Sad night or do WE not understand?
William A. Glover (WAG@LOYOLA.EDU)
Tue, 20 Dec 1994 15:50:21 -0500
Dear Concerned Scout-L Readers,
I feel obligated to respond to the posting of John Pannell about the
scout that has decided not to make the final step to the rank of Eagle.
I wanted to post on this topic, but saw the number of responses that
were made and decided to hold off, until now.
John's latest posting make it pretty clear about the problem that these
scouts are having in our ever changing society.
< We recently have had three young men, one of whom is a close friend
< of his, who have recently received their Eagle. All three are in the
< 16 to 18 bracket. None actually "received" it yet, for we are awaiting
< their wishes as regards a Court of Honor or other such presentation.
< I'm surprised (well, not really) that _none_ of them wants
< any sort of ceremony and one actually asked us if we could mail him his
The scouts are all of the age that peer pressure is difficult and one of
the more difficult things to stand up to is the peer pressure associated
with scouting. Many scouts become focal points for teasing in High School,
I know this for a fact. I received my Eagle at the end of my senior year
of high school (1984). Although this is a great accomplishment for any
scout, the publicity that follows really singles out the individual. The
attention, mostly positive, can also be negative from peers. It takes a
strong individual not to give into peer pressure.
Two of my best friends in scouting worked their way up the ranks of scouting
and halted right before Eagle. One of them, when confronted by his father
after graduating from High School, confessed that the reason he did not
complete his Eagle requirements was because he did not want to receive
the "attention" (ie. ridicule) that he observed when a fellow classmate
received his Eagle! He said that if he could have gotten the award without
the pomp and circumstance that he would have done it, but he was affraid of
the attention that the local media gives Eagle Scouts. Shortly after this
revelation was told to me I found that the other fellow scout suffered
from the same concerns. Remember peer pressure can be very difficult.
Now many of you may feel that this sounds like an excuse for not obtaining
Eagle, maybe this was the scout(s) way out of falling short of their goals?
I would disagree... each of the scouts had at least 1.5 years to complete
their last step to the rank of Eagle. In other conversations with fellow
scouters they have found similar situations.
How do we counter this problem?
We should start from the introduction of a new boy to scouting by
building their accomplishments and successes (not only in scouting) so
that they feel strong about themselves and their convictions.
We should strive to make scouting as visible in our communities as we can.
I feel most adults, when asked, regard scouting as a valuable activity
for our youth and many go on to regret the fact that they did not climb
that last limb to reach the pinnacle of scouting as a youth, the rank
of Eagle. The hardest part of obtaining the rank of Eagle was not the
requirements, but sticking to my desire to be an Eagle and living through
the trials and tribulations that life brought me.
In today's society we need a lot more people that are: Trustworthy,
Loyal, Helpful, Friendly, Courteous, Kind, Obedient, Cheerful, Thrifty,
Brave, Clean and Reverent (The Boy Scout Law), We need more SCOUTS.
Yours in Scouting,
Boy Scout Troop 822
Baltimore Area Council
Baltimore, Maryland, USA
Terry Howerton Sakima Group, Inc. SCOUTER Magazine Kansas City