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Prepping for Eagle Scout Award merit Badge completion


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#1 Deaf Scouter

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Posted 18 January 2017 - 03:41 PM

One of the biggest things I see with Scouts is more and more are doing last minute completion of merit badges that is such stresses so many who are involved and helping a scout.  One of the things that I see missing from Eagle packets is a calendar for accountability for the scout in meeting deadlines.  This is especially true on merit badges.  Does any one use one or have a design of calendar deadline if completing merit badges they can share please?


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#2 qwazse

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Posted 18 January 2017 - 03:50 PM

Hi DS. Long time no read!

 

Never understood why last minute MB completion should stress anybody out. Either the scout starts and ends the badge in a timely fashion ... or he does not.

 

I try to teach scouts and venturers backdating. (E.g., get some graph paper -- or even a real paper calendar -- and count back from their target date when they must take particular actions.) They trivialize the method, and as a result, some have not made Eagle.

 

Their problem, not mine, not their parents'.


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#3 NJCubScouter

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Posted 18 January 2017 - 04:07 PM

I try to teach scouts and venturers backdating. (E.g., get some graph paper -- or even a real paper calendar -- and count back from their target date when they must take particular actions.) 

 

That's good but I suggest you come up with a phrase for that other than "backdating", which already has a different meaning and it's not one we wish to teach the Scouts.  :)


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#4 Deaf Scouter

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Posted 18 January 2017 - 04:12 PM

Hi Qwazse!  Yeah, deaf-initely a long time!

The problem I see is this step isn't even being done with Scouts so they are not seeing the deadlines and last minute affects beforehand.  I think it is important to talk about last minutes effects earlier because so many issues crop up at last minute that I don't think the real value of not meeting the last minute is coming across correctly.. it is the scouts fault.  Read some posts and its the leadership, council and etc. Gets event worse when parents join in at the last minute when you wonder where they were.  

 

The point is to talk about it and have a handy communication tool the scout is seeing at one year and along the way then at one month of two eweeks before.


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#5 NJCubScouter

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Posted 18 January 2017 - 04:50 PM

In our troop the kids are given the full picture of why they should not wait until the last minute.  In fact the primary "don't let this happen to you" example is MY son, who did make Eagle, but only as the result of a great deal of scrambling around and stress and anxiety on the part of various adults who did not deserve it (including me and my wife.)  My son, and his successors, knew and know full well why they should not wait until the last minute and yet somehow things often do seem to get down to the last week, or less.  Not in all cases - we have had kids make Eagle at 15 and 16, but many more last-minute Eagles than there should be.  

 

And you would think something like "You don't want to be doing an outdoor project in December" would mean something to a kid whose birthday is the last week of the year, and yet we just had a kid finish (well, really, start and finish) his outdoor project in December.  He lucked out with the weather.


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#6 DuctTape

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Posted 18 January 2017 - 05:05 PM

Deadlines and responsibility need not be a separate lesson just to avoid procrastination for the eagle award. These values can and should be part of the entire program as standard operating procedure. Jimmy doesn't sign up on time for the patrol campout, i guess he diesn't go. Timmy forgets to bring his medical form for the patrol swim, I guess he has to watch. Sounds harsh I know, but as long as adults keep bailing them out for the small things, they never need to be responsible or plan ahead. Then the big things they might miss out on. Better to miss a small thing and learn the value of responsibility and preparedness than miss out on something bigger later on.
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#7 MattR

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Posted 18 January 2017 - 05:23 PM

You don't think everyone doesn't already tell them what's about to happen? Tell them all you want, make charts and graphs and all sorts of wonderful aides, and it won't make a difference. A lot of scouts have to learn the hard way. This is likely the first time they've ever had to figure out a schedule so they really don't understand what it means to fall behind. Think of it this way, once they go through this they will better understand the next time, which will likely be much more expensive if they're late.

 

The best quote I heard related to this: A project becomes months or even years late one day at a time.


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#8 Eagle94-A1

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Posted 18 January 2017 - 06:03 PM

IMHO, I'm the prime example of last minute Eagles.  I was a Life Scout for 5 years, and earned my last MB 5 days before turning 18, and all the paperwork and SM conference completed about 3 hours before turning 18. EBOR was over a month later due to scheduling.

 

I always tell my Scouts not to do what I did.


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#9 Stosh

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Posted 18 January 2017 - 06:10 PM

Don't do as I do, do as I say..... :)  I'm sure that's going to sell.....


Edited by Stosh, 18 January 2017 - 06:10 PM.

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#10 Deaf Scouter

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Posted 18 January 2017 - 06:24 PM

In reading everyone responses, I see my differences.  I prefer a visual tool  for the eyes over the ears' listening tool.  I think seeing is believing.   The other problem I see being on the Advancement Team is from EBOR and asking scouts how they tracked completion.  Many are not even getting the help that they need on this merit badge completion planning schedule other than a list of merit badges they need to complete.  The focus is greatly on the Eagle project that merit badges needed seem to fall a bit to the side for the poor prepare scout or for those that have a weak skill in the or weak leadership resources around them.

