It’s hard to believe that I look forward to getting paper on my desk- Not all paper, but I really look forward to the completed Eagle Scout applications that arrive on my desk for approval- By the time the application makes it to my desk, an Eagle candidate has earned at least 21 merit badges, shown leadership, Scout spirit and completed a BIG Eagle Scout community service project too. The project isn’t about hours of manual labor, it’s about showing leadership, guiding other people (both Scouts and non-scouts, youth and adults) It’s about planning, recruiting, and organizing. In addition, these young men have completed a conference with their Scoutmaster, and letters of reference from school, community, employers, and religious leaders are reviewed by a group of Business and Community leaders. We call this process a Board of Review.

The Eagle Candidates also need to reflect and write about their future ambitions and life purpose. Regardless of the work of the day, the pile on the desk, or the appointments, I take the time to read Requirement #6 on the Eagle rank application that in part reads: Attach to this application a statement of your ambitions and life purpose and a listing of positions…

The other day while reading one Eagle candidate’s letter, I had to pause- It’s too easy to talk about the Outcomes of participating in Scouting, the tenure, and the value of the program—Here was a young man that articulated what it is all about. I quote from his letter “One value that Boy Scouts has given me is the value of Service. Service will always be part of my future. There is something very special to me about helping others who aren’t as fortunate as myself. I’m not sure what kind of service my life will lead me to, but I am certain that I will find some service that suits what I am looking for. I have already been to a service trip to Haiti and am going on another service trip to Guatemala in August.”

Scouting is at the forefront of developing tomorrows leaders- There’s no question about that, and is shown at every level of the program. These Eagle Scouts are a special bunch, a special club of men that have achieved Scouting’s pinnacle. I am proud to be in that club too. Once an Eagle, always an Eagle.

Are you an Eagle Scout? Let me know. I also know some great former Scouts that I playfully call the “One short Club”- Any Life Scouts out there or any Scout alumni that want to share their great Scouting experiences. I look forward to hearing from you.


2 thoughts on “Service Learning has been around for 100 years!

  1. Mick Wagner
    October 5, 2009 at 6:41 pm

    Proud to be an Eagle Scout: “Class of ‘1971”, Troop 182, First United Methodist church, Jamestown. I was kind of crushed to find out that my old troop has “gone dark” since I left ND – it was once one of the oldest in the old RRV Council, and the largest in Jamestown. I wish I knew what happened to it. Oh well, everything changes.
    // //
    Mick Wagner
    Unit Commissioner, Thunderbird District
    Cascade Pacific Council, BSA

  2. Tim Heyer
    October 15, 2009 at 11:45 pm

    I am in the class of 1974 also from Jamestown Troop 182. It is sad that it no longer exists. Mr. Wagner (above) got a hold of my older brother who is also an Eagle Scout and told him a very touching story as it was told to me. Mr. Wagner was with his troop in Portland, cleaning up the Vet Cemetary for a community service project when he came across the headstone of his scoutmaster from Troop 182 in Jamestown. He brought the other scouts to the site and told them about his old scoutmaster. I am told that on Memorial Day they keep his gravesite clean. That scoutmaster was my father. Thanks Mickey.