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Boys "Eagle Out" of troop


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#81 HelpfulTracks

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Posted 19 August 2017 - 06:52 PM

I would be surprised if the "process" of the Eagle project contributed much if anything in causing a scout to "eagle out." It would REALLY have to leave a bad taste in their mouth. Once they have been awarded their Eagle, the paperwork is almost nil, unless they are chasing NOAM or Hornaday.

 

A CC spending 2 hours?!? No. A few minutes at most.  An Eagle Advisor or SM, I can see that depending on how well the scout has put together their book.

 

Three decades later, I have no idea where anything related to my project is. But I have been through several moves and lost a house to a hurricane. So there are many things I no longer have from my youth.


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#82 Ankylus

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Posted 20 August 2017 - 06:08 PM

For example, to get the Committee Chairman's signature on the Eagle application will take a meeting of at least a couple hours. 

 

I was wrong...it took 2.5 hours. Fortunately, I am the last signature so that will be rather quick. 


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#83 fred johnson

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Posted 21 August 2017 - 08:23 AM

Why did it need to be simplified?

 

I suspect you know the answer.  But to state it, there was huge differences district to district and council to council on what was expected.  Perhaps a simple drawing was enough in your area.  In our area, scouts were bounced around for months to get approval as their project documentation grew and grew.  I've seen scouts take six months of reviews and the project binder routinely be inches thick.   

 

I view the current PDF process as pretty innocuous and quick and easy to do.  If you protest filling the proposal section out, you'll probably protest anything.  The "proposal" section could be filled out by myself in five to ten minutes.  I'd expect a scout to take one to two hours.  The good part of the current workbook PDF is consistency.  


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#84 fred johnson

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Posted 21 August 2017 - 08:30 AM

1, The two primary reasons I hear is so that "someone can pick up and complete the project" and to "get a taste of the real world". First, is it really that hard to "pick up and complete the project" is somebody puts their mind to it? There may be a project here or there, but I have yet to see one. Second, "the real world"? Perhaps some parts of it, but not all of it. In my profession you would bankrupt yourself proceeding along these lines.

 

2. A "good learning experience for doing projects as adults".  Again, I haven't seen anything in the real world approaching the kind of crap going on in the Eagle project and application process. Perhaps some people do, but I haven't either when I was an engineer nor now as a lawyer.

 

3. How many Eagles do you know who can even find their Eagle project book. I know I couldn't if my life depended on it. Perhaps a poll would be interesting. Can we do polls on this forum?

 

4. Even if all that is true, those are all justifications from the adults' and the organization's perspective. No matter how justified, what if we are burning the scouts on scouting? Is it worth the price? 

 

Your answers are correct, but I'd emphasize we need to follow a consistent direction.  If everyone adds their own twist, then expectations keep growing and it's hard for the scout to fulfill a moving threshold of expectations that are not clearly communicated in his scout handbook or in the published Eagle workbook.   

 

For #2 ... I'm against trying to make an Eagle project mimic what adults or professionals have to do, but I've seen many times documentation that is much more rigorous in the professional world than in Eagle projects.  Eagle projects using the current BSA eagle workbook are a shell of the planning most places I work for require.  


Edited by fred johnson, 21 August 2017 - 08:54 AM.

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#85 NJCubScouter

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Posted 21 August 2017 - 10:09 AM

The workbook PDF was a major step to simplify the process. Maybe the current process is too much, but it's way way more simple than it was six years ago. If the workbook is a problem now, it's because of adults that want to add their contribution to making sure scouts earn Eagle ... and thus making the process more than it was supposed to be.


I'm not sure the process has really been "simplified". What they did is to take the "pre-project" part of the workbook (whatever it was actually called previously) and divide it into two sections, the "proposal" and the "plan", and made only the "proposal" part required as part of the signoffs to begin work on the project. The "plan", to be filled out after approval of the "plan" is obtained, is supposedly "optional" and does not require approval, but in my district (and I suspect elsewhere) the Scouts are "strongly encouraged" to complete the plan before starting work. I do not have an old workbook handy, but my impression is that the "plan" section requires MORE detail than was required in the old workbook.

