I recently had a discussion with another Scouter that boasted about the amount of Eagle Scouts their Troop had produced. I could not help but think… great but are they really Eagle Scouts?
Well then I started to feel bad, what do I mean are they really Eagle Scouts.. they met all the requirements after all… A Scoutmaster held a conference and gave the boys his blessing… of course they are Eagle Scouts.
Then I see a Troop that recently held a Eagle Court of Honor, for 6.. count ’em 6 Eagle Scouts.. all in the same Patrol. Congratulations!!! These guys have done well.
Then the cynic in me says… Wait a minute. They must have had one heck of a Den Mother. Eagle Scouts or Webelos Badges?
But then again.. I am sure they all completed the requirements. So good for them.
Which begs the question? Is the goal or Aim of Boy Scouts to produce Eagle Scouts?
See, I thought “The Boy Scouts of America was incorporated to provide a program for community organizations that offers effective character, citizenship, and personal fitness training for youth.
Specifically, the BSA endeavors to develop American citizens who are physically, mentally, and emotionally fit; have a high degree of self-reliance as evidenced in such qualities as initiative, courage, and resourcefulness; have personal values based on religious concepts; have the desire and skills to help others; understand the principles of the American social, economic, and governmental systems; are knowledgeable about and take pride in their American heritage and understand our nation’s role in the world; have a keen respect for the basic rights of all people; and are prepared to participate in and give leadership to American society.”
Advancement or “Getting Rank” being only one of the Goals to achieve the AIM.
I have said it before, my biggest pet peeve in the World is the term “EAGLE OUT”. So a young man completes all the requirements… is he an Eagle Scout?
Growing up as a Scout I always admired those that had become Eagles. I held the rank in high regard… and you know… I still do. And that is why it upsets me to see Eagle Scouts that can not tie a Clove Hitch, Eagle Scouts that can not lead a 2 man patrol, Eagle Scouts that Scout leaders hide from the public, because they are afraid of goofing around and horse play.
Well, Not in my Troop. I will not with hold advancement from any Scout that completes all the requirements. But I will not sign my name on a Scoutmaster conference for Eagle for a Scout that has not demonstrated all the Scout Skills, Leadership, Service, and a life centered around the Scout Oath and Law. It is just that simple.
It is not every Scout that joins the Troops right to be an Eagle Scout. They all have the equal opportunity to become one, what they do with that opportunity is up to them. Not Mom and Dad, not a Coach, or Pastor, not anyone but them.
I think it would do well for Scout leaders to understand the Aims and Methods of Scouting. I think it is also important that Scout leaders understand how special the Rank of Eagle is and hold it in high regard. Make it special again.
Congratulations to any Scout that has EARNED the rank of Eagle. I am proud of you.