Re: Policy Question re: Delaying Advancement (Soap Box)
Stephen Hoar (shoar@INFINET.COM)
Wed, 23 Jul 1997 14:25:04 -0400
Scott Patterson said;
>If it was in my power I would not allow a"Child" to reach the rank of
>Eagle until age 15 or 16 ( I think 15 is still young). Yes I
>understand that we have many bright and mature youth in our program
>and we have many young Eagles, But if we look at how many drop out of
>scouting after they reach the rank of Eagle at such a young age we as
>adults should be admonished for not slowing down the process.
Scott, the real unanswered question here is 'Why do boys drop out of
scouting' If they all (or most) only dropped out after making Eagle,
we would have a huge number of Eagles every year. It seems that the
drop out factor is related more to age and other interests such as
girls, sports, cars, and jobs. The other key factor is a loss of
interest in the scouting program in a troop which has become stale
and boring. In many cases it has become a repetition of the same old
program year after year.
If you have a program and troop meeting run by the scoutmaster and not
the boys, you will soon lose the boys. If you have the SM controlling
and picking the boys for the leadership jobs in the troop, you will soon
lose the boys. It has nothing to do with making Eagle.
Keeping them around involves a strong, varied, interesting, and challenging
program within the troop. The unfortunate byproduct of having such a
program is that it will also offer the scout many opportunities leading
to achievement and advancement. The outcome is that they will achieve
Do we eliminate the opportunities for advancement as a means of slowing
down advancement? Do we dull down the program to slow down advancement?
Doing this we will lose the interest of the boys and then lose the boys!
Boys being boys will go to where the action is! If you lose your program
you will lose the scouts to other troops where they see fun, action,
challenges, opportunities, and advancement.
Steve in Newark (OH)
Terry Howerton Sakima Group, Inc. SCOUTER Magazine Kansas City