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Hello Daddy-O,


Not to be pugnacious but if your son had asthma that had no effect on his lifestyle except that he could not play ball and otherwise exercise vigorously, would you withhold and not "ramp up the medications" so as to not put exogenous substances in the body?


Not saying that you should or shouldn't. Just trying to suggest another perspective.

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Most of the people who post here are parents.

A good many have been around for a while, seeing young Lads come and go. Watching their own kids "Grow into their own skin."


Many years back, my Lady wife (Her Who Must Be Obeyed) bought a picture frame. In the center there was a big hole to place a mug shot of my kid when he graduated, all around this was smaller holes for class photos taken at each grade level.

I look at that cute little fellow in first grade with curly blond hair and then think about the conversation we had (Son & Self.) Last week about him wanting to get a tattoo!

He is going to be 21 in July.

As others have posted things will change and chances are that your son will also change.


Advancement in Scouting isn't a bad thing.

But it's not the only thing.

Sure I was proud of my kid when he made Eagle Scout.

He was 17 when he made it!

At 11 years old. He seen the older Scouts and had heard about Eagle Scout. He knew it was a good thing.

He never said it but at that age he wanted to please me, he wanted to make me happy. He thought that this Eagle Scout thing would do just that!

At 11 years old, he was a very good soccer player.

I was involved as an assistant coach.

His uncle was a soccer coach who was taking teams across the pond to the UK.

I spent a lot of my hard earned money paying for soccer camps.

He was a good player.

Not a great player.

I had when I was a SM of a Troop in the UK a Lad who was a great player in fact an outstanding player, he signed on to play for Chelsea. He lasted less than four years.

The list of activities and interests that my son has had since he was 11 is a very long one.

Or you could just do like most parents, let him join a Troop and just wait and see what happens?


Since he was 16 cars, girls and the OA were top of his list.

Soccer got cast aside, when one year he didn't like the coach!



I have never worked out how the BSA comes up with it? But I keep hearing that something less than five percent of Scouts make Eagle Scout.

Given them odds.

Do you think your son is going to make it?

Maybe you might be better waiting till he is 14 and looking at Venturing or Sea Scouts?

By that time he will know what it is that he maybe wants to do?

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Lisabob writes:


"his '100 feet/300 feet' thing gets old, sometimes"


Yeah, well what we perceive as "gets old" is an expression of what we do not value. To me the "Mission Statement" gets old.


Lisabob writes:


"and isn't a panacea,"


I never said that Baden-Powell's 300 foot rule is a panacea, it only solves 99% of the BSA's problems. By definition, a panacea would solve 100% :)


Lisabob writes:


"I frequently find that I agree with his basic point that adults need to get the heck out of the way of the kids and that really utilizing the patrol method is important. "


Getting adults out of the way is only a secondary benefit, Lisabob. Separating the Patrols by 300 feet is all about ADVENTURE.


Adventure should be only purpose for teaching "leadership" to Boy Scouts: A method of managing risk 300' from the nearest adult. Practical, like training Life Guards.


Lisabob writes:


"His anti-Wood Badge stuff has no relevance to the original poster's question though."


It certainly does. Daddy_O wants for his son the kind of Scouting being promised now in the national media by the Chief Scout Executive, Robert Mazzuca. Basically it is a return to 1972 (the year after Mazzuca was hired by the BSA): replace camping with "character" (which he defines as "sitting side by side with adults") and "leadership" (which he refers to as the "evolving science of leadership...Wood Badge, our adult leader training program, because we use state-of-the-art techniques").


Lisabob writes:


"The poster is trying to figure out whether boy scouts is the right program for his kid, not what the politics of Wood Badge are."


No, Daddy_O has already decided that Boy Scouts is right program for his kid, he was very specific: "But he loves scouts, and wants to stay. We need an Adult led advancement-oriented troop...thats exactly what we need...How do I find them?"


OK, Daddy-O, the following was seriously overdue, but here is that ad hominem assist attack I promised you last night:


Yah, I gotta agree with Lisabob, eh? This was not the place for another Kudu Woodbadge rant. Apparently in staying true to his version of traditional Scouting, Kudu forgot the whole Helpful, Friendly, Courteous routine .


Note that it is essentially the same "argument against the man" technique. You will see Scout Law used as a weapon many times in Scout discussion forums. "Beavah" is "projecting" on me the qualities of "Helpful, Friendly, Courteous" that he himself was manifesting at that particular moment in time.


Call it a "rant" if you want to, but twelve years ago during the "Wood Badge Uniform Wars" I discovered that ad hominem attacks by holders of the Wood Badge are actually a very effective weapon. I always point them out.


I realize that this all must be very confusing to you Daddy_O, but the Beavers are superior to all of the other Wood Badge Patrols, so we can hope this episode is over.





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The part that has me really confused is that Kudu attributes Lisabob's attitude to him as being due to Wood Badge logic. I thought it was more due to her admittedly Liberal leanings and we all know that Liberals have a deep need to control what other people are doing or saying and I thought this was just another example of this fact.


