scouts-l Mail Archive for February of 2000: AoL/Eagle analog?
Wed Feb 09 2000 - 09:19:32 CST
> Here is an interesting caveat to this story. I found out yesterday that
> this young man was such a go getter that he had actually completed all
> of his AOL requirements two months ago. Yet, he was forced to wait to
> receive credit for the award. That can't be "by the book". If he earned
> an award as important as AOL why would he not been awarded it?
That could be a big reason that he missed meetings and wasn't "active",
according to his pack.
Does anyone else see this as an analog to the Eagle who disappears from the
troop after his CoH? I think this is a problem in a number of ways, the most
obvious being that the troop (or den or pack) loses an outstanding member who
could help other boys as a role model for Scouting activities, not buggin'
But I also see this as an inevitable consequence of the get-that-award
mentality which is perforce so common in Scouting. You know what I mean---
the AoL is held out as THE thing to get, the Eagle is THE big goal, explicitl
y stated to every new crossover & troop member. It becomes more important
than the process the boy goes thru to earn it-- he, and his parents, his SM,
and his troop advancement chair, all focus on knocking off the requirements
and less on how the process grows the boy into early manhood. And then the
Eagle who is never seen again becomes so common that we all recognize it
<shaking heads ruefully>.
And what does this say to the kid who really doesn't want to be Eagle, but
enjoys and learns from Scouting in his own way? It says that his way isn't
good enough, because THAT GOAL is what he should be chasing.
Folks, the journey is often worth more than the destination. Of course we
recognize that advancement is one of the methods of Scouting. Of course we
think we are promoting more than covetousness towards bits of cloth (anyone
earned a new square knot lately?). But let's be honest and take a long hard
look at how we are really doing it. You there, Cubmaster, what did you offer
this kid who earned AoL 2 months before B&G, or what did you or your Cub
Leader Trainer teach his DL to offer? You, Scoutmaster, what did you discuss
with the almost-Eagle to show him that you planned to use him in a leadership
role to use those skills he's been acquiring, to ask him what he plans to do
as an Eagle for the troop that helped him along? You, Advancement Chair, do
you focus on those lists of Eagles and checkoffs to the exclusion, sometimes,
of the development that should be their consequence?
What say you?
SA T47 Sandwich MA
Cape Cod & Islands Council
Abake MiSaNaKi Lodge #393
NSJ 1997 Nat'l Health & Safety and going in 01!
I useta be an Eagle...