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Discussion in 'Military Academy - USMA' started by jlwilkes101, Jul 29, 2010.

  1. jlwilkes101

    jlwilkes101 5-Year Member

    Jul 26, 2010
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    Basically, I have two questions about Boy Scouts and West Point. I was involved in scouting until 8th grade, when I had to leave because I was unable to go to weekend trips b/c I was my hockey team's only goalie, and if I didn't show up to the games, we would lose. Since I couldn't go on the trips, I couldn't advace past Second Class, and was told that if I couldn't advance, I couldn't stay in the troop. First of all, I'm afraid that West Point will view my leaving boys scouts as failure to complete something i started, and that it will count against me on my application. I'm not sure if I should explain that the reason I left scouts was to complete something else that I viewed as more important (because I'd be letting down my team if if didnt show), or i should avoid mentioning scouts at all.
    Also, how important is scouting towards acceptance? And is there anything I can really do to make up for not continuing boy scouts?
  2. Just_A_Mom

    Just_A_Mom 10-Year Member

    Jul 9, 2006
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    Don't worry about this. You were in scouting for a while then became your hockey goalie! West point really only cares about your high school activities, so you don't have to mention scouting. If there is anything that you took from your scouting years that inspired/benefited you in your interest in West Point feel free to mention it in your essay; though I am not telling you what to write.
    You don't have to have been a Boy Scout to win an appointment.
  3. bpu

    bpu 5-Year Member

    Jul 29, 2010
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    This post really steams me. Advancement is not a BSA requirement to stay in Scouting. It was most unfortunate that your troop acted in this way. Does a good Scouting experience help applicants get an appointment? Yes. Does a good Scouting experience help Cadets do well, at least initially, at West Point? Yes. However, so do dozens of other experiences and 1,000 candidates do well every year without BSA. As already stated, I would not even address stopping at 2nd Class since the high school years are what is looked at closely and the vast majority who start Scouts quit before reaching HS for many reasons - like sports.

    To potential young applicants in Scouting, I would highly encourage you to remain in Scouts, actively participate, and give/take what the program offers. Unfortunately, 90% of Scouts who have difficulties with their Troop quit Scouting instead of quitting their Troop and transferring to a different unit. Time/activity conflicts can be worked around, but it does take extra work and effort. I am happy to advise anyone on BSA specifics, just PM me.
  4. buff81

    buff81 Moderator 5-Year Member

    Oct 31, 2008
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    I have heard this concern more than once. One mom I talked to was convinced that you had to be an Eagle Scout to get an appointment. She came from a very long line of WP grads. I wonder if maybe back in the day -before year-round sports and all the other activities that tug at our kids - if scouting was something that a higher % of kids participated in - than now. It seems her WP relatives put that notion in her head that you had to be a scout to get in West Point. Maybe when they were accepted, most kids did scouting. Purely speculation on my part.

    Below is the activities portion of the 2013 class profile at West Point (2014 is not available yet) and the number in that class that participated in each activity:

    Boys/Girls State Delegate....................... 200
    Class President or Student Body President....... 221
    School Publication Staff
    School Paper Editor, Co-Editor of Staff....... 114
    Yearbook Editor or Co-Editor.................. 110
    Debating........................................ 169
    Dramatics....................................... 122
    Scouting Participants........................... 528
    Eagle Scout (men) or Gold Award (women)....... 209

    Varsity Athletics.............................. 1,172
    Letter Winner................................ 1,117
    Team Captain.................................. 749

    The 2013 class size was 1,299 on R-Day. So basically, the majority of the class was not in scouting. Compare that to the number that were Varsity athletes.

    Scouting is a wonderful thing to be part of. I was a 1st Class Girl Scout myself (called a Gold Award now). It shows dedication to something over a long period of time. Something that the academies value. BUT, it is NOT a requirement. You are given points for everything you list on your CAR. You will be given x points for scouting. But you will not be penalized if you are not in scouting. Do scouting if it is something that you are passionate about - not to be a checkmark on your application. If scouting is not your thing, then do whatever activity is your passion.

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