Board of Review-Ever Turn Down a Scout For Any Rank?

Scout Badge, Tenderfoot, Second Class, First Class, Star, Life, and Eagle Palms.

Moderators: Site Admin, Moderators

Postby OldGreyBear » Fri Sep 24, 2004 11:17 am

I couldnt let this pass, the comment about so many scouts being handled Eagle. At last count, as far as I know/have been told/ etc 5 percent of all scouts earn the Eagle rank. I have heard anywhere from 2-5 percent so I will go with the higest number. If 5 out of 100 scouts earn Eagle, that means 95 don't, or roughly (sic!) 95 percent do not earn Eagle. When you have 95% of any group not doing something, I would hardly think you can say the 5% that do are having it handed to them. I think a lot of the moaning and groaning about how "easy" (again, remember 95 in 100 dont) it is to earn Eagle are typical of an older generation bemoaning the laxness of the next generation, it has always been so and always will be
OldGreyBear
Eagle
 
Posts: 444
Joined: Fri Sep 24, 2004 10:17 am
Location: Minsi Trails Council

Postby Guneukitschik » Fri Sep 24, 2004 11:40 am

I think we were talking about this on another thread...but here goes....

Well from where I sit...the current requirements for Eagle Scout definately seem relaxed a bit from the previous requirements. However, my big complaint is that it seems the scouts are younger and younger earning the rank....I believe that the rank of eagle comes with a lot of expectations that most 14 year olds have a hard time living up to.
Guneukitschik
 

Postby evmori » Fri Sep 24, 2004 11:54 am

Guneukitschik wrote:I think we were talking about this on another thread...but here goes....

Well from where I sit...the current requirements for Eagle Scout definitely seem relaxed a bit from the previous requirements. However, my big complaint is that it seems the scouts are younger and younger earning the rank....I believe that the rank of eagle comes with a lot of expectations that most 14 year olds have a hard time living up to.


I don't agree the requirements are relaxed. I think maybe the unit leaders are just "passing" Scouts. I do agree with the statement about 14 year olds.
Ed Mori
1 Peter 4:10
evmori
Gold Palm
 
Posts: 1109
Joined: Thu Aug 12, 2004 3:24 pm
Location: Greater Pittsburgh Pittsburgh, PA

Postby Guneukitschik » Fri Sep 24, 2004 2:57 pm

Agreed....perhaps it's the fact that a scout can now fly through the requirements to first class that makes it seem much easier?
Guneukitschik
 

Postby OldGreyBear » Fri Sep 24, 2004 3:27 pm

How does one "fly" thorugh the requirements, there are troop activities to attend, knots to tie, shopping trips and cooking assignments to fulfill and swimming to do. Much has been made of the First Class First year program, and most troops are doing well to get most scouts to first class in 18 months, thats not exactly flying
OldGreyBear
Eagle
 
Posts: 444
Joined: Fri Sep 24, 2004 10:17 am
Location: Minsi Trails Council

Postby ICanCanoeCanU » Sat Sep 25, 2004 9:04 am

Right thread – wrong thread? Just following along -

I think EVMORI nailed it! I agree this falls on the leaders passing the scouts and I think it’s a direct result of the FCFY logic. Maybe too many adults feel they have failed if the scouts do not reach First Class in a year? Because new adults read the literature suggesting this is the program and what the expectations are, they assume that new scouts must reach FC in the FY. I would also agree that given the requirements, it’s not out of the question for a new scout to accomplish this but I don’t like the fact that folks push this as the objective. If scouts participate and go camping regularly then they would naturally advance but I don’t think a guideline of timing should be stressed, other than if they want to reach Eagle, they need to do it before 18. I also agree that this (FCFY) thinking is what creates 14 yr old Eagles which I don’t think generally are worthy. Once one gets to first class, badges, leadership position and time are the only obstacles for Eagle. This FCFY thinking reinforces the goal of do – do – do. Instead of join – learn – grow into and then excel while enjoying the overall program from the start. hum.. with all these young Eagles, I wonder if this relates to the lack of older scouts in troops?

