So I came to the realization today that the Scoutmaster Conference that I just passed for the rank of Life is the last regular Scoutmaster Conference, well, ever.
Let me explain a few things. First off, a Scoutmaster Conference is the scout-equivalent to a military performance review. Essentially, your boss (Scoutmaster) goes over your accomplishments, or lack thereof, and then decides if you can be promoted to the next rank.
The ranks are posted in a picture next to these words... Essentially you start as a newbie and get to life (Where I am about to be at) and then Eagle.
So why do I say regular? For Eagle, a scoutmaster conference is essentially the troop's main representative's parting words to you. Let's be totally honest here, most Eagles don't stay hugely active within the troop. (I am planning on sticking around until I can instill wisdom and the sort... but who knows?). A Board of Review is essentially a panel interview version of a Scoutmaster Conference with other troop leaders. The aim is to satisfy a panel of troop leaders that you have the right stuff---character, work ethic, personality, et cetera---to represent a troop, and get on the right path yourself.
For the rank of Eagle, one hand-selects his board. If you have a group of leaders whom you feel would represent you well, or at least know you well enough to put their name on an application (Did I mention only 2.1 Million Scouts have ever made Eagle).
So back to what it all means. In order to rank-up, you must prove yourself worthy to get it.
This past Sunday we had a Memorial Day Parade. Every group who was anyone---Civil War Re-enactors, Local TV crews, Military personnel---shows up to this parade. We had a grand total of five scouts show up. Now I understand that there are people who have plans and whatnot... but seriously, only five?
This reminds me of two things. Number one, today's youth doesn't value citizenship nor doing what's good for others (our membership is down to like 15, so about 1/3 of a showing is pretty good in my eyes).
Number two, the trail to Eagle is very much a personal journey. It is kind of like religion in the sense of getting closer to a greater good, yet at the same time, it focuses on self-improvement.
No group gets you Eagle. You make those connections and create the group yourself. You meet fantastic people, and gain connections and references otherwise unattainable.This, my dear readers, is how you EARN an Eagle. You get as much out of this as you put in...
On a side note, without scouts I probably wouldn't have gotten into blogging, and this wouldn't exist...