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Boys "Eagle Out" of troop


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#41 Chadamus

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Posted 02 February 2017 - 05:17 PM

 scouts will stay as long as they can because they like the kind of person they have become with they go there.

Having seen the changes I can attest that this is key. Well said, Barry.


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#42 gischibeads

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Posted 03 February 2017 - 12:15 PM

Let's face the truth: some are just in it for themselves. looks good on a resume' or whatever. The good ones? They stay because they know what it is all about. You can't teach people how to care. They either do or they don't. Eagles are no different. Sad but true.


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#43 walk in the woods

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Posted 03 February 2017 - 01:34 PM

Back to the role of early Eagles, if more of them took time to act as stewards to the younger Scouts, they would have paid back what I believe they owe the unit. I am a firm believer in "stewardship". 

So when exactly in the process of recruiting boys do you tell them and their parents they owe a debt to the unit?  Do you have them sign a letter of indentured servitude?

 

I understand the sentiment but it leads me to a question - if we decide it doesn't matter where a 15-year old Eagle Scout practices the leadership skills we hope they've gained, why even bother keeping the Boy Scout age at 17 - why not just change the program so that Boy Scouts is from 11-15 and Eagle Scout must be earned before a boys 16th birthday?

I suppose one could argue the opposite just as easily.  If the boys are expected to "pay back" why shouldn't we raise the age limit to 25 or 30 or whatever we determine is the correct number of years of service required to repay their debt?

 

If a boy's interests change at 14, 15, 16 years old, and he's able to take the principles of scouting into his new interests, he's the best kind of ambassador for the program we can imagine.  That should be celebrated just as much as a boy who stays with scouting until he's 18, or 21 or continues in the program into his old age.

 

We give our service to the BSA, our councils, our units and our boys.  Give.  It's a gift and gifts don't come with strings attached.  


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#44 Col. Flagg

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Posted 03 February 2017 - 01:47 PM

So when exactly in the process of recruiting boys do you tell them and their parents they owe a debt to the unit?  Do you have them sign a letter of indentured servitude?

 

You might want to check your terms. Stewardship is a very different concept than servitude. We believe stewardship is part of character development. Sound familiar? One of the aims of Scouting. Certainly, getting Eagle and leaving does not speak much to character in our book.

 

Since you asked, we tell Scouts and their families when they join us that our unit prides itself on building the boys' character. To us that means that you give back what you take out. You don't cut and run once you get Eagle (if that's 14-16), you give back. You mentor. You coach. You give "cheerful service".

 

BTW, no one has ever left that meeting saying, "Nope, not the troop for me." In fact, when we interview Scouts/families that leave our unit, NO ONE has ever said, "Gee, you know that thing where you strongly encourage them to give back? That's just too much for us."


Edited by Col. Flagg, 03 February 2017 - 01:48 PM.

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#45 T2Eagle

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Posted 03 February 2017 - 01:48 PM

The whole business about fumes and we have to get them to eagle before they quit is nothing I'm interested in.

At Round Table last month the break out session for troops was along the lines of how do we get scouts to do a better job of scheduling their time on the required merit badges so they don't miss out on Eagle.  The idea that it's OK if they don't make Eagle was never broached, maybe I failed at being Brave for not broaching it, but it didn't seem to be a question anyone there wanted to wrestle with.


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#46 walk in the woods

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Posted 03 February 2017 - 02:30 PM

You might want to check your terms. Stewardship is a very different concept than servitude. We believe stewardship is part of character development. Sound familiar? One of the aims of Scouting. Certainly, getting Eagle and leaving does not speak much to character in our book.

 

Since you asked, we tell Scouts and their families when they join us that our unit prides itself on building the boys' character. To us that means that you give back what you take out. You don't cut and run once you get Eagle (if that's 14-16), you give back. You mentor. You coach. You give "cheerful service".

 

BTW, no one has ever left that meeting saying, "Nope, not the troop for me." In fact, when we interview Scouts/families that leave our unit, NO ONE has ever said, "Gee, you know that thing where you strongly encourage them to give back? That's just too much for us."

