Re: What National should really be looking at!
Doug Roach (djroach@IX.NETCOM.COM)
Tue, 10 Feb 1998 01:03:51 -0500
> On my soapbox: Sometimes I wonder what makes National
> tick when it comes to achieving Eagle. Do they want to make
> it so it becomes automatic if you stay in a Troop for x-number
> of years, participate in y-meetings, and z-number of summer
> camps. Sure, that would increase the number of young men
> getting their Eagle, but I think that it would also lessen the
> prestige associated with the rank.
I too remember those days desperately trying to stabilize the monkey
bridge, looking for a route AROUND the rattlesnake, trying to paddle the
canoe quietly so as not to wake the gator five feet away...
Most Scouters who played this game as kids have memories of truly using
Scoutings outdoor skills to successfully survive a tough situation. I
always thought that was what Scouting was about.
I now can see that it's more than that. Those campouts in the Everglades
didn't just teach us how to properly wash our pots and take care of our
feet; they taught us the value of teamwork, the desirablity of being
good citizens by caring for our environment, the importance of effective
Todays boys ARE a bit different than we were... they're stranger. :-)
They are also faced with different challenges that we and OUR parents
have thrust upon them. In order for them to succeed in the new
millenium, they will need to rely upon .....
uh.... well.... the values of teamwork, citizenship and leadership.
The Scouting program has changed and will continue to change in response
to the needs and the desires of our boys. The only way these new
proposed changes will cheapen the value of the program or of the Eagle
award is if we the volunteers allow them to. If we do not insist on a
boy being the best that he can be, if we do not use our outdoor program
to challenge each boy's perceived limits, if we do not hold our Eagle
candidates to the highest standards of effort and excellence then the
Eagle bage and the Scouting program will indeed be less than it used to
National may make policy but they are not down here in the swamp
insisting that we head home when it rains. Nobody from Irving has ever
stopped by Troop 10 to tell us that we're being too tough on our boys.
Down here, we the volunteers set the standards for the program and the
boys do their damndest to carry them out. And when we insist on a full
meal to be cooked or a few more yards to be swum or a more significant
or impactive Eagle service project, our boys rise to meet that greater
Just like we did years ago.
Don't ever try to tell any of OUR Eagle Scouts that they don't measure
up to those of thirty or fifty years ago.
Your program will be as good as you and your boys want it to be. With
Scouting's tools and training, your boys can certainly be all that you
were at their age. If they aren't, don't blame National.... Think
instead of the adult leaders you had as a kid and measure YOUR efforts
Good luck with your program. See to it your NEXT Eagle is the best ever.
SA Troop 10 - South Florida Council - Miami
Terry Howerton Sakima Group, Inc. SCOUTER Magazine Kansas City