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#1 mashmaster

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Posted 20 April 2017 - 11:11 PM

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I am so tired of parents that only goal is to get their boys to Eagle as the main and only goal.  The bitching and moaning about why Johnny didn't get elected a position, when it is clear that Johnny is mature enough to really be Star rank or higher.  I look at some of my boys that are are only at second class enjoying the scouting experience and actually stepping up and leading in the troop.  Sometimes I just want to get rid of ranks and merit badges, get the boys to focus on scouting rather than mom and dad pushing them to get that rank and only do enough to get the bare minimum for the rank.....

 

Sorry, I just had to vent, it is so draining.


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#2 Eagle94-A1

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Posted 21 April 2017 - 05:56 AM

Vent away.

 

Can definately relate.We had two guys in the troop who were only in it because mom forced them.  One transferred to a new troop after a year, but he got to First Class due to mom signing off on the ranks and no one noticing it until after the BOR. He didn't do a heck of a lot do to family situation. But enough to start two fights and and do some morale damage to the patrol.

 

The other stayed 2 years. When he was not around, the patrol worked well. When he showed up for events, the negativity and arguing damaged the patrol. She eventually realized the troop wasn't for him, so he is now in an Explorer post affilaited with her job.


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#3 RememberSchiff

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Posted 21 April 2017 - 06:08 AM

What if the program year started with 4-6 months of training and practice with NO advancement (no sign-off). Then the rest of year (includes summer camp) would be Advancement (test, sign-off, BOR, COH).  Service would be year round. 

 

Might ground the helicopter parents and derail the Eagle Express.


Edited by RememberSchiff, 21 April 2017 - 06:10 AM.

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#4 Stosh

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Posted 21 April 2017 - 06:12 AM

I had 2 boys in one of my units that had a mom that kept their activity calendar for them.  She followed them around like a puppy dog and made sure the boys never had to deal with any problems.  They both Eagled, they both made OA Vigil, and just about every accolade available through the BSA. 

 

I think they are both off now about the time of finishing law school.

 

All I can say is they didn't get their Eagle on my watch.

 

I had another boy who's parents said he couldn't get his driver's license until he Eagled.  I personally put a stop to that process with a visit with his parent's over involvement with the boy's Eagle..  He Eagled in due time and even borrowed my '74 Nova for prom.  :)

 

Do I play favorites?  Yep, I favor the boys that want to really earn their Eagle.  With avid parents pushing the boy, I wait until the boy really wants to earn his Eagle. 


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#5 qwazse

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Posted 21 April 2017 - 08:41 AM

My Italian scout informed me that rank advancement ends at 14.

After that it's service and camping, etc ...

 

You might want to put in for a transfer.


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#6 EagleonFire

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Posted 21 April 2017 - 09:00 AM

I find that crazy, I can say my parents were very helpful making sure I had every opportunity I could get during scouting but that is where the support stopped. It was there, now you have to do it. And I never remember a parent signing off on anything.

I sure could have used them helicoptering me when I had to restart the personal management merit badge 4 different times because I couldn't remember to track my finances for more than a couple of weeks
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#7 Eagle94-A1

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Posted 21 April 2017 - 10:03 AM

In my troop, parents are NOT suppose to sign off on anything. I'm a Cooking MBC, and all my son had to do from summer camp was the backpacking meal requirements for that MB. When he worked on that requirement on a backpacking trip, I made sure that the trek leader saw what was going on, and could verify that he earned it. He wasn't a MBC for that MB at the time (he is now and a few others), so I "officially" signed him off. BUT I didn't actually work with him. The Summer camp counselor and the trek leader did the MBC work.

 

No, this mom, despite wanting her son to make Eagle, didn't really attend anything. It took and act of congress  to meet with her after the second fight.


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#8 David CO

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Posted 21 April 2017 - 10:20 AM

I am so tired of parents that only goal is to get their boys to Eagle as the main and only goal.  The bitching and moaning about why Johnny didn't get elected a position, when it is clear that Johnny is mature enough to really be Star rank or higher.  I look at some of my boys that are are only at second class enjoying the scouting experience and actually stepping up and leading in the troop.  Sometimes I just want to get rid of ranks and merit badges, get the boys to focus on scouting rather than mom and dad pushing them to get that rank and only do enough to get the bare minimum for the rank.....