If a boy gets Eagle at 15 and then quits the troop for a Venturing Crew so he can continue his personal growth does that count for or against him?  Does it matter if the crew is chartered by the same CO or not?  Does it matter if the Crew is focused on Drama rather than the outdoors?  He clearly left and isn't giving back to the troop, so that would suggest you'd view that scout negatively.  Or since he stayed in Scouting is it a positive?  And to whom is stewardship owed?  Does the scout owe stewardship to your unit, or your CO or scouting or to the ideals of scouting?  

 

What if your scout gets his Eagle, leaves the Troop, but ends up mentoring another youth in his drama club, or scholatic bowl team or marching band or youth group or just his group of non-scout friends hanging out on Friday night, in the ideals of scouting?  Would it be better for the Scout to stay in a troop where he doesn't have passion for the program, whether it's a perfect program or lousy, or is it better for him to take stewardship of the ideals and use them to better another young person somewhere else?  Would he still be a scout of poor character in that situation?

 

I think boys this age, whether they know it or not, are learning to build meaning into their life.  And I'd argue a meaningful life comes from having a passion for something objectively good.  They may not know what that passion is yet, but they are perfectly capable of figuring out what it's not.  We're just giving them the tools to be successful in that search.


Edited by walk in the woods, 03 February 2017 - 02:31 PM.

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#47 T2Eagle

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Posted 03 February 2017 - 02:50 PM

If a boy gets Eagle at 15 and then quits the troop for a Venturing Crew so he can continue his personal growth does that count for or against him?  Does it matter if the crew is chartered by the same CO or not?  Does it matter if the Crew is focused on Drama rather than the outdoors?  He clearly left and isn't giving back to the troop, so that would suggest you'd view that scout negatively.  Or since he stayed in Scouting is it a positive?  And to whom is stewardship owed?  Does the scout owe stewardship to your unit, or your CO or scouting or to the ideals of scouting?  

 

 

Each scout can and should be judged individually, but I do think it shows at least some deficiency if a scout makes Eagle and almost immediately quits the troop.  It's true that most of the scouts I've seen do this are not people of poor character, and they probably do decide to spend their time in other meaningful ways rather than just being narcissists.  But I do feel there is some service owed to a troop after it has provided a scout the program and support necessary for them to become Eagle.  After all there had to be other scouts above him as he was coming up.  Making Eagle and taking off strikes as at least somewhat analogous to pulling up a ladder after you that someone else actually set up before you.  It's not the worst behavior I've seen, but it does leave a bad taste in my mouth.


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#48 Col. Flagg

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Posted 03 February 2017 - 02:53 PM

If a boy gets Eagle at 15 and then quits the troop for a Venturing Crew so he can continue his personal growth does that count for or against him?  Does it matter if the crew is chartered by the same CO or not?  Does it matter if the Crew is focused on Drama rather than the outdoors?  He clearly left and isn't giving back to the troop, so that would suggest you'd view that scout negatively.  Or since he stayed in Scouting is it a positive?  And to whom is stewardship owed?  Does the scout owe stewardship to your unit, or your CO or scouting or to the ideals of scouting?  

 

What if your scout gets his Eagle, leaves the Troop, but ends up mentoring another youth in his drama club, or scholatic bowl team or marching band or youth group or just his group of non-scout friends hanging out on Friday night, in the ideals of scouting?  Would it be better for the Scout to stay in a troop where he doesn't have passion for the program, whether it's a perfect program or lousy, or is it better for him to take stewardship of the ideals and use them to better another young person somewhere else?  Would he still be a scout of poor character in that situation?

 

I think boys this age, whether they know it or not, are learning to build meaning into their life.  And I'd argue a meaningful life comes from having a passion for something objectively good.  They may not know what that passion is yet, but they are perfectly capable of figuring out what it's not.  We're just giving them the tools to be successful in that search.

 

We don't have to worry about this. In 25 years we've only had two Scouts make Eagle and run. They lied in their ESMC that they intended on sticking around and being active. Both literally left within days of their EBOR. Didn't stick around to have an ECOH. That was long ago.

 

Thankfully, our guys have learned to give back and to not be selfish.

 

I'd argue that knowing your obligations and living up to them -- at personal cost to yourself if that be the case -- is what forges the type of citizens *I* want to have around. I'm not sure I want some self-interested person who follows his own passions, never paying back those who helped him when *HE* needed.


Edited by Col. Flagg, 03 February 2017 - 02:56 PM.

