Jump to content



Photo
- - - - -

The Meaning of Eagle Scout

eagle aims

  • Please log in to reply
58 replies to this topic

#21 King Ding Dong

King Ding Dong

    Snack Master

  • Members
  • 1382 posts

Posted 05 May 2016 - 08:02 AM

Get all the requirements done and at the last minute lose out on eagle by one vote. Not my cup of tea. One earns the rank on their own efforts, not the whims of others.

Or one vote on the EBOR? Of course there is then an appeal process.

I guess the point I am pondering is who should determine if a Scout is an Eagle? The Adults or the Scouts?

Edited by King Ding Dong, 05 May 2016 - 08:05 AM.

  • 0

#22 meyerc13

meyerc13

    Roundtable Commissioner

  • Members
  • 271 posts

Posted 05 May 2016 - 08:06 AM

I think Venividi sums up my feelings on the matter quite well - the only thing I would add is that an Eagle is a Scout - a Leader who is Trustworthy, Loyal, Helpful and all the rest of the things in the Law, Oath, Motto, and Slogan.  I expect all Scouts to be what we promise in the Oath, Law, Motto, and Slogan, but by the time they have reached Eagle they need to be a natural leader as well (whereas we expect younger Scouts to demonstrate leadership qualities, by the time they reach Eagle there should be no doubt that they'll take charge if left alone in a room with a bunch of younger kids), and they need to have taken those words they've recited thousands of times and shaped their character to be the living embodiment of those words.  Do Eagles sometimes slip up?  Yes.  There are days I've been less than Friendly or Cheerful, everyone has a bad day.  But when an Eagle catches himself slipping up - that needs to bother him deeply.  I know it bothers me when I realize I've done exactly the opposite of what I've been promising for so many years.

 

That's what an Eagle is.  The camping, knots, service projects, etc. are the means to make young men into leaders who are trustworthy, loyal, helpful, etc.  They aren't the goal.  The goal is making young men into leaders who can make a Scoutmaster and parent proud.


  • 0

Yours in Scouting,

 

Chris Meyer

 

Cub Scout Roundtable Commissioner 2015-Present

Lion Guide 2016-Present

Cubmaster 2013-2016

Father of a Boy Scout 2016-Present

 


#23 Krampus

Krampus

    Side Kick to Nikolaus

  • Members
  • 1870 posts

Posted 05 May 2016 - 08:41 AM

 

That's what an Eagle is.  The camping, knots, service projects, etc. are the means to make young men into leaders who are trustworthy, loyal, helpful, etc.  They aren't the goal.  The goal is making young men into leaders who can make a Scoutmaster and parent proud.

 

Disagree on the last sentence. If you throw out the whole skills topic then leadership has to go to. 

 

You can have a guy who lives the Oath and Law and not really be a leader, can't you? If he does all that but is still not "a leader" is he no longer Eagle-worthy?


  • 0

#24 meyerc13

meyerc13

    Roundtable Commissioner

  • Members
  • 271 posts

Posted 05 May 2016 - 09:05 AM

An Eagle should be a leader - no question about it.  Why do you think we have boys lead a service project?  It isn't because we need more service projects - we all should be doing those whether we have Eagle candidates in our units or not.  It's a test.  Really it's the final exam.  If the boy can lead the project, he is ready to be an Eagle.  If he can't lead the project, then he shouldn't advance until he can.  One thing I really hate is all the focus on what was built for an Eagle project.  My feeling is that it doesn't matter what was created or done.  When I ask an Eagle about his service project, I want to hear how he led that project, not about what was built or completed.  What challenges did he face in getting it done, and how did he use the leadership skills he learned in Scouts to overcome those challenges.

 

That park bench, Gazebo, or bridge that was built as part of an Eagle project will eventually rot away and be thrown out.  The legacy of an Eagle Scout is the impact he has on the people around him.  Other people should see an Eagle when they look at him, and the people he leads should be better for it.  That gets passed down again and again - and that legacy is what will live on beyond the Eagle.

