Re: Boys quitting after Eagle
Alan Houser (troop24@EMF.NET)
Thu, 8 Jun 1995 11:19:27 -0700
There have been a number of good thoughts posted on this subject, but I
still want to add my own.
If the program has something to attract the older Scouts, they will stay
with it. If it's only a merit badge mill beyond First Class, they can
(and will) find other things to do.
We have had excellent success with keeping our older Scouts involved by
turning the planning and operation of the troop program over to them, and
by offering high adventure activities directly to them. There are two
direct outcomes from this: (1) they stay involved until suddenly it
becomes apparent that Eagle Scout is within their reach, and (2) they
continue to stay involved after earning Eagle because it's fun.
As someone pointed out earlier, even if he disappears after making Eagle,
he will have learned something from the program that he will use later on.
He may discover while completing his Eagle that there is more he wants to
do, and he may stick around. Or maybe not. It is not our place as Scout
leaders to determine what he will do with his life. Our role is to provide
Similarly, with OA and troop elections, what have they learned if we step
in and make decisions about who is the best candidate? They have to have
the opportunity to make their own decisions and see the consequences. If
the election is a popularity contest and they select someone who is popular
but doesn't work out as patrol leader or whatever, they will see that. If
we keep them from making a mistake, they won't recognize it coming. The
absolute worst idea I read here was canceling the OA elections.
And then there is the kid who turns around as a result of responsibility
being placed on his shoulders. The best-run patrol I have seen in the five
years I have been in Troop 24 was run by a Scout who had the reputation of
being a goofball. He accepted the responsibility bestowed by his peers,
learned and did his job, and did it well. I had the pleasure last month to
present him with his knots for Arrow of Light and Eagle and his Assistant
Alan R. Houser ** Scoutmaster, Berkeley Troop 24 ** firstname.lastname@example.org
** WWW page ** http://www.emf.net/~troop24/t24.html **
Terry Howerton Sakima Group, Inc. SCOUTER Magazine Kansas City