I know four scouts, all of which have earned the rank of Life Scout, and have the potential to become Eagle Scouts.
One scout has completed his project and all that's left is the paperwork and he is stalled in the process of finishing the paperwork.
Another has decided that it's too much work to finish.
The 3rd one, says that he's going to complete it but has 3 merit badges to complete and find a service project and begin the paperwork.
The 4th has a part time job, reportedly 5 merit badges to complete, and has to do his approved project and the final paperwork which must be done before the snow flies.
The parents and leaders of these scouts are well aware of the benefits of the prestigious rank of Eagle and how the Eagle can help a scout long after he's left the troop.
Failure to see the big picture is the problem with these scouts as they all seem to live in the moment and cannot comprehend foreseeing the future and where they will be some 10 - 20 years down the road.
I wish I had a time machine to take each of these and all scouts into the future and let them see how life could be for them if they make Eagle and conversely show them what it will be like without that rank.
There are a lot of people that have successfully triumphed with their achievements without the scouting program and there are a lot of former scouts that look back upon their time in the scouting program as a wonderful thing but have but one regret: not following through to Eagle.
Stopping at Life.
Never making that last step and finally wishing that they had grasped that "brass ring."
I consider myself lucky that I followed the trail to Eagle and yes, I do regret that I didn't do more when I had the chance.
I am now reliving some of those missed experiences as a leader although it isn't quite the same as it would have been when I was a teenager.
A few years ago, I attended camp at Camp Decorah and chose to ride their zip line.
I never had done that before and it was a real challenge for me as I am altitude challenged...so much so that I almost froze up in the tower.
I muscled past my fears and finally took that ride.
I look at that as a major victory while other adults my age may view it as "no big deal-11 yr. old scouts are doing that."
Had I attempted that as a scout 30 years ago; it may have had a more significant impact.
It 's true that hind sight is always 20/20.
Let's hope that these 4 Life scouts find their focus and take that "Brass Ring."