 

I don't know if my Scoutmaster was officially an Eagle Scout, but to me he was the living embodiment of what an Eagle should be.  I doubt you could walk around town and still find things that his Eagles built 20-30 years ago, but since he played a large part in making me into the man I am today, and now I'm doing my best to pass that down to my son and his generation - his legacy will live on long after anyone remembers Troop 809 and its Scoutmaster.  I don't know who mentored Keith, but I know that I owe him more than I can ever repay, and I just wish I could sit down with him one more time for a game of Cribbage to tell him what a difference he, and his mentors before him, made - and will continue to make if I'm half as successful in making an impression on the boys I mentor.


Edited by meyerc13, 05 May 2016 - 09:07 AM.

  • 0

Yours in Scouting,

 

Chris Meyer

 

Cub Scout Roundtable Commissioner 2015-Present

Lion Guide 2016-Present

Cubmaster 2013-2016

Father of a Boy Scout 2016-Present

 


#25 Krampus

Krampus

    Side Kick to Nikolaus

  • Members
  • 1870 posts

Posted 05 May 2016 - 09:32 AM

An Eagle should be a leader - no question about it.  Why do you think we have boys lead a service project?


Leadership is a spectrum though. How do you measure whether someone is a leader?


  • 0

#26 MattR

MattR

    Member

  • Members
  • 999 posts

Posted 05 May 2016 - 09:55 AM

Get all the requirements done and at the last minute lose out on eagle by one vote. Not my cup of tea. One earns the rank on their own efforts, not the whims of others.

I don't use a vote so much as a poll, and I'd never use the result for a scout that didn't have time to fix it. This is all about encouraging a scout to do better, so nobody will lose out by one vote. It's up to me to do something about a problem scout long before he ages out. I've missed that a couple of times and had to hold my nose when I signed their app.

 

One thing it does bring up is that if an older scout has been gone for 2 years and the younger scouts don't even know who he is, then that scout has some work to do. He shows up for 6 months, puts some effort into it and all of a sudden he has a great experience and the younger scouts now have a goal of being Eagle. I've seen this several times.

 

What I have done using a vote is take the results of the OA elections and gone to a scout that missed by more than just a few votes and asked him why he didn't get nominated. It usually starts a really good discussion. The scouts listen to what the other scouts think a lot more than they'll listen to me. The nice thing about this is it doesn't put me in the position of being the bad guy. I could see this not working if OA is just a popularity thing but in my troop they're tougher on the scouts than I would be.


  • 0

#27 DuctTape

DuctTape

    Junior Member

  • Members
  • 585 posts

Posted 05 May 2016 - 10:40 AM

I tend to think that in all advancement it is imperative that a boy demonstrate completion of all requirements, no more and no less. Most often, even in this thread, comments are about the boy demonstrating he follows the oath and law. O agree, and this IS one of the requirements; show scout spirit. Far too often this requirement just gets signed off as a rubber stamp. If this requirement actually meant something in reality, then I don't think this thread would be necessary.
  • 0

#28 King Ding Dong

King Ding Dong

    Snack Master

  • Members
  • 1382 posts

Posted 05 May 2016 - 11:01 AM

We all fail in following the oath and law to some degree every day. So we are then back to a subjective judgement.
  • 0

#29 Krampus

Krampus

    Side Kick to Nikolaus

  • Members
  • 1870 posts

Posted 05 May 2016 - 11:08 AM

I tend to think that in all advancement it is imperative that a boy demonstrate completion of all requirements, no more and no less. Most often, even in this thread, comments are about the boy demonstrating he follows the oath and law. O agree, and this IS one of the requirements; show scout spirit. Far too often this requirement just gets signed off as a rubber stamp. If this requirement actually meant something in reality, then I don't think this thread would be necessary.

 

It DOES mean something. The issue is how to quantify it in a standard fashion. If a Scout is demonstrates 11 of 12 laws all the time but misses one frequently, does he get signed off?

 

I think there's a spectrum here:

  • Rubber Stampers: Probably a small percentage that simply sign anything to move the Scout along.
  • The Reviewers: Those folks who take the time to discuss on each requirement impacted the Scout, what they learned and how they grew from it. I suspect that is most of the people here. Hopefully most of the Scouters in general.
  • The Nitpickers: These are the barrier-builders, those folks who don't read or go based on what they *think* is right. I suspect those are a small percentage too.

