13 year old Eagle.

From the Facebook page of Steve Harvey

I thought I would let it simmer for a bit before I weighed in.. and now I just can’t keep my blog silent on this.
So, at a risk of pissing a bunch of folks off.. here it goes.
By now, if you are an active Scouter, you are aware of the young man named James Hightower III.  He was presented his Eagle award on the Steve Harvey show.
This ambitious Scout earned his Eagle award at age 12.  (he is now 13) He earned 61 merit badges, the last of which, the ever so tough Fingerprinting on the Steve Harvey show.
He is a member of the Order of the Arrow and appears to rank among the young genius’ of our time.  Band, Leadership in his Church, etc etc.
OK.. you all know that I am one that believes in maintain standards.  First, there is no age limit other than 18 for earning the rank of Eagle Scout, I get that.. but let’s do the math.
He crosses over at a minimum of 10 1/2 years old.  Earned his Eagle rank at 12.  From First Class to Star the Scout must be active with his Troop for at least 4 months.  During that 4 months, he needs to serve as a leader for that time period.  Then from Star to Life, the Scout needs to serve as an active member of his Troop for 6 months.  During that time, he needs to serve in a leadership position and do service.   We are up to at least 10 months… not to mention the 30 days it takes to earn Tenderfoot and at least a few months to get to First Class.  Since joining, he would have participated in 10 separate troop/patrol activities (other than troop/patrol meetings), three of which included camping overnight.  In most Troops that would represent at least 3 months.  So the simple math is 14 months.  He is now 11 1/2 or 12 depending on when his birthday is.
Then he must serve for another 6 months as a Life Scout to earn Eagle.  We are now 20 months into this young mans Scouting life.
20 months.
Some one please tell me.  Has he really practiced real leadership?  How much leading has he done?  Was he the Librarian and Historian for his leadership?  I know they count, but really.. we are talking about an Eagle Scout here.
Yes I know that this wunderkind is active in many areas of his life.  Which begs the question.  When did his have all this time to lead, earn merit badges, rank, perform service projects etc?  Band, Church, Junior National Honor Society, active in the Order of the Arrow, Top Teens Program… 20 months as a Scout.  Just think about the Scouts in your Troop.
OK.. 20 months… Most Troops camp 11 times a year and go to Summer camp in that 11 months.  He needs 20 nights camping for the Eagle Required  Camping Merit badge.  That’s 6 camp outs plus a 6 night summer camp.  So that’s the first year.  12 of the 20 months got the basic nights out-of-the-way.  I assume as a leader he attends most if not all camp outs.. after all, that is where leadership and the Patrol method are really practiced.
10 1/2 to 12 years old is one and a half years.  That’s 18 months.  Now we don’t know when his birthday is, but the numbers do not add up.  From a math point of view and a practical point of view.  What has this young man got out of the Eagle experience.
The article says he plans on staying in Scouting.  That’s awesome.  Maybe now he will become the Eagle that he is.
I am sorry if I seem to be bashing this young man.  I am not.  I am really bashing his Adult leadership for not ensuring that the process is producing Character, Citizenship, and Fitness.. not just Eagle Scouts.
I applaud this young man for his achievement… I don’t know how he did it… 61 merit badges alone takes time.. when did he find all that time in 18 months.  I am sure he has friends, school, and eats and sleeps on occasion.
When people see the Eagle badge, they think leadership, accomplishment, self-reliance, the ability to serve and accomplish tasks.  When I see a 12-year-old.. I think HOW?  I wish I could applaud and not question.  But I have been a Scoutmaster for a long time and just can not see how this works.
For me, it takes away from every person that has earned the award and has come through Scouting with Knowledge, experience, and the ability to lead as a servant.
Again, I am sorry if I question this young mans achievement.  I just can’t see how this math works, which makes me believe that those standards are being manipulated some how.  And that my friends, I can not tolerate.  I never hold back a Scout, but I do make sure that he does it right.  I make sure that he is completing the requirements without short cuts.  I do not add to or take away any requirements and produce no false road blocks.  As a Scoutmaster, I just make sure that the experience is more important than the badge.
Congratulations?

