Re: Boys quitting after Eagle
Milt Forsberg (miltf@UX1.CSO.UIUC.EDU)
Wed, 7 Jun 1995 09:10:02 -0500
It would be great if everyone had the "give back what I have received"
attitude. This is not the case, however. We need to remember that we are
providing a program for the boys to learn and grow. We are preparing them
for the rest of their life. No part of the requirements state that
someone must remain in the program for any length of time. While the boys
are members, we should encourage them to develop the "give back"
attitude, but we cannot force it. Many look at Scouting like school. You
go through the grades, graduate, then move on to something else. We need
to accept the fact that this happens in our program as well. That this
boy wants to finish his Eagle is an indication he is serious about the
program and respects it.
I have seen many do the same over the years. Some will "give back" at a
later time when they have children in the program. Others will only take
and run. Still others will give back much more than they received. Many
have told me years later that they really did not have a full
appreciation for the program until many years later. If you see this boy
complete his Eagle, then you have done your job.
There are several ways to encourage boys to stay with the program. You
can develop an older boy program within the troop, or encourage them to
become involved with the Order of the Arrow (I assume he has become a
member by now). OA provides an excellent opportunity for boys to grow
even more, working with their peers instead of working with younger
members of their troop. Camp staff is an excellent opportunity to expand
their world. Motivation is needed in all these areas. If a boy does not
want to be involved, he won't. In our case, all have worked well, but we
still do not keep all the older boys. All we can do is encourage them to
continue, but, if they choose not to, at least they have received the
main benefit of the program.
SM, Troop 7 (since 1968)
Champaign, IL - Prairielands Council
On Tue, 6 Jun 1995, Bob Smith wrote:
> At last night's troop meeting, I heard a comment from one of the
> boys, and it kinda bothered me. The boy is 15,almost to Life Scout,
> not entirely self-motivated, but a good scout nonetheless. The
> comment he made was "Boy, I can't wait to get my Eagle, then I'm
> outta here." I asked him if he really meant that. He responded
> that he's been in scouting long enough, and he's quitting the troop
> as soon as he earns his Eagle. My first thoughts were that, with an
> attitude like that, it may be quite a while longer before he earns
> it. I told him that it might be nice to stay around afterwards and
> helped those around him to achieve the same goal. He shrugged his
> shoulders and walked away.
> We have 3 Eagles (13, 14, & 16), also OA members, currently working
> with the troop in leadership and service capacities. Our
> Scoutmaster, as well as two of his assistants, are Eagles who never
> bothered to get "uninvolved" with Scouts. We have always stressed
> the virtue in "giving back to Scouting that which has been so freely
> given." However, there are 2 or 3 that will probably bolt before
> the medal on their chest gets cold. Is there anything we can do
> with such an attitude, besides ignoring it? I don't want to lose
> those boys, and it would be a shame for such a mindset to permeate
> the troop.
Terry Howerton Sakima Group, Inc. SCOUTER Magazine Kansas City