Re: Eagle question
Settummanque, the blackeagle (waltoml@WKUVX1.WKU.EDU)
Thu, 2 Feb 1995 12:13:51 CDT
Nancy Smith S <munss@UXA.ECN.BGU.EDU> writes:
>As only having experience dealing with Cub Scouts, I found the thread
>about young Eagles vs. older Eagles interesting. Now I have a
>question. Please bear with me as I am asking this out of ignorance,
>not to get flamed.
NOBODY will flame you for asking a question out of curiousity,
Nancy...as a matter of fact, I personally respect you for asking the
question instead of what *some* will do: wait for *someone else* to
ask it for them *hehehehe*.
>After a boy earns Eagle (regardless of age) what
>is the next step or goal? I know there are palms awarded for
>additional merit badges, but what next? If Eagle is the highest rank,
>what keeps the 14-year-old Eagle involved in Scouting (besides the
>obviousness of fellowship, camping, fun, additional merit badges,
>etc.)? From my ignorant point of view, if a boy reaches the "highest
>goal" at such a young age, where does he go from there? Again, I'm
>just curious, please don't take this post as a flame.
It's not, Nancy....we've been struggling with this question off and on
for the longest of time.
First, a little "background" for you and others that wondered what
happened in the "past".
There *used* to be some sort of "progression" in Scouting. The
progression started with Cub Scouting, then to Boy Scouting, and then
to either Air or Sea Explorers or "regular Explorers" and finally, to
some sort of adult role in Scouting.
At each stage, there was a "rank structure" so that after you've
finished everything at the lower level, you register into a unit at
the next higher level and started work toward a new set of rank.
Back then, the average age of an Eagle Scout was somewhere around 15
or so, so that it proved to be a good "division line" between the
"junior boys" and the "senior boys". As a matter of fact, the BSA
issued a special strip to boys that were 16 or older, which read
"SENIOR". This strip was to be worn immediately above the "Boy Scouts
of America" strip.
In 1959, the BSA abandoned the traditional Exploring "rank" program
except for Sea Exploring, which had and still has a very high (in
relative terms to the other Exploring areas) interest and activity
level. In its place, was a plan to allow those boys that could not
earn Eagle in a Scout Troop to continue to work toward Eagle in an
Explorer Post or Ship. In the following year, 1960, the BSA turned
back and stated that the Boy Scout advancement program would END at
the age of 18, and those Scouts that became Explorers can still meet
the requirements for Eagle as long as they have NOT turned 18 years of
age and have been an active member of an Explorer Post or Ship.
This continued until 1976, when I and several other national Exploring
officers and members met with the BSA's Exploring Committee about
creating a new award that ALL Explorers could earn in a similiar but
decidely different (no merit badges was the biggest concession,
because only boys could *recieve* merit badges) way. From that, the
Exploring Achievement Award (to which I posted two weeks back the
requirements of) came forth and the first awards were made in 1977.
In the meantime, the age of the average Eagle Scout kept dropping,
from 15 or so to 14 or so to today's barely 14 years of age. This is
the basis for the newest options of the Boy Scouting program, the
Varsity Team and Squads and the Venture Crew.
So, to answer your questions, here's what Eagle Scouts at the age of
14 or 15 (or older) can do:
* they can continue to earn Eagle Palms, which you are already aware
of, in their unit
* they can join an Explorer Ship and start work toward Ordinary, Able,
and Quartermaster awards (in 1994, there were only *five* awards
* they can join an Explorer Ship and start work toward the Exploring
Achievement Award and then Quartermaster (or the reverse).
* they can join an Explorer Post and start work toward the Exploring
Achievement Award (only Sea Explorers can earn Quartermaster).
* they can join a Varsity Team and start work toward the Varsity
letter and bars to that letter.
* or any combination of the above
In addition, depending on the unit, they may have the opportunity to
become a part of a Varsity Squad or Team or Venture Crew. Varsity teams
and squads work on physical fitness and personal development programs
while in a Troop setting, and give additional leadership to the troop
when asked. There's a Varsity letter to be earned. Venture crews are
more of an outdoors and vocationally development program, also while
in a troop setting, and also gives additional leadership to the troop
when asked. Both are outgrowths of the old Leadership Corps programs
and before that, the Explorer Crew concept which worked very well in
many Troops in the past.
Hope that helps out in the ongoing discussion about an important
problem that the BSA has....keeping our young Eagles around!
Settummanque, the blackeagle... (MAJ) Mike L. Walton (
co-Owner, Blackeagle Services ___)_
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