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RememberSchiff

Getting the Value and Pride back in Eagle.

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Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, JoeBob said:

Multiple forum threads, Meritbadge Schools, and Eagle Mill troops prove that the rank of Eagle is no longer held in the same esteem.  I know of one LIfe scout who used as an excuse to not finish Eagle that he did NOT WANT EAGLE on his college application because it would hurt his chances to get into a liberal arts school.  (I'm sure there were other reasons, but I'd never heard that one.)

The feedback I am getting from our Eagle candidates is the Eagle project is enough...only do not mention your service work on a college application as an Eagle project just let the college assume it was part of service  requirement for graduation!  :(

We need to get the value of Eagle back and it is not PR stating only 4%,5%,...,%8 earn Eagle, which says what exactly? Make Eagle of unquestioned value again post high school. For example, not E-2 maybe E-3 grade , definite E-3 grade across the service branches. This would mean more physically fit and more real (solo) leadership. Colleges want to see service, let's focus on service and not STEM which schools are better suited.  Maybe pre-college Eagle weeks at colleges during summer?

But mostly, the BSA should be talking to college admissions and military recruiters regarding what would make Eagles more valuable to them. I remember "back in the day" when Eagle and Girl Scout Gold was a checkbox on many college applications, but today?

Recover the value loss, recover the pride.

My $0.02,

 

Edited by RememberSchiff
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Posted (edited)

As ya'll have said, the push for numbers by National is the problem.  Looks good to the general public, even if others know the foundation is weak.

It's the "expansion team" theory in action.  More players, more teams, more dollars!  But the talent pool is diluted, quality of play on the field/rink/court is diluted, fans get bored, and the league suffers in the long run. 

 

Edited by desertrat77
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2 hours ago, RememberSchiff said:

 

But mostly, the BSA should be talking to college admissions and military recruiters regarding what would make Eagles more valuable to them.

 

I couldn't disagree with you more. 

 

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Want more pride? Let adults try to earn it.

 

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6 minutes ago, David CO said:

I couldn't disagree with you more. 

 

Those two groups are most mentioned by my scouts as valuing Eagle less now. If not them, who should the BSA be talking  or listening to about improving Eagle value?

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2 minutes ago, qwazse said:

Want more pride? Let adults try to earn it.

 

Most of us have earned degrees and professional certifications which took much more effort, demonstrated far more achievement, and gained far greater recognition than an Eagle Scout award. I would be embarrassed to see an adult who is still trying to earn a child-sized award.

 

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2 minutes ago, RememberSchiff said:

Those two groups are most mentioned by my scouts as valuing Eagle less now. If not them, who should the BSA be talking  or listening to about improving Eagle value?

If they are mentioning those two groups, then there is a third group who should be mentioned as well. Themselves. 

They are seeing the Eagle Scout award as a resume item, to gain them access to academic or military advantages, and they have already devalued the award far more than either of the other groups ever could. 

 

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Good point. It would be interesting to see how much those three groups agree on values. Would scouts seek compromises and lower the bar or accept challenges and raise the bar?

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5 minutes ago, David CO said:

Most of us have earned degrees and professional certifications which took much more effort, demonstrated far more achievement, and gained far greater recognition than an Eagle Scout award. I would be embarrassed to see an adult who is still trying to earn a child-sized award.

 

I talked to a lot of highly skilled individuals while on vacation. Very few would volunteer as direct-contact leaders for even a week, let alone a month.

While helping us tie off, a dock hand's watch dropped between the pier and our boat. Already in my trunks, I shucked my shirt, had my kids toss me my mask, and jumped in. The sun was only coming through a narrow gap. The sailors in an ajacent slip boat scampered to find me a dive light, but knowing that the current could bury the thing before I found it, I started my search. A couple of surface dives between shadows, avoiding disturbing too much sand, and my hands were on the watch ... to the relief of a very hard-working young man.

The other sailors (far more regular boaters than I) were impressed. As I swam back to the dock, I exclaimed, "That's my lost body drill for the year!"

Any scout with Lifesaving MB would know what I was talking about. But when I explained to the boaters, "It's a guard thing." They asked, "Like EMS? Spec. Ops?"

