scouts-l Mail Archive for June of 2000: Re: Last Minute Eagles
Mick Cole (MicCCole@AOL.COM
Wed Jun 21 2000 - 15:19:00 CDT
In a message dated Wed, 21 Jun 2000 12:53:43 PM Eastern Daylight Time, Rick Cordray <rickc@IMAGE-TECH.COM> writes:
<< Here are some interesting local statistics on about 80 Eagles from one
district over about 2 1/2 years:
While each individual makes their own choices, in my opinion Scouts should
be encouraged and supported to complete Eagle at a younger age when they are
likely to be more active in Scouting. Wearing that badge is a powerful
motivator and example for younger Scouts. A late 17 year old . . . will benefit personally by completing Eagle but his
troop won't get much benefit from his leadership.
ASM, Troop 573, Woodinville, WA
North Lakes District Chairman
Council Website Chairman
Chief Seattle Council
I have noticed this phenomenon in my own troop, which generally has 2 to 5 Eagle Scouts per year. However, I'm not sure that the reduction in troop participation is entirely a function of when a Scout reaches Eagle. Rather, it has been my experience that those youth who are motivated to strive for Eagle at any age are also the youth most likely to be involved in a variety of activities. A 14 or 15 year old Eagle also tends to become involved in other activities that eventually preclude full participation in troop campouts. Before too long, he is also too busy to go to all the troop meetings. On the other hand, scouts who don't quite have the ambition to continue advancing also seem more likely to continue participating in troop activities as they get older. They enjoy the fellowship, the camping, etc., and don't seem to have quite as many competing activities. They don't want to assume the type of leadership role required for Eagle, but are always there to help out.
My conclusions: Counsel each scout to advance at a pace appropriate to his level of maturity. Don't worry about whether a scout will benefit the troop with leadership after achieving Eagle; the troop will have benefited from the leadership required to reach Eagle. A troop that is providing opportunities to achieve Eagle is also providing opportunities for personal growth for everyone associated with the troop, and is almost certainly serving the BSA purpose of helping youth become better citizens.
SM, Troop 62