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Delaying Eagle until near 18 to keep them "active"

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Ok folks, without having to go to the UC or DE, how could I persuade the SM to work to change it. I have to admit when he was approached, the IH and COR gave some very good examples of some of the challenges they have seen with young eagles and he has bought into it. So I'll need some ideas to persuade him, so that he can have some buy in if he does agree with me.


Here's what I've suggested. 1) focus on the outing in Scouting, not just advancement. not only create the monthly programs, but organize a few high adventure events like Philmont, Sea Base, Northern Tier, AT, etc.


2) encourage the scouts to get involved in the OA once eligible. ( this may work well since of their 3 new members, 2 are now on the ceremony team :) )


3) encourage them to go to Jambo, NYLE, etc.


4)Keep them involved in a variety of leadership roles so that they are active, can pass on what they learned, but still have time to have fun.


5) make sure that MBs are not part of troop program and they do see councilors.


My experience is that when Scouts hit high school, they start to slow down because of the MBs, high adventure activities, and also the "fumes: perfume and car fumes" So the 16 minimum is not be a necessary rule.(This message has been edited by eagle92)

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"1) focus on the outing in Scouting, not just advancement. not only create the monthly programs, but organize a few high adventure events like Philmont, Sea Base, Northern Tier, AT, etc. "


Perhaps a reminder of why we are here:


Aims of Scouting -

1. Character Development: Building personal qualities: reverence, sense of honor, self discipline, unselfishness, self reliance, intelligence, enjoyment of life/sense of humor and enthusiasm.

2. Citizenship Training: Teaching scouts their obligations to other people, society and the government that presides over society.

3. Personal Fitness: Including the body (well-tuned and healthy), the mind (able to think and solve problems), and the emotions (self-control, courage, and self-respect).


And a reminder of the tools we have to reach those goals:


Methods of Scouting -

1. Ideals (Scout Oath and Scout Law)

2. Patrol Method (Boy planned, boy executed by the PLC driven by SPL with adult guidance)

3. Advancement (Putting forth challenges; the Scouts confidence is built by overcoming them)

4. The Outdoors (the chance to associate with nature and learn self reliance and cooperation)

5. Uniforms (level playing field - troop, patrol and individual identification)

6. Association with Adults (As many positive role models to learn from as possible)

7. Personal Growth (service to others and self )

8. Leadership (Individual opportunities to be an important member of scouting)


Notice that the outdoors and advancement are only two parts of the methods of Scouting. The eight combined make a strong web. Focusing only on one or two parts makes a week web to support our goals.



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There will be cases where young eagles will emerge; however, after 1st Class, if the parents would just leave them to their own devices, human nature will take over and things will fall in line. My oldest got to Life three months into his 14th birthday. It took him 1 years and 10 months to get his eagle. My 2nd son is currently a 14.75 years old Life. He is a long way from finishing! My guess. He will finish sometime early 16.


In our troop, average age of Eagles in our troop is 16.4 years old. Currently we have six 17 years old eagles who are still active with one 18 years as one of my ASMs.


The problem is that we have a dichotomy. National and Council are teaching scoutmasters to get the new scouts through the trail to 1st class within a year to keep them in scouting (so the stats say), but most people do not realize that if we do it this way most of them will attain their 1st class by the time they turn 12 or for some even younger! With a combination of the momentum of a 1st class scout and eager parent(s), naturally Stars, Life and Eagle will follow suit within 2 years or less!


The benefits of an Eagle Project cannot be fully realized by a 14 years old or younger. Of course folks will debate on this until the cows come home, but the intention of the eagle project is to cement the leadership skills that the scout has attained along the way. To me 14 years old and younger scout does not have the maturity to comprehend this. Yes, there are a few cases of exceptions. I have only seen 2 cases in our troop.


In our troop, we don't delay the scouts. They delay themselves; however, our Life coaches "ping" them from time to time to keep them interested and engaged.



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Yep I notice that when the helicopter parents aren't around, the scouts pace themselves. That was my case. Got Life by 13, and the last 4 years working on Eagle. I was semi active in that I attended all of the meetings, but couldn't go camping b/c of work and/or school.


Yep the methods work and are all equal in use. I do admit though to being partial to Outdoors b/c #1 that is where you can really see how the other 7 methods are working out, and #2 I missed out on so many camping trips as a youth b/c of my need to support myself.


