scouts-l Mail Archive for March of 2000: Re: A different version of the question.
John Kent (kentj@RPI.EDU
Tue Feb 29 2000 - 21:43:39 CST
I guess it's time for me to chip in my two cents.
I completed the last four required merit badges I needed for Eagle the week
before I turned eighteen. My six month requirement was also completed that
week, four days before I turned eighteen. I completed my board of review
when I was home from Thanksgiving break my freshman year of college.
That was a little over three years ago. I am still involved with Scouting,
something which is made easier by the fact that my college is located in my
home council. I am an assistant scoutmaster for my troop, lodge activities
adviser and web master, and an associate adviser for a venturing crew.
Why am I still involved? Because my parents didn't do my Eagle work for me;
I had to earn it myself. They drove me where I needed to go, but I had to
contact the merit badge counselor, do the legwork for my Eagle project, etc.
My two best Scouting friends and my younger brother all finished their
Eagles fairly close to their eighteenth birthday. All three are Vigil Honor
in the Order of the Arrow and still active in Scouting.
When you do your own work, your Eagle actually means something. The troop
from the other side of town was an "Eagle factory." They had merit badge
counselors from that troop that flatly refused to work with any other troop.
I knew a member of that troop in high school. He earned his Eagle during
freshman year. By sophomore year, he was out of Scouting. This scenario
has replayed itself many times within that troop.
A little over a year ago, a parent in that troop was working on pushing her
son to get his Eagle. She contacted a MB counselor from outside the troop
(my dad) and told him he "HAD TO" meet with her son on a specific date to
work on the merit badge. Needless to say, my dad told her that if her son
wanted to work on the merit badge with him, he needed to make the call, not
As a result of said parent, the Scoutmaster of that troop resigned. He
refused to sign off on the leadership requirement, saying that the Scout
with only two years in the troop hadn't shown the necessary leadership to
qualify for the Eagle. Mom went over his head to complain, and the suits
(who didn't know the youth) sided with her, so he quit. Committee members
also quit in disgust after this.
Sorry for the length of this, but I feel very strongly about this issue.
It's Jimmy's job to earn his Eagle, NOT his Mom's, and he'll enjoy his
experience much better if mommy doesn't do his work for him.
Assistant Scoutmaster, Troop 51
Activities Adviser, Web Master, Haudenosaunee Lodge 19
Associate Adviser, Venturing Crew 263
Eagle '96, Vigil '99