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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 scouting:

--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 points:

“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 and churches.

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.

This Week's Editorial:

By Helen Morris:

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