Once an Eagle, always an Eagle

Boy Scout reveals impact membership has made

Photo+illustration

Photo by Dawson Kelley

Photo illustration

Story by Caleb Snow, staff writer

No one ever said it would be easy. That is why the mountain is tall, and though many climb it, few will ever make it to the top.  

My dad forced me into the Scouting program when I was 11. From my perspective then, being a Boy Scout was just doing a lot of work learning skills that I would never need. Little did I know, becoming an Eagle Scout would change my life.

In my Scouting career, there was nothing I despised more than summer camps. I could handle skills, campouts or community service, but spending a week during the dead of summer out in the middle of nowhere only to add a few merit badges to your sash was really scraping the bottom of the barrel for me.

In time, however, I came to see it differently. It wasn’t that I grew to like summer camp–quite the opposite actually–but it taught me to never quit. You shouldn’t quit something simply because it’s hard or you don’t like it. When I realized this, I resolved to push on through future camps with a smile on my face and a good attitude. Life isn’t about how bad it is where you’re at; it’s about how great it’ll be where you’re going.

I learned that things like putting in work at summer camp isn’t fun, but they’re for the purpose of greater achievements down the road, like becoming an Eagle Scout. If you quit and give up when the going gets tough, what will you ever accomplish?

For my Eagle Project, I had to raise funds and appropriate them according to what I needed to accomplish the project within its timeline. The project is the last requirement before becoming an Eagle, but in doing it, you are on your own. I had support from friends and family, but it was up to me to coordinate with local businesses, handle the money, create a plan and secure approval from the school I was doing it for.

Though I made mistakes along the way, I took away from the project how to handle myself in a respectable manner around professionals, pitch a sale to raise money for a cause, and lead volunteers to serve the community. Completing my project made me mature as a person in how I carried myself and interacted with others.

Just weeks ago I stood at the podium during my final Court of Honor, delivering a short speech before I was to be officially recognized as an Eagle Scout. Looking back over the years of commitment, through good times and bad, I find myself thinking that I wouldn’t trade it for the world. My journey up the mountain to being an Eagle made me who I am today, helped me mature, and taught me to never quit.