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Mike Offers a Potential Eagle Scout His Eagle Perspective

Still: Trustworthy, Loyal, Helpful, Friendly, Courteous, Kind, Obedient, Cheerful, Thrifty, Brave, Clean and Reverent…okay maybe not so clean!

 From Mike’s forum on Discovery:

Q: Mike,

I’m not sure where I heard that you are an Eagle Scout, which brings me to my question. Could you PLEASE take a moment & post to my 13 year old son Kelby & encourage him to finish scouting (& anything else that will help with this?) Reason I’m asking is that he only lacks 1 1/2 – 2 years in reaching Eagle, but some of his buddies have got him to thinking scouting isn’t cool at his age.

Thanks much, Gary

Kelby,

Your Dad asked me to drop you a line and say something inspirational that might persuade you to dig down deep and find the determination to make the rank of Eagle Scout. It’s a reasonable request, from a father who obviously wants to see his son succeed. But here’s the thing – The Eagle Award is not really meant for people who need to be dragged across the finish line. It’s meant for a select few, and I have no idea if you have the guts to see it through.

Statistically, I suspect you do not. Only one out of a hundred Scouts make Eagle, so if you fail, there will be lots of other people with whom you can share excuses. Quitting now might disappoint your Dad, but I doubt that he or anyone else will be overly surprised. Anytime 99 out of 100 people do the same thing, it’s not exactly a shock.

I’m not trying to be cute with a bunch of reverse psychology. When I was 15, there was nothing that anyone could have said to me that would have inspired me to do something I didn’t want to do, especially a stranger with a TV show. So I’m not going to assume you’re any different, or pretend that I have some influence or insight that you haven’t already heard from a dozen other people who actually know and care about you. I’ll just tell you straight up, that doing something extraordinary can be very lonely, and most people simply aren’t cut out for it. Being an Eagle Scout requires you to be different than most everyone around you, and being different is really, really hard. That’s why the award is called “an accomplishment.”

Personally, and for whatever it’s worth, the best decisions I’ve made in my own life, are those decisions that put me on the outside of being cool. Singing in the Opera, working in home shopping, starring in the school play when the entire football team laughed at me, and especially earning my Eagle, were all choices that required sacrifice, hard work, and delayed gratification. I have no idea if you possess those qualities, or even envy them.

But I can tell you for certain, that NOT getting your Eagle, will be one of the easiest things you’ve ever done.

Anyway, I have no idea if you would prefer an easy life of predictability and mediocrity, or if have the passion to follow the road less traveled. Only you get to decide that.

Good Luck,

Mike

 

  • Dave

    On behalf of all Eagle Scouts, young and old, thank you.

    dave

  • Lori

    Dear Mike,

    My son had the pleasure of seeing you at the National Jamboree. You being an Eagle made a huge impact on my son. He is a huge fan of yours. He will be receiving his Eagle Scout rank November 20, 2010. I was wondering if you could send a letter or certificate to him from you. My husband and I were also able to see you at the jamboree as we visited it on that Saturday.

    Thank you so very much!

    (*Here is where you can request an Eagle Scout Letter: http://www.mikeroweworks.com/scrap-yard/eagle-scout-letter/

    Congratulations to your son on receiving his Eagle! ~ Moderator)

  • Lizabeth

    Home run! Great sluiggng with that answer!

  • Linda Rapacki

    Thanks Mike… for telling it like it is. As the proud mother of an Eagle Scout I am gratified to read your letter and agree this challenge is not for everyone. It is however for those that can dig deep inside themselves to find something extra and the reward is to come out the other side with a renewed understanding of who they are. I am so proud of my son for his strength and determination in completing something he started and I stand in awe of his extraordinary achievement when so many others who tried could not do it.

  • Dee

    Mike
    My son is one merit badge away from his Eagle. Where can I request a letter like this be sent to him?

    *You can find the information about how to receive the Eagle Scout Letter here – http://www.mikeroweworks.com/scrap-yard/eagle-scout-letter/
    (mrW Moderator reply)

  • daniel k (lifescout)

    Mike,

    I would just like to say that what you said is very true. There are only a select few that get eagle. I have had the privilege of meeting a few of them and they are some of the best people I know. I have also seen the majority of people drop out of scouting because it is not “cool” or it doesn’t get girls or if they are just too lazy. But if I had the choice of being cool now or being like those true friends that are eagle scouts I am going to choose eagle scout. thank you Mike and all of those who are eagle scouts to make an example to all people that we are not just people who sleep in tents and don’t shower, but we are that and more. :)

  • Jim Newkirk

    Mike,

    From one Eagle to another I can tell you, I agree with everything you said in your letter. It does take a lot of hard work and determination and that is something that cannot be forced upon a younger person. Becoming an Eagle is something that you have to want to do. Yes, being different that most of your friends is part of that, at least in my case. Becoming an Eagle was one of the best choices I have made in my life. Now, I have been involved in scouting as a volunteer for over thirty years and currently serving as a District Commissioner in a council in Michigan and still love scouting. In my position I have the opportunity to meet many young men that are both working on their Eagle or are presently Eagle scouts and they are definitely different than other scouts. I really cannot say exactly what is different but, I guess I would have to say besides being very respectful they just have a confident demeanor about them. All I can say is any young man that gets his Eagle will have many doors opened up for him throughout his life and may never realize why. But, because of his hard work and dedication as a young man becoming and Eagle Scout and being that one in a hundred, he is special and will succeed and stand out from others. Once and Eagle always an Eagle!

    Jim

  • James

    Mike,

    From one Eagle to another everything in this letter you have said is true. For instance I was kinda close on time to get my Eagle, and I had to jump start it and get the ball on a roll. My scoutmasters and adult leaders helped they did but only when I asked, they didn’t drag me across the finish line. This is a boy lead organization so you have to be the one who wants to be an eagle scout, not your family, you have to want it. Once an Eagle Always an Eagle!!!!!
    James

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  • Chuck

    I saw some web references that you would send this letter to a scout, upon request. All the links I try for that request come back blank.

    Do you still do that?

    If not, I understand…the sheer number of requests would be enough to stop. But if you do, can you please send me directions? Even an email from you to the scout would be perfect!

    Thanks and congratulations on the Distinquished Eagle Scout Award!

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