Re: Inactive Life Scout
Jonathan Dixon (dixonj@ROCOCO.COLORADO.EDU)
Wed, 13 Dec 1995 14:21:28 MST
> Date: Wed, 13 Dec 1995 11:12:37 -0500
> From: John Pannell <PANNELLJ@DELPHI.COM>
> Regardless of what we may think about the importance of the Eagle Award, it
> no longer has quite that prestige in the eyes of those at the upper levels
> of the BSA. :( While we can lobby to change policies and reqirements we
> cannot add to them in any way. Adding additional criteria and expectations
> as serveral of us seem to want cannot be done. Thus, we must obey the
> dictums of the National Organization in this regard: A Scout is Obedient.
> Personally, I would like to see several things changed as has been
> discussed here. Too much emphasis has been place on how to "give" boys
> their Eagle Award. We seem too willing, as an organization, to rapidly push
> boys through the ranks so they can earn Eagle before they think about
> driving. In the case of an appeal, the views of the unit level Scouters
> have no bearing or relevance. IMO, these attitudes should be changed.
> Unfortunately, the litigiousness in our society may actually hinder this.
Without wanting to revisit the "young Eagles" topic yet again, I do think
that it needs to be pointed out that the requirements today are actually
somewhat more involved than they were at most times in the past. The main
problem is (as has been mentioned here) is that things like scout spirit
are sluffed over at lower ranks. This results in scouts coming before
their Eagle BOR who have never been expected to be showing that spirit.
I don't see that the organization is looking for ways to push boys through
the ranks (personally I don't see 1st Class in a year as pushing,
especially since there are still a lot of boys who aren't even making that
-- 1st Class in 6 months (like I did) is pushing, but that isn't an
organizational push). What I see is some adults pushing boys through
(especially their own sons), while the other adults stand around and say
nothing until the boy gets to the Eagle BOR, when they panic about this
brat getting Eagle.
The BOR is intended to serve as an evaluation of the troop's program, not
as a group that sets a final set of hurdles to a rank. This is why
National tends to hold the appeals to the standard of "did the boy complete
the requirements as stated". The unit-level Scouters have had 6 chances to
hold up the boy if he wasn't showing scout spirit; if they haven't done so,
that isn't National's fault. Perhaps these BORs should prompt the
unit-level scouters to re-evaluate how things are being handled throughout
the advancement process.
Terry Howerton Sakima Group, Inc. SCOUTER Magazine Kansas City