eaglescout100-0

2012′s Eagle Scout class was biggest yet

2012's Eagles are the only ones who can wear this 100th Anniversary patch.

2012′s Eagles are the only ones who can wear this 100th Anniversary patch.

For Eagle Scouts and their fans, 2012 was the gift that keeps on giving.

We spent all year celebrating the 100th Anniversary of Arthur Rose Eldred becoming the first Eagle Scout. We got scientific evidence of what I’m calling “the Eagle Scout effect.”

And now, just this morning, comes news that more boys earned Eagle in 2012 than in any year in the award’s history.

A whopping 57,976 new Eagle Scouts joined the ranks last year, surpassing the previous high mark of 56,176 in 2010.

The 2012 total represents a 12.6 percent increase over the size of 2011′s class (51,473).

To me, a record-setting Eagle class is proof that Scouting remains alive and well as we settle into the movement’s second century. And it represents the nationwide impact of nearly 58,000 young men who know what honor, loyalty, and hard work really mean. Not to mention nearly 58,000 Eagle service projects that improved countless communities. The way I see it, the world could use a few more Eagle Scouts.

So here’s to 2012′s Eagle Scouts — and to 2013′s, 2014′s, and so on. Let’s keep that number growing.

65 thoughts on “2012′s Eagle Scout class was biggest yet

  1. There’s a very good reason they have the parents stand up there with the Scout during the Eagle ceremony. Congrats to all of you in the family!

    I’ve yet to see an Eagle who’s parents were apathetic about him being in Scouts. Most Eagle parents are all highly involved, at least at the Troop level.

    • My parents were very apathetic. They even wouldn’t let me join for 3 years. I earned Eagle this December.

  2. From comments by my Scouts and from my fellow Scoutmasters, some Life Scouts put off their board of review until 2012 so they would receive the centennial patch. If this is across units, then it might account for a dip in 2011 and a bump in 2012. Regardless, Eagle Scout is a great accomplishment.

    • Interesting point, Ed. Of course that’s a Scout’s decision (perhaps after getting advice from his parents or Scoutmaster). I have to say that if I were given the choice between earning Eagle in 2011 or 2012, I’d have to go for that awesome patch!

      -Bryan

      • And upon reflection, I know it happened with the 2010 centennial patches. A few of our Scouts chose to put off the BOR until after the new year just to get the cool patch. This of course, did not apply to those last-minute Eagle Scouts.

  3. Our Troop had 6 boys join the ranks of Eagle Scout in 2012. Including my wonderful son and his friends who will be celebrating their Eagle Court of Honor on Saturday!

  4. I’m not exactly impressed. I am aware of a number of Troops and Scoutmasters that do not have standards concerning the “worthiness” of a life scout petitioning to Eagle. Just having a large number misses the mark and dilutes the pool. So what is it now, instead of two or three Eagles earned out of every hundred Scouts who join (a statistic we had a decade or more ago), we are now up to five or six, maybe even seven out of every hundred. No – I will not “like” the fact the number is high at all!

    • That unfortunately is not only the case in Scouting, but life as well! But what about those boys that truly EARNED EAGLE? I know of both sides of the earnings! But also know that the number who earned it truly, out numbers those who truly did not. My Troop the BOY needs to want it and earn it! We’re the support system!!

    • Funny, I just looked through the Eagle requirements and didn’t see “worthiness” listed. I’m guessing National is well aware of adults that want to add their personal, idealized standards to the rank and have therefore left this completely arbitrary “worthiness” metric out.

    • No council, committee, district, unit or individual has the authority to add to, or subtract from, advancement REQUIREMENTS. I have to agree with Greg. “Worthiness” is not one. Scoutmaster Joe, your energy would be better spent supporting all scouts attain their advancement goals rather than being their judge.

  5. My son earned his December 20th, what a great Christmas gift! He also marks the first boy in out Troop 1910 to receive his eagle!

  6. I have one of the 57,976 Eagle Scout and I a proud parent of my Eagle Rafael A.Luna Colon Troop 718 in Puerto Rico.

  7. This is great to read. I earned mine in December 1993. I would attribute the rise in the boys trying to earn it during this centennial year. As long as the high standards and requirements don’t decrease I am all for it. The numbers will decrease for 2013 though. I was the first in my troop and we continued to have 1 or two a year. 16 in one year is just under or total of 22 in the last 20 years.

  8. I made Eagle this year myself, one of four in my troop. Troop 11 from Billerica, MA. Probably over 50 Eagles this year in my district alone.

  9. @Scoutmaster Joe – what you’re saying is tantamount to saying that not all boys should be eligible to do what it takes to earn the Eagle Rank.
    In and of themselves, higher numbers do NOT “dilute” the significance of the achievement.
    The quota system you wish to implement (and that’s exactly what you’re asking for) is inherently unfair: “Gee, Joey, I know you met every requirement, and I know that everyone has seen how you live and breath ‘Scout Spirit’, but we’ve already awarded Johnny our allotted Eagle Rank.”

      • @Christopher – it’s *you* doesn’t “get it”.
        Having more boys able to meet the requirements doesn’t mean that it will turn into a “participation trophey[sic]“.
        If the requirements are just as stringent as always, then higher numbers could be a result of other factors:
        1. More scouts are *active* – we’ve all seen it before where the number of scouts was inflated – like keeping boys on the roll who showed up for one patrol meeting 14 months ago.
        2. Better prepared Scout leadership and better parental involvement leading to adults who understand the requirements better themselves and are better equipped to keep their sons motivated – we’ve all seen plenty of Scoutmasters who’ve burned out and stop caring and we’ve all seen too many parents who refused to get involved in their sons’ Scouting career.