Then again, Lisabob has also admitted deep connections to the academic world and again, academia is replete with ivory tower thinking and rose colored glass gazing and hardly ever rooted in reality and mostly academics want to imbue students in group think, so perhaps that is what Lisabob was trying to do.


Then again, Lisabob has admitted at least once that she is a she so as a mother and a woman she should have relative minor input in boy scouting. Her views are null and void


I just think blaming Wood Badge for Lisabob's thoughts are a mighty elegant jump of logic that I am not sure I concur with especially as there are many other pathways to explain her pathology

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"Can't we all just get along... "


So, is there a website, or a spreadsheet which shows data, such as:


*troops that graduate the most Eagle Scouts

*Highest percent of Scouts earning the Eagle rank


Or something like that, by region, which I can study and figure where my son has the best shot?


All this political stuff is interesting, but I'm seriously "seeking guidance" on my original post. I don't want o anger anyone or open old wounds. I just want my kid to be a boy scout in a sustainable trajectory, with all the other items on the agenda, towards HIS goal.


Again, thanks for all the replies; they are highly interesting, educational (to me) and entertaining!

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Your post can be easily explained, OGE.


An eagle is a raptor and kills to eat. One can only imagine the effect on one's character of a life of continuous killing.


Grey is totally devoid of color -- tedious, humdrum, boring


And old -- well at best, that's obsolete and over the hill and at worst demented and senescent.


Oh dear. I just described myself too. :)

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There is, to my knowledge, no such list. Advancement is tracked at the unit, district and council level but that is total advancement. Most of us would consider it as important that a young Scout earn his Tenderfoot Scout badge as that an older Scout earn the Eagle Scout award.


If your council has an Eagle Scout recognition dinner, you can ask to see the list of invitees and that should tell you which units are producing a substantial number of Eagle Scouts.


There is, of course, anecdotal information. If you contact volunteer leaders in your local area, you likely can get guidance on which Troops are considered to do a particularly noteworthy job of advancement and of having its members earn the Eagle award. Not everybody giving you that information will consider it a plus but that's for you to evaluate. Your local District Executive (professional Scouter) should be able to help you find such a Troop also.

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Daddy_O, be honest, whay are you worring about Eagle? That is just part of scouting and a small one at that.

Being in scouts is about learning and growing.

I cringe when new parents just focus on 'getting eagle' as all they want is a boost in ego, or a bragging point on apps, etc. They don't see what being a scout is about. It is about experencing things, learning to understand more, including about themselves. About how many things affect other things. How to work together; this one usually gets lost on the boys who just want the bragging rights of eagle, and is one that is much needed today.

The 'out' in scouting is still important as many young people do not see how the enviroment impacts their lives and future. Sitting in an airconditioned building watching a video is not the same as being there. Lost is the understanding of how to work with nature. Replacing it is Man's ego in thinking that they can control it. If more people went 'out', they might learn how to get along with nature. A good example of this is the flooding of the Mississippi, levys don't stop nature, they just move the damage area.

As to illnesses, sometimes I think many are caused by our trying to keep nature out of us. Try some of the suggestions on daeling with them above. Oh, BTW, have you done much camping yourself? If not, give it a try.

Also, what is the reason your boy wants to be in scouts? Is it just to get Eagle? or some other reason?

BTW our troop in your paperwork stats might come off as an eagle mill but it has not lowered its standards in over 80 years. We have high expectaions of our scouts and they rise to them or decide to stay 'Life for life'; it is the boys' choice, not the paarents. 

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Many of you have asked the very candid question, "why does he want Eagle". I'll ask him; I really don't know (he's not here now, and we're far from home). He says that he always had that as a goal from his Tiger Cub year.

FYI, HE wants to be an Eagle Scout, I want him to be happy. I want him to graduate from College. I want him to play basketball for UConn! HE wants to be a Scout! My ego is honestly not at play in this arena. I love my kid. That's all... I'll drive him to meetings, (even campouts, when necessary) no matter how my day at work went. I'll be cooperative, cheerful and supportive the CM/SM. But if he quits today it's on him, not me.

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Daddy_O, please take a careful look at the minimum advancement requirements that are directly related to camping. If getting to Eagle is really your son's goal (his goal, not yours) then he will need to spend a lot of time outdoors.


You can view the various rank requirements in full here: http://www.usscouts.org/advance/boyscout/bsranks.asp


Even if you find the most Eagle-Mill type troop in your area (and I think you are seriously cheating your boy of the whole point of being a boy scout by doing that), he is still going to have to put in serious outdoor time to earn any boy scout ranks. Boy Scouting is an outdoor program. While different troops deliver the program in different ways, the point is that they ALL camp and the majority of their activities will be outdoor-oriented.



Aside from the camping issue, many boy scout rank requirements include the words "show" or "demonstrate." These skill requirements mean that a boy is going to need to practice in order to attain proficiency. And guess what, a lot of the practice occurs outside. Things like cooking for his patrol while on a campout, pitching his own tent and sleeping in it while on a campout, safely using a knife, axe, and saw, building fires, hiking, identifying flora and fauna, etc., require repeated outdoor exposure and practice.




