This past summer, I completed the final step in the lengthy process to become an Eagle Scout. I crossed over from Cub Scouts to Boy Scouts in fifth grade with ten classmates.
By David Schindler
This past summer, I completed the final step in the lengthy process to become an Eagle Scout. I crossed over from Cub Scouts to Boy Scouts in fifth grade with ten classmates. Now, seven years later, only one classmate and I have stayed with Scouting to reach the rank of Eagle Scout. Only 6 percent of Scouts actually become Eagle Scouts due to the time and dedication required to finish the process.
For over a decade, Scouting has been an extremely positive aspect of my life, and I’ve learned so much along the way. I think it’s a shame it has declined over the past few years countrywide, because as Scouts move up in the ranks higher by achieving numerous merit badges, they learn concepts that will help them be successful later in life.
There are over 100 merit badges, and they cover an enormous range of skills and activities. The 21 merit badges required for the rank of Eagle Scout are particularly useful — Emergency Preparedness, First Aid, Personal Finance, Communications, and Cooking — and they are skills that I would not necessarily have learned or perfected without Scouting.
Another really important part of Scouting is its focus on leadership. According to the Boy Scouts of America, 191 members of Congress participated in Boy Scouts, 39 of whom became Eagle Scouts. Eighteen current Governors were a part of Scouting, and four of them achieved the rank of Eagle Scout. To move to a higher rank, Scouts must hold leadership positions, and, as Scouts grow older, the positions increase in responsibility. Scouts learn how to lead by example and be patient while teaching others.
The completion of my Eagle Project was the most impactful part of my time in Boy Scouts. I was tasked with refurbishing the arbor garden at Rye Presbyterian Church, a project that took over 300 hours with help from fellow Scouts, friends, and a few adults. In addition to pulling out large, overgrown bushes and replacing them with over 40 smaller bushes and plants, I also built two new benches for the garden. It was a large undertaking.
I would like to thank Reverend Dan Love and the Church landscaper, Joe Alfredo, for their assistance with the project.
In an era of technology, it is important to be able to learn valuable new hands-on skills. I encourage young boys in Rye to consider joining Rye Troop 2. It is a great organization that meets Tuesday nights at 7:30 at Rye Presbyterian Church.