Over the years, I’ve met many men who almost made it to the rank of Eagle Scout. In most cases, they can cite the exact reasons they fell short of their goal: a family crisis, a move across the country, a troop that dissolved, an inability to pass Lifesaving merit badge, etc. While unique reasons like those are certainly legitimate and often insurmountable, a more common problem is the lack of a mentor to help along the path. Without a a coach or a cheering section, only the most self-motivated Scout will cross the finish line. When parents are disengaged or unknowledgeable, and when troop leaders are inexperienced, Scouts tend to fall short.
Fortunately, Eagle Scout candidates no longer have to rely solely on their families and troop leaders these days. There are lots of websites that offer guidance along the trail to Eagle. One of my favorites is EagleCoach.org, created by David Hunt, an Eagle Scout who serves as an Eagle coach and district advancement chairman. David has put together a ton of great, free resources, including checklists, guidance on planning Eagle projects, and links to other resources.
Another Eagle Scout, Sam Ovett, has created an online course called Almost Eagle that targets those 17-year-old Eagle Scouts who need an extra measure of motivation. The $97 course includes four modules (including a bonus module):
- Mindset Is the Key
- Building a Winning Team
- Getting It Done
- Pass Your Board of Review With Flying Colors
A handbook and other downloads are also included.
I haven’t seen past Sam’s paywall, so I can’t vouch for the content. However, from the website it looks like he knows what he’s talking about, and he certainly speaks the language of today’s teens. His course may be just the thing for Scouts in the YouTube generation.
When Sam told me about the Almost Eagle course recently, he offered two free passes to blog readers. If you’d like one of these passes for a Scout in your troop, send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org. The first two people who respond will win. All I ask in return is that you tell me how the course worked for your Scout.
The great thing about our program is that any Scout has the potential to become an Eagle Scout if he sets his mind to it. As Scout leaders, we just need to help him turn the obstacles in his path into tollbooths instead of roadblocks.