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#49 walk in the woods

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Posted 03 February 2017 - 03:30 PM

We don't have to worry about this. In 25 years we've only had two Scouts make Eagle and run. They lied in their ESMC that they intended on sticking around and being active. Both literally left within days of their EBOR. Didn't stick around to have an ECOH. That was long ago.

 

Thankfully, our guys have learned to give back and to not be selfish.

 

I'd argue that knowing your obligations and living up to them -- at personal cost to yourself if that be the case -- is what forges the type of citizens *I* want to have around. I'm not sure I want some self-interested person who follows his own passions, never paying back those who helped him when *HE* needed.

But why does participation in scouting create an obligation to the specific unit or to scouting at all?  Isn't the actual obligation, if we can call it that, to put the principles into practice in your own life?   To give back to your community?  If being a scout creates an obligation to the BSA shouldn't the Eagle project be required to benefit the BSA rather than the community at large?

 

Let's use an analogy.  If a young man signs up for military service, serves with distinction for 4 or 6 or 10 years, then voluntarily separates from the service, is he less of a veteran than a second young man that makes a career of military service?


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#50 Col. Flagg

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Posted 03 February 2017 - 03:48 PM

But why does participation in scouting create an obligation to the specific unit or to scouting at all?  Isn't the actual obligation, if we can call it that, to put the principles into practice in your own life?   To give back to your community?  If being a scout creates an obligation to the BSA shouldn't the Eagle project be required to benefit the BSA rather than the community at large?

 

Let's use an analogy.  If a young man signs up for military service, serves with distinction for 4 or 6 or 10 years, then voluntarily separates from the service, is he less of a veteran than a second young man that makes a career of military service?

 

Simple.

 

Society has too many ways to breed the kids these days in to self-absorbed, everyone-gets-a-trophy, what's-in-it-for-me narcissists that, unless someone holds them accountable, rarely do they voluntarily do anything selfless or philanthropic. As part of our unit's philosophy -- which people know going in -- is to have the boys give back through their leadership, participation, citizenship and community service. They know that once they make Eagle they are expected to "give back" in some way. Maybe they are a JASM. Maybe they are an Instructor for the younger Scouts. Maybe they lead a few special events (e.g., Eprep mobilization, first aid fair, wilderness survival camp out, shooting sports fun shoot, etc.). There's that expectation that they give back at least SOMETHING to the unit that gave so much to them.

 

Guess what? It works. Our retention rate is pretty high. These guys are not shamed or guilted in to sticking around. They do so because that is who they are. That is who they grew in to. They understand obligation and stewardship; leaving something better than you found it.

 

I'll give you an analogy, It's not enough that you camp in one camp site, mess it up but promise to clean up another one sometime in the future. You clean the camp site you just used and left in disarray so that the next camper can experience what you did. That's the philosophy in a nutshell.

 

If they don't like it, there's another 15 troops within 5 sq. miles they can join that will mill out Eagles and send them to their next resume-padding adventure.


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#51 Stosh

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Posted 03 February 2017 - 03:49 PM

@Col. Flagg and @walk in the woods If after a boy goes all through the check marks and is entitled to receive the Eagle rank, it does not mean he has taken any of what was learned along the way to heart.  It just means he has gone through all the check marks and is entitled to receive the Eagle rank.  A boy may say he promises to "help other people at all times", but promises can easily be broken.  Someone on the thread mentioned, one cannot teach a person to care.  This is the key to the whole discussion. Did the boy jump through all these hoops for himself or for others.

 

From then does it make much difference who those others are?  Sure, there will be those who think it should be certain people and others say yet a different set of certain people  Like anything else, perception is important.  More often than not a person is judged based on perception rather than on reality and so the debate will rage on, and on, and on, and on....


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#52 Eagle94-A1

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Posted 03 February 2017 - 05:26 PM

In my humble opinion, Older Scouts in a troop is a sign of a good troop. I know growing up, most of us didn't earn Eagle 17 or 18 ( using the "wimp clause" ;) )  The one Eagle at 15 did leave the troop shortly after getting Eagle, but for a darn good reason: his family was moving to Hawawii. And if I'm remember correctly, he got involved in Sea Scouts once he moved.


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#53 5yearscouter

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Posted 03 February 2017 - 07:32 PM

This idea that a scout can only be a good Eagle if he gets his Eagle and then sticks around isn't very scoutlike or kind.