Not to mention that the Scout now has to get through several pages of legalese, including excerpts from the Guide to Advancement, before he even gets to the proposal section.

So overall the process does not seem "simpler" to me.

Edited by NJCubScouter, 21 August 2017 - 10:10 AM.

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#86 fred johnson

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Posted 21 August 2017 - 10:32 AM

I'm not sure the process has really been "simplified". What they did is to take the "pre-project" part of the workbook (whatever it was actually called previously) and divide it into two sections, the "proposal" and the "plan", and made only the "proposal" part required as part of the signoffs to begin work on the project. The "plan", to be filled out after approval of the "plan" is obtained, is supposedly "optional" and does not require approval, but in my district (and I suspect elsewhere) the Scouts are "strongly encouraged" to complete the plan before starting work. I do not have an old workbook handy, but my impression is that the "plan" section requires MORE detail than was required in the old workbook.

Not to mention that the Scout now has to get through several pages of legalese, including excerpts from the Guide to Advancement, before he even gets to the proposal section.

So overall the process does not seem "simpler" to me.

 

Maybe your district was an ideal district.  Our district was a pain before the GTA and eagle workbook were re-done in 2011.   In our district, it was one chance to review with district committee per month on a shared date.  Scouts had to pre-submit the workbook.  Reviewed as a committee without the scout.  Then review findings were shared on that shared review date.  Get workbook back and make changes.  Then, resubmit.  It was not uncommon for scouts to go through 3+ months of reviews before being approved to do a project.  I remember some taking 5+ months.  

 

I still know districts that even now add a drastic amount to the Eagle process.  

 

I think the current workbook is trying to strike a hard balance.  

  1. Scouts only use the workbook once.  So some orientation is appropriate.  Some ins and outs are expected.  But the "legalese" reads mostly as protection to inform the scout and his family as what can be expected and allowed by those working with the scout.  
  2. The workbook PDF targets multiple audiences.  Scouts.  Parents.  Unit leaders.  District and council advancement volunteers.  Getting all these audiences equally informed is hard.  When I read the legalese written for the scout, it's mostly about what others can't ask of him.  Limitations on others.  Quoting the official sources too.  

The current workbook is only bad when considered in isolation.  When compared to all the other standardized process docs I've seen, it's a home run.  Best of breed.  Authors should be proud.  ... Please note I was not even faintly involved.  I'm low low down on the totem in our council.  


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#87 NJCubScouter

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Posted 21 August 2017 - 10:58 AM

Maybe your district was an ideal district.  Our district was a pain before the GTA and eagle workbook were re-done in 2011.   In our district, it was one chance to review with district committee per month on a shared date.  Scouts had to pre-submit the workbook.  Reviewed as a committee without the scout.  Then review findings were shared on that shared review date.  Get workbook back and make changes.  Then, resubmit.  It was not uncommon for scouts to go through 3+ months of reviews before being approved to do a project.  I remember some taking 5+ months.  
 
I still know districts that even now add a drastic amount to the Eagle process.


Well, I doubt that "ideal" is a term that could ever be applied to my district :) but our district's process (both before and after 2011) was more reasonable than what you are describing from your district.  There are two project review meetings per month (held at the same time and place as EBOR's and post-project reviews.)  I do not recall whether the workbook had to be pre-submitted, but it was reviewed by one person, with the Scout, not by the entire committee.  It was not (and is not) unusual for the Scout to have to make one round of changes, but more than that is unusual - meaning that in most cases the Scout should be able to get approval within two weeks after the initial review meeting.  (Which is a good thing because in many cases in our troop, district approval is being obtained three months or less (in my son's case, much less) before the Scout's 18th birthday.  And when time is getting short, most of the reviewers will do follow-ups by email and/or phone.)

 

Usually the only thing that might add to the two-week time frame would be if the district requires a significant change to the scope of the project, in which case the project beneficiary's approval is required for the revised proposal.


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#88 allangr1024

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Posted 21 August 2017 - 11:01 AM

As we speak right now, how many Eagle ranked scouts are active in your council?  In all my years of association with this council, I know of only 2 maybe 3 boys that stayed active in the troop that Eagled prior to their 17th birthday.  Most of the scouts attained Life, abandoned the troop for a year or two and then came back made a major push and got their paper eagle at the last minute before turning 18.  That process I have seen repeated over and over again in many troops.  Otherwise the the younger boys simply "eagle out" and the ECOH is their AOL equivalent graduation from the program.  The term is used a lot in our neck of the woods.

