Friday, 14 November 2008

Eagle Scout: What is It

Here is a blog post that Mike Rowe recently wrote. For those of you who don't know who Mike Rowe is, he is a television host for the show Dirty Jobs. Dirty Jobs airs on Discovery Channel. The purpose of this post was a a father was asking Mike Rowe to write a post about the importance of becoming a Eagle Scout even though it is not considered "cool" by many teens. So here it is:

November 12, 2008

Mike Offers a Potential Eagle Scout His Eagle Perspective

Still: Trustworthy, Loyal, Helpful, Friendly, Courteous, Kind, Obedient, Cheerful, Thrifty, Brave, Clean and Reverent...okay maybe not so clean!

I'm not sure where I heard that you are an Eagle Scout, which brings me to my question. Could you PLEASE take a moment & post to my 13 year old son Kelby & encourage him to finish scouting (& anything else that'll help with this?) Reason I'm asking is that he only lacks 1 1/2 - 2 years in reaching Eagle, but some of his buddies have got him to thinking scouting isn't cool at his age.
Thanks much, Gary -- scooterdave


Mikes_blog_photo_nov_12_08_eagle__2 Kelby,

Your Dad asked me to drop you a line and say something inspirational that might persuade you to dig down deep and find the determination to make the rank of Eagle Scout. It's a reasonable request, from a father who obviously wants to see his son succeed. But here’s the thing - The Eagle Award is not really meant for people who need to be dragged across the finish line. It’s meant for a select few, and I have no idea if you have the guts to see it through.

Statistically, I suspect you do not. Only one out of a hundred Scouts make Eagle, so if you fail, there will be lots of other people with whom you can share excuses. Quitting now might disappoint your Dad, but I doubt that he or anyone else will be overly surprised. Anytime 99 out of 100 people do the same thing, it’s not exactly a shock.

I’m not trying to be cute with a bunch of reverse psychology. When I was 15, there was nothing that anyone could have said to me that would have inspired me to do something I didn't want to do, especially a stranger with a TV show. So I’m not going to assume you’re any different, or pretend that I have some influence or insight that you haven’t already heard from a dozen other people who actually know and care about you. I’ll just tell you straight up, that doing something extraordinary can be very lonely, and most people simply aren’t cut out for it. Being an Eagle Scout requires you to be different than most everyone around you, and being different is really, really hard. That’s why the award is called “an accomplishment.”

Personally, and for whatever it’s worth, the best decisions I've made in my own life, are those decisions that put me on the outside of being cool. Singing in the Opera, working in home shopping, staring in the school play when the entire football team laughed at me, and especially earning my Eagle, were all choices that required sacrifice, hard work, and delayed gratification. I have no idea if you possess those qualities, or even envy them. But I can tell you for certain, that NOT getting your Eagle, will be one of the easiest things you’ve ever done.

Anyway, I have no idea if you would prefer an easy life of predictability and mediocrity, or if have the passion to follow the road less traveled. Only you get to decide that.

Good Luck,

So there it is. I think this is something that everyone working on their Eagle Scout should read. It really explains that earning Eagle Scout is not the parents or adult leader's choice it is the choice of the scout. No matter what the parents do, it ultimately comes down to whether or not the the person is willing to follow through. I would rather see a kid choose the road that is predictable and mediocar instead of following the road less traveled if they do not have the passion to complete the road less traveled.

To show proper credit please see the original by clicking the title of the post to be directed to the original website where Mike's Blog can be found.

Yours in Scouting Service
Mark W
Junior Assistant Socutmaster
Troop 1616

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