Advice - Eagle Too Soon?
Any advice from all of you about what you think of the situation in which a First Class scout named Robert finds himself? Please leave a comment that might help him out.
hello, I am a first class scout. I wanted help and advice. My parents showed me your website.
I joined my troop 9 months ago and recently made first class. I made first class because I am very motivated and have worked hard to earn the rank. I went to two summer camps and participated in every activity and event the troop offered.
I asked my scoutmaster for leadership projects three times and presented a proposal. He denied it because he feels I am going too fast. Being a scout is very important to me and it is not that I want to go fast. I am very goal directed and plan to be in scouting even if I earn Eagle at 14 which is my goal.
I don't know what to do. Other scouts have been appointed by scoutmaster for positions when they were scouts and tenderfoot but for me he is preventing me from advancing. I guess I wanted to know what you thought.
So, can you give Robert any advice before I add my thoughts tomorrow?
Oct 07, 2015 - Ron
Oct 07, 2015 - Van Donley
My suggestion to you is to request a Scoutmaster conference and politely ask what options you have for meeting the position of responsibility or Scoutmaster approved project in the next 4-6 months. Then listen respectfully. Take notes even.
If the answer is nothing or some variation on you are not responsible enough or not old enough, your job is done. This becomes an issue for adults. The only additional step you should take is to ensure your Scout book is initialed and dated for all advancement that you have completed. Make sure you have your blue card or pocket certificate for any merit badges. This will smooth the transfer if you need to move to a new unit.
Your parents should become familiar with the Guide to Advancement and ask for a meeting with the troop Committee Chair. This should be face to face, no phone or email.
The Guide to Advancement: goo.gl/mWsG6n
Oct 07, 2015 - Bjorn Wang
If a boy wants to have a leadership position, give it to them. He will undoubtedly encounter challenges. So what! As adults we learn from our failures and our successes. Give the boy an opportunity to lead and learn. My son is 11 and is excited to be in scouts. 41 merit badges and First Class so far. He is a Den Chief and the Patrol Leader. He likes and wants the responsibility.
Keep the boys excited. Let them lead and advance.
Oct 09, 2015 - Scouter Paul
It's super to see a motivated, involved scout like you appear to
The bottom line is that your scoutmaster is completely wrong in saying you are going too fast - there is no "too fast" in Scouting. His job is to help you move forward, not hold you back.
To reach Star, you need to serve in a position for 4 months. The leadership project option is for special circumstances, such as no positions being available. You should be the Patrol Leader for your patrol - talk to your patrolmates and have them elect you as their leader for 4 months. Or, find out which troop positions are open and ask your SPL to fill one of them.
The SPL should be filling these positions, but it sounds like your scoutmaster is assigning these positions - that is also not right. Van Donley's advice to get a scoutmaster conference is right on.
See this page.
Oct 09, 2015 - Teresa
Oct 10, 2015 - Ric Williams
Oct 12, 2015 - Phill
I commend your focus and passion for advancing in rank. As the father of two Eagle Scouts, you will move ahead at the pace that YOU are capable of, not the pace that is imposed by your Scoutmaster. I would encourage you to talk to the SPL to see what leadership positions the Troop needs filled (QM, Librarian, Webmaster - check your Handbook for qualified positions to reach Star). Have the SPL talk to your Scoutmaster about filling the position. If the Scoutmaster still is an obstacle, ask your parents to join you in a conversation with the Committee Chair or the COR. I hope that you are successful on your quest to earn Eagle Scout!
Oct 14, 2015 - Robert
Oct 14, 2015 - Van Donley
My guess is that the promise to check with the Assistant Scoutmasters and committee is just a dodge. They really don't play a role in this. If you don't get an answer in a week, that is your answer.
I would schedule a time to speak face-to-face with your Committee Chair outside of a regular meeting night. If a satisfactory solution is not reached, it is time to start shopping for a unit to transfer to or start a new unit.
It is possible to stay and try to "fight the system." I've done both and my experience is that starting a new unit is far easier than fixing a unit with leaders that believe they know the right way to do things despite 100 years of history to the contrary.
Good luck and good Scouting!
Oct 14, 2015 - Lou Stahl
I have seen this on our own troop and have to remind myself and other leaders that every boy moves at their own pace, dictated by maturity and drive.
It is not our job to hinder this, but rather to support it.
If all advancements are achieved as they are spelled out in the book, it is very easy for an active scout to achieve Eagle at the age of 14. It is not up to the Scoutmaster to change this.
Kindly remind your leader that you are following the rules and doing everything right, he should be helping you move forward, not holding you back.