Please keep up the good comments,

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Rythos ... ah ... that's where the crux of the problem is! Following the lay out program as prescribed by BSA, an "inspired" scout, "helicopter" parent, "adult lead" troop, or what have you will result in a eagle who is 13 - 13.5 years old! Let's say that an 11 years old comes into the troop. If his troop follows what is recommended ... from Scout - 1st-Class within a year, then he will be a 12 years old 1st-Class scout. After that, 4 mos as a 1st-Class, 6 mos as a Star, and then 6 mos as a Life. That's 16 months more ... or 13.5 years old! Imagine a 10-year Webelos who crossed over! Yes, he is a 5th-grader who has attained his AoL.


This occurs from time to time. There will be boys who have no other interests other than scouting. There will be parents whose sole purpose is to nudge their sons to eagle. There will be troops who have all the best planned schedule for the TFC and Trail to Eagle. But for the majority of the boys ... they are way too busy with sports and other interests to dedicate themselves to scouting. Our concerns should be how to make scouting more interesting to the 40% of the boys who are interested in something else. The 10% who have their eyes on the Eagle and do whatever they could to get there fast ... we should not slow them down. The other 50%, they go at their own pace, leaving it to their own devices.


Key ... no more ... no less!(This message has been edited by OneHour)

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Why can no one just follow the program?


Which program?


Walk around your district and council, you'll see dozens of programs. Sit in on a national program committee meeting, you'll hear dozens of different ideas and notions about what "the program" really is or how it works.


All unit programs work under two sets of rules, eh? The BSA program materials, and the materials / vision / goals of the chartered organization.


There is not, and never has been, one program.


In actual fact, a troop can do exactly what GernBlansten suggested in da original post, simply by putting an age restriction on Positions of Responsibility. If yeh read your BSA program materials, you find that age and rank restrictions for PORs are just fine, even suggested.


So da bigger question is whether making a choice like that meets the needs and vision for a particular troop. And that's what makes these discussions so fun! I'm with Lisabob, I think in most cases this kind of artificial restriction ain't necessary. Better to just be more rigorous in how yeh view the other requirements. You'll get both older Eagles and better prepared Eagles that way.


It's just as OneHour suggests, doin' that means abandoning the rush-to-First-Class notion (which came from da marketing/membership people, not the program people).




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"National and Council are teaching scoutmasters to get the new scouts through the trail to 1st class within a year to keep them in scouting (so the stats say) ..."


I wonder if the Scouts who are more enthusiastic about Scouting earn First Class in the first year. Since they were more enthusiastic in the first place they are more likely to stay in.


Which is the chicken here?


I don't think force feeding all Scouts to First Class is really gaining us anything.


I do believe on the other hand that if the PLC is aware of creating opportunities every month that pertain to the foundation rank requirements more Scouts will be First Class sooner. I guess that is pretty obvious.



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It saddens me when I hear people talking about Eagle as if it's the end of scouting as a youth.I have always considered Eagle as a new beginning.


We were lucky and were part of a troop that instilled a love of scouting in me and my boys.The older one was Eagle at 16 and was so busy being a scout that we were not able to have his Eagle Court of honor until he'd earned 2 palms.We did a field presentation of his cloth badge at a staff meeting at camp he was staffing at.

Our younger son was never into rank advancement and only went to first class.

They both staffed at camps as soon as they were old enough and were and still are active in the OA as Vigil members.The 25 year old one was program director at his camp during last 2 years and only left after our Grandson was born Thanksgiving of 07.Needs to earn real money to raise son.But he is his troops ASM for high adventure program and his chapter's ceremonies adviser.His wife and him are both Camp masters at one of our councils camps a few times a year.Grandson went through a brotherhood ceremony in the womb.

The 22 year old is starting his 2nd. year as program director at his camp and is associate adviser for his crew.

They both were instilled with a love of the outdoors and the scout program.

I'd like to echo what I've seen in many of the entries in this thread.

If you really want to keep them in scouting offer them a program that they they can be proud to be part of and that can challenge them beyond a goal of rank.

If all you do is pump out Eagles who leave scouting as soon as they reach that goal then you have failed and if the only thing that keeps a boy is the goal of rank,you have failed.

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This seems to be the way alot of Troops are leaning towards it seems. The hold the carrot out there to keep older scouts involved and hope they don't just quit. The SM's that do this turn the this from a great time in the boys life to a mere graduation. I hope others will do as our Troop is trying to and see it as a rank advancement that he can keep achieving with palms and talk with the scout about dual membership in Venturing to keep his scouting life going and letting him sharpen his leadership skills by staying in the troop as a JASM.

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