Climbing the dock ladder I said, "Boy Scouts."

Jaws dropped. Mrs. Q and kids held back snickers.

Bottom line: the skill set for Eagle is a bar for adults as well as youth.

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Posted (edited)

It's been four years since I retired from the military.  Reflecting on my last several years on active duty, I can safely say it was a crap shoot when sizing up new enlistees that claimed to be Eagle.

Frankly, some were pretty sorry specimens.  Too many by my reckoning.  Lacking in self-motivation, physical fitness, professionalism, learning ability, resilience, ability to get along with others, etc.    Yet they usually possessed a false sense of achievement and entitlement.  These guys were dragged across the finish line by somebody.

Others were clever and knew it.  Barely concealed conceit.   Game players.  Their chief motivation was not so much service, but the next stripe, award, medal.  Usually at the expense of others.

Thankfully, many others were squared away.  True Eagles.  But far fewer in number than in previous decades.

 

Edited by desertrat77
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Parents are a big part of the problem today.  My father is a District advancement chair and also approved Eagle projects and sets up EBORs.  The number of times he receives emails/calls from parents vs scouts is ridiculous.  One example... a mom called to get an update on an approval for her sons Eagle project.  My father asked to speak to her son directly (who was with her) and she refused as he isn’t comfortable talking with adults.  Eventually she relented and the Scout did fine.  Parents should let their scouts breath and even fail to achieve Eagle.  That could be a great life lesson.  Padding a college resume is not worth undermining your own sons development.

Not all scouts, but too many have parents who are doing the real work earning Eagle.  Other scouts can see this and I think that dilutes the honor in the rank.

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14 hours ago, RememberSchiff said:

... I remember "back in the day" when Eagle and Girl Scout Gold was a checkbox on many college applications, but today ? ...

Recover the value loss, recover the pride.

Yeah ... Three responses ...

#1  The term rose colored glasses exists for a reason.  The past is rarely as good as we remember it.   

#2  The issue is not a BSA thing and much more larger trends.  Helicopter parents.  Grade inflation.  Building the resume.  Legalism.   Plus, schools and youth programs are much better now at teaching the basics that scouts cover and now makes scouts look fairly light weight.  Better schools.  Better exercise.  Chasing achievements.  

#3  When I look at my oldest, I see a man who was very much burnt out on scouting when he was 18.  Extremely burnt out.  Now in his upper-20s, he wants to return to scouting and often channels the values of citizenship, leadership, physical fitness, etc.  I was shocked recently when he was talking about whether the local scout camp could use some volunteer hours recently.  I was wondering if this was my kid.  :)

I  am glad to see scouts earn Eagle who may be tripping and falling over the finish line.  It's not just for the strongest runners.  To be honest, the strongest runners probably won't need the Eagle rank.  But many of our scouts benefit when reflecting on themselves, their values and their values of how to lead their lives.   IMHO, it's unproductive (politely said) to focus on who should earn it and let's focus more on helping every scout achieve it ... if that's their path and goal.

Plus ... if you really want Eagle to be meaningful ... Get it off the college application check box.  Stop ranking up enlistees because of it.  Get it off the resume.

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2 hours ago, fred johnson said:

Plus ... if you really want Eagle to be meaningful ... Get it off the college application check box.  Stop ranking up enlistees because of it.  Get it off the resume.

Much value in that advice.

Some things are worth more because we chose to do them when they are only meaningful to ourselves.

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9 hours ago, fred johnson said:

Plus ... if you really want Eagle to be meaningful ... Get it off the college application check box.  Stop ranking up enlistees because of it.  Get it off the resume.

Agreed. 

Ranking up enlistees:  sure, it's a pay boost, having one or two stripes more than the rest of the slicksleeves.  But a new enlistee is a new enlistee.  They are still learning the ropes.  In those early months after boot camp, the only advantage of having one or two stripes is possibly being in charge of the litter detail/GI party/sandbag filling detail instead of being just a member thereof.  Oh, and here's your mop, Mr. E-3 I'm in Charge.  Builds character.  :)

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