Re: Eagle before 13?
Susan Ganther (susan@EMAIL.UNC.EDU)
Mon, 19 Sep 1994 19:30:32 -0400
On Mon, 19 Sep 1994, Charles Schmidt wrote:
> 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.
I have to disagree with you here. A Scout just starting on the Eagle
trail could benefit greatly by giving some thought to setting goals for
himself other than financial/acquisitive ones. He might be thinking about
planning his advancement, and managing his time in Scouting to make sure
he is still on his own schedule for reaching his goal. Learning to do
this early on is going to get the Scout more involved in thinking of his
advancement as something which he needs to take responsibility for
planning rather than just letting it happen as a result of the program
planning done by his leaders.
Setting a budget and plotting income and expenses is not very different
for a Scout whose income is an allowance than it is for a Scout whose
income is from jobs. Some families do not give allowances but give payment
for household jobs, while other families give an allowance and expect
household jobs to be done without further compensation. It is really not
something the Scoutmaster can predict by a Scout's age. I have a Bear Cub
Scout who earned $200.00 mowing neighbors lawns over the summer. There
are always exceptions. Some 11 year olds may be over qualified for
personal management when compared to some 17 year olds.
As for elitism, you have to remember that the Eagle Award is not BSAs way
of selecting the best and brightest for accolades, it is BSAs incentive
for completing the program with full participation while giving it your
best effort. If it were not within the reach of every Boy Scout who
accepted the challenge and gave it his best effort, then there is not
much point in any but the best and brightest becomming Scouts or staying
in Scouts. Scouting is for ALL boys, not just the ones from Lake Wobegone
(where all the kids are above average).
I think that 2% statistic is overused and underexplained. All too many
people think it means that the Eagle selection process is very exclusive,
and that people who make it are better than other people. All it really
means is that most kids who sign up do not stay in the program for
various reasons, and that of those who stay, not all are motivated enough
to work at earning the award. I would like to see the statistic on Scouts
who aged out of Scouting and what percentage of those earned their Eagle,
just for perspective.
BTW, I agree with you on 13 year old Eagles. I don't think someone who is
finished at 13 is likely to have given more than a superficial effort at
completing the requirements but has breezed thru them being more
concerned with the destination than the journey.
Terry Howerton Sakima Group, Inc. SCOUTER Magazine Kansas City