Re: Eagle before 13?
Bob Condon (rec@EPOCH.COM)
Fri, 23 Sep 1994 11:49:58 +0500
Now I am really confused.
Some of my writings have confused you about my position and I think
the same has happened to you.
This is my thoughts on Eagles.
I will not hold back anyone from advancing that is ready. No age requirements
are necessary if they have done the work, shown the commitment and produced
a quality product (leadership, instruction, camp lead, running the troop for
SPL and ASPL, etc) consistently.
Age is not an issue. I have very mature 13 year old working with mature
15 year old leading the troop. I have 16, 14, 13 year olds as PL.
I have older boys (14-15) that were clowns and were not elected by their
peers for a leadership position.
Each boy matures and develops at different times. We have age appropriate
development and maturing in the majority of boys but we also have goofy 17
year olds and very mature 12 and 13 year old.
I apologize for my sarcasm. You are correct and I was discourteous to you.
You statement in the last post smacked me with the same attitude
that the committee had which was:
> We need to make our units more responsive to the
> needs of the older Scouts instead of trying to crank out Eagles faster
> because they will leave at 14 or 15 to find what they are looking for
I disagree with this statement. The units need to be responsive to those
boys that are there, and are doing the work with no age restriction. If we
are more responsive to just older boys, then the younger will get bored
and leave, leaving a huge gap that I found when I got to the troop
three years ago.
When I got there, there were no one under 14 in the troop. There was no one
under first class. All were clammering for leadership positions with
no one to lead.
I brought in three waves of webelos over the last 3 years and now have
a good functioning troop that spans from 11 -> 17. In the past life, everyone
was dedicated to the older boys and they lost all of them that they recruited.
> There are plenty of other things a boy can and should do between
> the ages of 11 and 13 than full time persuit of the Eagle award, so
> cramming everything one hopes to get out of Scouting into a 2 year period
> is not the answer.
I asked for an explanation and I found that we actually have the
same opinion. I like to see the boys involved in sports, academics,
church and extracurricular school clubs. Most of the boys are. The
word "should" is what caught me though. I interpreted this as meaning
"they had to". Some of the boys want Scouting as their main extracurricular
activity and that is fine with me. The rest just need to let us know what their
The one thing I won't do is dedicate myself to a boy that is heavily involved
in a zillion things and does not leave time to participate in scouting
and then demand advancement. I talk to the boy about LIFE CHOICES and how
they affect your entire life. Being involved in too many events make them
poor performers in all events.
> Are you saying that you are picky about who you are willing to develope
> along the Eagle trail?
I work with all boys, but the BOYS can elect (and are picky) about who gets
leadership positions. I have never seen the boys choose by popularity
but by commitment and by experience. The last two years have not elected only
older guys but several younger dedicated scouts.
As a merit badge councilor, there is no age restriction for first aid,
personal management, citizenship in the community. They just have to
perform up to the standards required by the badge.
> I have not advocated any arbitrary age requiremets, you must have me
> confused with someone else.
I interpreted two messages which led me to assume you were advocating age
requirements. This was MY interpretations and I think this is where I
misunderstand your statements.
1. There were that we need to more responsive to the needs of the older Scouts.
2. 11-13 scouts should be involved in other things and not just working
on their scouting advancements.
> Willing is one thing, having the opportunity is something else.
The opportunities in the troop are varied:
SPL, ASPL, PL, SCRIBE, QUARTERMASTER are elected positions. No adult
in the selection process.
Assistent PL are elected in the patrol - No adult in the selection process.
Greenbar: All teh above folks plus 3 from the general troop.
Campout coordinators - Folks that run the campout and work with adults
to get everything together are chosen at the greenbar meeting. This can
be chosen from someone in the group or a selected scout from the general
troop that wants the opportunity. This is an initial leadership, one time
Intructors - This can be a special positions for an older boy that has the
extensive knowledge of a subject matter but was not elected to a leadership
Example: We have a boy that dedicated himself to baseball for 9 months. He was
a Star scout for 2 years and just got his Life. He has done extensive camping
in all sorts of environments. We have asked him to put together equipment
lists and sources for the new boys/parents for each environment (Winter,
Spring/fall, Summer) (Car-ish camping with patrol boxes, Full backpack).
This boy, because he dedicated himself to baseball, did not attend any
troop meetings and occasionally went on trips. He did not show up
for the election. The boys felt he was not currently committed to the
troop in a leadership position and passed him by. This boy will be given the
opportunity for Instructor leadership position (not done before) as part
of his leadership requirement for Eagle (he estimates 2 years away).
I believe we are giving plenty of opportunity for those that want
to do the work. As you can see, I don't make very many decisions
about leadership because we are truely a boy run troop.
> Is your attitude toward the older slower achievers reflected
> in the elections because you have created a culture where only the fast
> trackers are respected?
No, we do work with all. I also have adults that work with the patrol leaders
to keep an eye on advancement of the boys. We use the TROOPMASTER software
to let me know when ranks are slowing down in a certain area.
A couple of times we found that we were not offering campouts that
, as an example, had compass work or orienteering involved.
> That is too bad, because Scouting is supposed to be for ALL boys.
I started writing this post because the committee asked a 13 year old boy
who was presenting his Eagle proposal "Why Now?"
In their mind, the Eagle should come at some later perscribed time and
that this person was moving ahead too fast. These committee folks did the
BOR for Star and Life with him and were equally intense about leadership and
scout spirit and they passed him. Now, they are not sure that 13 is good for an
This person wants all three Eagle palms and has MB toward them already because
he did several Eagle MBs that can only be counted as one MB.
(Personal Fitness + Sports + Swimming).
He does see the Eagle as a goal. He has been offered, by his grandmother,
the pewter Eagle that his grandfather received when he got his Eagle. He
lost his grandfather to a sudden heart attach many years ago.
He also wants to be a pediatrician and has dedicated himself to being a
"nearly" straight A honor student. At 10 years of age, he interviewed several
doctors about education requirements, colleges etc...
Again, I apologize for my bad behavior. We are all in this for the boys.
Bob Condon Phone: (508)-836-4711 Ext 393
SM Troop 1, Acton, Ma. Fax: (508)-836-4884
Disclaimer: The opinions expressed here are mine alone and not those of
Terry Howerton Sakima Group, Inc. SCOUTER Magazine Kansas City