Best Answer numbersnerd , 02 March 2017 - 10:05 PM
Way back when, I joined as soon as I was eligible, 3rd grade. Did it all, Wolf, Bear, Webelos and AOL. Then we moved.
Since I thought it was so cool I could wear AOL on my Scout uniform, I HAD to join a troop. So I joined a troop in the new town and went crazy with it, OA Ordeal, etc and finished Eagle while 14, ECOH just after my 15th birthday. Then we moved. As in the next week.
I could have left Scouting behind, I had all the excuses I would have needed. But I had been having so much fun, doing so much, and learning a lot. Plus, to be honest, it didn't hurt having the cachet of Eagle to get some attention in a new town. So I joined the Explorer Post at our church, was a JASM for the troop, found a new mentor who was fantastic, went to Philmont solo, and did camp staff for three summers in a different council. I worked my last summer on staff and was in college a few weeks later.
The "second" half of my Scouting career was different, but no less fun than the first half.
Now that I'm in my "third" half of Scouting and on the opposite side of the fence, I look back and realize that those responsible for keeping up an engaging program helped me experience a great number of things that without, I might very well have lost interest after moving that second time. And staying in provided even more than what I had experienced before. While I do remember loving it before Eagle, it was the times after that I remember with the most affection and were the most memorable and impactful. Maybe it was age/maturity. Maybe it was the opportunities open to older/experienced Scouts. Maybe it was the lack of pressure or not worrying about obtaining a POR, MB's, advancement and the rest. Whatever it was, it was just FUN. Not that it wasn't before, it just felt different.
Would it have been as fun without earning Eagle? I don't know that some of those opportunities would have even been available without it. It's possible that it could have been just as great. But it's also possible that I would not have been afforded as much as I was with it.
What's my point? Getting Eagle at a "young" age can allow boys more time to give back and participate in a completely different way and attitude than before while still having fun themselves. But that is also dependent on adults allowing them to do just that. A condescending attitude towards younger Eagles doesn't create that type of atmosphere.Go to the full post