Monday, February 28, 2011

Why won't he just earn his Eagle?

There is a boy who was a Varsity Scout when I came into the program.  He just barely finished all of his Eagle requirements before he was 18.  The night of his 18th birthday he came to Wednesday night's activity wanting a Scoutmaster Conference with his Venturing Adviser.  He hadn't called a head of time but just assumed there would be time.  His adviser had meeting planned all night with the Scout Committee and Church members.  The boy at 18 started crying saying that everyone is working against him.  He threw his Eagle application at me.  Out of the kindness of my heart and because I serve on the District Advancement Committee, I called my DAC boss and we spoke and we decided that a previous meeting we had had with his parents about his Eagle Scout project would work (her call, not mine).

So now we sit 8 days away from his 3 month after his 18th birthday deadline.  If you complete your Eagle requirements by your 18th birthday, you are given a 3 month window to hold your Eagle Board of Review.  I started asking him right away when he was going to schedule it.  So did his Mom.  So did his Venturing Adviser.  To each of us he told us "Shut up and leave me alone about it."  Those were his literal words to all three of us.  So that was 11 weeks ago.  2 weeks ago I wrote him a letter telling him he needed to hurry or he wasn't going to earn Eagle (I wrote a letter so he wouldn't tell me shut up to my face again though I do see him every Wednesday and every Sunday).  When I saw him next, he didn't even mention my letter.  When I gave the letter to his Mom, she and I discussed that him NOT earning his Eagle might be a huge learning experience for him.  She agreed with me.  This final step must come from him and him alone.

Last night I asked his Mom what his plan was and she told me she keeps asking and his replay was "I am going to wait to the last minute to hold my Board of Review."  In my opinion, while this boy may have completed the requirements for Eagle he doesn't deserve it.  I know these are strong words but I have integrity for the Eagle rank that I earned.  He has completed all of the requirements.  What is the hold up?  Should his Mom force him to do it?  Should I?  Should his Venturing Adviser?  NO!  At some point this boy must become responsible for his Scouting career.  My letter explained in great detail what needed to happen and by when it needed to happen.  We are less than a year from sending this boy on a mission for our Church.  He is about to go to college before his mission.  He is done.
Just finish the race!
He literally ran the whole race but stopped inches before the finish line.  All he has to do it lean forward and fall over the finish line.  So sad.........  Why won't he just earn his Eagle?

I will be honest.  I am extremely upset.  To come so far and then to just stop seems so silly.  We must hold him accountable for his actions.  I think part of why I am upset is I just spent 16 months working on my tickets for Wood Badge.  It took me a long time but I never put off the work.  I was constantly working!  I produced effective and difficult tickets to earn my Wood Badge beads and that is why it took so dang long.  And this boy is going about it half hearted.

I just want to see him succeed.  But in the end, he may be a more effective Scout leader when he is an adult having not earned his Eagle.  The choice is his.

No comments: