Re: Boys quitting after Eagle
Michael F. Bowman (mfbowman@CAPACCESS.ORG)
Tue, 6 Jun 1995 22:59:38 -0400
Almost everyone of us that has been a Scoutmaster has or is going to run
into a situation where a Scout wants to quit after getting Eagle. The
first thing that I would suggest is that we should still encourage the
young man to complete his Eagle. Remember that we are there to help
develop character, further citizenship training and encourage personal
fitnes. If he fulfills the requirements, we are furthering the goals of
Scouting. It may be that he quits for now because of the lures of other
activities, but it doesn't mean that he has lost the lessons or that they
won't serve to motivate him in the future. I now many Eagles who left
their Troops shortly after getting the award, who later came back to serve
as Scoutmasters themselves or who have given heartily of their time and
talents in community service.
The second thought I have is that, if we were to impose an extra
requirement for immediate repayment in service we would only encourage
resentment and maybe have that Scout quit for good, never to return and
never to give future service.
I'm glad that so many Eagles stay and turn right around to give leadership
and service as is the case in your Troop. We certainly want to encourage
this. But for some Scouts this is not going to be the case. Think of it
as a long term investment with payoffs/dividends to come in the future.
And for now be thankful that he was motivated to complete what he started
instead of quitting already. While he's still involved, he's still
learning and that's good. And in the time that remains until he gets his
award, he may change his mind.
I guess this is where we must remember that we too pledge the Scout Law -
a Scout is Kind. In my mind part of kindness is understanding. To that
end I would encourage a kind approach making the most of the opportunity
still there with the hope that he will later polish the Eagle with service
as he matures.
Speaking only for myself in the Scouting Spirit, Michael F. Bowman
Prof. Beaver, Nat. Capital Area Council, BSA mfbowman@CAPACCESS.ORG
Terry Howerton Sakima Group, Inc. SCOUTER Magazine Kansas City