Have a Great Scouting Day! 

 

17 comments

  1. Without knowing all of the specifics, I will say that there are scenarios in which this occurs. I have had it happen twice. In both cases, both young men were homeschooled and a large part of their curriculum was supplemented by BSA content and programs (more so now with STEM curriculum). I am not questioning his Scout leadership and their integrity in following the guidelines in this matter. What disappoints me is that this young man has not learned the other lessons. I tell parents that their sons are in a controlled environment where they can fail and learn from those failures. It is that model that they truly learn the necessity of teamwork. They also learn a measure of self-reliance; not reliance on mom and dad to get them to all these events and pay for all these great activities. My boys volunteer at camps they attend to help pay their way and they earn the remainder.

    It is nice to help someone succeed but it is far better to know that they learned the lessons and got out of it everything that was their’s to get. The enduring lessons of scouting are meant to last for years and hurrying that process for the sake of something on a piece of paper is missing the point.

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  2. Jerry, In our district there is a troop of 150 scouts that calles itself “The Eagle Factory”. The scoutmaster spoke at a recent Camporee and told everyone that to him the most important thing for him to do is to get scouts to Eagle. He has set up a system in which troop meetings are mainly a series of merit badge classes, where a scout can get a merit badge in just four troop meetings. The assistant scoutmasters jobs are to direct the scouts to the Tenderfoot through First class skills classes or to the merit badge classes they need. Of the 40 to 50 registered adults in the troop, everyone has to teach 2 badges. (I don’t know if they actually register to teach the badges.) Some ASM’s advise on Eagle projects. In this system the troop is responsible for a scouts advancement., and that advancement is how they measure success. At every court of honor there are five or six eagles being presented. In their troop, a scout cannot do high adventure events like Philmont unless he is and Eagle scout. If Mr. Hightower is from a troop like this, then it is reasonable to see how he could get 21 merit badges by the time he is 13.

    The scoutmaster of our troop at the time I brought my boy to scouting was from the Eagle Factory. He ran a program that was Eagle Factory lite. We had a 30 percent Eagle ratio, although most boys got to Life rank by 14 and then stopped, and had to finish the Eagle requirements at the end of their 17th year. My son did this. At the time, I did not realize that this was not the scouting norm. I, like most adults in the troop, thought this was the way the program was, and that the scoutmaster knew what he was doing. And since the Eagle Factory had stats like nobody’s business, the council told scouters that what they were doing was just fine. I once called to see if they could lend me a merit badge councilors list, and was told to just handle it in the troop. (I know know that merit badges are a more personal thing between the scout and the councilor from the District).

    When I became scoutmaster, I read up on the early program, especially from “Green Bar Bill” in his scoutmaster handbook from the 1930’s, and saw that the BSA had not really changed the goals or the basic program. I stopped having “classes” during troop meetings, and our upper rank advancement slowed considerably. Parents and some of the Scouters in the troop were perturbed, and asked what I was doing. I think I almost got booted for trying to get a scout to go to a councilor outside the troop for a merit badge. It just was not what folks were used to. If you get used to that way of doing stuff, you can be disturbed when the plan changes.

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    1. There are many things wrong with this. Man.. glad I do not know of a unit like that in our area… I may have to say something.. hehe
      Green Bar Bill is one of my hero’s… wish more Scoutmasters knew who he is and have read some of his work.
      Have a Great Scouting Day!

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  3. I personally know a scout who is on track for earning Eagle at a similar age. He’s not home-schooled. He’s involved in leadership and band at school, and is a dynamo at scouts. He’s active, knows his limits, volunteers for anything he’s capable of. I’ve seen him in teach and lead and I will be glad to call him an Eagle Scout when he makes it.

