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Her Who Must Be Obeyed Is On The War Path!!

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A long time ago OJ made it very clear to me that he wanted me not to be part of his Scouting "Career". I admit to being a little hurt at the time. However I remembered that when I was a Lad in Scouts, my parents were supportive but never really involved. There were many times during my tempestuous teens when the Scout Hall was my sanctuary. A place away from home where no parents dwelt.

For the most part I've been good and have not interfered or even said that much.

He, all on his own decided to leave one Troop, because he felt that many of the merit badges he had were worthless and had been given to him. The SM of the Troop had left about a year after OJ joined and things had gone down hill very quickly. Again on his own he choose another Troop. Not the one I would have chosen, but like I said I was being good.

The Troop he is in, isn't the worst Troop in the world, but it isn't the best. OJ, isn't a dummy and has worked this out for himself. In fact he did a good job of having a few changes made while he was SPL.Things that he found out from staffing JLTC and reading some of the many books and BSA publications that are all over the house.

I have read with interest the threads and postings about making Eagle Scout rank.

Her Who Must Be Obeyed, really wants OJ to become an Eagle Scout. Her Father who passed away a few months before OJ was born was a well known SM in our small town, her childhood sweetheart now a retired high ranking Air-force guy is an Eagle Scout and so is her brother who is a first class twit. I'll also own up to being very proud of being a Queen Scout.

OJ, only needs to complete his leadership,service project. Which has been approved and he has made a half hearted start on, along with the BOR. The project is a good one and the plans that he has on paper look good. (Yes they are on my computer and I looked!!)

Her Who Must Be Obeyed was shopping one day and found a lot of Eagle Scout paper cups, napkins and tray liners on sale. She has big plans for his Eagle Scout COR. She has a guest list with over 300 people on it!! All this Eagle Scout paper is taking up room that she would like to now use for something else.She is now getting on at me to have a word with him.

I of course would be pleased if he decided that making Eagle Scout was really something that he wanted to do. He turned 17 last July. Sad to say the Troop he is in offers nothing for older Scouts. It hands out a JASM patch and the older Scouts look in at the odd Troop meeting. The Crew that he was in fell apart, due to lack of any real direction and complete lack of any meaningful activity. Still he remains active. He wants to be a part of the new Sea Scout Ship and is very active in the OA, serving as Vice Lodge Chief, Section Secretary and he has high hopes of being elected Lodge Chief later this year. He had a busy summer; staffing the Jambo and doing the Trail Crew at Philmont along with serving on staff at our Council Summer camp, even if he did miss half of it!!

I have avoided the "Get down and get this Eagle done" speech. My feelings are that it has to come from him. I have had a few chats with him about making Eagle Scout and was a little taken back when he said that the real problem is that "They" give it to anyone!!

As someone who sits on a fair amount of Eagle Rank BOR's I think I might be part of the "They"!!

He could of course be trying to push my buttons. I know that at times I do that a lot.

I do however believe that where he is right now is fine with me and that left alone he really doesn't care about advancement or making Eagle. I kinda think he will get it done, but mainly so that Her Who Must Be Obeyed can have room in the cupboards.

I of course will end up in the poor house, paying for the COH. But what the heck I've been there before.


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Stop avoiding the speech and just do it.

Once you've had the speech, you've done your done your job. No more guilt feelings, and no more angry mrs. on your back :)


Thinking back many many moons ago, I remember what motivated me to finish my Eagle.

Way back in 1981 at the begining of my sophmore year, my Troop cranked out Eagles (We were not an Eagle mill or mb factory). I think we had a 75% rate of making Eagle and we made it young. This work of art was at the hands of the best SM in the world Mr Harry L.

Harry never said get off your butt and do this or that. He used peer presure has his motivator. Once our troop had a few Eagles, then it was every scouts goal to make it.

Now back to our story back in HS. At the begining of the year we got last year's Year Book. We spent our free periods autographing them and writing all that goofy stuff inside them. After mine had been around the horn, I had a chance to read some of the comments. The one that stuck me the most was from my friend and fellow troop mate.

"Cary, your a good friend...yada yada yada...Dennis. P.S. Hurry up and get your Eagle."

That was written in early Aug of 81. In Nov of 81 I had my Eagle BOR.







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Do the speech! Or you'll always wish you had. Sometimes the kids just need a little push.. my Dad gave me the speech, and it worked and I've always been glad he did.


My Dad's speech was one of encouragement and motivation with overtones of duty and pleasing my Mother and making him proud. It was a very positive speech... you do it that way, and you should get good results.



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Sometimes young men do not see things as well as adults. Please allow me to tell my personal story.


