scouts-l Mail Archive for June of 2000: Re: When to tell a scout should be an Eagle.
Bruce E. Cobern (bec@PIPELINE.COM
Fri Jun 23 2000 - 18:24:56 CDT
> From: Scouts-L Youth Group List [mailto:Scouts-L@listserv.tcu.edu]On
> Behalf Of Dale & Donna Buss
> Sent: Wednesday, June 21, 2000 10:09 PM
> I understand that not every Boy Scout will make Eagle. I also understand
> that not every Boy Scout should be an Eagle. Now here is the dilemma:
> How do you tell when a Life Scout should know longer be encouraged to
> complete Eagle requirements?
> Are there particular questions I should ask to see if this young man is
> comfortable remaining as a Life rank scout and next year becoming a ASM?
I may have told this story once before, so I'll keep it short(er). :-)
One recent Eagle in my troop was thanking people in his remarks at his COH.
When it got to me, what he thanked me for was "telling me I didn't have to
I am a firm believer that the Scout must do this for himself, not for mom,
dad, SM, etc., etc. I also believe that the message we too often send is
that if you don't make Eagle you've failed. That, IMO, is a horrible
message to send. 97 or 98 percent of our Scouts are NOT failures, yet many
people, including many Scouters, put so much emphasis on the Eagle that it
appears that way.
What I meant when I made that comment to Liam (and I have made it to
others) was that we, the leadership, would be proud of him and his
accomplishments whether he made Eagle or not. It was made at a time when
he was approaching the point of no return. He had never been one much for
advancement and was approaching the time deadline for his next rank,
although he didn't cut it THAT close. Several of us had conversations with
him which basically let him know that all he had to do was tell us he had
decided not to try for Eagle and we would never mention it again, but that
if he told us that he had decided to go for it we would all be there to
provide whatever assistance we could.
I included in my comments statements to the effect that we would love him
anyway, even if he didn't make Eagle. Obviously, he chose to continue and
completed it. But he told me that my comments essentially removed the
pressure he was feeling to make Eagle as a validation of his time in
Scouting, and allowed him to complete it because he wanted to.
I don't know whether this gives you any help, but I thought it might.
Bruce E. Cobern
Founders District, Queens Council, NY