 

The leave at 15 and return at 17 to finish Eagle requirements happened to my son.  I was an ASM, and committed to the program.  But my son just did not want to go to meetings any more, and went on few outings.  I asked him "What gives?"  

 

He said that when he looks around at the troop meetings, all he sees are the little kids (11 and 12 year olds) and that doing Merit Badges as a life scout is just not fun.  As a 16 year old life scout, he had "been there, done that", and it did not interest him any more.  

 

I can see that.  The advancement program is geared for a 13 year old.  It is challenging enough for the younger scouts, but becomes drudgery for an older scout, especially with the more bookish Eagle required merit badges (Environmental Science, Citizenship in the Community and in the World)  How in the world can you make these badges fun?

 

He came back and did finish his Eagle required badges and project, and got his Eagle application in the day before his 18th birthday.  It was a pattern well practiced in that troop.  And it was the case over the tenure of several Scoutmasters for a number of years.  Were our Scoutmasters poorly trained?  Badly equipped, un-supervised?  I think we did as well as most of the troops in the council.  


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#89 fred johnson

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Posted 21 August 2017 - 12:13 PM

Well, I doubt that "ideal" is a term that could ever be applied to my district :) but our district's process (both before and after 2011) was more reasonable than what you are describing from your district.  There are two project review meetings per month (held at the same time and place as EBOR's and post-project reviews.)  I do not recall whether the workbook had to be pre-submitted, but it was reviewed by one person, with the Scout, not by the entire committee.  It was not (and is not) unusual for the Scout to have to make one round of changes, but more than that is unusual - meaning that in most cases the Scout should be able to get approval within two weeks after the initial review meeting.  (Which is a good thing because in many cases in our troop, district approval is being obtained three months or less (in my son's case, much less) before the Scout's 18th birthday.  And when time is getting short, most of the reviewers will do follow-ups by email and/or phone.)

 

Usually the only thing that might add to the two-week time frame would be if the district requires a significant change to the scope of the project, in which case the project beneficiary's approval is required for the revised proposal.

 

We've never had a post-project review.  In our district, that's the EBOR purpose.  I never saw that documented in the process before and definitely not in the GTA now.  I've heard of some groups doing this.  I always wondered why.

 

Our turn around is now days.  Scout is there as proposal is read.  Almost always signed at the same meeting.  I like this as it keeps the success or failure on the scout and not waiting on another group.  


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#90 perdidochas

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Posted 21 August 2017 - 02:39 PM

Was having a light discussion with a few of my packs adult leaders, whom also have boys in the troop. One of them said something to the effect of "Yeah, John 'eagled out' of the troop so he is not involved much anymore" 

 

This kid is 15. Most the Eagles in the troop my pack feeds into are around 15, and they "eagle out". Has anyone heard this term used before? My gosh, getting your Eagle and leaving the program, when there is so much more to experience is, well, a tad disturbing to me. This particular dad used the same term when we were giving our report to our CO. Please tell me this is not the norm, that when boys get to this point they want, or are told, that the program is over for them.

 

I got my Eagle just before I turned 18. I was extremely busy with OA Exec Comm, Camp Staff, Troop Stuff, Philmont etc.... I had continued to work on it of course, just was having way too much fun doing other things. I could not imagine getting mine at 15 and being done. 

 

The average age in BSA to get Eagle is around 17 years old.  My oldest was 15 when he Eagled.  He was active in the troop for a while after that.  My youngest was also 15 when he Eagled. He drifted away quickly (but part of that was because nothing he or the older scouts did worked to turn the new scouts into experienced scouts. They were acting like Webelos beginning their second year of Boy Scouts, and normally our Troop managed to assimilate the younger scouts within about 6 months of Boy Scouts.  My youngest didn't enjoy the meetings anymore, and I  don't blame him.)  


