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Is Eagle Scout worth it?

by Learning Curve
Tags: eagle, scout
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Jun20-08, 06:29 PM
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Heh, I read the first two posts in this thread and thought, "Wow, that situation would've described mine perfectly." Then I realized that I was the second poster. Seriously, I was a couple merit badges and a project away from Eagle from the time I was 14 to when I was 16, but my peers had stopped going and I couldn't stand the people that were left. As a result, I never finished. Even though I regretted it three years ago (when I was 19), I don't care nearly as much now.
J Wallace
Oct24-08, 09:12 AM
P: 3
Up side and down side to eagle scout commendation:

On the plus . . . it will be helpful on resume when seeking employment. Clearly shows commitment, dedication, motivation. Nearly half of all CEOs and CFOs in US are eagle scouts. It will make a difference.

On the negative . . . perception among many public academic institutions is that Boy Scouts is discriminatory and intolerant. Their position on homosexuals and requirement of belief in God is not "politically correct" on most campuses today. In an off-the-record conversation with a high level BS employee she recommended NOT listing eagle scout as an accomplishment on college applications, except for religious oriented schools.
Oct24-08, 04:29 PM
P: 1,996
Quote Quote by J Wallace View Post
Nearly half of all CEOs and CFOs in US are eagle scouts.
What is your source?
J Wallace
Oct25-08, 09:00 AM
P: 3
Bsa . . . .
Oct25-08, 09:06 AM
P: 1,996
That's not really an answer.
Oct25-08, 09:11 AM
cristo's Avatar
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Quote Quote by ehrenfest View Post
That's not really an answer.
Especially since it could mean anything:
Oct25-08, 09:16 AM
Astronuc's Avatar
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Quote Quote by cristo View Post
Especially since it could mean anything:
Yeah - watch out for those Byelorussian Socialists.
J Wallace
Oct25-08, 11:12 AM
P: 3
BSA stands for Boy Scouts of America.
Oct25-08, 11:13 AM
cristo's Avatar
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Quote Quote by J Wallace View Post
BSA stands for Boy Scouts of America.
Ok, so that's your source: where was the information presented?
Oct29-09, 11:48 PM
P: 1

This may be a little too late for our friend who was wondering whether to finish his Eagle, but I felt I had to add a post script to this dialog.

I stumbled across this thread by searching for Eagle Scout and College Application. My ten year old is finishing up Webelows and will start as a Boy Scout later this year. We had an organizational meeting this week.

The scoutmaster encouraged us to invite our son's classmates to attend the next organizational meeting. My wife and I have been conflicted about whether to include some of the kids because some of them tend towards being bullys. The last thing you would want is the bad apples from the school class joining your scout troop, right?

But after thinking about the scoutmaster's words at the meeting, we are thinking that we should try to bring them into the group anyway. The scoutmaster emphasized that Scouting isn't just about camping or outdoor activities. He emphasized community service, leadership, and the educational value of scouting. As I listened to his words, I also thought about my own scoutmaster and my experience in scouting.

You see I joined scouts at age 11 and was thrown in with a bunch of kids who were from different socio economic groups, some older and some younger. Some were kind. Some were smart. Some were smart alecks. And some were frankly bullys. But I stuck with scouts until I was 18 years old (I am 54 now) and progressed up the ranks. Our troop was not an "Eagle Troop" and our committee men weren't there at every step prodding us up through the ranks. But there were some substantial intangible benefits of participating in the program from the first day through the last months before I left home for college.

One of the most important benefits was the exposure that we all had to positive role models. My scoutmaster was a guy named Roscoe Masonheimer. He represented everything that was good and right about scouting. He wasn't a wealthy guy, but he had a heart of gold and a moral and ethical compass that pointed straight north. A friend and colleague from that time of my life wrote an online obituary for Roscoe in a blog at I guess my point is not whether getting your Eagle is worth it, but rather the value of scouting through Eagle. Roscoe taught all of us the values of scouting both because he lived by the Scout Oath and the Scout Laws as well as teaching them.

Which brings me back to a couple of points.

First, I think I'm going to invite all of those little hooligans from my son's class into scouting because I can't think of anyone who might benefit more from scouting .....the morals, the ethics and the values espoused and taught by scouting. And since there are older boys providing role models for the younger boys, there is a greater chance that these little guys might be helped to see a better way to lead their lives. One of the reasons these kids aren't better people right now is because of a lack of good role models in their families. If they spend even one year in scouts it may help them.

Second, our friend might have benefited from staying on even if he didn't finish his Eagle, education is a benefit no matter where you find it. The more you study, the better you get at learning. I managed to drag myself through an Engineering Physics degree at Cornell after finishing scouting. And a master's degree in nuclear engineering at MIT. Oh, and a law degree and a masters degree in tax law at NYU. There is something to be said about having a belief that you can do something you have never done before, which may be really, really hard. Getting your Eagle is certainly a confidence builder....for your entire life.

