Of the 21 million boys ages 10 to 19 in the United States, only ¼ of 1% (about 54,000) become Eagle Scouts in any given year. Alright, so maybe that doesn’t equal one in a million, but Eagle Scouts truly stand out from their peers.
Why is that a big deal?
Being an Eagle Scout means something. To get there a boy has to earn badges in 21 different disciplines including Citizenship in the community, in the world and in the nation, Personal Management, Environmental Science and Sustainability, Life Saving, Personal Fitness, Emergency Preparedness, Family Life and more. He also completes a major community service project designed to demonstrate his leadership and organization skills.
Each advancement in rank requires a board of review similar to a job interview. Boy Scouts learn how to speak up for themselves in the presence of adults while maintaining respect for others. They learn to think critically as they discuss the direction of the troop, its successes and its opportunities for improvement. They learn to lead, to serve, and to work as a team.
Eagle scouts get accepted to college and hired in jobs over equally qualified candidates because colleges and employers know the type of training inherent in achieving the Eagle rank. They know an Eagle Scout stands apart from other boys in his character, his experiences, his training, and his reliability.
Our son attained the Eagle rank last summer after 12 years in scouting. Last night we attended a banquet for new Eagle Scouts. I looked around at the adult Eagle Scouts and the many men who came as career sponsors for the new Eagle Scouts and saw men of integrity, dignity, dedication, and commitment. It was a gathering of high achievers: lawyers, accountants, Marine lieutenants, plastic surgeons, business owners, music professors, law enforcement officers, and many, many more.
Every boy there was sponsored by an adult who agreed to mentor the Eagle Scout in his chosen career. These men go out of their way to provide connections, support, encouragement and guidance because they know the character of boys who attain Eagle. They know they are mentoring the best of the best. Eagle Scouts go on to impact their communities; they become leaders who serve others.
I am proud of my boy. I am proud of the man he is becoming thanks in large part to his scouting experience. I am also incredibly thankful to all the hundreds of devoted volunteers who spend countless hours making scouting the best experience it can be for our boys. They are making a difference. Thank you all.
Scouting benefits every boy it touches. It gives direction and purpose to previously bored kids. It opens their eyes to a wide world of opportunities and experiences. It builds character, good citizenship and healthy bodies. Look into scouting for your son. You won’t regret it.