I became a Boy Scout in September 1970. At that time you had to be 11 years old to join Boy Scouts. During that fall two things happened that affected my scouting career. At the first court of honor I attended a young man became the first Eagle Scout from our troop. He was a senior in high school and was a few months from turning 18. In November of that year my father died at the age of 39 after years of alcohol abuse.


I made achieving the rank of Eagle my main goal in life. I figured I had until I was a senior in high school to achieve that goal. I became a First Class Scout in one year and a Star Scout in the second year.


In 1972 BSA changed the game. The new scouting program was introduced that seemed to turn everything upside down. We were no longer Boy Scouts but were now Scouts. There were no longer ranks but now they were called progress awards. The requirements changed for every award. The required merit badges for Eagle had been changed. I had already earned Camping, Cooking, and Nature merit badges as Eagle required merit badges but under the new requirements these were no longer Eagle required merit badges. New required merit badges included Citizenship in the World, Communications, and Personal Management. There were now 24 merit badges required for Eagle.


When the new system, as it was called, was explained to the Scouts in our troop we were told that if we wanted to earn Eagle under the old system we had until December 31, 1973 to complete the requirements under the old requirements. This was the grace period that National BSA had granted for the transition.


To me the concept of having to earn additional merit badges and have some of my already earned required merit badges no longer count as required was too much. I now had a deadline of the end of 1973 to achieve my goal of Eagle.


I made it. I finished all of the requirements with 20 days to spare and then had my board of review in January 1974. I was 14 years and 4 months old. To me that December 31, 1973 deadline was every much as big as the age of 18 deadline that many boys face when working toward Eagle.


The point of my personal story is that many young men need something that pushes a sense of urgency to achieving a goal. They often feel that time is endless and that the age of 18 is so far off in the future that it will never arrive.


Eamonn, maybe your son is looking for encouragement and a push from his father. We all know that some parents can push their children to Eagle, but sometimes young men are looking for appreciation from their fathers and they withhold doing what their fathers want to see what the reaction will be. Give him a loving nudge.




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Talk to him so that you will not feel guilty. Explain how close he is and how much it might make a difference in the future, but it is his decision. At times I have felt like I have done more for other peoples sons than my own. My youngest will be 18 soon and is still First Class, but he is Vigil, a committee chairman, staffed 2 weeklong JLTs, been to Sea Base, hiked 100 miles of the AT, etc and has served as summer camp staff 3 yrs, as well as day camp and Cub wkends. He stayed with the program and has grown. Would I have liked to have seen him become Eagle? Yes but it is more important to me that he has stayed with the program and has grown with it. Advancement was never something he was concerned with. I talked to him several times but always left it up to him.

Sounds like OJ is a GREAT Scout and will probably come around. Just have a talk with him, like a Scoutmaster conference, and see what his thoughts are.

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Your in trouble any way you look at it.Why not let "Her Who Must Be Obeyed" talk to him too. Give the speech, now that he is going to be a SEA SCOUT there is the Quatermaster Award, it is harder than Eagle!

So there is another speech down the road, how about Ranger and Silver Awards more speeches. there are always going to be talks,then one day he will be giving you speeches, telling you which nursing home, or why you need not drive anymore, etc.... It just history repeating itself.

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E- I understand your divided mind, and appreciate your dilemma.


I think you need to follow your gut.


The 'crisis of faith' is common in many phases of life. He is just feeling the BSA version.


The problem is that, to get out of these, some people need a smack upside the head to clear and refocus the mind. Some need a swift kick in the rear to get them moving again. Some need a word of support and encouragement- a gentle reminder that they are still loved one way or the other to help ease their troubled soul. Some need to be left to stew in their own juices. Some... well, you know what I mean.


We've both known parents who have done every trick in the book (ranging from the old 'no Eagle, no car' trick to 'letting them find their own way') ans we know some people it worked for, and others it did not.




On a seperate issue, I strongly agree that most troops have no idea what to do with Eagles or older Scouts. It is pretty sad. I also think it is a bit de-motivating for these guys. I sorta wish there was a program of some sort ONLY open to Eagles at the local levels!

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Famous Phrases Never Uttered: Gee, Im sure glad I didnt finish my Eagle rank



My oldest son was going like gang-busters right up through his project, but then slowed down through the last few badges and took an eternity to complete the write-up and go through the board of review process. He completed his Eagle rank about 6 weeks prior to his 18th birthday.


During his slow period I would occasionally ask him how it was going. I usually received the Im working on it but I knew he wasnt. Finally I gave him the line at the top of my post and then told him whether he finished or not was up to him, but as a father I didnt want him to regret not finishing. I cant say for certain that it was my little speech that convinced him to finish.


As a Scoutmaster Ive been steadfast in my conviction that I do not make Eagle Scouts thats not my job. Instead I teach, encourage, mentor, guide, coach, inspire, coax, etc. Of course thats easy when the Scout is not your son. As a father its hard not to meddle, but another of my convictions (and admonitions to parents) is that you cant allow yourself to want it more than he does.