Third...(and this is where this reply turns into a bit of a lecture to myself) our friend who originated this thread had been in scouting for five years. He no doubt benefited from many hours, days and weeks of time volunteered by his scout leaders for his benefit and that of the other guys in his troop. Even if our friend never completed his Eagle, it was probably about time he gave a little back to his the younger kids and to his scout leaders, because that's what the Scout Law stands for (among other things) ....helpful, friendly, courteous, kind...cheerful....brave...and reverent. These are some of the concepts I would have liked him to have learned to apply when he got to his sixteenth year. The fact that he may have ignored the benefits he derived from scouting (and focused on the value of the Eagle rank) may mean that he didn't learn the lessons of the Scout Laws as well as he could have....both in terms of how to give back and how to lead. I hope I have learned those lessons well enough now to begin to return something to scouting while my son is in our troop.

So, yeah, I think it would have been worth it to go for it. If not for the award for the education and the life experiences.

And yeah, I'm proud I made Eagle....even at age 17 1/2. It's something I know I did even if I don't advertise it to my friends. It still makes me feel good when I think of it.

Hope this strikes a cord if someone else finds this thread someday. Best of luck to those of you who are in scouting now and in the future.

BSA Troop 1
Santa Barbara
Mar25-10, 04:12 PM
P: 1
I had this same problem, trying to decide if getting my eagle scout is really worth it. I had finished my life scout when I was about 15 and had finished my leadership project and majority of merit badges by the time I was 16. At 17 and a half I had to make a decision on what I wanted to do and the deadline was getting closer. The problem was not that I could not finish it, because I had no doubt that I could, but I wasnít sure if it would have any benefits; at this point all I had to do is my project and 3 or 4 merit badges. I have a 3.2ish gpa and got into the 5 colleges I applied to, so when I hear that getting your eagle will help get accepted to college I feel that it doesnít have that big of an impact. I donít really see any benefit other than if you have a career in the military. The camping and survival skills will likely not help you in any way after scouting, and there are no boy scout skills like being able to work together that you cannot find from playing any sport. I decided not finish my eagle scout and project for a couple of reasons, I didnít see any significant value attached with completing it. My mom had wanted me to continue scouting this whole time, around 16 all my friends stopped going to meetings and dropped out of scouting, so naturally I stopped going to meetings and wanted out too. My mom wanted me to finish my eagle and kept telling me there are so many benefits but never listed any, I stopped being active in scouting but constantly considered if it was worth getting my eagle just so I would be able to say that I have it. The more I thought about it, it was something I didnít really want and a title that I wouldnít wear proudly. I started to feel more strongly that scouting is a training ground for military children and the BSA organization felt like it had an overly conservative mindset. I would classify myself as a moderate so for me too feel that it is overly conservative means it really seemed that way to me.
Anyways I hope this helps any other scouts that are trying to figure out if doing their eagle project is worth it. I looked at this site to help me determine the same question. Scouting does have a lot of positives involved like doing winter camping or camping in the pouring rain, you have a miserable time while you are camping but after you can say I did it and likely while working together with other scouts while tensions were high. I did enjoy scouting for the time I was active but after a while I stopped enjoying it and had developed other interests in life (shocker right, kids changing what interests them), but in the end I was no longer interested in scouting, I still enjoy camping and doing scouting things with friends, its just scouting no longer interested me so I couldnít finish a project for something that I no longer wanted.
Mar25-10, 04:31 PM
P: 6,863
Quote Quote by Mccormick184 View Post
The problem was not that I could not finish it, because I had no doubt that I could, but I wasnít sure if it would have any benefits.
If you learn something and have fun, it has benefits.

I donít really see any benefit other than if you have a career in the military.
You do have to realize that much of society is organized along quasi-military structures. If you work in any large corporation or even in a small corporation, you will find yourself in a quasi-military social structure.
Mar25-10, 04:34 PM
P: 6,863
Quote Quote by Pengwuino View Post
No one really cares when hiring. Your job specific qualities will be more important unless your career is in an industry that has less emphasis on degrees and experience then it does with teamwork and the qualities you might develop as an eagle scout.
Which is pretty much every industry that I can think of. One problem with academic degrees is that it doesn't tell you how well someone works in a team, but getting an Eagle Scout demonstrates that at least once in your life you could.
Mar25-10, 05:18 PM
P: 1,084
I'd agree that becoming an Eagle Scout probably teaches you useful skills. I'm less sure that it belongs on your resume, unless you are fresh out of school with nothing better to write about.
Jan5-12, 02:45 PM
P: 1
Is Eagle Scout "worth it"? After reading all of the postings above, I would have to say "yes it is." However, I have a different slant on the answer than most of you have. I realize that the young man who asked this question did so some six or so years ago, so this is for someone else who will "happen to trip over" this line of discussion.

I also realize that this is a physics, and not a Scouting-related discussion area. All the better, for our nation needs more physics -- and if that person is both a physics major and an Eagle Scout, that is purely exceptional!

