Scouts-L Mail Archive for June of 1999: Early Eagles
Tue, 29 Jun 1999 12:58:53 EDT
Several opinions have been expressed regarding Scouts who become an
Eagle at early ages (12-13).
Maturity is an issue, but age is a poor predictor. I have seen very mature
13-year olds and very childish 17-year olds.
My greatest concern is whether the Scout has really learned, or simply
passed the requirements. Learning research indicates that practice and
feedback are the most critical elements of the learning process. How much
practice has a young Scout been able to get?
The practice issue is frequently driven by the criteria for determining if a
Scout has passed a requirement. Allow me to present an example:
Two Scouts are working on Tenderfoot requirement 3, assisting with the
cooking of a meal.
Scout A boils water for instant oatmeal and hands out oranges and breakfast
Scout B learns how to prepare scrambled eggs, sausages and pancakes on
a camp stove, and how to get them done at the same time.
While both Scouts have technically passed the requirement, only one has really
learned much. Three years from now, Scout A will probably still be boiling
while Scout B has really learned hoe to cook (I believe the intent of the
In my humble observation, the majority of Scouts who earn their Eagle at very
early ages pass their requirements with least possible effort. It's the only
to get all the requirements done so quickly (yes, I know I may be unleashing
a firestorm here).
As Scout Leaders, I don't believe that it's our responsibility to "slow down"
Scouts in their advancement. It is our responsibility to ensure that they have
really mastered the requirement and have really "Done their best", not their
Respectfully yours in Scouting,