  • 0

#30 Eagledad

Eagledad

    Senior Member

  • Members
  • 5996 posts

Posted 05 May 2016 - 11:39 AM

Leadership is a spectrum though. How do you measure whether someone is a leader?

I agree, how is leadership measured? Of course it is obvious for some people. One of the dads in our troop was and Air Force General. You knew he was a leader when he entered the room.

 

On the other hand I had scouts who were shy or slightly introverted and leader might not come to mind at first glance. But while these scouts are reluctant to step up when others in the group are capable, they always seem to be in the right place when the situation required it. Sometimes we forget that "Being Prepared" is also a leadership quality.

 

Barry


  • 0

"Experience is the hardest teacher. It gives the test first, then the lesson."


#31 Tampa Turtle

Tampa Turtle

    Senior Member

  • Members
  • 2586 posts

Posted 05 May 2016 - 11:54 AM

Not always obvious. I once observed a rather experienced but shy scout who had the fire making instruction and testing station at a Scout Wilderness Survival campout. A younger scout was frustrated struggling with using the flint and steel to make a fire. The older scout was very patient, watched him carefully, and then placed his hand on the boys to show him the right pressure and angle to do it. And the younger boy did it right after that. I saw this scout work patiently with boy after boy. If I wasn't watching carefully I would have never caught it.

 

Fast forward four years later I see that younger scout using the same hands on technique with some newbies. So I say the older scout showed leadership.


  • 0

#32 Beavah

Beavah

    Senior Member

  • Members
  • 8158 posts

Posted 05 May 2016 - 12:51 PM

Yah, hmmm....

 

Interestin' conversation.  

 

I confess I like da Troop Vote idea.  Maybe even ask the boys to write a brief reason for their vote.   The boys see the behavior of other boys when no adults are watching, eh?

 

No reason why the lad can't ask for a Troop Vote as soon as he gets Life, eh?   Then one of two things will happen.  The boys will affirm their confidence in him, or the lad will learn that he's got some work to do.  I think that sort of feedback would be powerful.  Troop Votes would be good for only 6 months or so, eh?  It should be how you're showin' Scout Spirit now, not how yeh showed Scout Spirit once upon a time.

 

 

If there are disciplinary issues and if the scout is not living by the scout oath and law, then that's another matter, but as long as the scout meets the requirements, and challenges, that have been put before him, then why try to hold them back or deprive them of what they've rightfully earned.

 

I think @SSF captured da spirit of what I'm talkin' about best.    My view is pretty similar to @Venividi's and many others.  Eagle isn't somethin' yeh get for just not doing bad things that require you to be disciplined.   It's recognition for goin' out of your way to do good things, at some personal cost in terms of time, effort, etc.  Eagle Scout represents positive character, not da absence of negative character.  For me at least.  Put another way, just because yeh weren't expelled doesn't mean yeh should be in da National Honor Society.  I view Eagle Scout more like bein' in da National Honor Society than bein' a fellow who just barely graduated by fulfillin' the minimum credit requirements.

 

Maybe that's where we're gettin' confused, eh?  Cub Scoutin' creeps into Boy Scoutin' all the time, and in Cub Scoutin' the awards line up with grade levels.   Cub Scout awards are more like "graduating" from the 3rd to the 4th grade. We adopted a bit of that mentality with First Class First Year, eh?   Turned it more into a time-based graduation sort of thing rather than a skills-based award boys pursue at their own pace.

 

Maybe we should have some sort of "graduation" certificate in Scoutin' that represents doin' all da requirements.  Once-and-done, checked da box, no adding, pretty much everybody on the same timetable, no character or other "subjective" evaluation required, yeh can pass with a "D" grade.  Then we could use Eagle (or some other awards) to recognize the boys who really represent "Eagle Scout" to most of us.  There'd be less confusion.

 

I confess I feel a bit sorry for boys who never get any sort of subjective evaluation or feedback as youth, eh?  Seems like they'd be handicapped in life, since every evaluation they'll ever experience from here on out will have a subjective component.  College admissions, military promotions, job interviews, work evaluations, assessment of their papers and presentations, etc.   Character, commitment, and ability — whether others view you as Trustworthy, Loyal, Helpful and Competent— those are the things that are goin' to matter da most to a boy's future.