 

Sorry, I just had to vent, it is so draining.

 

I get tired of people asking me if I was an eagle scout.  I have been asked that question thousands of times.  

 

For some strange reason, many people assume that scout leaders must have been eagle scouts.  They act surprised (and sometimes disappointed) to hear that their sons' scout leader wasn't an eagle scout.  

 

I wonder how many good men don't volunteer to be scout leaders because they weren't eagle scouts, and they feel that they will not meet people's expectations.


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#9 MattR

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Posted 21 April 2017 - 10:28 AM

Mashmaster, I can relate. I'm stepping down as SM and I told my committee I will stick around but the one thing I refuse to do anymore is sign off on anything. If a scout wants to learn a skill then I'll bend over backwards to help him out (or more likely his patrol). When it comes time to getting it signed off, that's for someone else. No eagle projects, no PORs, no rank requirements. Maybe MBs.

 

After having talked to a lot of parents it's clear there's a wide range of views on advancement from "make them earn it" to "my son needs this now." I think part of the solution is to do better training up front, for the parents. Advancement is a method, it is not the aim ....

 

I wrote up the aims and methods in much more detail than what is found at BSA and I also added some details about how my troop does things and the people in my troop that have read it have said things along the lines of oh, I never knew that. They honestly did think Eagle is the only purpose and they didn't understand the point of all the campouts. I think it's Eagledad that said he spends as much time teaching the adults as the scouts. It's hard to fit it in but most parents are receptive. Not all, but maybe you can reduce some of the pain.


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#10 Col. Flagg

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Posted 21 April 2017 - 10:36 AM

I wonder how many good men don't volunteer to be scout leaders because they weren't eagle scouts, and they feel that they will not meet people's expectations.

 

The best leaders I know are guys who were not Eagle Scouts but were in Scouting. They seem to want to make up for their lack of ambition as a youth by diving in to Scouting as adults. A few need to be reigned in and the boys do stuff, but 90% are fine without that lesson.

 

When parents start asking me things I simply tell them, "Please have your son schedule an SMC with me and I will be happy to discuss his status." I simply don't have conversations about advancement with parents. I will answer procedural questions of course.

 

It's like not getting in to OA. I have no control over whether your son is elected in to OA or not. I have no control over your Scout's advancement status. He does.


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#11 NJCubScouter

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Posted 21 April 2017 - 11:31 AM

I get tired of people asking me if I was an eagle scout.  I have been asked that question thousands of times.  

 

For some strange reason, many people assume that scout leaders must have been eagle scouts.  They act surprised (and sometimes disappointed) to hear that their sons' scout leader wasn't an eagle scout.  

 

I wonder how many good men don't volunteer to be scout leaders because they weren't eagle scouts, and they feel that they will not meet people's expectations.

 

Parents in our troop don't seem to have that expectation.  Most of the leaders and male committee members we have had in our troop (during my time) were Boy Scouts, but only two were  Eagle Scouts, one of whom is still active as an ASM.  (I stopped at Life.)  Of the last four Scoutmasters, two were Eagle, one was a non-Eagle, and I don't think the current SM was a Boy Scout at all.  Of the last three Committee Chairs, one was an Eagle (same guy as one of the Eagle-SM's), one was not eligible to be a Boy Scout, and the current one made Life (I think) and has all kinds of other Scouting credentials as an adult, but did not make Eagle.


Edited by NJCubScouter, 21 April 2017 - 11:36 AM.

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#12 Sentinel947

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Posted 21 April 2017 - 12:07 PM

If I end up taking on SM in my troop, I would be the first Eagle Scout SM our troop would have. All the SM's I've had as a youth or volunteered with as an adult were NOT Eagle Scouts. They were fine Scouters. We had very few adult Eagle Scouts involved with the Troop. I can think of 3 others besides myself.