    Also, if a scout has a late birthday, he need not be 10.5 when he joins Boy Scouts. The current requirements state: “Meet the age requirements. Be a boy who is 11 years old, or one who has completed the fifth grade or earned the Arrow of Light Award and is at least 10 years old, but is not yet 18 years old.” This means that a scout with, say, a June birthday or who has skipped a grade in school could easily join on his 10th birthday, giving him 36 months to earn that Eagle before his 13th birthday. I’d say that’s definitely within the realm of possible.

    Should it be rare that a scout does this? YES. Is it rare that a scout does this? In my experience, YES. While I don’t know this scout in particular, I have to practice what I preach. Give him and his leaders the benefit of the doubt. Until and unless proven otherwise, I have to assume they did their jobs and he fulfilled the requirements. That makes him an Eagle Scout.

    – Doug Young, Eagle class of 1988

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  4. I have been involved in Scouting for over 50 years and this particular subject has been around since I was a Scout. My experience is that there have always been, and will always be, adult Scouters who have issues with “young” Eagle Scouts. A 13 year old Eagle is a rarity but 14 year old ones are far more common. Scouts themselves rarely, if ever, have a problem with these young Eagles – it’s pretty much always adult Scouters from another unit that your will hear complaints from.

    However, it seems that no one really has a problem with 15 year olds earning their Eagle Rank. In fact, a common mantra that I hear from parents is, “my son won’t get his Driver’s License until he gets his Eagle”. So, a boy could be 14 years old one day and be “too young” to be an Eagle Scout, but then turn 15 years old the next day and it would be “just fine”.

    If you have been in Scouting long enough you can probably identify at least “several” younger Eagle Scouts who have more leadership ability than their 17 or 18 year old counterparts. If you are involved in the OA, NYLE, or especially NAYLE then you will know what I’m referring to. I recommend that we look at the “finished product” – not the “date of manufacture”.

    I personally could care less at what age a boy earns his Eagle Rank. I’ve never seen an Eagle Rank Badge that has a number on it denoting the age that the boy was when he earned it – and I hope that I never do. In fact, I tell the folks that I hear griping about these “young Eagles” to call BSA National and complain to them if they don’t like it. They are the ones who set the guidelines and rules – not the Scouts or Scoutmasters. These boys are only following the procedures set for them, so please don’t criticize them.

    And if someone has an issue with a Troop that they believe is just “churning” out Eagle Scouts, then I say call the local Council and voice your complaints with them. They (DE) have to approve all Eagle Projects and could get involved if they thought that procedures weren’t being properly followed. Again, don’t criticize the Scouts as they are only following procedures.

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  5. Our troop has been in existence for 48 years and during that time we have had 95 Eagle Scouts – an average of 2 per year. We pretty much leave it up to each boy to pursue their own merit badges, but occasionally a merit badge will be done as a group. I’ve also observed cases where the parent seems to be the one driving the merit badge completion of their son and I think that is because the parent puts too much emphasis on their boy making the rank of Eagle early on. If I have a parent approach me about getting a particular merit badge or rank requirement completed, I will politely tell them it is something their son needs to initiate on their own.

    As a parent, I suggest to my son that he should pursue rank, but I would prefer that what he gets out of scouting is an excellent outdoor experience, leadership and comradery with other scouts. I am more proud that he has gotten over 50 nights of camping than obtaining the rank of 1st class in 2+ years we have been in our troop.

    The Eagle Factory method does seem to water down the rank of Eagle. I could only imagine what would happen if the US military had a similar program in helping many achieve higher ranks.

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  6. Michael Bloomberg also earned his Eagle at age 12. (Born 1942, Eagle 1954)

    So your somewhat snarky post, which manages to question the integrity of the Scout, his parents, his scoutmaster, the Troop Committee and his Coucil Advancement Committee, was out of line.