In 1976 I received "permission" from an Army officer to date his 16-year old daughter after what I called a "grueling interrogation". It ended when he asked me "what ELSE do I need to know about you before I tell you to hit the bricks?" I got up, extended my right hand and said "It was nice talking with you sir; I just happen to be an Eagle Scout. Good night." I pulled down my hand after noting that he would not shake it.

I started for the door and he grabbed my right shoulder and said "Please stop!" I did. I turned around and looked him straight in the eyes. "You not only have my permission to see my daughter, but you also have my permission to stay here overnight any night of the week as long as it's okay with your parents." He then extended his right hand and as we shaked, he added, "I'm also an Eagle Scout -- class of 46."

I dated his daughter for two years off and on. She was white; I was not.

My first job was given to me basically because I had earned that $11.75 medal. I outlasted four other candidates for a job to show people around the base on Saturday mornings.

I became an Army officer myself, and the first real job I had was one reserved for senior Captains. I did not get it because I'm an Eagle Scout; I got the job as Scoutmaster of the base's Troop because of that fact. That role was more important than my "8-5" job for pay as at that time, every military base in Europe was "graded" not only on their military ability but also their concern for their families. My general's base was in a sinkhole because it had no Scouting program. I got it out of that sinkhole and when the three-star General came to visit, he "insisted" I was to be available to shake his hand and accept his challenge coin. I was the only communications officer in southwestern Germany who was neither fired nor relieved -- I knew and did my military job well. But more than that, important people placed their confidence in me and my ability and I exceeded their challenge and expectations.

Eagle Scout.

Leaving active duty, I had a period of time in which I was unemployed -- almost a year. When I was hired, the director not only started me the following Monday, but increased my salary 40 percent simply because "no Eagle Scout should have to try to play catch-up on income he lost." That 40 percent was the difference between us living on the streets or being able to pay off all of our overdue, late and stagnant bills and still have money to eat and live with. I stayed with that firm for close to three years before I accepted a teaching job which paid a bit more. The director even vouched for me, saying that "if you don't hire him, I'll take him back at the same salary you are offering him. He's an Eagle Scout, if you don't know."

I have run into lots of fellow Eagle Scouts in my life. No certificate on the wall, nor a paperweight told me -- it was their attitude, their smile, their "I may not like it here but I'm here to help you" way of doing things. I've had to remind a couple Eagles of what they swore to way back when and one actually appreciated the reminder.

I earned Eagle in 1975. Almost 40 years later, it still remains one of the five most important things I have done in my life. Was it worth it? Yeah. What did I do with it? Nothing.
I allowed others -- others who knew the value of that $12 or so medal in real terms -- to be of service to me. Now, with balding gray hair and overweight tummy, I'm now out here giving back my service to others.

May you find a new usage for all of the plastics found in our landfills. May you find a new compound, a new chemical to make our lives better. May you develop the nanoportal to teleport our ways across the globe. May you find a way to "help other people at all times." You don't need to be an Eagle Scout to do any of those things.

Being an Eagle Scout, however, would not hurt -- and may get you that date which moves you from child to man.

Jan6-12, 02:04 PM
P: 5
I am in the exact position as you, can get eagle in a few months, but is it worth it? I have decided that it is, and plan to get it soon so I can go to college earlier.
Future Sailor
Feb7-12, 09:06 PM
P: 1

I earned the rank of Eagle Scout when i was 17. All i had to do to get a job was just mention that i was even in scouts and then i mentioned i was an Eagle landed me a leading possition with the company. i am now waiting to leave for basic training with the U.S. Navy at Great Lakes Navy Base. Thanks to my rank of Eagle i will Be an E-3 out of Basic where as everyone else will be a E-1 or E-2. These possitions are better known as " e-1= Seaman Recruit, e-2= Seaman Aprentece , and e-3= Seaman.


just because you are an eagle scout doesnt mean things just get handed to you. You have to work for it. when someone hears so and so is an Eagle they expect him to know stuff like first aid and how to survive not to mention how to lead.

I have already been let known when i get to Basic I will be expected to lead and be an example for my other fellow future sailors. so these stories you have been hearing are true. and its not just in America where we eagles are looked highly apon. China, Japan, Russia, England, France, Ect.... when they hear ur and eagle scout you guessed it your the big gahoona. so go for it bro you'll never regret it.
Dr Transport
Feb7-12, 09:48 PM
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Quote Quote by Briandaflyin View Post
I am in the exact position as you, can get eagle in a few months, but is it worth it? I have decided that it is, and plan to get it soon so I can go to college earlier.
If you don't get it, you'll be kicking yourself later. I wish I had gotten it, my son is an Eagle Scout and my daughter is well on her way to the Girl Scout Gold Award (equivalent to the Eagle Scout in Girl Scouts). It is a brotherhood that you'll be able to look back on.

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