And then there's the leadership aspect. The upper ranks all require that your son actively fulfill some position of responsibility (there's a list of accepted positions) for a period of time. Some of these positions are elected by the other boys, and they're just not going to vote in a kid who is never there to participate. Others are appointed, but even so, you cannot lead when you are not physically there. In most troops, a boy who is perceived as doing the bare minimum to get by (which you have stated is your intent for your son's participation), isn't going to get those positions until he changes his approach to things.




Boy scouting is not like cub scouting. The weekly troop meetings are not entertainment. Those meetings are not "just show up, do the activity, and you'll receive a pin/badge/patch" as they often are in cub scouts. They are typically spent working on preparation for upcoming OUTDOOR activity. They might include working on certain skills needed for the next adventure, or on menu and itinerary planning for the next trip, etc. For a boy who plans not to do most of the outdoor stuff, the weekly (indoor) meetings might be fairly pointless and boring.


If what people here are describing is not what your son wants, then consider joining the YMCA, a religious youth group, the Boys & Girls Club, 4-H, or some other worthy youth program. There are many excellent ones out there besides Boy Scouts. Just don't expect your boy to be able to earn Boy Scouting's highest rank without seriously doing the things that Boy Scouts are all about. And don't expect people who are involved in Boy Scouting to think that what you are looking to do makes much sense.




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But if he quits today it's on him, not me.


Yah, that's a bit of a cop-out, mate.


Kids aren't stupid, and they love and want the approval of their parents. If you in any way begrudge him the notion of being a scout or you light up more and praise him a bit more enthusiastically for playing ball, he will pick that up in a heartbeat. At this age, he will do whatever he think pleases you. Down the road, as a teenager he'll assert himself more, but not now.


So given that he's expressed strong interest in staying in scouting, if he quits today or in the next year it's on you. Just da way it is as a parent.


FYI, HE wants to be an Eagle Scout, I want him to be happy. I want him to graduate from College.


Yah, hmmm. Now let's think about that, eh? I'm willing to bet all my wages for the month that you want him to do more than graduate from any old college. My guess as a caring and concerned parent is that you want him to get into the best college he can, eh? In fact, when it comes down to it, I'm willing to bet that you'd actively discourage him from going to Podunk U. just because that's the easiest way to get a degree, and that you'd take out a second mortgage on your house and work a second job to put him through Yale (or UConn ;) ) if he got in and wanted to go there, eh? Both offer a B.A., but you'd want the best quality and reputation for your kid.


Same with scouting, eh? Every troop offers an Eagle, but shoppin' around for who gets it for you the fastest and cheapest is like lookin' for the college that offers the fastest mail-order degree. Just doesn't make any sense.


If you want your son to be happy in college, you want him to find a college that is a good fit for him. A place that offers a fine program, a high level of challenge, strong and responsible fellow students, good reputation, etc. Your son potentially will spend more years in a scout troop than in college, and that will be during the more formative years of his life. Treat the lad the way he deserves. Act like a responsible parent, and help him find a strong troop.




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Just read your last post. You know, most 10-11 year olds have no idea what is involved in being an Eagle scout. It is, at best, an aspirational goal, like when they're 5 and say "I want to be an astronaut!" Nothing wrong with that and no reason to actively discourage it either.


But, as I hope you've seen from the various responses, there's a lot involved in getting to Eagle, and it is more about the journey than the destination. Many 10-11 year olds aren't ready to understand that, which is ok, but as a parent, you should understand that so you can encourage your kid to enjoy his time along the way.



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Hello Lisabob and others,


Let's not pillory the kid because we agree or disagree with what the father has written.


Let's take as a given that the boy does say "I want to join the Boy Scouts so I can be an Eagle Scout."


Wow, that's fantastic! That says we've done a great job of branding, etc. I'd a whole lot more want that than "I don't want to be in Boy Scouts but my parents are making me do that." or "I want to get to start fires" or whatever.


Either he'll learn what being an Eagle Scout is, like it and do is or else he won't like it and will do somethign else. Either way, we had him for awhile.


If what Daddy-O is writing is accurate, and I'm sure it is, then Daddy-O won't be one of those "no wings no wheels" parents we rail about. Daddy-O will say that being an Eagle Scout is son's business. If he likes it, Daddy-O will support. If he decides he doesn't like it, Daddy-O won't put on pressure.


Maybe I'm missing something but those sound like pretty good conditions for an entering Boy Scout.

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Not disagreeing with you, Neil. My point was that it doesn't matter too much WHY the boy says "I want to be an Eagle Scout," because in honesty, the boy probably doesn't really know what that entails anyway. Most webelos crossing into boy scouts don't. And that's ok.


My point was more that, as a parent, Daddy_O needs to ensure that HE isn't taking his kid's statement and turning it into the singular focal point of his son's scouting experience. If the parent understands more about the process then he'll be better able to encourage his son to get all that he can out of scouting, along the way, regardless of the rank thing.



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