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mashmaster

Gold Award standards frustration

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5 hours ago, mashmaster said:

They should require actual planning and thought IMHO.  Spreading mulch or building yet another gagaball pit are just cookie cutter projects that don't need much leadership and planning to complete.  If this award is the pinnacle, it should be something that requires the scout to get outside of their comfort zone and lead.

The medal is not the pinnacle. The pinnacle scouting experience is hiking and camping independently with one's mates. When a scout can be trusted to do that, he/she has arrived.

Service projects are just a way of showing a scout can apply what they've been doing in their troop to help their community.

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8 hours ago, mashmaster said:

I wish that was the case in my daughters girl scout district.  They had a board of women review the project that had to be submitted to their meeting 2 weeks prior to their monthly meeting.  They reviewed it and send an email back a week later saying how it was rejected with vague comments like "We want to see more".  Her responses to them had to be in writing and they would review it behind closed doors a month later.  After 6 months of this, my daughter had other school obligations and was just done with their politics.  And her girl scout troop leader pocketed all the money she had raised......  that is another story.

That is similar to the experiences as told to me.  One Gold Award recipient, now in her mid 20's,  said she began the project outline just shy of her 15th birthday, and didn't get the final 'OK' to actually do her project until she was nearly 16.  Another, a gold Award recipient herself, has a 18 year old daughter that finished it up when she was 17 1/2- had a horrible time getting approval, and would get feedback, make a change, resubmit and after several times the feedback basically went back to nearly the original submission.  Most of her experiences were over email, which frustrated the mom (her troop leader)- more probably could have been accomplished in a 10 minute sit-down that weeks of emails back and forth.

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8 hours ago, mashmaster said:

They should require actual planning and thought IMHO.  Spreading mulch or building yet another gagaball pit are just cookie cutter projects that don't need much leadership and planning to complete.  If this award is the pinnacle, it should be something that requires the scout to get outside of their comfort zone and lead.

2 hours ago, qwazse said:

The medal is not the pinnacle. The pinnacle scouting experience is hiking and camping independently with one's mates. When a scout can be trusted to do that, he/she has arrived.

Service projects are just a way of showing a scout can apply what they've been doing in their troop to help their community.

THIS, 110%! Eagle is not a pinnacle of life.  it is the last rank they can possibly earn as a youth, but it is not the measure of whether any kid who has been in Scouting is greater than another.  I've seen kids who never made it past First Class that I would choose over plenty of Eagles when it comes to knowledge of life skills and leadership skills learned while a scout.  Eagle is not a "graduation"- read the words of the Eagle Charge.  Is obtaining the rank of Eagle a great accomplishment? For most, yes it is.  For others, their mommy and daddy (and in some cases, their troop leaders) gave them far more help than they should of, at the detriment of that kid truly feeling they accomplished greatness. 

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9 hours ago, mashmaster said:

They should require actual planning and thought IMHO.  Spreading mulch or building yet another gagaball pit are just cookie cutter projects that don't need much leadership and planning to complete.  If this award is the pinnacle, it should be something that requires the scout to get outside of their comfort zone and lead.

 

9 hours ago, mashmaster said:

I wish that was the case in my daughters girl scout district.  They had a board of women review the project that had to be submitted to their meeting 2 weeks prior to their monthly meeting.  They reviewed it and send an email back a week later saying how it was rejected with vague comments like "We want to see more".  Her responses to them had to be in writing and they would review it behind closed doors a month later.  After 6 months of this, my daughter had other school obligations and was just done with their politics.  And her girl scout troop leader pocketed all the money she had raised......  that is another story.

I wouldn't mind hard for Eagle projects.  I too have seen plenty of pretty easy Eagle projects.

What i'd wish for is an approval process that was concise.  If it requires a meeting, it requires a meeting.  But - the whole thing ought to be thought out enough that it can be done inside of a month.  Drip, drip, drip for an approval process only serves to frustrate a youth.

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2 hours ago, HashTagScouts said:

 

THIS, 110%! Eagle is not a pinnacle of life.  it is the last rank they can possibly earn as a youth, but it is not the measure of whether any kid who has been in Scouting is greater than another.  I've seen kids who never made it past First Class that I would choose over plenty of Eagles when it comes to knowledge of life skills and leadership skills learned while a scout.  Eagle is not a "graduation"- read the words of the Eagle Charge.  Is obtaining the rank of Eagle a great accomplishment? For most, yes it is.  For others, their mommy and daddy (and in some cases, their troop leaders) gave them far more help than they should of, at the detriment of that kid truly feeling they accomplished greatness. 

Y'all think I only think of Eagle or Gold award being the point.  I am not saying that at all.  What I am saying is that I would like to see consistent rubric for these projects rather than complete randomness even in the same council.  That was the point of this thread, not the complain about me thread.   

I agree that attaining Eagle or even the Gold award is not the end goal of scouting, but it is the most quantifiable goal in scouting.  Advancement is only one of the methods of scouting, but it shouldn't be discounted as unimportant either.  My son is a Star scout and probably won't get to Eagle because he doesn't like  scouting.  I am not going to push him to get Eagle, but I will push him to work on leadership skills and other life skills outside of scouting in school, swimming, working....   I think skills he has learned while scouting have really helped get to be a leader and those have nothing to do with what rank he is.  I know plenty of scouts with higher ranks that haven't learned how to be a leader and care about anything other than himself.

I am very aware that attaining the rank of Eagle isn't the end, and the Eagle charge implies a life long aspect to it.  I talk about this with potential Eagle candidate during their BOR all the time.  I am not a newbie scout parent that only thinks of Eagle (You must be confusing me with someone else).   As Mike Rowe would say, he has way more respect for his brother that isn't an Eagle but saved someones life than himself being an Eagle.

