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CBS Evening News Tonight Sept 9 - female Eagle candidate

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45 minutes ago, elitts said:

I only have one question and one comment about the news story:

  • (Question) What the heck is she doing using a bow saw to cut down a standing tree?  (assuming that wasn't simply a staged photo)
  • (Comment) The fact that she thinks having earned Eagle Scout in 20 months means she's gotten everything possible out of the program does not say great things about her mindset with regards to participating in scouts.  Though I'll admit this viewpoint isn't exactly uncommon.

 

I've never questioned a bench project that had thought and planning with regard to appearance and durability involved; but many I see really don't.  Most of the time you get a wood bench put together with no finishing done to the wood at all, they just cut up the raw lumber, and slap it together with screws and a few lag bolts, then set it on a surface that is pretty much certain to rot the wood out within 10 years.

But if you are talking about a bench that is done right, with surfaces sanded and sealed, screws and bolts countersunk to avoid scratching people, with grass and dirt removed and replaced with either concrete or well drained gravel and the ground contact points protected from standing water, I agree that's sufficient for an Eagle Project.

The worst projects I see though are the ones where someone just gets a bench or picnic table kit from a "big box" then dumps them on the ground on project day and says " Ok, you and you, build that one and you two build that one.  The instructions are in the box.".  In addition to the complete lack of planning and leadership required of the scout, the wood typically included in those kits is usually the lowest quality possible so a year or two later you end up with warped table-tops and benches.

 

 

  • (Comment) The fact that she thinks having earned Eagle Scout in 20 months means she's gotten everything possible out of the program does not say great things about her mindset with regards to participating in scouts.  Though I'll admit this viewpoint isn't exactly uncommon.

While I cannot vouch directly for this specific young woman, my overall observation to date on those in this "special category" of Eagle candidates almost all are from long established Scouting families with traditions that they often had to view from the outside.  But many families in these situations simply let the female children participate as they could, without the official recognition.  Many of those young women have shown themselves to be head and shoulders above the male candidates we see.  These young women were already getting more from the program than many male youth.  It will all shake out in time, just as most transitions tend to do.  Then many will look back and make comments about why are today's young female scouts seemingly not as bright as the the earliest ones.  

When push and shove come into play, it is not really much different than our experience with previous youth.  Some are highly motivated and balk at barriers, sometimes pushing us to our limits, but great Scouts.  Others are not likely to advance far without the interference of adults that do not understand the intent of the program.  IF most of them come out of it with a positive experiences and have a better grounding in the foundational tenets, then we have accomplished our goal.  It has little to do with rank, but rather "Character".  

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Maybe we could look at this from another angle. There was a several minute segment about the BSA on TV. Not only did it include video of this scout it included some high adventure shots and some other outdoor shots. Lots of people saw it. That is good for everyone interested in scouting.

The eagle rank is one of those Yin/Yang things. As a positive it can be a great motivator. As a negative it can be a great motivator (and overwhelm other good aspects of scouting).

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7 hours ago, qwazse said:

IMHO. There have been way too many scouters who think every Eagle project should be something more than a scout and his buddies slapping together a nice looking bench in a public location.

I have more trouble with projects that are barn-raisers that take thousands of man-hours where the scout’s hand on the tiller seemed incredibly light.

The problem I have is that a scout is supposed to demonstrate leadership for the project.  Something that takes a few scouts a couple hours to build doesn't really provide that opportunity to provide leadership.  I have sat in many Eagle BOR's where a scout asked the SM for a project, they handed the scout a project from a benefactor that included everything planned out including all the resources.  The scout only showed leadership is making a sign up for that day and following the plan handed to him.  

They don't have to build a barn but they should be working with the benefactor to understand the project goals and limitations.  Make a plan based on that and execute and lead.

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On 9/24/2020 at 2:29 PM, mashmaster said:

They don't have to build a barn but they should be working with the benefactor to understand the project goals and limitations.  Make a plan based on that and execute and lead.

As it relates to the scout in the news segment, we don't know that she did anything less than show leadership throughout the project. We don't know the logistics of the location, the required approvals, permits, organizational aspects required to get the work crews together, how she managed the project on-site, etc. We certainly don't know that it only took "a couple of hours". How much time was spent planning it, getting materials (donated or otherwise), etc.

I understand there are issues with some projects and how they hold up in terms of the requisite leadership skills displayed during the project. But this project might not be one of them, and we can't judge the merit of the project based on what the final product is. There's a world of difference between a 2-hour bench and a 20-hour bench, and from the brief look we got at the one here, it's not the 2-hour variety.

