Bob Nelson’s newest vision and direction for the College of Wilderness Knowledge (CWK) is a program he calls “The Eagle’s Nest.” Bob and many in theNorthern Star Council has been concerned with the vulnerability of new troops, especially those in the inner city and those with minority populations.
How can we support these troops and help them become well-established? What are their primary needs? Bob’s unique answer is to partner a new or high-risk troop with a well-established troop for the long term. The senior patrol leaders of the high-risk troop attend the meetings and training sessions of the well-established troop – then bring back ideas to apply in their troop. Adult leaders of the two troops attend meetings and planning sessions of each other in order to share ideas and plan some joint camping trips or activities. CWK has applied for grants to help supply equipment and transportation to assist these troops in their programs.
The ideal Eagle’s Nest would consist of an inner city troop, one or more cub scout packs and a venture crew combined with and supported by a well established troop. The goal is to add opportunities and stability to the “new or vulnerable” troop. The established troop can supplement the leadership when needed and help with transportation when needed. This will provide the continuity needed to have scouts complete the trail to Eagle, even helping each other with Eagle Projects, thus “the Eagles’s Nest.”
The well-established troop gains from the skills and cultural contexts of the scouts and leaders in the new troop. This exposure to individuals with differing backgrounds gives the scouts in the well established troop additional experience and skills which will serve them well in college and their future careers. Both groups benefit from the relationship.
We have approached several troops with the Eagle’s nest concept. Some well-run troops are exploring whether they could particpate as an Eagle’s Nest host. CWK will continue to work with these troops to explain the program and the commitment needed. We will also develop a program description and materials which will assist troops in making the decision and assist them in getting started.
The First Eagle’s Nest
The first Eagle’s Nest consists of Troop 715 and Venture Crew 715, located at the Merrick Center on St. Paul’s east side, combined with Troop 71 of Woodbury. Bob Nelson, Scoutmaster of
The SPL of Troop 715 has attended meetings and training sessions at Troop 71, including completing several merit badges, helping him continue his path to Eagle.
A key component of “The Eagle’sNest” program, our own man behind the curtain, is one of our new members, Vince Haen. Vince serves as a “NeighborhoodGuide” for the Northern Star Council and has been instrumental in