We had 9 new scouts participate in the FY program at summer camp this year and several new adults camped with the troop. The new scouts and adults came back saying how the boys only had a few things left for second class and should receive 1st class by Thanksgiving. After questioning why they thought this and explaining that while the boys were exposed to many requirements, didn’t mean credit is automatic. This issue has been debated since and at the first meeting of the year, all the new boys wanted to do was get their books signed off on everything they think they did at summer camp. When I questioned what happen to the Scout Badge requirements, I was told they did those for the Arrow of Light and do not need to repeat these. So of course, I took the opportunity to ask several new scouts to repeat the Outdoor Code to me or tie a square knot. Not one of the 9 new scouts could do either. (And forget about describing the Scout Badge) In fact several asked “Outdoor Code” what’s that? The new adults were still arguing that the boys did all the requirements at camp so they should be signed off. Now the new adults have had several training classes and are even more steadfast that these boys receive credit ASAP. I know our troop is not alone with new adults using this FCFY logic as I’ve spoken to folks in other local troops with the same problem.

Why do I think most 14 yr olds aren’t worthy? The same reason I don’t think 14 year olds should drive, work at a part-time job of say 20 hours a week or learn so many subjects taught in the High School years. They lack the natural maturity of an older boy. Other than a few Eagle required badges I don’t think most Eagle badges had 12-13 year olds in mind for learning.

What about the new, young scout just getting use to camping or separation from family and the Cub Scout environment? Doesn’t this take time for most?

I also don’t buy that more scouts stay active because of the FCFY thoughts but that most scouts stay active because they have an enjoyable time, like to camp, like the other boys and that scouting is the program for them.
ICanCanoeCanU
Eagle
 
Posts: 487
Joined: Fri Aug 13, 2004 6:12 am
Location: Otetiana Council, NY

Postby optimist » Sat Sep 25, 2004 10:30 am

Hi Jimmy,

Welcome to your Eagle Board of Review. Congratulations on successfully completing every requirement for this award as listed in the Boy Scout Handbook.

We would like to take this opportunity to acknowledge your achievement. However, you are too young and we don't think you deserve this award. Come back in a few years.

Have a nice day :)
optimist
Adv Chair
 
Posts: 947
Joined: Tue Aug 10, 2004 8:25 pm
Location: Atlanta Area Council

Postby OldGreyBear » Sat Sep 25, 2004 12:06 pm

I do not understand people who understand the program and then throw obstacles in the way of advancement. Either the scout did the requirments or he didnt, either he had it signed off properly or he didnt. If it is as claimed advancement is to fast, then then tha prolem lies with the troop process not with the boys. The requirements for Eagle are the reqirements for Eagle, slowing a single boy down is out and out wrong.

If you have troops that say we HAVE to get our scouts to First Class in a year, then you have reading comprehension problems at the adult level because nowhere does it say a troop is bad if its first year scouts dont make first class in a year, only that it offers a program that if an active scout attends he has the chance, the opportunity to make first class. As far as creating barriers, such as a rule you have to be 16 to make Eagle or have a job to earn personnel management, that wont solve things. Behind every underserving 14 year old Eagle, or 17 year 364 day old eagle is a Troop that did both boy and program a diservice, its them who should be castigated, not the image of a 14 year old Eagle. And Actually, when you consider it really only takes 17 months to make Eagle, 14 years old isnt that bad
OldGreyBear
Eagle
 
Posts: 444
Joined: Fri Sep 24, 2004 10:17 am
Location: Minsi Trails Council

Postby wagionvigil » Sat Sep 25, 2004 4:00 pm

If you read some threads in the forum we discussed Troops that make uptheir own rules that affect advancement. The rules are the rules take them or leave them
NER Area 4 COPE/Climbing Chairman
NE Area 4 Venturing Chairman
"If You Ain't a Bear, You're a Meal!"
wagionvigil
Counselor
 
Posts: 5457
Joined: Wed Aug 11, 2004 7:01 am
Location: Westmoreland-Fayette Council BSA

Postby Guneukitschik » Sat Sep 25, 2004 6:34 pm

OldGreyBear wrote:How does one "fly" thorugh the requirements, there are troop activities to attend, knots to tie, shopping trips and cooking assignments to fulfill and swimming to do. Much has been made of the First Class First year program, and most troops are doing well to get most scouts to first class in 18 months, thats not exactly flying


If you meet all of the requirements for the rank of Eagle Scout and you are just turning 14 years old....I would say that's flying through the ranks....

15-20 years ago it was rare for a scout to achieve the rank of Eagle Scout that young...now it's definately becoming more common!
Guneukitschik
 

Postby optimist » Sat Sep 25, 2004 6:58 pm

I apologize for being a little over the top with the above post but it's what runs through my head everytime I hear someone say we're giving out Eagle awards to Scouts who are too young or too immature or both.

Show me any Scouting document that says a Scout must be a certain age to earn Eagle.

Show me any Scouting document that says a Scout must have a certain level of maturity to earn Eagle.

