According to the Boy Scout website: “Eagle Scout is the highest rank attainable in the Boy Scouting program of the Boy Scouts of America (BSA). A Scout who attains this rank is called an Eagle Scout or Eagle. Since its introduction in 1911, the Eagle Scout rank has been earned by more than two million young men.
Eagle Scout guidelines state that a Boy Scout must earn at least 21 merit badges and demonstrate Scout Spirit through the Boy Scout Oath and Law, service, and leadership. “This includes an extensive service project that the Scout plans, organizes, leads, and manages. Eagle Scouts are presented with a medal and a badge that visibly recognizes the accomplishments of the Scout. Additional recognition can be earned through Eagle Palms, awarded for completing additional tenure, leadership, and merit badge requirements.”
To earn the distinction of Palm: “Once he becomes an Eagle, a Scout can earn one Eagle palm for every five extra merit badges he earns. He can earn palms as quickly as one every three months, provided he remains active in his unit and meets other requirements.”
William’s Eagle Scout project was building mobile benches for the outdoor Chapel at St. Thomas Aquinas. “I picked this project based on the needs of the St. Thomas Aquinas. They were in need of outdoor benches, so I happily met their needs,” commented William.
A group of fellow scouts in his Troop helped out with William’s project but one of the luckiest breaks came from Home Depot. “We actually came across a stroke of luck with regard to fundraising. Home Depot (the one down the road from BT) donated a large majority of the materials for my project,” said William, who also creates the successful build with starting early and not letting paperwork overwhelm him.
“For my project, I led a group of volunteers to refurbish two staircases. We took out dirt and gravel in the staircases and replaced them with stone pavers. We also re-stained the wood handrails alongside the staircases,” said Will. “A big challenge was getting everyone to create the vision I had in my head. Sometimes they would not be doing what they were supposed to and I had to make sure thy were on task.”
To help raise funds for the project and to implement the build, Will relied heavily on his family, friends and Troop.
“I have always enjoyed scouting and going on all of the camping overnights with friends,” said David. “Going through all of the steps and paperwork was really time consuming so I am really happy I was able to achieve it this year. I have also just achieved my first Bronze Palm by earning five additional merit badges beyond the the 21 merit badges I already have. It’s been a great way to earn leadership experience by running the troop as a senior patrol leader and holding various other positions as well.”
David’s project was completing a landscape project at St. Jude the Apostle Catholic School. “The area was covered with weeds and grass, and every time there was a hard rain there was a lot of run off,” David explained. “First, I had to kill the existing grass and weeds. Next, my team of volunteers and I installed over 14 6′ x 6′ x 8′ treated timbers around the circumference of the area. This required leveling the ground, putting the timbers in place and installing them with steel rebar pins. We then spread over 110 bales of pine straw. Lastly, we planted over 13 new shrubs that will hopefully grow in nicely over the next few years.”
David, a member of Troop Troop 623 from St. Jude the Apostle Catholic School/Church, chose this project to do something special for St. Jude’s principal, Mrs. Patty Childs, and to give back to the great school he was lucky enough to be a part of. “I got a lot of help from my St. Jude friends, a fellow Eagle scout who is a neighbor of mine, and a very helpful family friend who supplied all of the tools we needed,” he said.
“I think being in Scouts in one of the best organizations you can be involved in,” said David. “You learn so many life skills, and being an Eagle Scout is something I will have for the rest of my life. Just stick with it and never give up. You can keep doing it while sports, too.”
Justin’s goal was to earn his Eagle rank his freshman year so he could continue serving his troop throughout high school, take a leadership role with the younger scouts and continue to take part in high adventure expeditions. This summer he will complete the last of three scouting high adventures offered with a strenuous 10-day hiking trip at Philmont Ranch, NM.
His Eagle project involved removing decaying arbors at Queen of Angels Catholic School and replacing them with four stone paths leading to plaques engraved with the Mysteries of the Rosary. Justin picked this project because he wanted to give back to the school he went to for nine years. Fellow scouts, friends, neighbors and family helped him on his project with his biggest challenge being managing his workforce, making sure everyone had a job to do and understood their roles.
According to Justin, Scouts have presently him with a tremendous opportunity to grow. “Being an Eagle and earning my Bronze Palm I believe shows my dedication and follow through to whatever I am trying to accomplish,” said Justin. “I am currently working on my Silver Palm and it is becoming harder to find time to meet requirements, but I am setting goals. There is always something more to learn.”
Justin’s advice to those looking to become an Eagle Scout is that they should do for themselves not to just “check a college box.” “If you are only doing it to make someone else happy you won’t really learn anything. It can feel like an endless process but it is worth all you put in it. And don’t be afraid to ask for guidance from your scoutmaster or parents,” he said.
If you know of any others at BT who have earned an Eagle Scout, please contact the communications office at firstname.lastname@example.org