    In my 54 years as an adult leader I have seen a only a handful of Scouts with the drive, dedication and intelligence to achieve Eagle rank by age 12. But they do exist and are to be cherished.

    You owe Eagle Scout Hightower (and all those whe supported and encouraged him) an apology.

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    1. Michael,
      Thanks for the comment.
      Somewhat snarky.. it was all snarky. I am not questioning the integrity of the Scout or his parents. I am questioning the integrity of the process. That is the point of the post.
      I am not going to apologize for having an opinion. Nor do I agree that the post was out of line. This is a blog, not a National Publication. If you have been reading the blog for a while, it is clear that I support the National Council and believe in this program.
      It is for that reason that I am forced to ask how… I am more curious that anything else.
      I applaud this young man for his hard work. What I question is the experience. I am aware that this is rare and for that I am glad. As stated in the post. I would never hold back rank on a Scout especially for age… but as a Scoutmaster, I would also be aware that the process was completed correctly.
      It is clear by the other comments that I am not alone in my hesitation to throw a parade or give a standing ovation. I think… nay, I know based on my conversations over the last couple of days about this young mans achievement that I am not alone in asking the question, How?
      Again, there will be no apologies, but I will congratulate him and ask that he now give back to his unit and Scouting and Learn and Live the Obligations he has undertaken as an Eagle Scout.
      Thanks again Michael for your comment. I hope that this issue has not become the baby in the bathwater being ready to become tossed. I value all the readers of this blog and their opinions.
      Have a Great Scouting Day!

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      1. Jerry, We can err in different ways here. We once had a district advancement chairman who would never let anyone younger than 14 sit for an Eagle BOR. He had once sat on the BOR of a 13 year old scout whose Dad had driven the boys advancement, acted as councilor for many of his merit badges, and “Helped” with the Eagle Project. This chairman would site this case and say that a 13 year old scout could not appreciate the honor and should be sent back to the troop to serve some more, or maybe get involved with the OA for a while unil the scout could have sufficient “scout spirit” to become and Eagle. I think this guy was out of line with this thinking.

        We can only put on a scout the burden of the written requirements in the advancement program. If we feel that the scout could not have done much leadership, we must look at what the requirements say. It does say to “serve actively” in a troop position of responsibility. Was the scout a den chief, a quartermaster, a scribe, a patrol leader? The requirement does not say the scout has to do these jobs well, just actively.

        In the end, it is the job of the Eagle BOR to sort it all out. I do not know if these folks get special training to do this job. I have not gotten too involved with the district, as the hour per week takes up just about all of my time and attention.

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  7. As a good scout leader once told me in reference to advancement, “It’s not about the merit badge…it’s about the quality of the experience. Scouts learn and develop through the experiences they have, not the merit badges they earn.”

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  8. This is the first I’ve heard of this (never saw it on Scouts-L or elsewhere). My question is this: Just how old was he when he earned his Eagle (the article only says he’s 13 now)? He could have been 12+364 days, or he could have been 13 and some. Without hard information, it’s only an assumption that he was exactly 12.000 (or nearly) years old when he earned the badge.

    One thing I’ve learned from Scouts-L and Ask Andy is that all troops/districts/councils are different (and our CPC sure seems a lot better than some I read of).

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  9. With apologies for the length — I believe you will find this worth your time.

    The topic of very young Eagle Scouts is one that I have spoken on extensively over the last few years, largely because it is a topic about which I confess I had to change my mind.

    Terry’s post is a great way to summarize the 2013 Guide to Advancement, section 2.0.0.2, 2nd paragraph:

    “Experiential learning is the key: Exciting and meaningful activities are offered, and education happens. Learning comes from doing. For example, youth may read about first aid, hear it discussed, and watch others administer it, but they will not learn it until they practice it. Rushing a Scout through requirements to obtain a badge is not the goal. Advancement should be a natural outcome of a well-rounded unit program, rich in opportunities to work toward the ranks.”

