Guest Author - Erik Moeller
The motto of the Aggie Eagle Program is: The Aggie Corps of Cadets, Eagle Scouts and Gold Award Scouts- different groups with the same character.
Many traits can be associated with Eagle Scouts and Gold Award Scouts. Among those most often mentioned are hard work, self sacrifice, integrity and initiative. It is these kinds of qualities that make Scouts with these awards attractive to colleges, universities and academies. It is these qualities that caused Texas A&M University to develop their “Aggie Eagle Program.”
Attaining this level of success in Scouting demonstrates numerous traits, but two of the most often recognized are:
The ability to focus on a goal with many varied requirements over an extended period of time.
In the Boy Scout section on a recent application to one of the service academies there were only three boxes to check: Member, Senior Patrol Leader, Eagle Scout. Clearly these schools are interested in applicants who have demonstrated leadership. Scouting is one of the few programs that give young people the opportunity to demonstrate leadership of their peers.
The idea for this type of program came to Dr. Robert M. Gates, president of Texas A&M University, when he did an analysis of the make up of the Aggie Corps. He found that 300 of the 1800 cadets were either Eagle Scouts or Gold Award recipients. Dr. Gates’ concept focuses on the similarity in the programs. Dr. Gates looks at receiving these awards as a “launching pad” to being a Corps member. The foundations of the Corps include: leadership, discipline, academics and teamwork.
Texas A&M hosts two “Aggie Eagle” events each year for high school seniors, one in the fall and one in the spring. Those who participate learn all about the school admissions, financial aid, and scholarships; sleep in the dorm with current cadets; attend demonstrations from the Fish Drill Team and the Ranger Challenge Team; go to an Aggie football game or basketball game. A significant effort is made to get these students to attend A&M.
I’m sure other colleges and universities have programs designed to attract Eagle Scouts and Gold Award recipients. If there are other programs focusing on Scouting and college, I would be more than happy to discuss them. Success in Scouting can be a strong indicator of success in college. To learn more about this program, click on the link below.