You won't be able to - these statements don't exist. What a Scout MUST do is "show leadership". While older, more mature Scouts are better at showing leadership, we still have 11 year-old leaders in nearly every new Scout patrol and hopefully we're teaching leadership to all our Scouts from their first day in a Scout uniform.

If a Scout is willing to go to the effort of doing an Eagle project at a young age, should we not be proud of their initiative? Should we not be proud of our own efforts to teach them leadership?

Don't get me wrong. I'm not so stupid that I don't realize there are Eagle mills out there and yes, I recognize that there are parents that do Eagle projects for their sons. But those are localized problems and I don't see how its helpful to cast aspersions on the vast majority of Scouts that put forth the effort to do the job right.

Statements that say we are handing out Eagles like candy are simply uncalled for. If you see problems like these happening in your district, do something about it. This is a volunteer program and we volunteers are way more numerous than the paid Scouters. It's our responsibility to make sure the program is adhered to and that bad things like these are not allowed to happen.
optimist
Adv Chair
 
Posts: 947
Joined: Tue Aug 10, 2004 8:25 pm
Location: Atlanta Area Council

Postby optimist » Sat Sep 25, 2004 7:22 pm

Guneukitschik wrote:15-20 years ago it was rare for a scout to achieve the rank of Eagle Scout that young...now it's definately becoming more common!


15-20 years ago Scouts didn't have the resources they have today. Back then, if you wanted to earn a merit badge you had to hope your Scout troop library had the merit badge pamphlet you wanted or you had to fork up the cash and pay for it yourself. Now you can get every requirement for every badge off of the internet, not to mention a form to fill out and links to information sources.

Leadership training for both Scouts and their leaders is much more common now. Trained program members accomplish tasks quicker and better.

With the advent of modern materials and manufacturing processes, I think Scouting activities are cheaper overall relative to the costs when I first got involved 18 years ago. Things happen faster in Scouting because it's easier to accomplish the same objectives.

In addition, the average American child is much more worldly than they were 20 years ago. If you don't think so, take a trip to the local mall and try to guess the age of the young girls that seem like they are 17-18 and are actually 13-14. If kids are doing things younger everywhere else, what makes you think they wouldn't be doing things younger in Scouts?

This list could go on and on but it all boils down to one simple statement - things change. With all the differences in the world, comparing Scouts today to Scouts 20 years ago is not effective.
optimist
Adv Chair
 
Posts: 947
Joined: Tue Aug 10, 2004 8:25 pm
Location: Atlanta Area Council

Eagle rank

Postby cballman » Sat Sep 25, 2004 10:26 pm

Nov. 1977 I became the fourth Eagle scout in my troop. the first three Eagles were hatched in 1974 and 1975 I believe. to me yes it was much harder then because we had no merit badge fairs. we had to find someone to teach a merit badge. yes it took longer to earn one then. also if you look at the Eagle req. from that era it was 24 for Eagle not 21 as before and now. with the advent of the internet and more adults registerd in scouting we are doing things to help our kids out just like our parents did for us. yes I was held back because I was to young because then the ranks had time req. which would let a kid earn his Eagle in two years. that would would be a lot of 13 year old Eagles. but my scoutmaster held me back because of a lack of mature attitude on my part. but then again it is something I wanted. Yes it is hard for me to just let anyone earn their Eagle because I am just a little old fashion. Most of the boys in my troop have Earned the badge and I am very proud to say that I helped a little with this kids. but there is one that slipped by barely by 18 and some of the boys are having trouble with it but it was not well published what was going on. sorry so long winded but thats the way I feel.
cballman
 

Postby ICanCanoeCanU » Sat Sep 25, 2004 11:07 pm

Ok, I guess I'll have to agree to disagree on this one but first I need to clarify a few things:

I never said I have a rule about what age a scout can earn a MB, I said that I didn’t think the badges were written with a 13 yr old in mind. I also didn’t suggest that a boy make it all the way to an Eagle BOR and then be turned down because of age.

I also didn’t claim that any document states that a scout must be a certain age or certain level of maturity. I stated my interpretation that some requirements should be approached with a certain level of maturity.

