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One of the problems with achieving Eagle is that the process is for the individual, the character building, leadership, brotherhood, and organizational skills comes from the many other aspects of scouting that is often overlooked when taking the narcassistice approach of marathon to Eagle and the acolades, resume line, scholarships that the patch will benefit the wearer.


It's kinda like the AOL syndrom I faced when I was Webelos leader. Do I work with the pins' skills, the teamwork of the den, the outings and camping, etc. or do I design a program so that all the boys get AOL?


I constantly remind my boys, once the general gets the star on his uniform, he doesn't quit the army, it just tells everyone that he's finally met the minimum requirements for being cream of the crop in leading others.


Too many people over emphasize scouting as only rank advancement, not character building and maturity development. The only decision one makes is which is the higher priority?



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I believe that the troops should follow the guidance provided by BSA. There is no age requirement for attaining Eagle other than the built in one of serving in an job of responsibility for a specific period of time.


I've sat on Eagle boards and understand that each scout can be very different. I've been impressed with the well-spoken 14 y/o scout who knew what he wanted to do vs the 18 y/o who just barely made it under the wire and didn't have specific plans for his future despite being a senior in high school. I think that artificially holding scouts back from making their ranks despite having met the requirements is not only frustrating for them but contradictory as many troops have the goal to get the new scout through the First Class Rank in the first year. So they make First Class, then what? How would you like it if your boss said you wouldn't be getting any raises until you reach a certain age?


Attaining the Eagle Rank although highly commendable is not the end of scouting. So many scouts drop out at that time because they have reached 18 y/o. We are trying to show the scouts in our troop that this can be a life-long activity. Higher ranking scouts are encouraged to become staff at camporees (they love doing this); earning Eagle Palms are discussed with scouts as the next step; Eagle scouts under 18 y/o become JASMs and teach skills while those reaching 18 y/o become Assistant Scoutmasters.


I've been involved in various troops over the years and know that troops can be as different as the scouts within them. I've transfered out of troops that were not boy-led and those that had their own ideas about Eagle qualifications. You may have to consider this option.


A Scoutmaster can give a scoutmaster conference at any time, not just for rank advancement. In fact, it is encouraged to give one to those scouts not advancing to encourage them to do so. I agree with Gold Winger that the scout should ask the SM, point blank for a SM conference for Eagle. If the SM refuses, ask for the reasons in writing. Take that to the District Advancement Chair (at this point the parents should get involved). Often the Unit Commissioner can help to mediate within the troop. If not, the district may have to. I've seen where an SM refused to give a scoutmaster conference for Eagle (whether or not the scout would pass was immaterial). District was asked to intervene. SM was steadfast so district arranged for the SM conference and the Eagle Board of Review. The scout earned his Eagle rank without reservations by the SMs involved or the Eagle Board. The scout involved is now an adult and still highly involved in scouting and well on his way to a lifetime experience in scouting.


Good luck with your efforts. Remember that scouting is about the journey and we often learn more from the problems that arise than if everything went smoothly. Use this as a learning opportunity for your scout.

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Just my 2 cents and it may not be worth that much to most but I totally agree with Committee View. However, I feel that no boy should make Eagle at 12 yrs of age either. I know a boy, and I'm not exactly sure of his age, but I can tell you he was in my WeBeLoS den in 2005/2006 as a 4th grader (9 yrs of age). In August, we were invited to go to his new home state and participate in his Eagle Ceremony. Of course we did not go. We believe his dad pushed him through WeBeLoS the rest of the way, counted things he should not have as completing requirements for WeBeLoS and AOL (I left that pack in Jan 06), and then pushed him through boy scouts so that he was only in each rank for the minimum time required to be in that rank before advancing. When the boy was a Bear Scout he had EVERY belt loop and pin possible. I know people change and boys mature at different ages but I seriously can not believe this boy was mature enough to lead an Eagle project on his own.


I say, that if your son is mature enough to do all the work without your constant pushing and he actually is a leader, then encourage him to request his SM conference for Eagle and if he doesn't get his conference then he should push the issue. But I also agree that it is not a race and I would never tell my son (14 yrs old) that he could not get his driver's license until he earned his Eagle! That is just NUTS! One has nothing to do with the other.


Ok...so maybe that was more than 2 cents! :)

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In Scouting we must remember it is what is best for the boy. As a Scoutmaster and parent I told one of my sons to relax on worrying about his Eagle project. He promptly contacted, setup and wrote up his Eagle project -- then proceeded to get signatures. I was still concerned about maturity and asked another Scoutmaster his opinion. He ask me if this was any other boy what would be my response. I honestly had to reply Great job and let him fly with his project. He received his Eagle at 14. My biggest surprize was the maturity now demonstrated -- due to his determination he grew in so many more ways than just leadership. I am still wondering if he was invaded by aliens but I am glad I backed his diligent efforts instead of expecting him to fall to my expectations

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