 

I also see the comparison being used here like if one don't sign up for a campout on time, you don't go as a different type of lesson.  I'm looking more at time management skill development and planning development, along with short term versus long term planning.  think how you do projects in the work place or plan a district/council event.  Even troop trips I thought are put together by troop committees that even scouts don't see the time and efforts put in by their adult leadership.  Hence the reason I asked for a merit badge planner for Eagle Scout Award.


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#11 DuctTape

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Posted 18 January 2017 - 10:08 PM

I also think the scouts should be doing the planning for the troop/patrol trips, and not the adult committees. I disagree that seeing is believing; doing isbelieving.
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#12 Stosh

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Posted 19 January 2017 - 08:56 AM

I also think the scouts should be doing the planning for the troop/patrol trips, and not the adult committees. I disagree that seeing is believing; doing isbelieving.

How can anyone say a troop that has adults doing this kind of thing be defined as a boy-led troop and still keep a straight face?  Seriously, if they believe their boys to be running the show, yet they do all the planning and prep, they are doing a great disservice to their boys.


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#13 T2Eagle

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Posted 19 January 2017 - 09:01 AM

A topic similar to this came up at our last round table.  I bit my tongue through much of the discussion.  I have never been stressed by my scouts' last minute attempts to get things done, because it is never my goal for a scout to make Eagle.

 

You have to keep telling yourself and everyone around you that it is not your or their goal for a scout to make Eagle, again, and again, and again.

 

Having said that, I do like helping my scouts learn how to achieve what they want to achieve.  Don't try to reinvent the wheel.  Most schools provide or recommend some sort of planner/calendar for students.  Sometimes these are paper sometimes electronic.  Start with that if they have one, otherwise have them pull out their phones and see what calendar function they have there and help them learn to use it.


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#14 Deaf Scouter

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Posted 19 January 2017 - 10:35 AM

DuctTape -- Seems both of our answers are correct and it is because we are looking at things from two different perspectives.  Neither of us are wrong in our vision viewpoint/perspectives.  In Trainer's EDGE, they point out that using more communication angles helps understanding.  That is what I'm aiming for using more communication tools to teach a point.

Stosh -- Yes we are supposed to be Boy-Led but unfortunately there are still a great number that are not.  It is true these non boy led troops do a great disservice to their youth leaders/ scouts.

 

T2Eagle -- Great idea with the school calendar but many scouts keep these two separate, nor do they bring it with them to Troop meetings.

 

Overall guys, I'm not stressing over the Scout making Eagle.  It is just this unique situation with this particular scout (he moved from East to Midwest) that has enhanced the need for some kind of simple one sheet guide for the scout's benefit.  Simply telling a scout he needs to complete x number of merit badges and which ones while he does his Eagle project is the drawback for many.  Youth leaders/scouts need some kind of tool so they can plan merit badge completion for themselves along with the Eagle project.

Don't forget.. today's world.. more leaders are busy wearing more hats, parents are busier, and scouts are sometimes left to fend, sort all this for themselves.  They really want the Eagle project but are still developing their time management, organizational and planning skills.  This visual tool helps them take charge while at the same time helps the adults not to just drop it in the scouts lap without providing some guidance.  You will be surprise how many drop an Eagle packet in a scout's lap without even going through it with them.  Happened my son never even received his so we had to download it off the net.  In the busyness of life and scouting, there are a lot more cracks than you see or know about.


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#15 Eagledad

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Posted 19 January 2017 - 02:11 PM

We had a 16 year old life scout transfer in our troop only needing 5 mbs to complete his Eagle requirements. No real problems until his dad approached me at a troop meeting. He wasn't being aggressive, but more inquisitive. His son asked our Advancement Leader to finish his Eagle paperwork and send it to the district to set up the EBOR. Our Advancement Leader replied that the scouts are responsible for all the paperwork and sending it to the district. We would of course double check his work to make sure it was all in order, but the responsibility to send it to district completed was his. The scout is also responsible for scheduling the EBOR and to telling the SM so that he can introduce the scout to the board.

 

This scout's previous troop not only scheduled all the scouts MBs Eagle Project, they also took care of and stored ALL their scouts' advancement paperwork from the first day they started. So, he didn't have any expectation or experience in recording, storing and documenting ANY of his advancement requirements. They even took care of documenting the Eagle Project that they found, approved and assigned to the scout.

 

Not knowing his son's troops policies, I sat down with dad and explained that our policy and routine was for scouts to control all their advancement from signing up for requirements down to handling all the Eagle documentation. I told him that we believe the Eagle represents the character and qualities of an adult, so it seems silly that another adult should take care of their business. I remember the dad smiling and shaking his head in agreement. That was when he explained how his son's previous troop handled advancement and advancement records. I suggested that since his son doesn't have any practice in taking care of his personal documentation, he could certainly request for some advice from the troop or his family. Dad thanked me for the few minutes of my time and I got a call from his son a couple months later inviting me to his EBOR.