 

Beavah


  • 0

#33 gumbymaster

gumbymaster

    Junior Member

  • Members
  • 304 posts

Posted 05 May 2016 - 01:39 PM

Leadership is a very interesting concept.

 

Most people have a preconceived notion of a leader (and not all the same).

 

Some leaders are take charge, here is what we are going to do, and "follow me boys" types.

 

Some leaders are great organizers and planners, but not necessarily extroverts.

 

Some leaders are hidden behind the scenes.  Empowering those under their direction to grow and succeed.  They are often missed because they don't sing their own accolades.

 

Some leaders might not work well in a large or even small groups, but they mentor and teach another person very well.

 

Some leaders are even more quiet.  They don't tell, they don't direct, but they lead by a steady example of the right thing to do.

 

It is this spectrum of leadership that is populated with many of our Eagle scouts, and many times, you may not even know.


Edited by gumbymaster, 05 May 2016 - 01:39 PM.

  • 2

#34 Krampus

Krampus

    Side Kick to Nikolaus

  • Members
  • 1870 posts

Posted 05 May 2016 - 02:04 PM

Sounds like we agree that the picture of an Eagle as leader does not have to be the Norman Rockwell painting that so many parents may have in their mind.

 

d8a9f6911f02bd4642c516a80882afea.jpg


  • 0

#35 meyerc13

meyerc13

    Roundtable Commissioner

  • Members
  • 271 posts

Posted 05 May 2016 - 02:55 PM

One of the most interesting courses I took in my professional career is Situational Leadership.  I learned a lot about myself and a lot about leadership in that course.  In a nutshell, there are several types of leadership style - from close to micro-managing to an almost completely hands-off approach.  Which style you need to use varies by the person and the situation.  For example, a new hire may need very specific directions, and lots of guidance.  On the other hand, if you try to give an expert on a topic step by step directions on how he needs to get the work done, he's likely to hate it.

 

I learned that I was avoiding that style, because at some point I had a manager who was using that style with me when I was the expert who didn't need that level of guidance.  Yet I had employees who were new to my company who probably were frustrated by my more hands-off approach.

 

Leadership is definitely a complicated topic, and as gumbymaster pointed out there is a wide spectrum of natural leadership styles.  The best leaders can use methods that fall outside of their style when the situation warrants it.  The worst leaders try to force their subordinates to accommodate their personal style.


Edited by meyerc13, 05 May 2016 - 02:55 PM.

  • 1

Yours in Scouting,

 

Chris Meyer

 

Cub Scout Roundtable Commissioner 2015-Present

Lion Guide 2016-Present

Cubmaster 2013-2016

Father of a Boy Scout 2016-Present

 


#36 RememberSchiff

RememberSchiff

    Your Friendly Neighborhood ModeratorMan

  • Moderators
  • 2892 posts

Posted 05 May 2016 - 03:27 PM

Sounds like we agree that the picture of an Eagle as leader does not have to be the Norman Rockwell painting that so many parents may have in their mind.

 

d8a9f6911f02bd4642c516a80882afea.jpg

 

Is that a Rockwell illustration?

 

FYI, leadership was NOT a requirement for Eagle until the 1958 changes. Advancement and Leadership were two separate tracks in Boy Scouts from 1910 to 1958. I think Rockwell felt that scout leadership was separate from rank.

 

Here is Rockwell's 1959 Tomorrow's Leader. Note scout's rank is not shown, though the First Class rank is clearly in background.

 

r1959.jpg

 

In Rockwell illustrations, a Boy Scout's rank is rarely shown but when it is, First Class is most common.

 

Here is Rockwell's 1966 Growth of a Leader, note the Boy Scout has no rank badge.

 

r1966.jpg

 

Rockwell's 1965 A Great Moment

 

r1965.jpg

 

http://www.troop97.net/bsaeagle.htm

http://www.scouters.us/artist.html

http://www.bsamuseum...Norman-Rockwell

 

My $0.01 for rambling,


Edited by RememberSchiff, 05 May 2016 - 03:29 PM.

