Re: Eagles easier now?
ralph romig (rwromig@PPCO.COM)
Tue, 25 Jul 1995 13:03:19 -0500
>:From: "Terry M. Slade" <TMSLADE@PCAD-ML.ACTX.EDU>
>:may not have received Eagle rank. I made Life rank as a scout
>:back in the mid '70s and I must say, Eagle was harder to get than it
>:is today. ^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^
>:<snip> emphasis added by john
John Keimel added the following to this new thread:
>Being as I EARNED my Eagle in 1987, and I know I worked my tail off for it,
>I wonder what you could be speaking of. I do understand that now the scouts
>do not have to go through board of reviews for the lower ranks (or least the
>way they used to be i.e. testing kind of review) but they still need to
>know their stuff. I dont recall the number of required merit badges changing
>in the last... oh... couple decades.... so I have to wonder what he means
I've sat in on a few boards before becoming an ASM of our Troop. Certainly
boards at our unit are tough. The boys really have to know their stuff.
Boards however tend to be different at each unit.
The number of merit badges changed in 1994. In 1974 when I received my
Eagle (that mid-70's period to which Terry refers), it was 21 merit badges
(11 required). In 1994 it was changed to 22 with 12 required. Certainly
the required badges have changed. Cooking and nature were among the
required badges when I earned Eagle. Both are not required now. There were
no options among the required badges when I was a boy. I had to earn
swimming and lifesaving. Now Sports or personal fitness can option for
swimming and emergency preparedness for lifesaving.
Overall I believe that the program is now more flexible and able to be
individualized more. I don't really believe it is necessarily easier.
I do however believe that elimination of "time at rank" requirements for
Tenderfoot to First Class have made it easier to get up to 1st class
quicker. The number of activities requirements in the current program can
be satisfied very quickly at a very active unit. It's now easier to acheive
1st Class while the boys have that initial enthusiasm. This makes it easier
for the boy to get some hurdles out of the way on the road to Eagle while
the boy is younger.
But ultimately acheiving Eagle is still a measure of the boys internal
drive. All of the boys who are Eagles or Life closing in on Eagle in our
unit are boys of good character and high levels of motivation. These boys
range from 14 to 17 years old and are fine young men.
At Philmont some of the national statistics were reviewed. If I recall
correctly the statement was made that the average age to reach Eagle hasn't
changed much over the years and the fraction of boys earning Eagle hasn't
>I do know that up until the late fifties, it had to be easier to earn eagle
>because there was no age limit. Adults could earn it. But I am truly
>befuddled, and yes a little offended by this comment. If this should be
>brought into private email, please let me know, I though everyone would like
>to help out on this one.
Certainly Terry is entitled to his opinion. I know it was tough for me as a
boy to earn my Eagle. But much of that was being able to maintain my
enthusiasm and drive in a small unit--without many activities--being run by
the adult rather than the boys. Certainly it's much easier to maintain
drive and enthusiasm in an active and larger much more dynamic unit being
It's up to us as leaders to provide a program and develop the atmosphers
that encourages the enthusiasm and fosters that drive that can lead to boys
Terry Howerton Sakima Group, Inc. SCOUTER Magazine Kansas City