The right age for Eagle

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-29-1999
The right age for Eagle
4
Sat, 06-18-2011 - 1:34pm

So what do you think is an appropriate age for boys to earn the rank of Eagle?

I know there are some boys who earn it very young, as in 13 ore 14, but for the most part, do you think this is the right thing to do?

I am a Girl Scout leader and have no sons, so I'm not claiming a lot of first hand experience.

Community Leader
Registered: 05-28-2000
Sat, 06-18-2011 - 5:12pm
Since I'm new to Boy Scouts I don't have an opinion based on experience yet. My thought on it without a background in a troop is to agree with you. When I hear of boys rushing through the ranks and then leaving the troop it makes me sad. With that said - DH is hoping J will be motivated to be working on Eagle by 15 (9th grade). I guess time will tell if he will get to Eagle and when.
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iVillage Member
Registered: 10-06-2010
Sun, 06-19-2011 - 1:38am

The "right" age for earning the rank of Eagle is whenever the requirements for the rank are completed.

How fast, or slow, the requirements are done is up to the individual Scout - No one else.

If a Scout joins a Boy Scout Troop when he is 10 years old, and is very determined to make Eagle, it is possible to complete all of the requirements, and earn his Eagle rank, when he is 12 years old

BSA policies specifically state -

"No council, district, unit, or individual has the authority to add to or subtract from advancement requirements."

Are there some Troops that cut corners, and push their Scouts thru to Eagle? Sure.

Are there some Troops that add to requirements, and put artificial hurdles in a Scouts way to slow him down? Yes.

Is either approach right? Absolutely not.

Earning the rank of Eagle is not the purpose of, or the end of, Scouting. Scouting's objectives are to develop character, citizenship, and personal fitness. Advancement is only 1 of 8 Methods used to achieve those objectives.

After earning Eagle boys still have lots of opportunities to develop character, citizenship, personal fitness, and to have FUN doing it. A Scout can camp, do service projects, hold leadership positions, work with younger Scouts, go on high adventure trips, get elected to, and be active in, their local OA Lodge, and much more. If they want to earn more "bling", they can work toward Eagle Palms, or a National award such as the Hornaday.

 

iVillage Member
Registered: 07-27-2011
Wed, 08-17-2011 - 11:45am
I have a 12 year old Scout that is very committed to earning his Eagle. After imposing a time period (Eagle by 14) for himself to complete his requirements, he realized that anything worth doing shouldn't be rushed. He enjoys Scouting, and that's all I want. I admire his commitment and support him all the way.
Community Leader
Registered: 05-28-2000
Thu, 08-18-2011 - 8:46am
I agree - I want my child to have fun :)

My thoughts for my boys:
I really hope he decides to earn Eagle & I know a part of me will be sad if he doesn't, but it is up to him to want it and to do the work. DH and I support J with his plans, but if he says it isn't what he wants to do then we back off. It'll be the same for our little guy. To be honest - I'm not sure if our little guy will stick with scouts. He's so active that I am sure there will be the point when something has to give.

My updated thoughts on the original topic: I was talking to a few people about being ticked when I heard some adult leaders talking about "dead-ending" scouts for awhile if they were moving too fast toward Eagle. I have to think to my own experiences: when I was a teen I was very active in a girls' group. The experiences I had at 12 vs. 14 vs. 16 vs. 18 were different. All of them had value & helped me to be who I am today. Running a huge fundraiser at 14 was an incredible experience that gave me confidence to do more as I got older. I did a good job as a 14 year old, but when I ran a different project a few years later I was awesome:) Of course, I was better at running a project at 17, but that doesn't negate the work I did at 14. I'm frustrated to think that an adult would do anything at all to discourage a boy from working toward rank and completing a service project based on the his/her opinion of when a scout will get the most from the experience.

To listen to adults talk about the problem of keeping a scout after 16 in one conversation and then to hear them talk about keeping a kid from earning higher rank until they are at least 16 doesn't make sense to me. :(
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