  • 0

#37 Lurking...

Lurking...

    Senior Member

  • Members
  • 12252 posts

Posted 05 May 2016 - 05:11 PM

With everybody having their own ideas for eagle, there will never be a consensus on it. What has happened is the rank has become somewhat of a holy grail award that holds some kind of magic power. Well the dynamics that makes a great eagle is identical to the dynamics that makes a great first class scout. Nothing more, nothing less. So if someone wants to ooh and ah themselves into an eagle mystified trance of specialness, that's up to them,but it should not be the new norm for the BSA program. Just because someone has reached the rank of eagle does not mean they are better than any other scout. I do think it is unfortunate that it is the message we give loud and clear to them.

Edited by Stosh, 05 May 2016 - 05:24 PM.

  • 0

#38 Beavah

Beavah

    Senior Member

  • Members
  • 8158 posts

Posted 06 May 2016 - 01:22 PM

With everybody having their own ideas for eagle, there will never be a consensus on it. What has happened is the rank has become somewhat of a holy grail award that holds some kind of magic power. Well the dynamics that makes a great eagle is identical to the dynamics that makes a great first class scout. Nothing more, nothing less. So if someone wants to ooh and ah themselves into an eagle mystified trance of specialness, that's up to them,but it should not be the new norm for the BSA program. Just because someone has reached the rank of eagle does not mean they are better than any other scout. I do think it is unfortunate that it is the message we give loud and clear to them.

 

Yah, hmmm....

 

Not sure I understand you, @Stosh.   Da requirements for S-T-2-1 and da requirements for S-L-E are very different, eh?   A First Class Scout has developed a set of well-defined basic skills.   A S-L-E scout is buildin' experience in PORs and independently pursued MBs of his choice and more service and such.   I don't get how the "dynamics" are identical.

 

The usefulness of any award as a Method to inspire kids to work and grow depends on the award havin' real meaning, eh?   It must mean that someone who has earned the award is in some way "better", eh?   That's why kids choose to pursue the award and get better themselves.  Da Valedictorian or Honor Society member got better grades, da Varsity Letter lad is better at playin' ball,  etc.  Wantin' to be recognized as one of the better ball players is what motivates kids to pursue a Varsity letter. If the award means you're bot any better than any other ballplayer then there's no point in doin' any work to improve in order to pursue a Varsity letter.  In other words, there's no point to the Method.  

 

No different with scouting.   If First Class or Eagle or whatnot doesn't recognize a boy who is better at what Scouting wants to teach, then we should just get rid of the Advancement Method, eh?  Because at that point Advancement is useless for our Aims.

 

When I see troops where da focus is on Advancement in the way you describe, I mostly see troops where boys are rewarded for bein' more compliant to adults, eh?  In those units Advancement isn't measurin' growth in the lad's character or leadership so much as his ability to navigate paperwork and get signatures.  In other words, doin' meaningless tasks to please the adults who are runnin' the show.  Those scouts might truly be no better, on average, than other scouts.   That's an indictment of those programs, though, not somethin' to be emulated.

 

Beavah


Edited by Beavah, 06 May 2016 - 01:24 PM.

  • 1

#39 Hedgehog

Hedgehog

    Erinaceomorpha Erinaceidae Member

  • Members
  • 684 posts

Posted 06 May 2016 - 04:12 PM

To paraphrase Forest Gump, "An Eagle is as an Eagle Does."  My goal is that the Eagles from our troop will act in a way that people will know there is something different about them.


  • 0

#40 vumbi

vumbi

    Senior Member

  • Members
  • 179 posts

Posted 06 May 2016 - 09:16 PM

The 'meaning' of eagle is probably unique to each recipient. I'm not sure anyone can characterize the 'meaning' for all recipients as a group. Best to just award the rank when they meet the requirements and let the individuals sort it out for themselves. After all (witness this discussion) that's what's likely to happen anyway.


  • 0





Also tagged with one or more of these keywords: eagle, aims

0 user(s) are reading this topic

0 members, 0 guests, 0 anonymous users


IPB Skin By Virteq