It is no secret that I am a little ambitious when it comes to my son and scouting. When he was a cub, I constantly had him doing some kind of badge work. When he turned 11 and graduated into Boy Scouts, I received all the information well. I thought to myself, wow 121 merit badges, we are SO getting all those. Right about now all you more experienced scout mom's can just go ahead a take a good hard laugh.
I gave it a good try, let us not be confused. I pushed really hard and put my expectations very high. Whenever my son was not doing something, I would say "let's look at your merit badges, pick one to do, we are doing it". He advanced quickly and I was pleased that it appeared he could earn his Eagle Scout by the time he was 13, or at the very latest 14.
Then puberty hit and he became the tallest person in our house and pretty much tested me on a regular basis, letting me know what he was and was not going to do. The earning of merit badges has slowed considerably. He has been a Life scout since last September, meaning that anytime during the last year he could have planned and completed his large project necessary to earn Eagle Scout rank. He was not motivated, at all. Nothing I did was going to change this, so I just stopped doing anything. It was up to him. I did interpret the guidelines of earning Eagle rank to my own advantage and let him know that the requirement states "earn 21 merit badges, or 10 more than you already have". I think the Boy Scouts assume to that point you have only earned 11 merit badges...but Justin had already earned 24, so I said he had to earn 10 more than he already had. He argued with me long and hard, but I was not budging.
I am proud to say that on September 24th, he completed his long awaited Eagle project and is in the process of finishing his paperwork and application to earn the award. I am very proud of the innovative project he chose and all the ways that he had to grow in order to complete the project. He is a shy kid to strangers and had to call and meet with many strangers to accomplish this. He even did a live radio interview to promote his project!
He seems to be very happy as well, happy to be done, but also happy he did it. He is also grateful for my merit badge Nazism, because he has earned enough to receive two Eagle palms with his rank. I overheard him telling someone that he plans to earn two silver palms and end his career with 51 merit badges.
So, for all you over zealous scout mom's to come...there is hope!
Here are a few pics of my Justin, doing his project.
He collected 715 lbs of food.