To get an Eagle has a certain set of requirements, and staying around in your troop to teach younger scouts is not one of the requirements.

Additionally, we do a disservice to the older scouts when we seem to require teaching younger scouts in order to be deemed a true scout, or worthy of Eagle.

 

I have one Eagle, he got his January of his Senior year.  He was active in his troop for the most part all the way up to the end.  Most of his scouting, however, was not to his troop.  It was working at summer camp, and OA ceremonialist.  His troop had a pretty good scoutmaster, but having outings exciting to the older boys was a struggle--because all the older guys were involved in so many other activities, that finding a common weekend for an outing at all, especially the week long hikes and canoe trips they wanted to do, was almost impossible. When at the troop meetings/outings, he was the effective teacher, big brother to all.  But that was his personality.  He has calmness and caring for others at his heart, and always has.  Having patience to teach T-1st skills every meeting for years and years is very very trying on young men, but he would just plod along, teaching anyone anything they needed.  You'd probably all say he is a great Eagle because he gives back.  But internally he groaned.  Scouting started to leave a bad taste in his mouth towards the end.

 

I have another son, he's almost 17, done with all merit badges and just needs his Eagle project.  He's in the same troop, but it's different, oh so different now. New SM really can't figure out how to even begin to reach the older scouts.  He really stuck it to the youth when he told them to be sure to think about giving the new guy a chance for spl rather than their trained older scouts who had just returned from NAYLE. He actually spoke kind of poorly about the older guys, that the troop needed new blood.  And then when the 13 year old was elected SPL, went on to discourage openly and loudly that SPL from choosing any of the older scouts to advise and help him as ASPLs and Instructors.  So needless to Say, the older guys went and sat down and removed their interest in running for POR unless they absolutely needed it for rank.  So I make my son go to scouts once a month or so until he finishes his project. 

 

Now younger son is also a kid with a different personality than his brother.  He does not have that much patience to teach others every single meeting.  He can lash better than anyone in the troop, and will gladly show that off.  Scoutmaster has taken to asking--so can anyone aside from H show the younger scouts how to lash?

 

And he has a bad attitude about the SM, who when the older boys wanted to plan their own backpack trip on weekends they were all available, SM refused to let them do it, unless they changed it so the younger guys could attend like one night and < 5 miles on this super easy trail.  All The troop outings are starting to cater to 11-13 year olds, and end up being field trips with a side of camping.  Older guys were talking they just wanted to go camping somewhere and hang out at the campsite and whittle, and make a fire, dutch oven cook and play some games.  SM says fine if everything you do is trail to first class skill teaching for the younger guys.

 

Older guys are bailing like crazy as soon as they get their Eagle and I don't blame them if there is nothing in the troop for them.

Younger scouts are starting to do the same (next up eagles are about 14)  That will leave no experienced scouts except maybe maybe 2-3 who have younger brothers.  and the rest of the 50 will be young.


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#54 Back Pack

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Posted 03 February 2017 - 08:27 PM

And leaving a troop that helped you when you needed it IS Scoutlike? Really?
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#55 5yearscouter

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Posted 06 February 2017 - 11:27 PM

And leaving a troop that helped you when you needed it IS Scoutlike? Really?

When that troop turns it's back on you? When that troop and scoutmaster talks poorly about the older scouts when they try to step up and lead and doesn't want the nylt and nayle trained guys to do anything or be instructors or to actually teach the other guys what they've learned? Why would any scout show up to stand there and have someone teach them trail to 1st class skills that they already know with their eyes closed, someone who doesn't know what they are teaching, and if they stand up and take the youth aside and suggest that they could show the instructor how to actually tie that knot so they could successfully instruct the others on doing the same, and the scoutmaster tells them that's not ok, go sit down and make the instructor figure it out for themselves.  over and over the older scouts are told to back off, don't instruct, don't help, no you can't plan campouts or hikes for your patrol, no high adventure, no challenge, only the same old same old that the 10.5 year olds have never done but the 17 year olds have done over and over every year or two? nothing in that to keep their interest. The asms and sm claim to be tired of those outings, and aren't always attending, but expect the 17 year olds to be excited to show it off to the new guys again for the 5th time? And I'm talking the whole patrol of older scouts we have 7 or 8 15.5-17.5 year olds--the guys who know this stuff cold and WANT to share it and aren't allowed to by the scoutmaster.