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#91 Stosh

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Posted 21 August 2017 - 03:36 PM

The leave at 15 and return at 17 to finish Eagle requirements happened to my son.  I was an ASM, and committed to the program.  But my son just did not want to go to meetings any more, and went on few outings.  I asked him "What gives?"  

 

He said that when he looks around at the troop meetings, all he sees are the little kids (11 and 12 year olds) and that doing Merit Badges as a life scout is just not fun.  As a 16 year old life scout, he had "been there, done that", and it did not interest him any more.  

 

I can see that.  The advancement program is geared for a 13 year old.  It is challenging enough for the younger scouts, but becomes drudgery for an older scout, especially with the more bookish Eagle required merit badges (Environmental Science, Citizenship in the Community and in the World)  How in the world can you make these badges fun?

 

He came back and did finish his Eagle required badges and project, and got his Eagle application in the day before his 18th birthday.  It was a pattern well practiced in that troop.  And it was the case over the tenure of several Scoutmasters for a number of years.  Were our Scoutmasters poorly trained?  Badly equipped, un-supervised?  I think we did as well as most of the troops in the council.  

 

 This is why I have always used the layered patrol method. The NSP focuses exclusively on getting the boys trained, oriented towards Boy Scouts (away from Webelos Scouts) and has limited contact with the older boys.  This gives the boys a chance to bond and develop friendships, especially if they come from differing schools.  The middle layer are the regular patrols.  These boys are beginning their serious trail to Eagle, working on PORs and MB's and help out with the NSP as TG, possibly PL, Instructors, etc. The NSP does not operate as a totally separate program in the troop.  This layer makes up the 12-15 year old scouts.  Then there's the third level, the 15-18 year old scouts that do nothing but plan adventures unique to their interests.  Instead of running off only to return to get their

Eagle, they remain active, participate in leadership of the regular patrols if they wish, but generally are allowed to plan and run high adventure.  These are the boys I really don't want to see at summer camp for the 5th, 6th or 7th time.  Of course they would be bored.

 

The only way I can think this to work is the Patrol Method.  Drop the NSP, and Venture patrols (HA), and what one ends up with is new scouts in with the boys wanting to do something that's not boring and instead have to teach S->FC skills for the 5th, 6th and 7th time to each new one or two boys joining up.  They can't do HA as a patrol, the younger boys can't handle it so all activities are taken down to the lowest common denominator.  And besides that after 3 or 4 years the boys are all mixed and mismatched that one's friends are in 2-3 different patrols. 

 

Nope, not my cup of tea.  Never liked the mixing part, just let the boys decide and it's surprising how layered their choices tend to be.  Everyone's different on how they perceive this process, but for some reason it works really well for me, but then when it comes to the patrol method, I give the boys free reign.  I get in a lot of nice HA trips too which is a nice perk.


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#92 NJCubScouter

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Posted 22 August 2017 - 06:27 AM

We've never had a post-project review.  In our district, that's the EBOR purpose.  I never saw that documented in the process before and definitely not in the GTA now.  I've heard of some groups doing this.  I always wondered why.

 

I suppose technically it is optional since it is not required by National, but I think it is helpful for the Scouts.  


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#93 Eagledad

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Posted 22 August 2017 - 07:54 AM

 

 

The only way I can think this to work is the Patrol Method.  Drop the NSP, and Venture patrols (HA), and what one ends up with is new scouts in with the boys wanting to do something that's not boring and instead have to teach S->FC skills for the 5th, 6th and 7th time to each new one or two boys joining up.  They can't do HA as a patrol, the younger boys can't handle it so all activities are taken down to the lowest common denominator.  And besides that after 3 or 4 years the boys are all mixed and mismatched that one's friends are in 2-3 different patrols. 

 

 

Hmm, help me stosh, the key point of your theory isn't clear. The NSP and Venture Patrols didn't exist until 1990. What method of Scouts groups did Green Bar Bill (William Hillcourt) guide the Scoutmasters to use from the 1920s thru 1980s?

 

Barry


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#94 fred johnson

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Posted 22 August 2017 - 12:55 PM

Never liked the mixing part, just let the boys decide and it's surprising how layered their choices tend to be.  Everyone's different on how they perceive this process, but for some reason it works really well for me, but then when it comes to the patrol method, I give the boys free reign.  I get in a lot of nice HA trips too which is a nice perk.