 

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31 minutes ago, mashmaster said:

Y'all think I only think of Eagle or Gold award being the point.  I am not saying that at all.  What I am saying is that I would like to see consistent rubric for these projects rather than complete randomness even in the same council.  That was the point of this thread, not the complain about me thread.   

I agree that attaining Eagle or even the Gold award is not the end goal of scouting, but it is the most quantifiable goal in scouting.  Advancement is only one of the methods of scouting, but it shouldn't be discounted as unimportant either.  My son is a Star scout and probably won't get to Eagle because he doesn't like  scouting.  I am not going to push him to get Eagle, but I will push him to work on leadership skills and other life skills outside of scouting in school, swimming, working....   I think skills he has learned while scouting have really helped get to be a leader and those have nothing to do with what rank he is.  I know plenty of scouts with higher ranks that haven't learned how to be a leader and care about anything other than himself.

I am very aware that attaining the rank of Eagle isn't the end, and the Eagle charge implies a life long aspect to it.  I talk about this with potential Eagle candidate during their BOR all the time.  I am not a newbie scout parent that only thinks of Eagle (You must be confusing me with someone else).   As Mike Rowe would say, he has way more respect for his brother that isn't an Eagle but saved someones life than himself being an Eagle.

 

I intend no offense at all Mash.  Yes, these awards are often what the John/Jane Q Public think of when they think of a "Scout".  There's been other threads here that have discussed it, and I take the side that the BSA hasn't done itself any favors by placing too much emphasis on the Eagle award. 

I fully, truly agree with you that clear delineation and consistent process is helpful, as it is really the best way to measure how the kid handled themselves.  We like to say the "adversity" is helpful in teaching that things can go wrong in life, and how you plow through it is good teaching, but I say that isn't what the project is intended to teach.  The process here has devolved to just an email with the Eagle project proposal, and then approval or questions back by email.  to me that is BS.  The kid should be meeting with someone, talking about why they chose their project, what do they hope to accomplish personally from it, etc.  And, ideally, that person they are meeting with (DE, District Advancement Coordinator, whatever) is taking notes, and those notes make their way to the kids Eagle BOR. Can you accomplish that by email? Sure, I think you can, but in a society that is ever increasingly communicating in a virtual digital world, we need to find the few avenues where personal, look-me-in-the-eye communication can occur as the teaching moment, and this is the perfect place for that.  When my son was preparing to get his proposal together and start meeting with troop leaders and district leaders, I gave him the encouragement to think back to what he learned in Communication MB, and why that was important for him at that point.

I would think the same should be true for Girl Scouts as much as it is for BSA.

 

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7 minutes ago, HashTagScouts said:

I intend no offense at all Mash.  Yes, these awards are often what the John/Jane Q Public think of when they think of a "Scout".  There's been other threads here that have discussed it, and I take the side that the BSA hasn't done itself any favors by placing too much emphasis on the Eagle award. 

I fully, truly agree with you that clear delineation and consistent process is helpful, as it is really the best way to measure how the kid handled themselves.  We like to say the "adversity" is helpful in teaching that things can go wrong in life, and how you plow through it is good teaching, but I say that isn't what the project is intended to teach.  The process here has devolved to just an email with the Eagle project proposal, and then approval or questions back by email.  to me that is BS.  The kid should be meeting with someone, talking about why they chose their project, what do they hope to accomplish personally from it, etc.  And, ideally, that person they are meeting with (DE, District Advancement Coordinator, whatever) is taking notes, and those notes make their way to the kids Eagle BOR. Can you accomplish that by email? Sure, I think you can, but in a society that is ever increasingly communicating in a virtual digital world, we need to find the few avenues where personal, look-me-in-the-eye communication can occur as the teaching moment, and this is the perfect place for that.  When my son was preparing to get his proposal together and start meeting with troop leaders and district leaders, I gave him the encouragement to think back to what he learned in Communication MB, and why that was important for him at that point.

I would think the same should be true for Girl Scouts as much as it is for BSA.

 

Sadly, Girl Scouts at least in our council don't follow a good process of communication.  I wish there was such thing as a Life to Eagle coach position for Girl scouts.  I have gone back and forth myself with the local Girl Scout council when this was happening and they didn't seem to get it.  The only times they actually got on the phone was after I pointed out the inflammatory remarks they made in email to my daughter demeaning her and her project.  I expected my daughter to be able to handle the communication and project management of her project but when they basically acted like bullies and crossed the line, I stepped in and called them out on it.  I made some contacts within our council behind the scenes and they were shocked and the remarks the "adults" were making.    

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Mash, I didn't intend to paint your views wrongly! I didn't mean to play my soapbox at your expense.

Communication is an understatement.

Beyond excessive arts and crafts and fear of the wild, there's another reason Daughter didn't stick with GS/USA. Someone gave her a cookie flyer and she started taking orders from scouters at Son #1's troop meeting. Made her feel great. Then we got a call from another GS mom (not her leader, but this one had boys in the troop) that she was supposed to wait until some official date to start selling. Made her feel miserable. That mom was not trying to be mean, she just knew how council would react if they got wind of it.

Mrs. Q was mad, and Daughter didn't want to be in an organization where a brownie doing a good thing (the smile on the dads' faces was more valuable than the actual sale) made folks angry.

And yes, I've read similar things about you all who have packs in proximity.  So, take it as a cautionary tale. But, it's one thing when it comes from unit, but it's another thing when units are made to feel like they are in some kind of gulag.

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