In our new troop he went from Scout to First Class in about nine months and is about to go Star. He dove in hard after being told that and also has about 20 merit badges now.
We were upset when it happened and hated changing troops, but now we think it may have been terrific motivation for him.
I said this because it's in there too - Or, in the case of older scouts, "you don't have the ability to catch up with the scouts your age; just come on the camps with us."
What we think we learned from that lesson is that a good SM, and we have a really great one now, is the bottom line.
The article about bad advice is clearly something experienced by many scouts. My #2 son definitely has the tenacity. He has financed his degree in business by selling real estate. As a 22 year old licensed real estate broker, he is well positioned to pursue his interest in law school. He plans to do that in the Fall of 2007 after his commitment to the USMC is complete.
Send me a motivated boy on his 14th birthday and he can get to Eagle a little after his 16th birthday.
I served 8 years as a Scoutmaster, and my own son made Eagle. But I'll say this; there are 8 methods in Scouting. Advancement is one of them. A great many kids go in and out of Scouting without making Eagle (including myself), but they still get a heck of a lot of good out of Scouting. I give all the support I can to help a motivated Scout make Eagle, but I don't see the percentage of kids who make Eagle in a Troop as a measure of the effectiveness of that Troop. Eagle has to be something that the Scout wants to do, not something that I push the kid into because I think that it's the best thing for him or because it makes me look good. The worth of an Eagle is as much the journey it took him to make it as it is the rank itself. If you turn a Troop into "Eagle School", I'm not so sure the kids benefit so much from it.