scouts-l Mail Archive for June of 2000: Re: Last Minute Eagles
Jonathan Dixon (dixonj@COLORADO.EDU
Thu Jun 22 2000 - 08:45:45 CDT
On Wed, 21 Jun 2000, Darryl Hammill wrote:
> I do not agree that a 14.8 year old young man understands or comprehends
> the significance of becoming an Eagle Scout. Furthermore, I am not 100%
> convinced that a 14.8 year old Scout would attempt an equal Eagle
> project to a 17 year old young man. I suspect too many young men are
> being rushed through the ranks - and are achieving Eagle way before they
> are ready.
I would definitely disagree with this assessment. As examples, I can
point to the 17.999 YO Eagle from my troop whose COH is this coming
weekend and the 14 YO Eagle candidate who is looking to reach Eagle by
about 14.5. While I use these as examples, they largely mirror my own
experience in general.
Both of these boys' Eagle projects were done at my church. The one
pushing 18 had to rush through things, was not able to present the plan
personally to the church council due to work commitments, and had to
curtail the scope of the project because he ran out of time to complete
all that had been desired. He wound up simply placing about a dozen
wooden benches in the orchard area to serve as the start of an outdoor
chapel. It was hard getting him to do the planning for it, to commit to
dates for the work, and to get a good write-up on completion, largely
because of the myriad of other claims on his time. In addition, several
of his MBs were done last-minute, with some corners being cut.
On the other hand, the 14 YO did lots of lead-in planning on his bridge
and walkway out to the orchard. He worked with me to do drawings (he
sketched, I computerized), estimated budget, and schedules, and made the
presentation to the church council to get funding (at which he had to deal
with some fallout based on the fact that some felt the previous Eagle's
project hadn't gotten completed yet). He then got enough people together
to finish the bridge and walkway in a couple of days work, with results
that have gotten a lot of positive response from church members. Since
there isn't any rush to get things done, the write-up and the MBs can be
done with greater attention as well.
As far as attitude about it, the younger one certainly has a better feel
for what it means and why to get it. The older one basically had to be
constantly reminded and dragged through the process; the younger one has
set his own goals for when he wants to be done (and they are his own goals
-- the parents are essentially apathetic about the entire thing, and I'm
nto concerned so long as he finishes by about 17.5).
Overall, it is my experience that last-minute Eagles are generally
primarily the recipients of a lot of pushing and bending of rules by the
adults around them. Those who get it several years earlier generally have
a better understanding and skill set for Eagle, providing that the impetus
for their completion is their own (the issue of parents earning their
son's Eagle is a subject for another rambling).
SM, T212, Chelmsford, MA