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SemperParatus

Is this as common as I think it is?

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Okay, I heard it again last night (for maybe the 100th time in the past decade)...a parent telling their son that the drivers license will be held up until the scout at least gets a good start on his Eagle project (if not completes it).

 

I have to admit that everytime I hear it, it rubs me the wrong way as a cross between a threat, negative motivator, and bribe. Granted, I don't hear it in every case but I would venture to say it is stated by the parents of 20-25% of the Life scouts I have worked with. I've always bit my tongue in the past and will continue to do so.

 

Do other troop leaders hear this as often as I seem to? Does it bother you? Do you say anything?

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My brother and I are living proof that it works. :-) And neither of us regrets being pushed a little.

 

In our case, we were only a couple of merit badges away from Eagle, and we had no plans on quitting or anything, we just got a little complacent and my parents gave us a little incentive to step up the pace a bit. As it turned out, we both got our driver's license before Eagle, my parents really just wanted us to get going to finish the task.

 

Now, I don't have a problem with it when a scout is in a similar situation that I was, but any sooner and that would concern me... I have a mom in the troop who I can see doing this at some point, so I'll, heh heh.. 'Be Prepared' when that time comes!

 

 

 

 

 

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I've seen it and am not in favor, either, although I'm glad it worked for CA_Scouter. I've seen too many scouts that pushed through with min effort to get the badge just to check off the square to get the reward and bail out of the program.

At times during my #1 son's rebellious years (13-14), I mentioned things like withholding driver's license or paying cash for rank. He made it clear the license would be a test of wills -- we really wanted and needed him to start driving to support family logistics. He told me flat out that he wouldn't take my money - that's not what Eagle is all about.

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I've seen it several times, and so far it seems to have a low success rate. The boys do make Eagle, but it always seems the Scouts are driving by themselves several months before their Eagle is complete (17 yrs and some odd months).

 

Personally I haven't (and won't) do this to my boys. It's not that I'm against "negative reinforcement", but this falls into the category of wanting it more than the Scout does. I would defintitely find a different way to motivate my sons.

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Hi All

 

Yes, we had some of it in our Troop. I was the butt of a few jokes with some parents that I was anti Eagle because I was quietly aginst the idea. But they loved our program because many of these families had several sons and just about all of them now have their Eagle.

 

I love this scouting stuff.

 

Barry

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I haven't seen it in Eagle Scouts, but I've seen "withholding Scouts" as a sort of general punishment across the board. I've had several occasions where a Scout has had a problem at school and have his punishment be that he's not allowed on a Scout outing. I understand that the parents have to do what they think is appropriate, but I wonder why it always seems to be Scouting? Maybe they could skip a baseball game instead. I try to instill in the parents a belief that participating in Scouts might be a good way to help correct their son's behavior. It's probably true that Scouts, as a group, are better behaved kids. In addition, especially for new Scouts, holding them out of Scout activities means that they're missing those meetings where the initial ranks are being worked on, and missing those puts them behing the other guys. You really don't want that, especially at the beginning. Logistically, it means that we end up setting up special sessions to get those Scouts caught up.

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I did not beg, bribe, threaten, coerce, beat, or do the work for them (as I have seen some parents do), therefore, neither of my sons completed their Eagle. All I did was serve as a registered adult and make sure they had a Troop to belong to and rides to every meeting and camping trip. Not making Eagle was a result of their efforts and priorities, not mine...as it should be. Complacency is not a quality of an Eagle. That's why the brotherhood of Eagles remains an elite society, of which MOST of them should be really proud.

 

A friend of mine told me last week that he was having to take a day off from work to go around and get his son's Eagle application processed in time for his 18th birthday. I just shook my head and said, "why is this YOUR problem?"

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I don't think I would have liked to been pushed for Eagle the entire way, but certainly at the end, every Eagle that I've known, myself included, need something for a kick in the pants to finish up the last bit. The drivers license thing did happen to a few friends of mine, it's called the "Wings before Wheels" incentive. My father figure wasn't my father, so he couldn't do such a thing, but he certainly made finishing the obvious choice when I was really close to it, but getting a bit burned out.

-Curtis

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To each his own... I'm not a fan of it, but I've seen it work. My dad didn't threaten me with it, but he's had parents in his troop do so successfully. The argument for it is that the maturity gained in earning the Eagle rank will help make the lad a better, safer, more mature driver.

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That is a good point, at least in NM, there is actually a car insurance benefit for Eagle scouts :-D but anyway, I digress. back to the topic at hand...

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I have seen several parents do this, if the boy earns his Eagle, it is just to get mom and dad off his back, and the accomplishment of attaining the Eagle rank means nothing to him. I have even had the majority of these boys refuse to even have a ceremony to recieve their rank.

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in the troop I grew up in, many of the people my age were forced through advancement all the way til Eagle. I really didn't like it back then, but I do think that good has (now that we've finished growing up) it's been good in the long run. A lot of the guys who got Eagle young because their families were forceing them, most everyone I'm still in contact with has grown into being what they got before they may have been ready, so keep in mind that it's not all bad. Of course I do think that they should be Eagle caliber before they get it, but I'm glad the guys I grew up with have at least become worthy of their title.

-Curtis

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Prairie Scouter -

 

This has been a pet peeve of mine for years, the withholding of Scouting as a punushment. Maybe it's an Illinois thing?? In my orientation for new parents I try to make it a point of not recommending this.

 

Dale

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>>I really didn't like it back then, but I do think that good has (now that we've finished growing up) it's been good in the long run.

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Wow... good question... one that I don't feel I can answer immediately... let me think some about that, and I'll get back to you :-D

-Curtis :-)

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