Re: Eagle before 13?
Charles Schmidt (schmidt@UNIX1.IS.TCU.EDU)
Mon, 19 Sep 1994 14:28:52 CDT
As a scoutmaster for eight years and an occasional member of the
district eagle board of review, I have formed strong opinions on the
business of 13 yr old eagles. Not all eagles are created equal, but I
have found few 13 year old ones that match even the mediocre 15-18 year
olds. It is a simple matter of maturity.
I agree with the principle that no boy should be held back, though I
would eagerly support a time requirement that would do that in effect.
What I can and do do is control which merit badges a boy works on.
An eleven or twelve year old receiving a nominal allowance and having
most of what he wants purchased for him by his parents (as one example),
is not in a position to learn the lessons of personal management mb.
Likewise, I have counseled boys of various ages in the Environmental
Science badge. Few 12 or 13 year olds can grasp the concepts of
interconnectedness which are at the heart of that one. Citizenship in
the World is another badge which requires maturity (in my opinion, which
may not seem, but may actually be humble). So I will not gladly sign
the scoutmaster line on the blue card, which is their ticket to work on
the badge. What I will do is recommend another badge which I feel is
more at his level. When nothing else is left, I will then cave in and
sign the boy up for the last of the required badges.
Most of the required badges are not that much of a stretch. I could
rank them, but little is gained.
Finally, and here I fear I will show that most dreadful of traits -
elitism, not every boy should make eagle. If a 14 or 15 yr old lacks
the drive to continue on the trail, I am inclined to think it well that
he didn't make the highest rank available to scouts at 13. If it ever
becomes so easy that most get it, the value of the eagle rank will be
Scoutmaster, Troop 64
Longhorn Council, Fort Worth, Texas
Terry Howerton Sakima Group, Inc. SCOUTER Magazine Kansas City