Do you have a new Scout? Are you looking for ways that your son or daughter can be successful in the program? I am here to tell you that there are ways that you can help guide them along the path to Eagle Scout
Mom’s Guide to Eagle: 3 Tips for Success
This is a guest post from Melanie Studer over at the Parenting High Schoolers blog.
One – Set up a Framework to Help your Scout Progress
Whether you have a male or female Scout, here are three tips for success.
First, start fast – by this I mean, look at what the requirements are for their first rank, and get started. Each rank builds on one another, and if you set a quick pace, your Scout will get to the end sooner, and more successfully.
The handbook for each rank is set up with a checklist, but I found it helpful to make a copy of that checklist for each son, and we hung it up on the front of our fridge. Once we had two Scouts in the house, we made it a competition because that is the secret to getting so many things accomplished.
The boys competed with themselves by setting up deadlines they wanted to beat, and then tried to beat each other to their next goal.
Another tip is to work on several accomplishments at the same time. Start on the Eagle merit badges as soon as possible, and going to summer camp is really helpful because they can work on a number of BSA merit badges at once, and actually complete them during the 7-10 days of camp.
Form a team. Set aside an evening each week, or a Sunday afternoon that is Scout specific. Even 30-60 minutes a week will make a huge difference. This lets your potential Eagle Scout know you are supportive and keeps up the momentum!
Be Involved Scout Parents
This brings me to the second tip I have… Be involved parents in Boy Scouts. The more you help the Scout Troop, the better. Some ideas are to:
- Sign up as a merit badge counselor for a merit badge you know your Scout needs
- Go on campouts and get to know the other adults
- Just ask how you can help at weekly meetings – running a successful Scout Troop is a ton of work, they always need help
- Volunteer as an Eagle Scout Advisor
When my oldest got close to Eagle, I became an Eagle Scout Advisor. This helped so much to learn the Eagle Scout requirements to know what would be expected for my own boys!
If your Scout sees that Scouting is important to you, then it becomes important to them. If you have a spouse or significant other, it helps if you are both involved. My husband and I both had things in the troop we liked to do, and they were different. And, at different times because of other obligations, one or the other of us didn’t have as much time.
This balanced out over the 18 years we were involved with our sons’ Cub Scout pack and then Scout Troop.
Encourage Your Scout to Set Lofty Goals
Finally, help your son or daughter to make goals. Go big! When do they want that ultimate prize? It will take time, effort, and dedication from all involved. As they achieve each rank, ask them how long before they want to advance again.
This is where the weekly work will pay off. Your Scout can get ahead of the merit badge requirements as they work through each rank. We always left Monday nights open for Scout meetings, and we looked ahead each week for a night that would work for even just 30 minutes for Scouts.
Of course, there were many weeks when we were too busy to do the extra night for Scouting, but over time, we often squeezed time in during car rides to games or practices.
I think the main thing that my boys all knew was that my husband and I felt that getting their Eagle Scout rank was important. It would go with them for life. Being on athletic teams was fun and rewarding as well, but the chances of that taking them anywhere in the future was slim.
How to Deal with the Challenges of Scouting
I remember when our oldest joined Scouts, he was not a fan. He was picked on by older kids, and he was a homebody – campouts were tough for him.
So, we made a deal. My husband would go on a few campouts with him, and I would make a favorite meal of his on Sundays when he got back.
He said that both of those things really helped in the beginning. Then, he made friends in his Troop, and the rest is history. (And, one of those young men is still a great friend of his today at 25!)
There are many benefits to earning the Eagle Scout rank. Some are scholarships, career opportunities and advancement because of this elite rank, and even a leg up on college admissions. My boys have already felt the benefits of these opportunities.
Our main thing as parents was that we wanted our boys to try Scouting and give it at least two years. If, after that, they wanted to quit, they could. None of them quit because by then they were already at least three ranks up and had made good friends.
All three of our boys still have wonderful friends from Scouting, and the friends who remain are all Eagles as well. Encourage them to motivate their friends and to help each other achieve high ranks. This is really my favorite benefit to their scouting because great friends are hard to find. This has bonded them together into a brotherhood.
Good luck to you in your child’s journey through Scouting!
Who am I to know all this?
I am Melanie: Wife, Mom, Educator, Speaker, and Parenting Mentor. I’m the mom of three great kids in their teens and 20s. I’ve been a teacher of preschool, elementary, middle school – you could say that I’ve seen it all. At Parenting High Schoolers, I share ideas for parents of teens, mom self-care, sources, insight and inspiration for you as you travel this road called life. And, I have three Eagle Scouts who are also each recipients of the 4-Star award – even more elusive than the Eagle!
You might want to look into her free Turning 18 Checklist. Very helpful if you have a kid in this age range.
Here is the link for turning 18 checklist: https://parentinghighschoolers.com/opt-in/turning-18-checklist/
Here are my links to social:
I was also an Eagle Mom and I wrote for the Utah Scouts Blog and the Voice of the Scout – national BSA blogs. Here are some of my Scouting posts you might enjoy:
Four Tips for Being a Good Scout Parent
How to Survive Your Son’s Eagle Project
Four Tips for Being a Good Scout Parent
How Scouting Helped My Bullied Son