Re: Life to Eagle requirements, is this fair?
Richard B. Pyne (rpyne@PROVO.LIB.UT.US)
Wed, 13 Mar 1996 20:44:08 -0700
> I don't envy a District/Council Advancement committee person! The
> challenge of having enough quality control to ensure that ALL Scouts
> are getting the most growth out of all facets of our Advancement
> process is formidable. Troop programs differ widely when everybody
> is singing off of the SAME sheet of music (using the SM Hbk and Wood
> Badge training <g>)...things REALLY get hairy when you factor in
> those unit programs run by untrained or badly out-of-date leaders.
> How the Advancement Committee folks ever manage to do their job of
> keeping the Advancement program up to snuff (WITHOUT at the same
> time introducing so much rigidity that the needs of individual kids
> start to get lost) is beyond me. IMHO, understanding of the process
> (lots and LOTS of training for Scouts and Scouters) and consistency
> of the process (stays the same for ALL Scouts during ALL their
> Scouting career) are critical parts of the effort.
Thank You! I have been a District Advancement Chairman in district of
159 units for all of four months now and I can tell you that out of
my 24 years as a scouter, this is the most frustrating, irritating, worrysome,
thankless position I have ever had in Scouting.
> It sounds to me like your Advancement guy is trying to do just that!
I agree. I would also bet that if he were approached with an attitude
of help and cooperation you find him to quite flexible and willing to
work with any Scout who is honestly doing his best to fulfill the
> I might not like his training schedule (only twice a year takes a
> lot of the spontaneity out of a "self-paced" advancement process
> <g>). I might love his desire to have each boy make a personal
> presentation to an adult stranger (ain't too happy with the need for
> it to be a single bottleneck in the process!). I might disagree
> with the idea that 100 hours defines a good project (most sharp
> Eagle-caliber young men benefit from having at LEAST twice that to
> really show off their ability to plan, organize, and lead!).
We also use the 100 hour basis for our project reviews. It is not a
hard and fast rule, but it is a good guideline for validation of the
significance of the project.
> I might not happen to feel that typing is the only way to
> effectively present an important part (project report) of an
> important accomplishment (Eagle Award). I might agree completely
> with the idea that a project should come from inside the kid and I
> might not particularly care whether all the persons working are from
> his Troop or not. I may or mayn't want to set a specific drop-dead
> date for any given project (depends on the kid, the project, and who
> it's for <g>).
After having reviewed many applications and project reports that were
almost completely unreadable, I lean toward agreeing with the typing
standard. Helping with Eagle projects (whose main purpose is to
display leadership) is a valuable way for Scouts to fulfill the Star
and Life Service requirements as well as giving the Eagle candidate
an opportunity to help them develope their own leadership ability.
> In short, I would be completely willing to cheerfully debate each
> and every one of your Advancement Chairman's guidelines <g>. What I
> WOULDN'T be willing to do is to completely discount them!
> > Who should I complain to?
> Why complain? Find out some stuff first!
> Let him know that you DO understand the BSA Boy Scout Advancement
> Method (prove it!) and show him that your Troop has some clear ideas
---- bunch of excellent stuff deleted ------
> However you work it out with your District Advancement guru, I hope
> your son enjoys a challenging and rewarding Eagle Service
> Project...and that dad gets to grin his head off at the Eagle
> COH...good luck!
Speaking only for myself,
Richard B. Pyne
District Advancement Chairman, Provo District
Utah National Parks Council
Terry Howerton Sakima Group, Inc. SCOUTER Magazine Kansas City