 

@mashmaster: use your CC and or an ASM to run interference for you. Your job as SM is to work with the boys. Anything that comes between you and that is something you should consider delegating to somebody else. 

 

I constantly talk up "the process" with our parents. The point of being a Scout is not because having it "on your resume will help you get into College." But moreso "the skills and experiences you get from Scouting will make you a better rounded individual, which will help your son in life." Period, full stop. 

 

The sad part of it is, if a parent is pushing their son through the program, he is probably not enjoying himself. If he's not enjoying himself, he's going to miss out on a lot of the benefits of the program. Rank advancement and merit badges are not a means to themselves. If you get an ultra hi speed, low drag pushed by mommie and daddy kid, the parents are robbing their son of much of the benefits of the program. Those parents don't cheat me, they don't cheat the troop, they don't cheat the BSA. They cheat themselves and their sons. 

 

We had a Scout who really hated Scouts. I offered to talk with him and his parents about how things were going, but he didn't want to challenge his parents. He did the bare minimum everything and disappeared as soon as he finished his Eagle. I feel for him, because his time and energy would have been better spent doing something else with his teenage years. 

 

Scouting is a wonderful program and I'm very passionate about promoting it, (as almost all of us here are.) but it's not for every kid. 


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#13 perdidochas

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Posted 21 April 2017 - 12:24 PM

I get tired of people asking me if I was an eagle scout.  I have been asked that question thousands of times.  

 

For some strange reason, many people assume that scout leaders must have been eagle scouts.  They act surprised (and sometimes disappointed) to hear that their sons' scout leader wasn't an eagle scout.  

 

I wonder how many good men don't volunteer to be scout leaders because they weren't eagle scouts, and they feel that they will not meet people's expectations.

I was a 2 year Tenderfoot, and I tell parents and Scouts that.    Personally, I have found that Life for Life Scouters are the best Scout leaders for motivating Scouts. 


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#14 Tampa Turtle

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Posted 21 April 2017 - 12:29 PM

I have a couple parents, one was an Eagle at 13 back in the day (he must be 50) and his wife both well meaning type AA+ types. They want their 2 boys in scouts and to get Eagle and push, push, push and the lads are so, so bored. I wish they would just find a sport or something. I try to work with the boys but they are so underwhelmed about everything it is draining. They are also big complainers and make the SM's life miserable. I'd be more upset but my last son in 17-1/2 so I may be able to walk away if the Troop goes south which it shows signs of.

 

On the bright side we belong to a terrific OA lodge and Sectional is this weekend and I usually encounter enough old scouters and active boy-led chaos to restore my faith in scouting again.


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#15 NJCubScouter

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Posted 21 April 2017 - 01:48 PM

I was a 2 year Tenderfoot, and I tell parents and Scouts that.    Personally, I have found that Life for Life Scouters are the best Scout leaders for motivating Scouts. 

 

::Life for Lifer here::  When discussing Eagle advancement with Life Scouts, I always use both my son and myself as examples.  You can decide early on that you are going to do other things in Scouting (and outside Scouting), and not go for Eagle, which is what I did, to the great disappointment of my father (who was the Scoutmaster and who had himself stopped at Star.  Fortunately for me my younger brother did make Eagle.)  Or you can get going and do what you have to do.  The one thing you should not do is wait until the absolute last minute (or last second) and drive your leaders and parents (and yourself) completely nuts and just barely make it.  (That's where the example of my son comes in, and kids in the troop today still know his story, even though none of them were in the troop when he was.  He's sort of like a legend, but it's all true.)


Edited by NJCubScouter, 21 April 2017 - 01:50 PM.

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#16 mashmaster

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Posted 21 April 2017 - 01:54 PM

What if the program year started with 4-6 months of training and practice with NO advancement (no sign-off). Then the rest of year (includes summer camp) would be Advancement (test, sign-off, BOR, COH).  Service would be year round. 

 

Might ground the helicopter parents and derail the Eagle Express.

I would love that.  It sounds like a great idea.  Sadly, the program isn't setup that way.  :-(


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#17 mashmaster

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Posted 21 April 2017 - 01:55 PM

I had 2 boys in one of my units that had a mom that kept their activity calendar for them.  She followed them around like a puppy dog and made sure the boys never had to deal with any problems.  They both Eagled, they both made OA Vigil, and just about every accolade available through the BSA. 

