plays, singing in the State Champion Chorus,  Boy's State,  winning a Merit Scholarship,  the Russian Language Honor Society,  Altar Boy/Acolyte, earning your Faith Award, earning 50% of your tuition, being able to write (by himself) a coherent  paragraph on the student paper, design and build a computer controlled drone out of scrap materials, hiking the length of the AT one summer just because,  painting the whole home house one summer because it needed it and "I thought I owed it to my parents",  ...

Those are just some of the things I have been told "look good on a college application".   You might mention these to your college eager Scout and parent.   Do any of THESE look good to him ? any have the same panache as "Eagle"?   It depends on the view of whoever reads his application.   What , indeed , does Eagle mean to him?   This is one reason I have come to like the "project".  It does tend to show what "Eagle"  means to the Scout.  

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Creating new requirements has never been part of my thought process - obviously, that is out of line.

And, yes - meeting the minimum requirements necessitates a "pass". These points are self-evident.

I'm actually not seeking a way to "fail" this Scout - that is not why I started this thread.

I'd much rather inspire him to go beyond minimal efforts so that the result has more than minimal significance. Perhaps I'll phrase it to him using those words.

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5 hours ago, krikkitbot said:

I guess my question would be, if he shows up 3 years after disappearing and asking for project approval, SM conference and EBOR, do you approve it?

I had several scouts that did something similar. All of them earned Eagle. But there's a difference between what you imply and what I saw. The scout that gets Life and disappears does this because Eagle doesn't mean anything to him. Eventually he decides he wants it. If it was dad that wanted it then dad would have been pushing and the scout would have asked when he was 15. Rather, while dad is pushing, often the scout is pushing back by ignoring dad. Eventually dad gives up and the scout, realizing he has freedom and can do what he wants, decides for himself. By the time he gets to me he knows why he wants Eagle and asking him to do some extra work so the younger scouts look up to him, so the rank means something to him, was never too dramatic. Besides, it takes about 6 months to do an eagle project from start to finish, plus time to do the last half dozen MBs, and so there's plenty of time to work with the younger scouts.

5 hours ago, fred johnson said:

If he did the work, yes.  The requirements for Eagle are really not that huge.  A gung-ho kid can knock them out if desired fairly quick.

Fred, I will add that I do respect your position on this.

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10 hours ago, gblotter said:

The Scout (and his father) have requested a meeting to discuss his POR requirement. We could definitely use a Troop Guide for our New Scout Patrol. I’d be satisfied if he showed up to help at their weekly meetings once a month. And teach them specific skills (not just be a warm body in the room). We’ll see how he responds to that idea.

My pet peeve about how all of us approach PORs is the treating some as less time consuming as others. Done properly, each one should consume a portion of every meeting and every activity.

There is no way a TG, if a patrol really needs one, can show up once a month and be of much use. He needs to get to know the boys, help them figure out who knows what, figure out what skills they should try given the next activity they are doing, and give constructive feedback to the young PL about how he's doing. That involves a weekly give and take.

Waltzing in once a month won't cut it - especially if this patrol is scattered over the summer.

Ask your 13 year old SPL what he thinks about this scout holding this POR.

 

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This scenario used to bother me a lot.  After a decade as SM I've come to see it differently.  I've now seen several years worth of scouts I've known since they were Cubs move their way through the program;.  Some of them stay enthusiastic the whole way, for some of them the enthusiasm waxes and wanes. I've had kids lose interest and then come back in exactly the scenario you describe, parental push plus some belief (frankly mistaken) that it will have some effect on their college app.  Some others come back because they decided that being an Eagle Scout  was something they wanted to accomplish and it meant more to them now than it did when they were 15. I also just attended the funeral of one of my Eagle scouts who's path fit a scenario somewhat in between.

What I've learned is that the important thing is how strong your program is so that the time they spend in the troop has a positive effect on them.  

As to when they make Eagle, the trail is theirs to walk not mine; they have from whenever they start until their 18th birthday to walk it.  They can sprint (I made Eagle when I was 13) or they can meander. 

It's not uncommon for a scout to make Life and maybe even put in the next six months in a POR by the time they hit 15.  The big hurdle is always the project plus bearing down on the last few merit badges.  If a scout puts their head down and keeps right on and makes Eagle when he's about 16 but then fades away, not abruptly but just getting caught up with junior and senior year, no one really thinks less of him.  What's the difference between that and having that fade away come first and then return for the big push as 18 approaches.  Nothing in the requirements says you have to work continuously towards Eagle.  

The requirements are the requirements, and it's not that hard to maintain their integrity.  The linchpin for that is the POR, they have to hold it for 6 months while they're LIfe.  The first six months, the last six months, or some combination of first and last.  Make sure you have defined (reasonable and consistent) requirements for both what you expect and the attendance they have to have and you can always feel good that the scout did what needed to be done.

There are as many trails to Eagle as there are Eagle scouts.  If you have a good program, month in month out, year in year out, you'll be more proud of some of them than others, but you'll never feel bad about any of them.

 

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7 hours ago, krikkitbot said:

I guess my question would be, if he shows up 3 years after disappearing and asking for project approval, SM conference and EBOR, do you approve it?

