Monday night I had the pleasure of sitting down with a young man and talking with him about his up coming Eagle Board of Review. The Scoutmaster conference went well.. but then again, shouldn’t it? After all this is his seventh conference, he has completed all the work and at seventeen years old, the Scout is pretty much used to talking to me.
We discussed his application and made sure all the paper work was in order. We talked about how the board of review would go and things that I thought would help him articulate his goals to the board. We spent a little time talking about some of the types of questions that might be asked, but by and large it was a time for me to just sit and talk with a young man that has become an Eagle Scout.
In my post on becoming an Eagle at 13 I received a comment from “the other Scoutmaster Jerry”. In his comment he states “I hear a lot of noise about A, B, or C type Eagles, but have never met an Eagle that did not, at some point of his life, own up to his accomplishment. All Eagles will eventually realize that they are living their life by twelve words.” And I agree with this.. this is the hope of every Scoutmaster I think. As we sit and talk with a Scout during that Scoutmaster Conference, even for the ranks leading up to Eagle, it is my hope that one day they will be good men. Men that live the Oath and Law in their daily lives. After all, earning the Eagle award is not about a patch, right? It is about accomplishment, achievement, and leadership. It is about becoming one that is worthy of the honor. It really is about what you become.
I still can not answer the age question, and you know, I guess I don’t have to.. the BSA has answered it for me, and while I can have an opinion. It is not about me.. it is a young man becoming an Eagle Scout, further, becoming a valued member of the community.
Monday night as I put pen to a good Scouts book and initialed the completion of his Scoutmaster Conference, I asked him what he thought his obligation would be as an Eagle Scout. He spoke about giving back, about living up to the reputation of what it means to be an Eagle Scout. I thought that was interesting. We talked about what the public knows about Scouting. They know we camp and they know Eagle Scout. That is for certain. They will talk about helping old ladies across the street and they will have an understanding of the values that are learned through the Oath and Law. But when you talk about Eagle Scouts they immediately know that it is special.
As I have grown as a Scoutmaster, I too have a better understanding about what it means to become an Eagle Scout.. no matter the age, I think that by and large Jerry is right, they grow into the responsibility, they develop a stronger consciousness about what it means to wear the highest honor in Boy Scouts, and they try to live up to it. Do they stumble, sure, but deep inside being an Eagle Scout is something that can never be taken away and will always be a part of their lives.
I am proud of our Scouts that achieve this honor, it makes me even happier to know that they have earned it and have become an Eagle Scout.
Have a Great Scouting Day!