I hope he changes his mind, and you enjoy your trail to Eagle
Oct 15, 2015 - Keith
Oct 16, 2015 - Martin
Oct 17, 2015 - Don
Oct 19, 2015 - Mar
Oct 20, 2015 - Elijah
Coming from a scout, myself, I understand what you are going through. i made star scout a year and a half after joining my troop, holding the same ambitions you did. I then realized that I needed to SLOW DOWN. I just turned 15, i am currently the SPL of my troop, and i am one merit badge away from eagle scout. when i was 12, i got some awesome advice from an eagle scout from my troop. he got his eagle in 2010, because he thought it would be good to get it on the 100th anniversary of scouting. At his Eagle COH i asked him if there was one thing he could take back. Of course, he said he wished he slowed down. He was 14 at the time and once he finished eagle, he spent his last 4 years bored doing nothing but palms. Awesome achievement, but what matters is that you get the rank. Being a little competitive is fun, but stop and smell the roses sometimes, OK? Enjoy scouting. its an experience that not a lot of others get to enjoy as thoroughly as yourself.
All the best,
Oct 22, 2015 - Robert
Oct 26, 2015 - Timothy P Mabius
Nov 01, 2015 - Susan
Nov 01, 2015 - Susan
You and your mother "hang in there". As another post mentioned, if you are not getting anywhere after all the great advice given here, then consider going to another troop. If you are being overlooked (or blatantly wronged) things may not change. I am sure that you have friends in the troop, but you are self-motivated, probably friendly and will make new friends in another troop. You have only been in 9 months and many boys seem to come after 6th grade, so you probably wouldn't be the only newer one. We had a young man in our troop years ago whose mother felt that her son was also being passed over or not treated fairly and they did just that. He joined another troop nearby and went on to Eagle, went to Philmont in Arizona, and now is joining the fire cadet program through Explorers (BSA).
~ Susan (scout mom)
Nov 01, 2015 - Ken Zabel
Elijah - there are other exciting things to do once you have become an Eagle Scout (perhaps before). Consider an Eagle-sized project to help the environment - and earn the Hornaday Badge. IN 2014 there were 52,180 new Eagle Scouts - and only 115 Hornaday Badges! If you complete 3 projects (in the 8 categories), you can earn the Hornaday Bronze Medal (only 1 awarded in 2014) - or 4 projects to receive the Hornaday Silver Medal. Only 7 of these prestigious awards were issued last year! Write to me at HornadayAdvisor@gmail.com
Nov 06, 2015 - Adam
Nov 06, 2015 - Rachel
Glad to hear you are a motivated scout! It is great to hear of a young man with such ambitions. As an Eagle Scout mom I completely understand where you are coming from. My son achieved his Eagle Rank at age 14. Many adults in his troop were surprised by this, but if you look at the timing in Rank Advancements, it is very much achievable. He recently finished his term as SPL for his troop and is currently OA rep. When he crossed over from Cub Scouts, he was given advice by some older scouts and scouters to keep working on merit badges and work through the rank advancements when you are young, generally not as busy and before the "smells" kick in (mainly gasoline and perfume). I have seen so many scouts that procrastinate on doing either badges or rank requirements that end becoming a "Life for life". My son is now 16 and keeps busy with academics and athletics as well as continuing to work on his Eagle Palms. Don't let anyone squash your ambitions!
Nov 09, 2015 - Roley Kiser
Nov 10, 2015 - Debra Siegelman
Nov 18, 2015 - David Novack (an ASM)
My son was 12.7 when he became life. His SM,former SM and District Advancement all said he was too young to progress. They all held him up. He like you was not happy about it. But during the year and half they made him wait, he grew. Most scouts Eagle project are about 100-150 hours. His ended up at 601. He would tell you that them making him wait was one of the best things Scouts could have done for him. He was advancing but was missing out on so much of the fun that Scouting offers. When he finally slowed down, he realized all of the other stuff that he missed. He slowed down and he would tell you the same. In the end your ScoutMaster has a reason, he knows your better than we do. I'm not going to doubt a SM, I've seen too many boys that were not told no when they were not ready. Many post say you should switch Troops, HUH?! Part of this whole process is growing into a young man. You are going to have issues like this happen later in life, your going to have issues where a teacher, a boss, a spouse is going to tell you no. Do you just run and get the answer you want? For Star, Life and Eagle you need to do 4/6 and 6 months of leadership. Is it possible that the boys you would be leading have expressed a concern that they don't think your ready? Leadership doesn't come easy, it has to be earned. You are being told to wait by your SM, may I suggest that you yield to your SM, work on merit badges. You will advance, show some faith in your SM. Good Luck.
Apr 29, 2016 - Dan
In the situation I describe above, I've been very transparent both with the Scout and his parents - the parents are fully supportive. The Scout less so.
So... am I holding the boy back? Certainly not. But I'd bet that some would say yes. The longer I spend as a SM (3 yrs now), the more I believe in the value in a leadership position.
Dec 14, 2016 - Scouterfrom longbeach
Scoutmaster and Instructor after becoming an Eagle.
Jan 30, 2017 - Young Eagle
Feb 10, 2017 - Sherri
May 14, 2017 - AJ
Jun 14, 2017 - qwerty
Dec 13, 2017 - Kelli Pidde
Try working with him and if you still will not be allowed to advance talk with your advancement chair, committee chair and then ask who your district rep is.
Contest - Ask a Question - Add Content
Just for Fun: Socializing merit badge
Find more Scouting Resources at www.BoyScoutTrail.com
Follow Me, Scouts