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#56 Col. Flagg

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Posted 07 February 2017 - 10:23 AM

Maybe the Scout could get other Scouts together and try to work with the SM to wrestle back control? Politely, of course.

 

Agree if the SM does not allow it or is otherwise disinclined, then leave. What they are doing is not Scouting so technically he's not leaving a boy scout troop. 


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#57 qwazse

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Posted 07 February 2017 - 11:01 AM

At Round Table last month the break out session for troops was along the lines of how do we get scouts to do a better job of scheduling their time on the required merit badges so they don't miss out on Eagle.  The idea that it's OK if they don't make Eagle was never broached, maybe I failed at being Brave for not broaching it, but it didn't seem to be a question anyone there wanted to wrestle with.

T2E ... a slap on the wrist to you. :mad:  If it takes bravery to speak up at round-table, there's a problem.

But, I know what you mean. It seems like folks who want this to be their problem (and not the boys') are gonna micromanage anyway.

 

I do think there are good reasons to spell out to boys why some badges should be started right away. Part of it is that there are some boys who will never learn to pay attention to those kinds of details without your guidance. Part of it is some boys really could benefit from taking one badge sooner than the others.

 

I was talking to an soon-to-Life scout, 15 years old and figuring he'll save his Eagle project until he's 17 and double-dip for his senior project. All I told him was "There's something really cool about being able to wear your Eagle patch for two or more summer camps. And, once you do an Eagle project, doing a senior service project will be a cinch!"


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#58 EmberMike

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Posted 07 February 2017 - 04:15 PM

This idea that a scout can only be a good Eagle if he gets his Eagle and then sticks around isn't very scoutlike or kind.

 

 

I agree. Lots of judgement here without knowing what the circumstances of many of these "eagle out" scenarios might hold. 

 

Ideally kids stick with it as long as possible, but everyone has different circumstances and goals, especially at that age. Even at 15, by that point a kid might have 8 years into Scouting. That's more time in an extra-curricular activity that most kids dedicate to anything these days. 

 

If a kid fulfills the requirements, they did what they had to do. Some kids will put more effort into those 7 or 8 years of Scouting and give more to their unit and fellow scouts than other kids who put into 10+ years and just do the bare minimum all along the way. 


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#59 frankpalazzi

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Posted 07 February 2017 - 04:29 PM

Let's face the truth: some are just in it for themselves. looks good on a resume' or whatever. The good ones? They stay because they know what it is all about. You can't teach people how to care. They either do or they don't. Eagles are no different. Sad but true.

And then there is the situation you can't fault the boy for: Helicopter Parents.  Over the years I've heard things like "No driver's license until you get your Eagle," etc.  These are the boys who not only make a quick exit from your Troop (being 18 or close to it), but select a college far out of Helicopter Range and start a career and family several states away.  See you at Christmas, Mom and Dad.  Also, sad but true!

 

Years ago, one of our leaders approached a parent like this and told her (knowing the boy was unhappy) that if she wanted the Eagle badge, just fork over $3.50 and he'd get her one.  If her son wants it, he has to earn it. She put her son (and I'm sure, herself) in a troop in a neighboring town and made THEM miserable.  Never heard the outcome.

 

Unfortunately, there's nothing we as leaders can do about it. We can only "Do Our Best".


Edited by frankpalazzi, 07 February 2017 - 04:58 PM.

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#60 Col. Flagg

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Posted 07 February 2017 - 04:31 PM

If a kid fulfills the requirements, they did what they had to do. Some kids will put more effort into those 7 or 8 years of Scouting and give more to their unit and fellow scouts than other kids who put into 10+ years and just do the bare minimum all along the way

 

It's been my experience that the kids who get Eagle before 16 usually fall in to that latter category (highlighted). They check the box and move on.

 

Certainly generalizations are be drawn anywhere. My point is that we need to be teaching servant leadership, stewardship and obligation to these kids. If they can make Eagle at 16 and demonstrate these traits, then great. My experience has been that they usually don't show these traits until there has been some sacrifice on their part. This usually comes after 16 when they mature enough to know what self-sacrifice is.


Edited by Col. Flagg, 07 February 2017 - 04:32 PM.

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