And still, once again on this forum, and topic veers off into an unfair criticism of a chosen path of advancement when really this topic should just be about congratulating a scout on her accomplishment and being happy that the BSA got some positive air time on national tv.

Sorry for the rant, think I'm just reaching my lifetime limit on patience for criticism of scouts doing things by the book, advancing as fast or as slow as they want within the rules, earning Eagle at whatever age they want (again, within the rules), doing service projects of whatever size or scope they want within the rules, and then getting criticized for it by adults.

Don't like the requirements? The rules? The service project approvals and process? The book? Change the book. The scouts don't deserve the criticism.

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Fair enough.  I guess I have seen too many bench projects.  

I don't believe I ever criticized the scouts.  When a project is too light or easy, the advisors should be advising and not signing off for a scout.  Many advisors sign off too easy for projects, rank, and merit badge requirements.

If it came across a criticism of the scout, I apologize.  I as well am reaching my lifetime limit as well.

Peace to you my scouting brother, happy to have ginger ale with ya at the scouting bar any time.

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The point is that Scouting is not a race, it is a journey.  It is a disservice to a female or male Scout to simply rush through.  The journey is there to build friendships, comradery, self-esteem, self-worth, self-reliance, social skills and all the other things that come with spending time doing something well.  I do not agree with attaining the rank of Eagle in such a short time, whether they be male or female. 

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Just now, tnmule20 said:

The point is that Scouting is not a race, it is a journey.  It is a disservice to a female or male Scout to simply rush through.  The journey is there to build friendships, comradery, self-esteem, self-worth, self-reliance, social skills and all the other things that come with spending time doing something well.  I do not agree with attaining the rank of Eagle in such a short time, whether they be male or female. 

The Eagle or Else outlook is not a plus for scouts. The whole concept of pushing to First Class in the first year is a part of it. 

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17 hours ago, yknot said:

The Eagle or Else outlook is not a plus for scouts. The whole concept of pushing to First Class in the first year is a part of it. 

I agree and I discourage the "First class in a year" mentally. 

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The entire OPERATION FIRST CLASS program uses faulty methodology. The premise is that if a Scout get's First Class in a year, they stay longer in Scouting. Two things that skewed the data is the former LDS Church model and the activity level of units.

From talking to LDS Scouters, overserving their program, and LDS membership requirements,  LDS troops segregated their 11 year olds in a separate patrol and focused on getting them to First Class by the time they turn twelve. The 11 year old Patrol was more of a Webelos program with the ASM really acting like a DL, and the Troop Guide acting more like a DC. And of course, LDS automatically registered all youth regardless if they attended meetings and events or not. With 1/5 of the membership being LDS, that heavily influences the stats.

As a 15 year old Life Scout, who was one of the Guinea pigs that tested the New Scout Patrol prior to it becoming the recommendation in 1989, I noticed that everything BSA came up with to support NSPs and OPERATION FIRST CLASS was focused solely on advancement. There was no mention of how active the troops were, i.e. how often were they hiking, camping, meeting, doing activities, etc. None of the stuff that really attracts youth to the program was mentioned in the literature. And of course an active troop will retain Scouts.

 

 

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Posted (edited)
22 hours ago, Eagle94-A1 said:

The 11 year old Patrol was more of a Webelos program with the ASM really acting like a DL, and the Troop Guide acting more like a DC.

This is my perception of how this works in many Troops. 

Most of the time, a new parent (probably one who was a DL) takes on ASM, and continues the Cub Scout model...this is not good...

For us, we assign an ASM (who knows how to back off), and let the TG show them the ropes from Crossover (Feb/March) through their first few camping trips, PLCs, and a Summer Camp.  Once the NSP "gets the program," usually around August/September, we have the TG back off and let the NSP operate independently.  In October, they have their first Patrol-only camping trip (scheduled in two weeks, hooray!!).

We assign new parent ASM's to an older Patrol, so that Patrol can teach them how Scouting is done ;) Sadly, most parents don't want to deal with other people's kids...they want to "do Scouting" only with their own kid.  I haven't really found a way to change that thinking, yet...other than exposure over time to what real Scouting is, and trying to set the example...

Edited by InquisitiveScouter

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22 minutes ago, InquisitiveScouter said:

Sadly, most parents don't want to deal with other people's kids...they want to "do Scouting" only with their own kid.  I haven't really found a way to change that thinking, yet...other than exposure over time to what real Scouting is, and trying to set the example...