Lastly – I do not blame the youth for this problem but rather as I have stated many times, that I feel the problem lies with some adults. My example of these boys not even knowing what the Outdoor Code IS, let alone repeating it and our new adults being fine with this but wanting to hurry up and sign off the next requirements is exactly what I’m talking about. (and I know the requirements do not have to be signed off in a progressive manner, that’s not what I mean)

So Hi Jimmy,
Congratulations on having this fine book all signed off. Would you like a lollypop while I fill out some more paperwork for you? If you can tell me all the nice things you’ve done in scouting I can get you home before you bath and bedtime.
ICanCanoeCanU
Eagle
 
Posts: 487
Joined: Fri Aug 13, 2004 6:12 am
Location: Otetiana Council, NY

Postby Rick Tyler » Sat Sep 25, 2004 11:28 pm

ICanCanoeCanU wrote:<snip>
I never said I have a rule about what age a scout can earn a MB, I said that I didn’t think the badges were written with a 13 yr old in mind.


Since this is "meritbadge.net" I wanted to agree with Canoe on this point. I do a lot of merit badge counseling. I have had maybe two scouts under the age of 14 really understand "Citizenship in the World." There is just a lot of information there that younger boys have never been exposed to. Likewise for "Personal Management." On the other hand, "Citizenship in the Nation" and "Community" are clearly intended for younger scouts.

If you look at the whole merit badge program you can see a continuum of difficulty from Basketry, Wood Carving, and Fingerprinting, which can be completed by scouts of any age, to CitWorld, PersManagement, and Personal Fitness, which are a significant challenge to most 14 or 15 year olds. I think this is on purpose and a great idea. There is no reason for every MB to be the equivalent of a master's degree, and there is no reason for them all to be 4-hour badges. I really like the overall mix in the MB program, and think it doesn't need fixing in its direction and purpose (someone needs to rewrite Computers, though, and soon).

As for making Eagle Scout, as soon as a boy completes the requirements as outlined in the Boy Scout Handbook, he's an Eagle Scout. As adult leaders let's try to remember that the purpose of scouting is not to make Eagles, or to keep the Undeserving Masses from earning Eagle, it is to help boys grow into men who can make good ethical and moral choices throughout their lives. Eagle Scout is only one part of one of the eight methods of scouting.
Rick Tyler
Assistant Scoutmaster, Troop 575, Chief Seattle Council
OA, Wood Badge, Merit Badge Guy, &c.
Rick Tyler
Life
 
Posts: 229
Joined: Fri Aug 20, 2004 11:44 am
Location: Redmond, Washington

Postby RWSmith » Sun Sep 26, 2004 11:40 am

BTW, folks, I personally don't think the direction of the topic of this thread has gone far off topic... took a turn, sure. But, it's still in the vein. (Optimist is, IMHO, more concerned about us being 'politely' opinionated, rather than on or off topic.) Anyhow...

Rick Tyler wrote:....I really like the overall mix in the MB program, and think it doesn't need fixing in its direction and purpose (someone needs to rewrite Computers, though, and soon).


Touché, on both points.

Rick Tyler wrote:As for making Eagle Scout, as soon as a boy completes the requirements as outlined in the Boy Scout Handbook, he's an Eagle Scout.


Rick, technically I'd agree with that since I'm a purist about the requirements. However, there is more to it than that, which I'll address momentarily.

Rick Tyler wrote:As adult leaders let's try to remember that the purpose of scouting is not to make Eagles, or to keep the Undeserving Masses from earning Eagle, it is to help boys grow into men who can make good ethical and moral choices throughout their lives.


Again, I say, "Touché!" BTW, funny this thread should be at this point... I just took my (required) bi-annual re-certification on ESBORs, yesterday.

Okay, on to my perspective about ESBORs...

There are two sides to the advancement coin. (And advancement is what this board is all about. Not advancement, as in... I'm ahead of you; advancement, as in... personal growth.)

One side of the coin, the objective side, deals with the “technical” skills a Scout can learn, do, and then teach another… Back when I was a kid, a required set of those skills included… How to respectfully (of nature) forage for fire wood, safely use woods tools, safely build a fire and how to cook over that fire, with or without a Dutch Oven. Whereas, today, safety precautions and proper use of propane and liquid fuel stoves apply. So, although requirements change over the years, as a purist, I ALWAYS grade those requirements in effect, at the time, on a Pass/Fail system. I don’t worry too much about the changes which have occurred, over the years. [My father is an Eagle; he had to learn Semaphore just to get to First Class… not me. So what.]

The other side of the coin, the subjective side, deals with the “artistic” (uniquely personal) skills or, more correctly, "traits" a Scout can develop... they consist of character (from trustworthiness to Reverence), leadership and service. But, unlike the technical skills referenced above, these must learned, set and taught by example. And though they do not change, the style, level, frequency, timing, etc., of these "inter-woven, inter-personal” skills are what make a Scout unique...

