Re: Eagle Scout award
Bruce E. Cobern (bec@PIPELINE.COM)
Wed, 6 Dec 1995 16:06:45 -0500
On Dec 05, 1995 10:33:48, 'Nault Family <rnault@PTIALASKA.NET>' wrote:
>>Vince Silva wrote:
>>3 Some have raised concerns with the fact that the Eagle Scout candidate
>>judged harsher for this rank than any other. This is true, we all have
>>expectations about the Eagle Scout than the Life Scout. .... The Eagle
>>Scout should be judged harsher.
>I'm just wondering, is there anything in the BSA requirements which
Absolutely not. The requirements are no harsher for Eagle than they are
for the other ranks, certainly not in an quantum leap sense. As another
reply stated, there should, of course, be a natural progression improvement
as the Scout ages and matures. Thus behavior acceptable for an 11 year old
might not be acceptable for a 16 year old and a 16 year old with 3 years of
leadership experience has had time to learn how to be a better leader so it
is not unreasonable to expect more from him. However, I do not see any
justification for expecting significantly more from an Eagle candidate that
from a Life candidate, especially if he has not been a Life Scout for much
more than the minimum six months.
>As a Scoutmaster, I've been following this argument very closely as I will
>called upon to make tough judgment calls in the near future. There seems
>two positions. One is that the BSA has written requirements which cannot
>altered. There is nothing which specifies that Scout Spirit at the second
>level is different than at the Eagle level.
This is exactly the position that is officially taken by national. The
requirements are as they are written on paper, no more, no less. If a
Scout has met the letter of the requirement he should advance, and that is
the position that will be taken on appeal.
>The other position is that the Eagle Scout is qualitatively different than
other Scouts and must meet >some undefined standard arbitrarily determined
by the Scoutmaster.
There is no significantly qualitative difference as you approach Eagle.
However, just as I would expect different answers to a question like "What
does the Scout Oath mean to you?" from an 11 yo Tenderfoot than from a 16
yo Eagle, I would expect that since the Scout pledges to do his "best" and
your "best" should improve with age, there would be a growth in performance
level as the Scout matures.
>I'm wondering if the problem might be that we, as Scouters, sign off on
>requirement (Scout Spirit) too easily at lower ranks and then wake up one
>morning and say to ourselves, "Gosh, how can it be that so and so, of all
>people, given his years of misbehavior, thinks he's ready for Eagle?"
You have hit the nail on the head. I have often lectured troop committees
about not doing their job along the way and finding themselves in exactly
that predicament. The decisions for ALL the ranks are equally important
and should be taken just as seriously as the Eagle decision. This would
eliminate many of the problems we encounter surrounding Eagle advancement.
>Look at it from the Scout's point of view. This Eagle candidate has been
>plugging along, (all right, probably to satisfy his parents and not
>and earned badges. No one has given him any feedback about his performance
>leader or lack of sufficient Scout Spirit. He thinks he's prepared and
>to fly through the Scoutmaster's conference as he has done many times in
>past. Suddenly, he's told, "Six more months."
The other nail has just been hit on the head. Without the Scout having
been informed of his shortcomings along the way it is inappropriate to hold
them against him. In any case where a candidate for advancement needs to
be deferred the BOR should be able to point to specific things that the
Scout agreed to do that haven't been done so that it can honestly be stated
that he "deferred himself" whether he believes it or not.
Bruce E. Cobern
Dan Beard District
Queens Council, NY
Terry Howerton Sakima Group, Inc. SCOUTER Magazine Kansas City