Life seems to be the rank where a lot of Scouts BSA start running out of steam. Most of our guys seem to get to First Class pretty quickly. The youth leaders do a good job with our new scouts and there is a program a summer camp which does a lot of the early rank requirements with them. And Star usually seems to come soon after that. Life takes a little longer, but most seem to get there by time they are Freshmen or Sophomores. But then there is Eagle.
I know one of the problems is the demands on their time. My teenage sons have three to four hours homework every day. If you throw in a sport or a club or two, that doesn’t leave much spare time. And then there are research papers, projects, and presentations to be done on the weekends. But, they should be able to find some time to get those last few merit badges and do their leadership project.
My son DS seems to have stalled. He is 15 years old and still has plenty of time, and I know he intends to get there. But I think the combination of everything else which is going on in his life along with the perception that he has plenty of time makes procrastinating easy for him. Hopefully he’ll not be one who is 17 1/2 years old and is rushing to get everything done.
One thing we have done in our troop which seems to motivate our Life Scouts a little is the Life to Eagle reports at every Court of Honor. Each Life Scout gets up in turn and tells what he has done since the last Court of Honor to try to advance and what he plans to do next on his path to Eagle. I know DS doesn’t like standing up and trying to come up with something he has done, so usually before each COH at least he puts in a little work so he can stand up and say something positive about his efforts.
What does your troop do to motivate Life Scouts without taking away their ownership of the process?