scouts-l Mail Archive for June of 2000: Young Eagles and Old Eagles and Character
Rik Bergethon (rberg@RMI.NET
Sat Jun 24 2000 - 09:09:00 CDT
ATTENTION TO NEW READERS: YOU MAY HAVE TO PLACE TONGUE FIRMLY IN CHEEK
BEFORE READING SOME OF MY OPINIONS!
I preface my comments only because some of you have flamed me terribly
for those comments.
I note on the same day's digest of Scouts-L we talk about "what to tell
the parents their son won't make Eagle Scout," about how young some of
the new Eagle Scouts are these days and a quote about Character.
To the leader with the almost 18 year old Life Scout: regardless of his
age, participation, position of responsibility, merit badge completion,
or his parents helping with the Eagle project, you have one thing to
think about, and only one thing. Can you, in all good conscienceness,
sign off on the Eagle application or the Scout handbook, saying to
yourself, and the Eagle Board, that this young man has shown Scout
Spirit? If the answer is no, tell the parents and the Scout right away.
No matter who is pushing whom to finish the Eagle requirements, you have
to do the final sign off. Can you do that? In our district, the
Scoutmaster must present the candidate to the Board, and is expected to
say a few words in front of the boy and board about why he feels the
young man should be awarded the rank of Eagle scout. Beside signing the
application, could you do that? Speak well of the boy and tell some
reasons why the boy should get the Eagle Scout award? Think about it.
Young Eagle Scouts: We've had this discussion before. My son got his in
June, 1989, so he could go to the National Jamboree as an Eagle. He was
born in August, 1975, that makes him a 13 years, ten months old Eagle.
Since that time, he has gone to American Legion Boys State, other youth
leadership camps/conferences, college and is now working in the mining
engineering field in Arizona. I'm trying to get him to get back into
scouting, but you know 25 year old single men, they have one or two
other things on their mind.
Character: I think this is the one thing that ties both of the above
subjects together. Do you, as a leader, and the boy as an Eagle Scout
candidate, have the character it takes to earn and/or wear the Eagle
Scout badge of rank, or sign off the application for the young man? We
all have read the debate about participation and position of
responsibility. We know nothing of the two merit badges yet to
If one of them is Family Life, the kid is sunk, it takes at least 90
days to do, right?
We get a one-sided insight to this young man's character from the
Scoutmaster, Pam Pagnotta. From reading this the first time, I tended to
side with her. But then reading the other responses, I went back and
reread her post. Was she in the right here? After long debate, tying up
my phone line while on the 'net, I finally decided to say: yes, she is.
It's not up to her. It's up to the boy and not his parents, either. Let
the mom go to the DE. It's not his job either. Pam is the only person
who has to sign the last line of the Eagle application. What kind of
character does she have and what kind of character does she think this
young man has?
What would you do? As presented, would you sign the last line of the
Eagle application? Has this scout shown Scout spirit? Does he have the
character to be an Eagle Scout? What do you say? How would you vote?
Let's keep a tally. Pam you keep score, but don't let us affect your
decision to sign or not sign the application.
I say I would not sign.