Write on! Constitutional essay contest gives Eagle, Life Scouts a shot at cash

You the Life Scouts and Eagle Scouts of the Boy Scouts of America, in Order to form a more perfect understanding of the U.S. Constitution, establish awareness of our nation’s Founding Documents, and secure some Free Money, do indeed need to enter this Bill of Rights Institute Eagle Scout Competition 

OK, so maybe my version of the Preamble doesn’t match the original, but it still contains an important message.

That message: The Bill of Rights Institute, a nonprofit educational organization “whose mission is to educate young people on the ideas of the Constitution and the rights it protects,” has launched its second annual Eagle Scout Competition.

One grand prize winner will score $1,000 for himself and $500 for his unit. Two runners-up get $500 for themselves and $250 for their units.

To enter, Life Scouts and Eagle Scouts between the ages of 14 and 19 must write two short essays based on the topics listed below. The deadline — Feb. 10, 2014 — will be here before you can say “more perfect Union,” so send this to your Life Scouts and Eagle Scouts right away.

Complete rules and info after the jump.

  • Who: Life Scouts and Eagle Scouts between the ages of 14-19
  • What: Answer two short essays on the ideas of the Constitution
  • Deadline: Feb. 10, 2014
  • Win: Grand Prize – $1,000 for one Scout and $500 for his Unit
    • 2 Honorable Mentions – $500 and $250 for their Units
  • Apply Online:  http://billofrightsinstitute.org/eaglescout
  • Contact: bbyrd@billofrightsinstitute.org

The Competition is structured around two short essays (500 word maximum) related to the Constitution and the Founding Principles. The topics are:

1) James Madison, often referred to as the Father of the Constitution, said in Federalist 51 that:

“If men were angels, no government would be necessary. If angels were to govern men, neither external nor internal controls on government would be necessary. In framing a government which is to be administered by men over men, the great difficulty lies in this: you must first enable the government to control the governed; and in the next place, oblige it to control itself.”

Read the U.S. Constitution and find 2 examples of “controls on government.”  Explain why these specific controls are important and their relevance today. 

2) Consider the following quote – “The First Amendment is dramatically inconvenient. It requires us to tolerate the very bad in order to protect the unpopular but good.” Do you agree or disagree? Defend your argument using examples.

7 thoughts on “Write on! Constitutional essay contest gives Eagle, Life Scouts a shot at cash

  1. Why is the age 14-19 and not just by Rank of Life or Eagle Scout? I have a Life Scout that is 13, should he not have the same opportunity?

    • The rules are set by the Bill of Rights Institute. They’ve made this an annual contest, so if your son doesn’t turn 14 by Feb. 10, I’d encourage him to enter in future years.

    • Ahoy Connie. Have your 13 year old “slow down” and savor what he has learned. We had a 13 year old “Eagle Scout” join our Sea Scout Ship and we had to “brush him up” on knots and navigation. I’ve met a lot of “Eagles” that can’t tie a bowline and don’t know what the two stars on the scout emblem represent.

  2. Is it 500 words per question or 500 words total? I am working with a Scout who is trying this and we needed the clarification.

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