 

I think they are both off now about the time of finishing law school.

 

All I can say is they didn't get their Eagle on my watch.

 

I had another boy who's parents said he couldn't get his driver's license until he Eagled.  I personally put a stop to that process with a visit with his parent's over involvement with the boy's Eagle..  He Eagled in due time and even borrowed my '74 Nova for prom.  :)

 

Do I play favorites?  Yep, I favor the boys that want to really earn their Eagle.  With avid parents pushing the boy, I wait until the boy really wants to earn his Eagle. 

I love it, I bet the parents were not happy with you on Prom night


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#18 mashmaster

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Posted 21 April 2017 - 01:59 PM

Mashmaster, I can relate. I'm stepping down as SM and I told my committee I will stick around but the one thing I refuse to do anymore is sign off on anything. If a scout wants to learn a skill then I'll bend over backwards to help him out (or more likely his patrol). When it comes time to getting it signed off, that's for someone else. No eagle projects, no PORs, no rank requirements. Maybe MBs.

 

After having talked to a lot of parents it's clear there's a wide range of views on advancement from "make them earn it" to "my son needs this now." I think part of the solution is to do better training up front, for the parents. Advancement is a method, it is not the aim ....

 

I wrote up the aims and methods in much more detail than what is found at BSA and I also added some details about how my troop does things and the people in my troop that have read it have said things along the lines of oh, I never knew that. They honestly did think Eagle is the only purpose and they didn't understand the point of all the campouts. I think it's Eagledad that said he spends as much time teaching the adults as the scouts. It's hard to fit it in but most parents are receptive. Not all, but maybe you can reduce some of the pain.

Can I see them?  I would love to read them.


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#19 CA Scout Mom

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Posted 21 April 2017 - 02:18 PM

I am curious about how large some of your troops are.  Our troop is on the small side with about 20-25 Scouts in it and it's almost a given that our Scouts can become an Eagle Scout if they want that to happen.  Not all do but when you have a smaller troop, everyone has a fair chance to get all the rank requirements done because when you go on outings, there are ample opportunities.  And, there are plenty of opportunities for leadership too.  We also happen to have parents who are happy to run Merit Badges during the year (it's a very well-educated bunch) so we have 4-6 per year.  Plus, most Scouts go to summer camp at least 3-4 times during their Scouting career and they usually managed to pick up about 18-20 MBs that way.  We have a nice variety of outings including backpacks, campouts, rock climbing, kayaking, fundraising, flag ceremonies, and other community service.  I'll never forget a Dad who came up to me (his son is 2nd Class) after attending an Eagle COH for first time and asked me "Is it true that just 4-6% of Scouts make Eagle?  I thought everyone did!"  That's because more often than not, in our troop, if a Scout stays for 4-5 years, they have a fair chance of becoming one.  Most parents in our area are on board with their kids becoming Eagle--they realize the benefits so why not?  They have enough issues of being in school districts where kids routinely are getting 4.0s and above.   Anyway, the Scouts still have a great time doing the activities.  Meetings are not always their favorite thing but the PLC has been trying to get more creative.  They're having a pool party and a cook-off in May.  We have other problems like Dads not participating because they don't like camping, or because they are traveling for work to [fill in the blank:  London, NY, Australia, Chicago, San Francisco...] but I'd say overall we run a balanced program that the kids enjoy.


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#20 Stosh

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Posted 21 April 2017 - 02:53 PM

I love it, I bet the parents were not happy with you on Prom night

 

Nope, they were ecstatic!  This was my Eagle that started out a real pain in the butt and ended up a great kid.  His dad and I are still connected on FB as well as his Eagle son.  The mom expressed a lot of gratitude because once I took over as SM and made him toe the line (his dad was the SM I replaced) he not only improved in scouts, but in school and is now in the Air Force Reserves going to college.  All of which his parents never figured he would do.  The Nova was just icing on the cake for a job well done.


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Stosh

 

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