Of several troops in the area, I had the good luck to wind up in the best. We have 60 to 70 people, camp monthly, and have great adult leaders who actually care about scouting. However, at times it is odd to see people from other local troops who got Eagle Scout basically for turning 14.

However, I do not agree with people who say that the requirements have gotten easier and the merit badges are a joke. Rather, the leaders and scouts teaching many of these badges and signing off on the requirements are the problem. Our troop is running its own summer camp, because out scoutmaster does not like the district camps policy which basically amounts to "you didn't fall asleep during the badge sessions - it's yours." Our scoutmaster also makes it a real accomplishment to get Eagle Scout. He and the other adult leaders do not like "paper eagles" and do not allow them in our troop. In fact, over the past few years about a dozen good, hardworking scouts have gotten Eagle Scout but because they finished their requirements so close to their 18th birthday, they were never able to wear the patch for it. Also, in our Eagle Scout Courts of Honor it is not uncommon to see more seats filled with friends and acquaintances from school than parents and other scouts.

Our troop is also different in the perspective of its adult leaders. I am proud to say that at the court of honor following the Boy Scout of America National Council decision to ban gay leaders, our scoutmaster gave a speech in which he said that our troop did not agree with that policy and would not abide by it. Out of fear of repurcussions, I will not give the number or city of my troop. Also, at that same court of honor, several of the Eagle Scouts being recognized mentioned their disaproval of the policy in their speeches.

In our troop at least, Eagle Scout still means something.