This was a memorable weekend for our family. Will,
our grandson, became an Eagle Scout. He follows his father Bill and
uncles Joe, Bob, Jim and Todd as Eagle Scouts. Another uncle, Dr. Tim
Gore, now deceased, was also an Eagle Scout.
It took Will 10 years to achieve this goal, the
highest rank in scouting. His leaders and parents were with him along
the road, but he had the determination to plod on. The achievement had
to be completely finished by the 18th birthday.
It involves advancement through the lower ranks of
--He learns by doing. He learns to pitch a tent by
pitching one. He earns 21 merit badges, participates in service projects
at each rank, holds leadership positions in his troop, and plans, leads
and carries out a service project.
--The Scout is tested. This is either by
demonstration of skills by doing or sometimes verbal testing.
--The Scout is reviewed. The purpose of review is
to make sure all requirements for advancement have been met, a check of
the Scout’s attitude and practice of the Scouting ideals and his
scoutcraft skills. For the Eagle Scout rank, he is approved by district,
local and National Scout Council.
--The Scout is recognized. The final step in
advancement is presentation of the emblems.
Of any 100 boys who become scouts, 30 will drop out
in their first year, but 70 will remain. This may be regarded by some as
a failure, but in later life, all of these 100 boys will remember that
they had been scouts and will speak well of the program.
It is rare that any of the 100 will ever appear
before a juvenile court judge. Twelve of the 100 will be from families
that belong to no church. Through scouting, these 12 and many of their
families will be brought into contact with a church and will continue to
be active all their lives. Six of the 100 will become ministers.
Each of the 100 will learn something from scouting
that they will take with them the rest of their lives. Most of them will
develop good hobbies they enjoy. At least one of the 100 will use their
scout training to save another person’s life and many will credit it
with saving their own life.
Two of the 100 will reach Eagle rank, and at least
one will later say that he valued his Eagle award above his college
degree. Many will find their future vocation through merit badge work
and scouting contacts. Seventeen of the 100 will later become Scout
leaders and will give leadership to thousands of additional boys. Some
will serve in the military because of patriotism learned through the
program. Statistics show that many of our military are former scouts. A
local Vietnam veteran that is an Eagle Scout said the skills that he
learned in scouting saved his life several times.
Only one in
four boys in America will become a scout, but it is interesting to know
that of the leaders in this nation in business, religion and politics,
three out of four were scouts.
Here are some statistics from a recent poll of high
school and college students: 85% of student council presidents were
scouts, 89% of senior class presidents were scouts, 80% of junior class
presidents were scouts, 75% of school publication editors were scouts,
71% of football captains were scouts, 64% of Air Force Academy
graduates, 68% of West Point graduates, 70% of Anna-polis graduates, 72%
of Rhodes Scholars, and 85% of FBI agents.
Ed Cromley, speaker at Will’s ceremony, made these
“Will learned that anything worth doing is worth
doing well. He started the path to Eagle about 10 years ago when he
first became a cub scout. It sounds like a long time, but 10 years will
fly by at a quick pace in the life of your child. He will have no
regrets. Many things in our lives have an expiration date. When we are
older, we can only wish we had taken advantages of these things. Will
will never see the day where he regrets becoming an Eagle Scout. Last,
the Eagle award is not easily earned. We need to accomplish the tasks
that test our metal. We learn new skills and attitudes that enrich our
lives and the lives of others. Will has done this.”
Troop 39 of Grantsville has a success story that
rivals the national one. Kitty Wilson, along with his many co-leaders
through the years, can tell stories of success. They have worked with
boys of all levels of society and turned them into men. The Eagle
projects carried out in this county have benefited our parks, schools
From the scouting website, “This story will never
end. The ‘Golden Pebble’ of service is dropped into the human sea where
it will continue to create ever-widening circles, influencing the
characters of men down through unending time.”
It is worth every minute spent in encouraging your
son to achieve these goals.