A place for YOUNG Eagles in scouting!
Don Izard (IZARD@UBVM.BITNET)
Fri, 27 Aug 1993 10:45:55 EDT
Don Newcomb's reply to the SCOUT spirit question once again hit upon
an interresting challenge! A challenge that even the National Eagle
Scout Association has not really answered. Eagles scouts SHOULD be
the MOST valuable commodity in scouting in the BSA/USA. However,
as was stated, it traditionally follows that a majority of Eagles
earn the Eagle rank, and then vanish from scouting. NESA, and some
councils hold an annual search for lost Eagles etc., BUT WHAT DO THEY
DO WITH THEM WHEN THEY FIND THEM? Why do WE (YES WE!) allow them to
fall in the cracks and get LOST to scouting in the first place!
The Eagle scouts should be the ultimate ROLE model in troops. They
SHOULD be the real LEADERS, either helping GUIDE the younger JUNIOR
leaders, or doing the LEADING themselves. The problem is partly
built into the leadership requirements for rank advancements!!!!
The scouts that are already EAGLES do NOT NEED more leadership time,
so the Junior Leader jobs are often moved to younger First Class, Star,
and LIFE scouts, who need "leadership time". This can leave the young
Eagle scouts feeling left OUT and NO LONGER an important part of the
troop. Many troops make them a JUNIOR ASSISTANT Scout Master which
while that is a NICE honorary title, I have not seen many units with
a REAL organization layout or plan that really gives the JASM any real
job function ore RESPONCIBILITY! With nothing to do, or only SOME "make
work" job to do, would you expect a YOUNG Eagle to remain active?
Back in "MY day", I left the troop and joined a very ACTIVE HIGH Adventure
Explorer post. I remained on the troop charter for some time as a
JASM, but was never once given anything to do!
In my son's current troop, we have a VENTURE crew which is really trying
to be a Canadian ROVER CREW! They go to Candian Rover MOOTS and functions
and have a great time. However, that is obviously NOT a solution for
most units. BSA in general has a problem with something to keep the
Eagles in scouting. As was pointed out before on the list, THERE WAS
no SPECIAL Eagle day, or gathering of Eagles at the National Jambo!
After a Eagle gets his badge, IT IS THE END, for all practicle purposes!
There is NOTHING clear or defined for the NEXT step for the Eagle scout!
Some people like to say that earning the Eagle scout rank is NOT the end,
but is only the begining! But the beginning of what?
I found that to be a real challenge, and I talked to those that would
listen at the NESA booth at the jambo. MOSTLY, they were more interrested
in getting NEW and OLD Eagles to JOIN NESA, and pay dues! BUT WHY pay
dues to belong to an organization that is not really doing anything?
Sure they give out scholarships, but how many Eagles on this list have
even been to any kind of NESA meeting? Our local council has been
trying to get togther a group of Eagles to organize a PLAN to do
something! I have been thinking about WHAT that should be, ever since
the JAMBO. I think part of the problem is that on a precentage basis,
Eagle scouts are a very small percentage, so BSA Inc., looks at spending
any time or $$$ on anything for Eagle scouts as counter productive.
IN fact I agree to some extent! After a scout reaches the Eagle scout
rank, it becomes HIS turn to give BACK to scouting! Easy to say!
WE NEED SOME IDEAS HOW!!! I know there are some EAGLES on this list,
plus parents of Eagles! I bet WE can come up some good ideas!!!
I bet NESA might even like to hear some good ideas on the subject.
What can WE do with young Eagle scouts to keep them in scouting,
so they can give something back to scouting? Remember, we need
specifics. NOT just ideas like "MAKE THEM A JASM"! While that
maybe be OK for a start, what is that JASM going to DO?
What meaningful WORK can he do to help scouting?
Eagle Scout and Father of and Eagle scout, and Uncle of Eagle SCOUTS
Terry Howerton Sakima Group, Inc. SCOUTER Magazine Kansas City