 

I agree.  NSP is good in that everyone's joining together and it's a chance for them to have new friends starting at the same point they start at.  But if they want different, fine.  If they want to switch later, fine.  

 

IMHO, the question is why have patrols?  Teaching or doing.  IMHO, more senior scouts can always mentor younger scouts.  I want the scouts to form patrols around those who they want to spend time with and go do things with.  I've seen too many times scouts ditch their patrols to hang with their friends or ditch their patrols because the scouts are doing starting-age activities or MBs they've already done.  I'd rather have them hang with scouts that are around the same point of growth and wanting to do similar things.  


Edited by fred johnson, 22 August 2017 - 12:55 PM.

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#95 CA Scout Mom

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Posted 25 August 2017 - 11:11 AM

Yes, it's typical of troops that specialize in streamlining their programs toward making Eagles (Eagle Mills). 14 to 15 are generally the Eagle Mills age of exodus. We have an Eagle Mill in our district that averages about 180 Scouts. Imagine a troop of 180 scouts where the oldest scouts are 15. On the other side though, many of these troops have Venture Crew programs to keep the boys in the program. They are typically heavily adult run (even more than the troop), but some of the crews are successful. Successful being they don't fold inside 5 years.

 

As much as I personally detest these adult run programs, they do have a place in the BSA. There are a large number of families that want this style of a program and the boys do get a pretty good Boy Scout experience. It's not a boy run experience of being accountable for independent decisions. But they are exposed to monthly camping and practicing first class skills. Eagle Mills are better than no scouting at all.

 

Barry

 

To add on to this, when my oldest son entered his current troop at age 10, there were 9 high schoolers who all Eagled out the year he was there and that left 4-5 older boys (8th/9th grade) who then joined a Venture Crew around age 14 and disappeared for the next two-three years to do Venture Crew activities.  My husband, myself and another three other parents pretty much built up the troop during that time  by doing recruiting, training, planning, etc. with the younger Scouts since we had no older boys there to help.  As they've gotten older, my son's cohort has taken on more leadership and decision-making so that it's more truly boy-led.  One of the four older Venture Crew members who just decided at 17 1/2 that he wanted to become an Eagle but who had been gone for the past two years doing Venture Crew stuff had the temerity to come back to the troop and deliver a soliloquy on how the troop has been too much adult-led!  It took all my emotional wherewithal not to lose it!  I have literally shed tears over this troop and its very existence and it is pretty darn frustrating to hear that kind of criticism from a Scout who should have stayed in the troop and led it instead of laying blame!  Just had to get that off my chest...


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#96 qwazse

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Posted 26 August 2017 - 02:47 AM

To add on to this, when my oldest son entered his current troop at age 10, there were 9 high schoolers who all Eagled out the year he was there and that left 4-5 older boys (8th/9th grade) who then joined a Venture Crew around age 14 and disappeared for the next two-three years to do Venture Crew activities.  My husband, myself and another three other parents pretty much built up the troop during that time  by doing recruiting, training, planning, etc. with the younger Scouts since we had no older boys there to help.  As they've gotten older, my son's cohort has taken on more leadership and decision-making so that it's more truly boy-led.  One of the four older Venture Crew members who just decided at 17 1/2 that he wanted to become an Eagle but who had been gone for the past two years doing Venture Crew stuff had the temerity to come back to the troop and deliver a soliloquy on how the troop has been too much adult-led!  It took all my emotional wherewithal not to lose it!  I have literally shed tears over this troop and its very existence and it is pretty darn frustrating to hear that kind of criticism from a Scout who should have stayed in the troop and led it instead of laying blame!  Just had to get that off my chest...


Congratulations on avoiding going all momma bear on your troop's prodigal.
I'm pretty firm on my venturers to be in the troop or out - not in between. If Eagle's a big deal for them, but they don't want to be in a troop, they can advance in my crew. None of them have taken me up on it. I think they have a sense that my SMCs will be more challenging, and thier service project would sink or swim on their own.

Frankly, the boy's registration should have been dropped for lack of attendance.
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