    On the basis of very similar statements over the years, I spent a long time staunchly opposed to the idea of a 12 year old Eagle Scout. I was a 16.5 year old Eagle Scout, and especially as a 16.5 year old (and like most 16.5 year olds, in my experience believed that the way I did things was the one, true, and only correct way to do things … if only the entire rest of the world could see the wisdom in that. (It was a good number of years before I learned how dumb I really was). We had a kid who, under Hillcourt’s BS handbook, hit the time minimum’s for every rank, and became an Eagle Scout at 12 years old … and frankly I never thought much of him, and even less when he left the program before he was 14.

    For decades after, I spoke against letting a boy rush himself, or worse, being rushed by others, as they missed out on the rich experience that the Scouting program has to offer.

    The Good Lord has a sense of humor. Fast forward to the days when my son crossed over into Boy Scouts, and started his own journey. Get past the point when he told me he wanted to quit so he could have more time at home, and I told him that was fine, but I would still going to Scouts. (and so he didn’t quit).

    First off, the joining requirements for Boy Scouts (which have changed over the years) at that time allowed him, having earned his arrow of light, to join when he was 10 years, 4 months.

    He made Tenderfoot at 10 years, 8 months, (4 months from joining)
    2nd Class, at 11 years, 0 months, (4 months from last rank)
    1st Class, at 11 years, 3 months (3 months from last rank), and
    Star at 11 years, 10 months (7 months from last rank).

    Nothing particularly extraordinary, nothing right up against any minimum thresholds, and largely in sync with the idea of First Class in the first year, but honestly, a little faster than I was really comfortable with. But in the space between First Class and Star, something changed. All of a sudden, he was looking at possibly attending a boarding school, where Scouting would not be available, so if he wanted to make Eagle, it was now on a relatively short fuse — a little less than 2 years. He made the decision to go for it, and started looking at what it would take.

    What happened next, defied logic for the average 11 year old. Rather than building a plan that used all the available time, he built a plan that used the -minimum- time. What 11-year old does that? Recognizing both the futility of trying to get in his way after he made that plan, as well as the possibility that he might not be an Eagle at all if anything threw him off track, I bit my tongue. In all honesty, I figured this schedule would slip out a bit … but he had set a very specific goal to have his Eagle Court of Honor on his 13th birthday.

    He made Life Scout 6 months and 5 days after his Star Board of review. He had conceived the idea for his Eagle project when he was a Tenderfoot Scout, and set to work writing the proposal the day after his Life Board of Review. He called three separate school districts, asking them to be the beneficiary of his project (a book collection on the premise that every child ought to own at least one book of their own — targeted at a school in a poorer area) — and expressing that he was moving on a tight deadline. The first one to return his call won, and the other two got a very polite 11-year-old version of “Thank you for your interest, but you moved too slow — next time return my call more quickly”.

    He ran for Senior Patrol Leader and didn’t get elected — and in frustration, refused to accept any other leadership role. After he was home, realized the short-sightedness of what he had done and took it on his own shoulders the very next day to make arrangements to be a Den Chief.

    He pulled everything together and called his Scoutmaster to set up his Scoutmaster conference at 630am before school, and worked with the council advancement folks in order to prearrange his Eagle Board for that same evening … 6 months and one day after his Life Board of Review.

    No one was further away from what he did than his father (me) … for a lot of reasons. At that time, I really didn’t support the kinds of Scouting experience he was getting — over a lot of the concerns mentioned early in this thread. I am an active volunteer and I didn’t _ever_ want to be accused of pushing him or rushing him through. He made a plan, he set a goal, and to his credit, even without my engagement or support, he pulled it off. He became an Eagle Scout at 12 years, 10.5 months, and about 6 weeks later, had his Eagle Court of Honor on his 13th birthday.

    Proud Dad … but my mind really wasn’t changed … yet. It was everything that happened _after_ his Eagle Court of Honor that really moved me, and continues to this day.

