April 2, 2012

Happy 100th Birthday to the Eagle Scout Award

A little Boy Scouts of America (BSA) history lesson to start this post:
In April of 1912 Arthur Rose Eldred earned his 21st merit badge, finishing the requirements to earn BSA's first ever Eagle Scout Award. On August 21, Chief Scout Executive James E. West wrote to Arthur formally notifying him that he was the first to earn BSA's highest award. Because the dies for the award were not yet cast, Arthur received his award on Labor Day 1912.
Yes, that means the first Eagle Scout Award was earned in this month, 100 years ago. Exciting stuff, eh?
Well, to a fellow Eagle Scout, I think it's pretty cool.

In those 100 years, there have been over 83 million Boy Scouts, and a little over 2 million have reached the point of earning their Eagle Scout Award. That's about 2.4% of those joining BSA.

So what does being an Eagle Scout mean?
It means you accomplished several tasks before turning 19 years-old, including:
  • Earning at least 21 merit badges.
    • 12 are required, ranging from topics such as camping, environmental science, first aid, citizenship in the world, and family life.
  • Coordinating and completing a special project which benefits the community.

Reaching the rank of Eagle Scout is something that very few accomplish on their own.
Scoutmasters, family, and friends play an integral part of the Scout's progression and learning.

I know that my mom and dad pushed (and sometimes pulled) me to get mine, and it came down to the wire just before I turned 19. In the final interview, I nearly didn't pass because I got all flustered and couldn't remember how to tie a couple of the knots. Thankfully the reviewers let it slide (phew!).

But I got it done and looking back I'm very glad that I did.
I still proudly wear my Scouting shirt and sash
Halloween 2011
The Cub and Boy Scout programs taught me a great deal about various subjects and also about interacting with other people. Many of my best friends were in my troops, so we solidified friendships on camp-outs, at weekly meetings, doing service projects, and working on merit badge requirements together.

Congratulations to all the other Eagle Scouts out there, and let's show our appreciation for the BSA and 100 years of the Eagle Scout Award!

No comments:

Post a Comment