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Don't ya just hate those paper Eagles. Why it makes your blood boil just thinking about them. Like in 1931 that 13 year old kid that got Eagle Scout, Sam Walton. Fouder of the little store chain Wal-mart. Who did he think he was foolin?


Almost as bad as those scout leaders who think they can judge a boy's heart by the number of candles on a cake. Makes your blood boil.



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I doubt many 15-17 year old Eagles consciously tried for that. I would think most either just weren't motivated for the final step, or got a late start in Scouts.


I recall getting mine when I was 15 (I would have to dig out the records for sure), but that was a limitation of time limits, as well as a bit of poking on my part I suppose. Though I did miss a good chunk of my first possible year as a Boy Scout for some personal reasons.


My oldest will be 13 in April, and just got his life. If he makes his Eagle this year, which will be up to him, it won't be a "paper eagle," for he will have worked for it. I helped a bit in the earlier ranks, but he is "on his own" now, at least as far as the remaining Eagle badges and project. Given that he is already working on the merit badges for his second palm, a change in the award structure would benefit him.


All that said, I don't think most boys are that motivated to achieve bunches of merit badges. Even my oldest, who is somewhat aiming toward that, doesn't really puruse it as hard as he could.



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We have discussed in several threads the concept of a paper Eagle. The scout is only 12 or 13 and members of the forum question the maturity the scout possess or whether the merit badges were done up to standards, how they were able to handle a service project et al.


The problem with paper Eagles never lies with the scout, it lies in the adults who allowed the papers to get printed. It's not just one person, we cant blame the scoutmaster, or the Counselor for Environmental Science, or any one person. A whole lot of people have to agree for any boy, even one who is 17 years and 364 days old to attain the rank of Eagle.


I am on record saying a 12 year old Eagle designates a genius, then again, there is genius in the world so I have to accept it can happen. Rather than focus on how to slow down a scouts trail to Eagle, why not concentrate on assuring each adult along the way is fully aware of their responsibilities to the Scouting Program ? If all the requirements for Eagle are met, the Boy is an Eagle regardless of his age.


If a boy receives an Eagle he didnt "earn" its not his fault, its a failure of the system.


The palm system was devised to recognize a scouts contribution to his troop after he "makes" Eagle, it is not designed to give the boy another award for every 5 merit badges he earns past 21. The 5 merit badges are a requirement, but so is Scout Spirit, participation in the troop, showing leadership, have a scoutmaster conference and board of review.


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  • 5 years later...

Hello all...

As life's trail leads me to new frontiers, I am always proud as I read of new and adventurous tails of scouts leading the way. I salute you! To update many aspects of communication...you may reach me on my cell @ (xxx) xxx-xxx or you may contact me via E-mail @ eaglescoutjohnstanford@yahoo.com or jccstanford@hotmail.com....


I wish all of you joy and success in your lives and as a favorite quote I must say..."Action speaks louder than words"...so go for it and be all you can be!



Eagle Scout John C. Stanford



OGE here, I am not sure about the phone number, email if you wish (This message has been edited by a staff member.)

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Although Scouting.com has been one of the most informative sites that has ever existed on the www (world wide web)...I haven't had the pleasure to visit as much as I would like to.

Thank you for the opportunity to participate in your forum. I noticed the interesting comments on age and Eagle Scouts. It is a good debate. I noticed the term "paper Eagles"...In my day they were called Ego Scouts.

While I cannot speak for all, of-course... there was witness of these trends of "eagle mills" and "merit badge mills" that had started to evolve during the time of our last uniform upgrade of which is in use today. The requirements of earning palms and the time requirements to do such that have always been printed in our Scout handbooks for all to see. As Handbooks change, so does our development and views of Scouting as a whole.(as quoted by Green Bar Bill).

Once again Thank You for allowing me to share views on these subjects. In travels I have learned many things change, sometimes for the better and also for the worst. The Laws of Attraction do apply in this opinion...what you reep, so you sow.

As a charge...one wears his Eagle close to his heart and not on his sleeve. Generally, the true Eagle is singled out among the masses and society recognises his intentions and life as true, then again sometimes not. Just because someone jumps off a bridge doesn't mean it's ok for the next person to commit the act of the same. Time is an interesting, funny, enlightening and sometimes cruel experience. Glory and Honor sometimes comes easy for the Ego or Paper Eagle but eventually their spark burns out much faster than others of the same flame. It is our responsibility as adults and leaders to guide the scout and allow them to work in a worthy way.

For myself as a scout for the last 20 to 30 years, I have been blessed with the experience of many past masters in the craft of scouting. A scout who is worthy and well qualified and desirous in seeking more light in scouting should be offered more intense ordeals so that his total experience and existance may light and lead the way for others on the same true course that an Eagle flies; whether it be in life,scouting, or in society as a whole. The opportunity to be more involved with scouting and to be awarded with palms is merely one of the many rewards he may receive...whether it be at a COH or regular scout meeting. Please keep in mind the Eagle Charge.

There are times in one's life where recognition could be given but is never requested and is never given in return. It's like when I saved a person's life...the joy in my heart of being able to give and help someone live longer...and the look in their eye as they look back at you without exchanging any words far outwayed any reward or recognition that could be given by any governing body. I guess you'ld have to be there to know that feeling.

Growing with scouting in my life was at first for a male influence; because my Father died when I had first joined Boy Scouts. As a promise to him before he died I promised to achieve the rank of Eagle. We were rather poor and I grew up without many luxeries that we now sometimes take for granted. Television was one of them that we went without. I was raised in the mountains practically in the middle of nowhere. So, needless to say there was much time on my hands.

Being raised an only child by a widowed parent (my Grandmother) was also a driving force for me to learn all I could. I wanted to have them be proud before they died. She eventually died just last August 2006. She was 82.

Merit Badges were at that time was like an individual carreer... each on a different subject that once learned, one would possess ground entry level training in that field. Personnally I did all the written work first on each badge then filed it on the shelf until I could find a certified professional in each field of study. Then once a teacher or master of their craft was found, we would do the actual hands on requirements. That was my stratagy in getting many done. I did not know what profession I wanted to pursue so I kept doing more badges to get a better idea of what life had to offer. Once I achieved all badges that were offered, I then worked on past merit badges that were discontinued. National honored completed discontinued merit badges for a short period of time during mid-seventies to mid-eighties. Although many young scouts have achieved the rank of Eagle, I can only speak for myself. I am one of those young Eagles from many years ago who made it by 13. Did I deserve it? I say yes. Did I do all the work by myself? I had Qualified Mentors help me learn and yes...the total support of the Troop and Committee Board as well. This support allowed me to excel and do the work by myself. Hopefully my short story will help allow others to have faith in the Scouting System and value what all it has to offer. One only has to be willing to learn in order to find true light in Scouting.

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