If your unit has been keeping him on the rolls for 3 years, then I would say yes. 

A scout unit doesn't have to keep registering an inactive scout any more that a sports team has to keep an inactive player on the team roster. If a scout isn't active, the unit can drop him. There is no rule against a unit dropping an inactive scout.

But if a unit chooses to keep an inactive scout registered with the unit, I think they need to treat him like an active scout. It would be unfair to treat a currently registered scout any other way.

 

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8 hours ago, krikkitbot said:

I guess my question would be, if he shows up 3 years after disappearing and asking for project approval, SM conference and EBOR, do you approve it?

I am not focused so much on the passage of time or his lapse in activity. Rather, I am focused on his minimum level effort. I could support his effort more if he had more effort to support.

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16 hours ago, krikkitbot said:

Ok, so how is this scenario? 

1- Be active in your troop[2] for at least six months as a Life Scout.

4- While a Life Scout, serve actively in your troop[2] for six months in one or more of the following positions of responsibility:

  • Boy Scout troop. Patrol leader, assistant senior patrol leader, senior patrol leader, troop guide, Order of the Arrow troop representative, den chief, scribe, librarian, historian, quartermaster, junior assistant Scoutmaster, chaplain aide, instructor, webmaster, or outdoor ethics guide.[3]

 

Scout fast tracks to Life by 13 1/2. Becomes the librarian with minimal responsibilities. at 14 he stops showing up. He is asked to come back and is not interested. At 17.9 he shows up with a stack of blue cards signed by actual MB counselors. He asks to present an Eagle Project to the board and finish his Eagle rank. 

 

He was active 6 months as a Life Scout. He served for 6 months in a position of leadership. Is he an Eagle scout?

.....AND, personally I don't see a hole lot of difference between this Eagle and the one that earned his Eagle at 14 and then dropped scouts.

Both are Eagles....just as is the scout that earned his at 14 and continued to be active

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Posted (edited)
19 hours ago, fred johnson said:

 I'd suggest to him to chase accomplishments that mean something to him.  If this one doesn't, then he will be wasting his time and energy to earn something that is an empty accomplishment.  

Are you guys trying to tell me that you have never taken a college course, attended a professional seminar, or done boy scout leadership training/YPT just to fulfill a requirement?

I've done lots of that stuff.  I have wasted thousands of hours of my time and spent many thousands of dollars of my money on things that meant nothing to me. As a matter of fact, I have another one coming up this summer. Paper chasing is a normal part of college and professional life. It is an absolute requirement for being a scouter. We all do it. 

I would be a hypocrite if I criticized a boy for paper chasing. 

That said, I do think it is kinda sad that young people are being coached to become so jaded and cynical at such an early age. I would rather that scouting be a time of childhood innocence and fun. The adult stuff should come later. 

 

 

 

Edited by David CO
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25 minutes ago, David CO said:

Are you guys trying to tell me that you have never taken a college course, attended a professional seminar, or done boy scout leadership training/YPT just to fulfill a requirement?

 

The only reason I returned to Woodbadge after the first session was because it was required in order to be SM for the Jamboree contingent.

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2 hours ago, David CO said:

Are you guys trying to tell me that you have never taken a college course, attended a professional seminar, or done boy scout leadership training/YPT just to fulfill a requirement?

I've done lots of that stuff.  I have wasted thousands of hours of my time and spent many thousands of dollars of my money on things that meant nothing to me. As a matter of fact, I have another one coming up this summer. Paper chasing is a normal part of college and professional life. It is an absolute requirement for being a scouter. We all do it. 

I would be a hypocrite if I criticized a boy for paper chasing. 

That said, I do think it is kinda sad that young people are being coached to become so jaded and cynical at such an early age. I would rather that scouting be a time of childhood innocence and fun. The adult stuff should come later. 

 

 

 

good point!

Professional certifications are among the big offenders in this regard....

CPA's, Architect's, Engineers, Medical professions of all sorts.... require regular CEU's.  Biggest laugh.  Nothing but a money making scam.  In my experience most of these folks end up taking a bunch of stuff that has no interest to them at all, and zero bearing on their actual job....except maybe to help them be more "rounded" as a person arguably.

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Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, blw2 said:

good point!

Professional certifications are among the big offenders in this regard....

CPA's, Architect's, Engineers, Medical professions of all sorts.... require regular CEU's.  Biggest laugh.  Nothing but a money making scam.  In my experience most of these folks end up taking a bunch of stuff that has no interest to them at all, and zero bearing on their actual job....except maybe to help them be more "rounded" as a person arguably.

Yes, CEU's are a joke. Talk about minimal effort! 

Most of my teacher CEU's included neither participation nor testing. You just needed to attend.  Many teachers brought books, magazines, or crossword puzzles with them so they could amuse themselves while ignoring the speakers. 

 

Edited by David CO

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Doesn't the scout have to be a member while completing MB and/or eagle project?  If he has been inactive for three years....was he on the roster?  Doesn't he need approval by the SM before he starts a MB? Our SM is the only one that hands out the blue cards.

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