 

I worked with a couple hundred scouts and about 20 Eagles as a scout leader in our troop and not one of them ever complained about our troop advancement policy's and procedures. They didn't know any different. To be honest, I think we thought all troops did it about the same way. I learned differently when I joined the forums.

 

I think the key is start teaching scouts from their first day how to take the initiative for advancing as well as how to take care of their records and paperwork. I can see it being a problem for older scouts who have not practiced those habits.

 

I am not suggesting troops make a sudden 180 degree change in their advancement policies, but I can attest that the scouts can handle it if the adults can.

 

Barry


Edited by Eagledad, 19 January 2017 - 02:40 PM.

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#16 Deaf Scouter

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Posted 19 January 2017 - 03:04 PM

 

I worked with a couple hundred scouts and about 20 Eagles as a scout leader in our troop and not one of them ever complained about our troop advancement policy's and procedures. They didn't know any different. To be honest, I think we thought all troops did it about the same way. I learned differently when I joined the forums.

 

I think the key is start teaching scouts from their first day how to take the initiative for advancing as well as how to take care of their records and paperwork. I can see it being a problem for older scouts who have not practiced those habits.

 

I am not suggesting troops make a sudden 180 degree change in their advancement policies, but I can attest that the scouts can handle it if the adults can.

 

Barry

To be honest, I didn't know any differently until I started doing my annual event.  I got some of the pieces during my one year stint at stand in SM but I didn't fully put it together until later.  Being on the District and Council level, I get to see and watch how different Troops operate that it has clued me in.  Your posting brings this up that this is a good topic to even have at RT.


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#17 Eagledad

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Posted 19 January 2017 - 03:25 PM

To be honest, I didn't know any differently until I started doing my annual event.  I got some of the pieces during my one year stint at stand in SM but I didn't fully put it together until later.  Being on the District and Council level, I get to see and watch how different Troops operate that it has clued me in.  Your posting brings this up that this is a good topic to even have at RT.

Agreed, and may I suggest to additionally add the information to your training syllabuses. I learned over the years that if you want to educate the district as a whole of changes, do it through training. Sadly a very small percentage of units attend RTs, but just about all adult leaders have to attend training. It's amazing how a district of units develops bad habits in policies and procedures over the years. I attacked them through training and saw a general acceptance of the changes within about three years.

 

One last thing, back everything up with BSA source references so that your information has integrity.

 

Barry


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#18 Eagle94-A1

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Posted 19 January 2017 - 10:11 PM

Don't do as I do, do as I say..... :)  I'm sure that's going to sell.....

 

Actually more on the lines of, " Don't make the mistake I made....."

 

 

Agreed, and may I suggest to additionally add the information to your training syllabuses. I learned over the years that if you want to educate the district as a whole of changes, do it through training. Sadly a very small percentage of units attend RTs, but just about all adult leaders have to attend training. It's amazing how a district of units develops bad habits in policies and procedures over the years. I attacked them through training and saw a general acceptance of the changes within about three years.

 

One last thing, back everything up with BSA source references so that your information has integrity.

 

Barry

 

VERY TRUE!


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#19 Stosh

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Posted 20 January 2017 - 09:12 AM

From day one, the process of planning and organizing needs to be instilled in the scout.  Waiting until he is working on his Eagle is WAY too late.

 

There's a pamphlet in the front of every Handbook.  The boy is expected to schedule time with his parents, go through the pamphlet, have his parents sign on it and bring it back.   At age 10-11 with parents doing everything for them, that's a huge obstacle to overcome.  But they do and then they do the next.  "You did that?"  Where's your book to show me?  Forgot it.  That's one less week you have to work on advancement.  Didn't pack a mess kit?  Bummer.  Clothes all wet and the adults won't let you outside to sled in 10o weather?  What?  Your mom didn't pack enough?  Well, maybe next time you pack so you have everything."

 

My favorite line is: "Excuses do not solve problems because they have an effective range of zero meters.  Do you want me to convert that to feet and inches?"

 

It is a major disservice to accept excuses from the boys.  Only results move things forward.


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Stosh

 

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#20 qwazse

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Posted 20 January 2017 - 09:30 AM

...   You will be surprise how many drop an Eagle packet in a scout's lap without even going through it with them.  Happened my son never even received his so we had to download it off the net.  In the busyness of life and scouting, there are a lot more cracks than you see or know about.

Hmm, that's how I did it with my boys. :cool:

 

Now granted, that workbook has gotten absurdly verbose. And for some scouts with learning disorders, we had to walk them through it (again, and again).

 

But, each boy is unique, and although they all face the same deadline (a stupid one, I've come to conclude), they each have different obstacles to meeting it -- from the MBs they have yet to do to how the districts handle approvals to the hoops a beneficiary would like you to jump through. (E.g., Son #1 had to attend a town meeting to garner public support for his project.)

 

Because there is no one-size-fits all, an Eagle advisor is probably the best resource a boy could have.


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