When I sit on an Eagle Board, it is important that I personally verify the technical stuff is in order (so National won’t kick it back due to a technicality); but, I NEVER verify or question a technical skill with the Candidate. Why should I? What’s the point? So what if he can’t tie a square knot. I can’t undo it, now. That’s old school. [My Eagle Board lasted well over two hours. In fact, the guy who re-certified us yesterday, his Eagle Board was five hours long! Why? I’m sorry. That’s insane.

However, please don’t misunderstand… things like, reciting the Scout Oath or Law and wearing a complete, correctly assembled uniform, these things are NOT skills. They are, in part, a measure of a Scout’s commitment to the very ideals we so passionately embrace. And the true purpose of the ESBOR is to simply verify the presence of those “desirable traits” and to access the Scout’s level of commitment. That’s all. (As you eluded earlier, we adults sometimes really screw that up.) If a kid shows up to an ESBOR, and he's not in uniform, I'll be happy (well, maybe not happy, but still) to tell him to go home, but I'll also insist he come back in 30 days. Eagle Scouts aren't made; they're grown. Ealge Scouts aren't perfect; they make mistakes. And more importantly, they should be taught that it's allowed, even after the BOR.
RWSmith
Site Admin
 
Posts: 1625
Joined: Wed Aug 11, 2004 8:45 am
Location: Mecklenburg County Council

Postby Sirch » Sun Sep 26, 2004 4:10 pm

my former patrol leader failed a Life BOR because he wasn't ready in his answers, not in his requirements.
BORs after 1st class are mostly based on moral and personal opinions and not so much requirements.
Save the Saskachuan
I know I spelled it wrong.
Sirch
Tenderfoot
 
Posts: 9
Joined: Thu Sep 23, 2004 5:52 pm
Location: Carmel, IN

Postby Guneukitschik » Sun Sep 26, 2004 11:17 pm

optimist wrote:15-20 years ago Scouts didn't have the resources they have today. Back then, if you wanted to earn a merit badge you had to hope your Scout troop library had the merit badge pamphlet you wanted or you had to fork up the cash and pay for it yourself. Now you can get every requirement for every badge off of the internet, not to mention a form to fill out and links to information sources.

Leadership training for both Scouts and their leaders is much more common now. Trained program members accomplish tasks quicker and better.

With the advent of modern materials and manufacturing processes, I think Scouting activities are cheaper overall relative to the costs when I first got involved 18 years ago. Things happen faster in Scouting because it's easier to accomplish the same objectives.

In addition, the average American child is much more worldly than they were 20 years ago. If you don't think so, take a trip to the local mall and try to guess the age of the young girls that seem like they are 17-18 and are actually 13-14. If kids are doing things younger everywhere else, what makes you think they wouldn't be doing things younger in Scouts?

This list could go on and on but it all boils down to one simple statement - things change. With all the differences in the world, comparing Scouts today to Scouts 20 years ago is not effective.


Sounds to me like in another 15 or 20 years well have 11 year old Eagle Scouts because the technology will be more advanced, kids will be maturing at an even faster rate and well I guess Scouting will need to come up with another program other than Venturing to keep the older scouts involved....or perhaps all the 11 year old Eagle Scouts will be content with that and quit? Then what happens to the BSA?

I completely agree with you on this...and I realize that Scouting has to change....but I'm just not sure they hit the nail on the head yet? I think many of these young scouts will get their Eagle at 14 and head out the door. I think that is a big reason for the push of the Venturing program.
It's an attempt to keep them around a little longer!
Guneukitschik
 

Postby evmori » Mon Sep 27, 2004 6:54 am

If a 14 year old earns his Eagle, then he deserves it. But I think 14 year old Eagles are more the exception than the norm. There is no rush to earn Eagle! There is no rush to earn any rank! Let the boys enjoy the program & learn as they go. Remember, not every boy who joins Boy Scouts is Eagle material!
Ed Mori
1 Peter 4:10
evmori
Gold Palm
 
Posts: 1109
Joined: Thu Aug 12, 2004 3:24 pm
Location: Greater Pittsburgh Pittsburgh, PA

Postby Guneukitschik » Mon Sep 27, 2004 7:28 am

I agree that if they earn it they deserve it... however I don't know many 14 year old Eagles that could have earned it on their own...usually there are parents or leaders pushing them as fast as they can.
Guneukitschik
 

PreviousNext

Return to Scout Badge, Tenderfoot through Life, and Eagle Palms

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest