Jump to content

Recommended Posts

Eagle may be scouting's highest rank, but there are awards that are FAR rarer and more prestigious. The oldest of these is the Silver Hornaday medal. In many years, the number of these awarded nation-wide is in the single digits. Many scouts find their Eagle project to be a daunting challenge. Imagine having to do at least FOUR projects of equal or greater complexity, all of them focused on different areas of conservation....and requiring approval by national.  Well, that's the kind of effort a highly motivated scout must have to earn a Silver Hornaday.

My heart soared today at the news that a scout in West Texas achieved this very difficult and prestigious award. (The first time in 108 years that anyone in his council has earned one.)

I am so proud of him.

https://www.conchovalleyhomepage.com/news/news-connection/texas-boy-scout-awarded-highest-conservation-medal/1911775258 

 

  • Like 3
  • Upvote 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Posted (edited)

It's lovely that this young man has worked so hard to achieve so much. However, I think it's important that we don't adopt a perspective which leads us to use phrases such as "mere" Eagle. The Eagle Scout Rank is still representative of extraordinary effort, service and leadership, and while this young man has certainly gone far beyond the usual expectations, it in no way lessens the full significance of "just" earning one's Eagle rank. Rarity and prestige are not, after all, the real reasons we earn these awards, though certainly we honor those who achieve them.

Again however, it's great this young man has been so motivated, and his service sets a fine example for other youth to emulate.

Edited by The Latin Scot
  • Like 1
  • Upvote 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I think @The Latin Scot we all are victims of an inordinate elevation of Eagle rank ... to the point that I fear many scouts who could do otherwise just "stop there." Case in point: avid readers of Bryan's Blog, know that Eldred was the first Eagle scout. How was the first Quartermaster, Silver Awardee, or Summit Awardee?

A scout's Eagle project should be the first of many such endeavors. It is truly impressive when youth coalesces his/her next four projects along a single theme in a few short years.

The Hornaday award (along with awards in Venturing, Sea Scouts, and Exploring) have been undersold by BSA and NESA.

FWIW, no scout needs to earn Eagle to earn Hornaday. But the Eagle project may count toward one of the 5 projects needed for the Hornaday silver medal. So if you have a scout who is really into conservation projects but his advancement is flagging because of MB ennui, consider introducing him to the Hornaday awards.

  • Like 1
  • Upvote 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
45 minutes ago, qwazse said:

A scout's Eagle project should be the first of many such endeavors. It is truly impressive when youth coalesces his/her next four projects along a single theme in a few short years.

The Hornaday award (along with awards in Venturing, Sea Scouts, and Exploring) have been undersold by BSA and NESA.

FWIW, no scout needs to earn Eagle to earn Hornaday. But the Eagle project may count toward one of the 5 projects needed for the Hornaday silver medal. So if you have a scout who is really into conservation projects but his advancement is flagging because of MB ennui, consider introducing him to the Hornaday awards.

Precisely.

An Eagle rank is good preparation for the basics in life, and it is definitely admirable that so many boys aspire to the rank.....but it's really no Hornaday.

In 2017, BSA awarded 55,494 Eagle ranks. In that single year, it's more than 5 times the total number of Silver Hornadays awarded over more than a century!

Just like we all applaud our kids when they achieve a high school diploma, we applaud the boys who earn their Eagle. But it's a different kind of accomplishment altogether when a boy earns his PhD. Same with the scouts who have the ambition and drive to complete a Hornaday.

Many (maybe most) scouts view Eagle as the culmination of scouting. Yet there are some great opportunities to go further via OA engagement, camp staffing, venturing, and "above and beyond" award programs like Hornaday, Supernova, and the National Outdoor Awards.

LOTS of room to grow along the Scouting trail...

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

We had an Eagle scout who in a six months time frame was our SPL, a Venturing Crew Leader, planned a high adventure trip for a Troop Crew to Montana, and was very active member in OA. Remarkable doesn't even describe this kid. He also got a high enough score on the SAT to earn a full scholarship to MIT, THAT SAME YEAR. 

I agree with Qwazse that the BSA undersells opportunities within the program for it's members. I grew to be disappointed with adult leaders because while they think they are pushing a scout beyond his goals to reach Eagle, they are actually limiting or holding the scout back by not marketing all the other opportunities. The program provides scouts with many opportunities where they expand their knowledge, experience and joy of adventure. In fact, there are so many opportunities that I doubt more than a handful of leaders even know them all. 

Our council developed the Junior Leadership Training so that a scout who had the passion to teach could have experiences all they way to NYLT course director while still registered as a scout (Venturing). I know  it can be done in any council, but our council actually showed the scouts how to reach that goal.

Before 1980, less than 3 percent of scouts earned the Eagle. Which coincides with the proposed number by experts of natural leaders in the population. But, there are so many opportunities for scouts who, while may not be interested in leadership, can still reach mountain top goals. 

Thanks Mrkstvns

Barry

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Its hard to encourage Hornaday projects when you live in urban areas - less available advisors for sure. You can also double dip with your Eagle project.

A much higher achievement in my opinion is the National Outdoor Award Medal not as rare for sure but does prove that you indeed worked hard at scouting and didnt just check the boxes. 

 

  • Upvote 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
20 minutes ago, TMSM said:

Its hard to encourage Hornaday projects when you live in urban areas - less available advisors for sure. You can also double dip with your Eagle project.

A much higher achievement in my opinion is the National Outdoor Award Medal not as rare for sure but does prove that you indeed worked hard at scouting and didnt just check the boxes. 

 

Our kids came up with a project to put warning signs  (epoxied over) ("DON'T POLLUTE OUR DRINKING WATER!] on street drains - pointing out where the drains lead and discouraging putting oil and radiator fluids down the drains.  Signs also warned that radiator fluid is poisonous.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
4 minutes ago, TMSM said:

Its hard to encourage Hornaday projects when you live in urban areas - less available advisors for sure.

Not at all "for sure".

Most of the large, urban councils have more Hornaday Advisors available than they have scouts who want to work on Hornaday projects.  I live in Houston; it's the 4th largest city in the country (and has the 4th largest BSA council in the country).  Our local council (SHAC) has some highly experienced, energetic outdoorsmen on its Conservation Committee. They maintain a list of Hornaday Advisors and also a list of Conservation Organizations in the region that are actively looking for scouts who want to do conservation service projects.  All a scout needs to do is call the council office and ask...

In many ways, urban areas have even more opportunities than rural areas. They've typically been plagued with industrial excesses, poor land planning and usage, and suffer the worst problems with over development, pollution, resource limitations, etc.  There's 8 categories in which Hornaday projects may fall. Some of these (like Forestry or fish and wildlife management) are well suited to scouts in rural areas....but many of the others (like hazardous material disposal, water pollution control, resource recover, energy conservation) are extremely easy to do in an urban environment.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
4 minutes ago, TAHAWK said:

Our kids came up with a project to put warning signs  (epoxied over) ("DON'T POLLUTE OUR DRINKING WATER!] on street drains - pointing out where the drains lead and discouraging putting oil and radiator fluids down the drains.  Signs also warned that radiator fluid is poisonous.

Our troop's SPL recently did exactly that as his Eagle project.

An emerging area of concern is also household cooking grease being put down kitchen sinks. Many people think that this will be automatically filtered at the local sewage treatment plant, but the fact is that kitchen greases have been getting into water resources and causing bacterial growths damaging native aquatic life. An enterprising young scout could develop a Hornaday-eligible project around this kind of problem.

See:  http://ceasethegrease.net/ 

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
19 minutes ago, mrkstvns said:

Not at all "for sure".

 

Chicago area council has 0 Hornaday advisors.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
3 minutes ago, TMSM said:

Chicago area council has 0 Hornaday advisors.

Who told you THAT?!?!

Call the Pathways to Adventure Council and ask to be put in touch with the Hornaday Committee Chair.  He'll steer you to local Hornaday Advisors...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
22 minutes ago, mrkstvns said:

Our troop's SPL recently did exactly that as his Eagle project.

An emerging area of concern is also household cooking grease being put down kitchen sinks. Many people think that this will be automatically filtered at the local sewage treatment plant, but the fact is that kitchen greases have been getting into water resources and causing bacterial growths damaging native aquatic life. An enterprising young scout could develop a Hornaday-eligible project around this kind of problem.

See:  http://ceasethegrease.net/ 

Hmmm.  My old troop, starting before I was born, collected grease and fat for the War effort.  There were photographs in the Troop's log book.  Fat was raw material for producing glycerin, in turn an ingredient in explosives and ammunition propellants.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
47 minutes ago, TAHAWK said:

Fat was raw material for producing glycerin, in turn an ingredient in explosives and ammunition propellants.

I'll have to let the NRA know. 

After all, "When fat is outlawed, only outlaws will have fat."

  • Haha 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, mrkstvns said:

An emerging area of concern is also household cooking grease being put down kitchen sinks.

Search "fatberg."

Feed Me! Seymour!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

×