scouts-l Mail Archive for April of 2000: Re: Age and advancement
Peter Farnham (pfarnham@ASBMB.FASEB.ORG
Mon Apr 24 2000 - 15:09:46 CDT
There are no age requirements for any of the ranks. Thus, a kid can be a
first class whenever he earns the rank. There are time limits implied, in
that some of the requirements take time to complete (the 30-day "show
improvement" requirement for the exercises in Tenderfoot, for example). In
addition, it will take some time to complete 10 troop or patrol activities
, including three camping trips. However, in an active troop, a kid could
complete these activities in six or so months (maybe even less).
In general, BSA has found that a kid who earns First Class within one year
of joining is more likely to remain in scouting longer than a kid who takes
longer to earn First Class. However, this is not a requirement; rather, it
is a statistic that is the result of data analysis regarding youth
advancement and membership records.
Here's a run-down of how quickly a kid can earn Eagle:
10 years 6 months - joins BSA (assuming he's earned his Arrow of Light; if
so, he can actually cross over even younger, but that's another story. For
purposes of our example, let's use 10/6 as the starting point).
10 years 7 months - earns Tenderfoot
11 years 6 months - earns First Class (assuming the BSA ideal of 1C in one
year; a few kids in my troop have earned it quicker, however--the record
was 7 months from date of joining).
11 years 10 months - earns Star (has been working on Merit Badges from the
git-go and serves his four months in a leadership position immediately)
12 years 4 months - earns Life (has been working on MBs, and serves his six
months in a leadership position immediately)
12 years 10 months - earns Eagle (ditto leadership position and MB caveats
So, brand new Scout to Eagle in 28 months (perhaps even faster in an active
troop). Is advancing this fast legal? Yes. Is it adviseable? Well....a
difficult question which I'll not get into other than to say that I've seen
kids earn Eagle at 13 who I thought were completely deserving (the newest
Eagle Scout in my troop is such a kid); I've also seen a kid (not in my
troop) get it much older who I thought should never have gotten it based on
serious deficiencies in the scout spirit and leadership requirements for
the Eagle rank. Bottom line--it depends on the kid.
In any case, when the kid completes the requirements for a rank--any
rank--he should go to his Board of Review and if he passes, awarded him his
rank immediately. You can't make him wait until he's more "mature".
SM, Troop 113