This is fascinating to me as it's the total opposite of what I saw as a Scout.  Unless there was a big organized activity for a campout (climbing/rappelling at a Council camp, canoeing, backpacking into the campsite, etc.), the "Old Goat Patrol" generally hung out at the campsite, drank coffee, and BS-ed all day while the Scouts were on their on their own for whatever the PLC had planned for the weekend.  My dad didn't get involved until he decided he wanted to come along on a high adventure backpacking trip one summer and had to be there for the training hikes/campouts.

I always knew we had a strong troop, but it sounds like I took for granted how great it was.

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34 minutes ago, BlueandSilverBear said:

This is fascinating to me as it's the total opposite of what I saw as a Scout.  Unless there was a big organized activity for a campout (climbing/rappelling at a Council camp, canoeing, backpacking into the campsite, etc.), the "Old Goat Patrol" generally hung out at the campsite, drank coffee, and BS-ed all day while the Scouts were on their on their own for whatever the PLC had planned for the weekend.  My dad didn't get involved until he decided he wanted to come along on a high adventure backpacking trip one summer and had to be there for the training hikes/campouts.

I always knew we had a strong troop, but it sounds like I took for granted how great it was.

1. WELCOME TO DA FORUMS!

2. I do not know how long you have been out of Scouting, but a lot has changed in parents' attitudes over the years. Part of it is Cub Scouts, everything IS family oriented and parents doing stuff with the kids at Cub level is the norm. But instead of letting the Cubs do more and more on their own in the Webelos years, they keep treating them as Cub Scouts and doing everything with, and sometimes for, them. Then, instead of being prepared for Scouts BSA, both the new Scouts, and especially the parents, are ill equipped to handle the big differences in programs. Add to the fact at one time BSA was pushing "Family Scouting," there were some major issues in some troops that confused adding Girl troops with opening up everything to families, and it was a mess. My sons and I left a troop because it was "family friendly." Not only were parents attending troop functions, but also younger siblings who had no business being there. Add the "Cross Over Cub Leader Syndrome," i.e. new Scouters still acting like Cub Scout Den Leaders with their constant interference, to the point the Scouts are complaining, it is a big challenge. What made it worse was the parents would ignore and disregard the experienced Scouters.

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1 hour ago, InquisitiveScouter said:

This is my perception of how this works in many Troops. 

In my 34 years experience with NSPs, one of two things happen.

Either A. The Troop Guide is so overwhelmed with working with the new Scouts, they burn out fast and are ineffective and it hurts the Scouts, or B. The adults take over. Most of the time Scout led troops will go back to Traditional Patrols, now called Mixed-Aged Patrols.

 

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On 10/6/2020 at 11:26 AM, Eagle94-A1 said:

The entire OPERATION FIRST CLASS program uses faulty methodology. The premise is that if a Scout get's First Class in a year, they stay longer in Scouting. Two things that skewed the data is the former LDS Church model and the activity level of units.

From talking to LDS Scouters, overserving their program, and LDS membership requirements,  LDS troops segregated their 11 year olds in a separate patrol and focused on getting them to First Class by the time they turn twelve. The 11 year old Patrol was more of a Webelos program with the ASM really acting like a DL, and the Troop Guide acting more like a DC. And of course, LDS automatically registered all youth regardless if they attended meetings and events or not. With 1/5 of the membership being LDS, that heavily influences the stats.

As a 15 year old Life Scout, who was one of the Guinea pigs that tested the New Scout Patrol prior to it becoming the recommendation in 1989, I noticed that everything BSA came up with to support NSPs and OPERATION FIRST CLASS was focused solely on advancement. There was no mention of how active the troops were, i.e. how often were they hiking, camping, meeting, doing activities, etc. None of the stuff that really attracts youth to the program was mentioned in the literature. And of course an active troop will retain Scouts.

 

 

There's also another statistical force at play here. Correlation does not equal causation. 

The BSA noticed that Scouts who earned first class in one year are more likely to continue in Scouting long term. Scout retention and First class rank in a year are probably correlated, but that doesn't mean earning first class in one year causes or influences Scout retention by itself. 

Without the BSA's data to run analysis on, I hypothesize that Scouts who earned first class in one year before Operation First Class are/were typically in very active troops with lots of opportunities to go on activities. Rather than push the Units to get Scouts to first class in a year, the key to scout retention is an active and engaging unit program. This isn't a surprise to any of us on this forum. Maybe pushing units to advance Scouts to first class in one year is easier than getting units to run a good program? 
 

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