I applaud the path youre taking. You already know OJ is a quality individual and that wont change regardless of what he chooses to do about his Eagle rank. From your posts I picture him as a mature, confident individual who knows what he wants and knows how to go about making it happen. Those type of people are successful in life because of their innate inner qualities, not because of the rank they achieved in Scouting.


If I had to offer any advice to you it would be to try the no regrets line of reasoning, but Im not sure you need advice, like I said I applaud the path youre taking.


Best Wishes.


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I have read many of your posts and been very interested in your unique, and direct approach. May I offer you my shot at the "speech", when young men in our troop have held Eagle for six months, I talk to them (under direction of our SM). It takes about 20 seconds.


I ask them if they are interested in earning Eagle. (most tell me they are)


I ask them what hurdles they still have. (most tell me about one of the big 3 merit badges (you know which those are) and we talk about how to get past them)


I ask about their project. (it amazes me, how often these boys know what they want to do. Some have ideas that aren't valid Projects, but we talk about why they want to do that, and sure enough, they come around)


I then tell them I have one last thing to tell them, and ask them if they have any questions. (There may be some, but most of the time there aren't any requests for information)


I then hold out my left hand, and look them in the eye. I ask them if they understand that there are people that make excuses for not getting done. I tell them how proud of them I am, and how I don't want them ever making excuses for their actions.


I end up telling them, "You are too smart, too strong, too brave, to ever have to worry about what could have been, or what should have been. You need to get done if for no other reason than you are too good to be labeled as someone that just couldn't finish."


Many young men over the years, have come back to me with that badge on their chest to thank me for what I did. I look at them and say, "I didn't do anything special, I simply spoke the truth."


Let me ask you, is this too pushy? Am I overstepping my bounds. or doing something wrong? In all honesty, all I'm trying to do is help them see what's going to happen. Good luck with your speech!

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E- Hang in there.

Our oldest Eagle completed his BOR 3 weeks prior to his 18th birhday, but he had wanted to be an Eagle since he was 6 years old. The project never slowed him down, just some of the adult scouters who didn't always behave in a scoutly manner. But he EARNED his Eagle. Did we have the talk? many times, everything seemed to come back to "When are you going to get your Eagle done." His response always was, "I'll get it done." He did. Now he is in college and helps out the troop when he has time. He is also the only adult scouter we have who is an Eagle, and he wears his knot.


Our second Eagle, the son we never thought would be interested in doing an Eagle project, decided out of the blue this March to do his Eagle, presented the project, and started it and completed his BOR in July. Never once did we give this son the talk - he was smart enough not to let us ask that question of him, always telling us first, "I'm too young to do my Eagle and I have 5 more years." Surprise. I can't believe how much sod, dirt & woodchips can be moved by young teenage males, in a four week period. He is now free, no Eagle pressure hanging over him, he has been elected SPL and he is having a blast trying to make some changes to his Troop.


Our youngest scout is just 13, and has been a Life for a while (it helps when your older brothers have merit badges to finish and you get dragged along as the "second scout"- frequently he finished those merit badges before his older brothers did). Anyway, they asked him at his Life BOR when he was going to start his Eagle - his response "I'm not old enough." He has also stated he is not ready to lead a project. And surprisingly, he has said that he wants to wait until he can do a project that he feels is worthy of being an Eagle project. The scouts know who earns an Eagle and who just gets one handed to them. This child wants to earn his Eagle. I respect that.(I also know that my son doesn't want to be accused of not doing enough to earn an Eagle, we have another boy who is now a 13 yr old Eagle, his parents did his project, wrote the report and shoved it through, and it was approved by the CC, not by those of us on the board - in fact we rejected it) If our son chooses not to do his Eagle, the world will not end, there will be no shame. If he spends the next 5 years in scouting just learning to be a better scout, we will be very proud of him.


So, for your son, who feels that many of the scouts may not really "earn" their Eagle, remind your son that if he does a project that he knows is worthy of an Eagle project, he will have earned his Eagle and everyone who is important in his life will also know that and respect him. A good scout will earn his Eagle. OJ still has time, but as a parent, you and SWMBO know that time is slipping away. Have a talk with him, ask him what he needs from you, it may just be the moral support of having his folks there for him, whatever his decision. Eagles are hard to earn for a reason. If OJ were not your son, just another scout, what would you council him to think about? I think Eagles are hardest for parents to suffer through, we have to walk a very thin line on letting our children grow. Talk to him, this is important, help him find the direction he needs to make a decision. If he decides not to do his Eagle, you and your wife will know that you have done your best and will then be able to support his decision. And you will know he made the right decision for himself.


Good luck!

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