        You want to keep the Eagle Rank restricted to an elite few who *you* approve of regardless of how many boys actually meet all the requirements and are highly qualified. Your approach is called a “quota system” – and that’s just plain un-American (“… with Liberty AND Justice for ALL.”). People like you make me want to puke.

  10. My son earned his in Sept. 2012. He was so excited when he finally got it. Great accomplishment for all young boys!

  11. Excited to see that many are learning and benefitting. My son had hoped to earn that centennial patch. Project is probably about 2 weeks from done. Still excited and has learned a ton.
    Congrats to those who stayed engaged and made it happen.

  12. Congratulations to all the new Eagles!

    Being an Eagle Scout made a huge impact in my life, and I hope the Boy Scouts continue their good work for many years to come.

    Scouting helps boys become the good men of God, patriots, husbands, and fathers that our country needs.

    Be Prepared!

  13. My son made Eagle in November! I am proud of him for working hard and earning the honor! I congratulate every young man that receives this high award. And my congratulations to the parents or parent also!

  14. I am glad that you all are so very proud, but in a year and a decade with record low enrollment, year after years there are more Eagles? Am I the only one seeing the problem here. I am very sure “your” son earned it, but those that achieved it at a lower standard just tarnished your sons efforts. This number is not something to be proud of. It will soon mean nothing more than a gold star sticker.

    • Then do something about it other than criticize. Get out, get involved and work to keep the standard and the honor what it is. The only way to truly ensure a quality program is to ensure that we are quality leaders that are putting forth our best effort and leading by example.

    • At a lower standard?! Are you nuts?! My son busted his hump and worked like a dog to get his Eagle. I know that the other 4 from our troop that earned theirs were held to as high a standard as my son. Scout are raising honorable men…not ones looking for an easy way out! And as far as the low numbers…well, if anything that allows the amazing Troop leaders to actually mentor and work with our young men to see them grow into Eagles and not just “oversee” what’s going on.

    • @Christopher –
      Having more boys able to meet the requirements doesn’t mean that the requirements aren’t just as stringent as always.
      The higher numbers could be a result of other factors:
      1. More scouts are *active* – we’ve all seen it before where the number of scouts was inflated – like keeping boys on the roll who showed up for one patrol meeting 14 months ago.
      2. Better prepared Scout leadership and better parental involvement leading to adults who understand the requirements better themselves and are better equipped to keep their sons motivated – we’ve all seen plenty of Scoutmasters who’ve burned out and stop caring and we’ve all seen too many parents who refused to get involved in their sons’ Scouting career.

      You want to keep the Eagle Rank restricted to an elite few who *you* approve of regardless of how many boys actually meet all the requirements and are highly qualified. Your approach is called a “quota system” – and that’s just plain un-American (“… with Liberty AND Justice for ALL.”).

  15. My youngest grandson just got his in Nov and he is 14 his older brother has had his in 2009 and very proud of them both

  16. My Son Joshua received his Eagle as a Lone Scout on January 13th of 2012. He has continued to serve in scouting and is planning to go to Jamboree as a Junior Staff member. He has continued working through the district helping whenever needed and has three palms so far and is excited about taking NYLT also. He planned his own Court of Honor which was held at the highest peak in Massachusetts. There were four councils on Mt Greylock that day!

  17. Wow, there’s some strong feelings about this! First, let me say congratulations to all of the new Eagles! I would also admonish them not to look at the Eagle as the culmination of their Scouting career but as the beginning of the next phase, one in which they have demonstrated a readiness for and one in which they can demonstrate the leadership qualities that we so desperately need in this generation!
    Does the fact that there are more new Eagles this year than ever before mean that the Eagle has been somehow cheapend? Not necessarily. The Eagle is not a fancy badge with a red, white and blue ribbon. If it was, then collectors could buy themselves an Eagle. The Eagle is not a patch or a neckerchief or a card or any physical item. They are merely the recognitions and honors that are bestowed upon the scout. The Eagle is the intangible sum of all of Scoutings values embodied in the young men who have inculcated those virtues by sucessfully completing the requirements. With that in mind, I again congratulate all of the new Eagles for 2012!

  18. 11% fewer members and more Eagles.

    Something is wrong. We are not supposed to be happy that BSA has more eagles. Eagle is supposed to be hard to achieve, and receiving it should be rare, not frequent.

    Boys achieve this rank easily these days because parents do the work for them, councils hold merit badge clinics, jamboree has become a merit badge giveaway, and summer camp is also a giveaway. Boys are earning more merit badges than ever before, and they are hovered over by achievement happy parents more than ever before.

    The higher number, imo, is a symptom of dysfunction, not something to be proud of.

    • @Joe -
      Having more boys able to meet the requirements doesn’t mean that the requirements aren’t just as stringent as always.
      The higher numbers could be a result of other factors:
      1. More scouts are *active* – we’ve all seen it before where the number of scouts was inflated – like keeping boys on the roll who showed up for one patrol meeting 14 months ago.
      2. Better prepared Scout leadership and better parental involvement leading to adults who understand the requirements better themselves and are better equipped to keep their sons motivated – we’ve all seen plenty of Scoutmasters who’ve burned out and stop caring and we’ve all seen too many parents who refused to get involved in their sons’ Scouting career.

      While I agree that the Eagle Rank should not be an automatic award, the requirements should not be impossible for any boy who wishes to work to achieve it. I know from personal experience that for my son’s troop, none of the parents “did the work for them”. And I also know for a fact that the Jamboree has NOT become a “merit badge giveaway”. And I *DEMAND* that you either post PROOF of your accusations or APOLOGIZE here and now.

      You want to keep the Eagle Rank restricted to an elite few who *you* approve of regardless of how many boys actually meet all the requirements and are highly qualified. Your approach is called a “quota system” – and that’s just plain un-American (“… with Liberty AND Justice for ALL.”).

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