    On a short drive, he spoke up from the back seat: “You know, Dad, I didn’t plan it this way, but I feel like being a Den Chief is a really great leadership position as my last position before Eagle.” Me, honestly curious: “Really? Why is that?” Him: “Because it gave me a chance to really see how far I’ve come.” Me, just trying to keep the car between lane markers through the tears, absolutely stunned by the profoundness of what was just said.

    As an Eagle Scout, he didn’t just do 6 months as a Den chief. Rather, he actively involved that den as the color guard for his Eagle Court of Honor, and he remained as their den Chief all the way through their crossover 3 years later.

    As an Eagle Scout, he did later get elected as Senior Patrol Leader, and he learned a lot from that experience — so much so, that 2 year later, having further developed his leadership skills, he was elected for a 2nd 6-month term and showed everyone just how much he had learned.

    When the 2010 jamboree troops were first forming, he had the initiative to walk directly up to the Contingent Scoutmaster, introduce himself, and immediately indicate an interest in being Senior Patrol Leader. First question from the Scoutmaster: Are you an Eagle Scout? 2nd question: For how long? Having earned his Eagle so young, in conjunction with having stayed active and continuing to grow, is what opened the door for him to get that position. (several more pages of his growth as the contingent troop SPL omitted)

    He attended NYLT, earned 4 Palms, served as Troop Guide, OA Troop Rep, and Quartermaster, went to Philmont, and was a visible force for making Scouting “cool” among his peers.

    As a Senior in High School, He went out into the world as a foreign exchange student. Offered the opportunity to connect with BSA Direct Service, he politely declined, having already made the decision to join the host country’s own Scouting program. He shared some of our traditions with them, and brought some of their traditions back home to us.

    While out of the country, he participated in a troop Court of Honor, interviewed for a local council NESA scholarship, and delivered the invocation (in two languages) for the Council’s annual recognition dinner — all via Skype.

    He was recognized in the foreign country by another youth with the (roughly translated) “godfather pin” as having been a personal mentor to that youth. Each youth may only ever give one — so to receive one, was unexpected. He participated in a ceremony which we don’t have in the BSA — wherein the Leader addresses a youth who is aging out, about taking responsibility for his own life and decisions from this day forward, themed around Baden-Powell’s “Paddle your own Canoe”, then sends him out into the woods to reflect for a while. On his return, he faces the assembled youth and makes a pledge to accept personal responsibility for living the values of the Scout Oath and Law as an adult for the rest of his life.

    When he returned home, he had the opportunity at 17 years, 9 months, to go to summer camp as a youth one more time. While in camp, he found a walking stick, forked to a “Y” at the top, and spent most of the week stripping bark and polishing it up. At the troop campfire Thursday night, he brought out the staff, and talked about the symbolism of the forked staff, which is the universal symbol for Rovers (senior scouts we know as Venturing) throughout the world Scouting movement. (paraphrased/condensed) “This staff is forked at the top, and the fork symbolizes choices. We all have choices in our lives, and the choices we make determine the path we follow. The main part of this staff symbolizes my life. As you look at this staff, it’s not perfect. There’s a knot here, and funny twist there … and it’s a good symbol for my life, because my life isn’t perfect, and it doesn’t have to be perfect. It only has to be strong enough *whacks bottom of the staff on the ground hard* that when I get to this decision point, I know which choice is the right choice.” He presented the staff to the youngest Scout present with two conditions: Continue the tradition when you age out, and invite me to your Eagle Court of Honor.

    Dad in the background again, glad I’m not driving a car this time, and again utterly stunned at the simplicity and profoundness of what was just said by my son, and amazed at the fact that what he is doing now did not come from me, nor from my wife. At 17, he was already his own man.

    In his freshman year of college, attending school out of state, he located a local Scout Troop, and volunteered as an Assistant Scoutmaster. He coordinated a Merit Badge day for several units around that corner of the state, recruiting counselors around campus who were qualified in various areas. He came home that summer and went to the Boundary waters as a Venturing Youth, and attended the 2013 Jamboree as an Assistant Scoutmaster.

    Now that’s a very long story to make a very short point: There was absolutely nothing to be gained by holding that young man back from becoming an Eagle Scout at the age of 12, and if I had tried, it would have been the biggest mistake of my life.

    Rushing a Scout through requirements to obtain a badge is not the goal, but holding a Scout back is not the goal either. I think this story is about a truly remarkable young man, but then, I’m his Dad, and just humble enough to know that he is that remarkable in spite of me, and not because of me. Should every Scout be an Eagle at age 12? I don’t think so — but after these and many related experiences too numerous to include, I can say with authority that I won’t ever hold a Scout back.

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    1. Thanks that is a great testimony for your son. Wish most of them would have that attitude of giving back. Great response thank you for sharing.
      Again, I am not totally opposed. What I am cautious of is the process and making sure that we are not just an “Eagle Factory”.. They young man is measured by his accomplishments throughout his life. Earning this award and doing nothing with it is not the design.
      Thanks again.

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  10. I echo what John has said with my own son as he achieved his Eagle last night at a very young age. When he started scouting, I made a promise to him I would never be to tired to do a scouting event with him if he wanted to go. Little did I know he already had a plan based on that promise. He crossed over a year early from Webelos at the age of 10 as he was the only first year Webelos at the time in the pack and had all the achievements completed. I took over as Scoutmaster about the same time and had a whole group of young men who had not gotten to or past the rank of Tenderfoot in over one year with the troop. We then planned a series of camp outs and classes to help those boys get to First Class by the time we went to summer camp. All of the newly crossed over scouts had the advantage of attending all those events and most made First Class in under a year, my son being the scoutmaster’s son had to go to all of the events and made First Class in 6 months. Like most, new first class scouts, they take one of the lesser leadership roles, for my son, Troop Webmaster were he set up TroopmasterWeb for the troop and to this day still handles all login problems. He then moved to Chaplains Aide where he wrote and led the recent district Scout’s Own Service. I have removed him from election consideration for other positions because I needed the class of boys in front of him to serve in those roles to help them grow as scouts. He has 69 merit badges, most earned at camp, MBU’s and being invited by other troops to join in with them. He has less than 10 MB’s done from within the troop. I signed off on no rank advancements through First Class. To make sure there were no questions, I had the ASM to work with him to leave me out of it as I saw his rate of advancement but as long as I saw the proper training and lessons learned, I left him alone except for my promise which he took full advantage of by searching the internet and having me drive him to MBUs or asking me to find a list of counselors from the council or through my scouter contacts. He has earned the Hornaday Badge in the process because we attended a Hornaday weekend and he got interested and now wants to earn the silver medal. He plays baseball and basketball on the school teams and plays cello in the orchestra. He is a straight A student. He is just a very motivated young man. I have seen a huge change in him in confidence and a willingness to take charge at school, in sports and at scout events since he began his project. It is the same change I see in 14-17year olds when they go through the Eagle Scout project process. It changes them for the better. He has a whole list of things he wants to accomplish as scout and most deal with giving back to the school and troop. He is the Scoutmaster’s son and knows he has a responsibility to the troop and want me to start a Venture crew if a few years so he can experience more high adventure (remember the never too tired promise). I think too young for most may be just right for those young men who go above and beyond in everything. All he has ever asked for is a ride or to use the computer. Age is just a number and every boy is different, some may be ready at 12 and other not ready at 17 years 364 days. In my short time as scoutmaster, I have seen everything for my Eagle Scouts but for my son, I know he earned it and he is ready to start his on trail as an Eagle and add to the legacy. He gets it more than most boys (including Eagles) I have meet and he knows what he has to live up to as an Eagle Scout.

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