“Eagle Scout is the highest advancement rank in Boy Scouting. Since 1912 more than two million Boy Scouts have earned the Eagle Scout rank. In the words of the Eagle Scout Promise, Eagles do their best each day to make their training an example, their rank and their influence count strongly for better Scouting and for better citizenship in their troop, in their community, and in their contacts with other people. To this, they pledge their sacred honor.”
Martin Tyner and his golden eagle, Scout, from the Southwest Wildlife Foundation were on hand to explain and demonstrate the characteristics of, and what it means to be, an eagle. Martin provided an opportunity for each recipient to have his photo taken with Scout.
Lincoln Nadauld, the current Scoutmaster in Troop 1806, paid tribute to those parents, mentors, and adult leaders who have been involved in the lives of each of the young men. He also sprinkled humor in his comments to the scouts and their families and guests: “16 Eagle Scouts is quite a sight! I have estimated a few statistics that characterize these Eagle Scouts: 112 rank advancements; 336 merit badges; 320 camping nights (the majority of which were sleepless); nearly 1000 miles ridden on bikes; 200 pots of mountain man hash eaten; over 500 miles hiked on foot; 3000 sleeves of Oreo cookies eaten; thousands of pushups and sit-ups; collectively, they have grown nearly 200 inches in height; between them, they have caught nearly a half dozen fish! And they have a lifetime of memories.”
Lincoln further shared that “We camp 10 months a year, 15 nights annually; they have been all over the place: Zion National Park, Brian Head mountain, Cedar Mountain, Hoover Dam, Boulder Mountain, the Nevada desert, Pine Valley, Lake Powell, Snow Canyon, Panguitch Lake, Cathedral Gorge, Lake Mead and others; we have waterskied, hiked, camped, fished, played games, laughed, and shared expressions of faith. What an experience!”
Then their Scoutmaster asked some rhetorical questions: “What is the point of all this? What is it all for?” And he answered his own questions: “I think there are three major lessons that I can see each young man has learned that has made all of this worthwhile:
1. “They have learned how to complete assignments and thereby achieve goals [such as]: Cooking dinner (in the out of doors), Washing dishes, Getting blue cards [signifying completion of Merit Badge requirements] signed, Setting up and taking down tents, Planning service projects, Filling out paperwork, [and] Getting a project across the finish line.
2. “They have learned leadership and service: They serve as quartermasters, camp cooks, patrol leaders, senior patrol leaders, secretaries, and buglers. Every boy has a leadership position–leadership is a skill that not every young man has an opportunity to learn in his youth! Learning service: getting outside yourself and thinking of others might be the single most important gift of scouting. These young men each planned and carried out their own Eagle Service Project, but before that, they completed 6 hours of service for each rank advancement (~50 hours of service beyond their eagle project). Serving others teaches selflessness—an incomparable quality to learn.
3. “They have learned that they are loved: Behind each one of these 16 Eagle Scout awards is a devoted mother who did not let her foot off the pedal. And, each has a father who stood as an example to these boys. And, in addition to the love they see from their parents, each young man sees that there are dozens of leaders who love them. Feeling loved allows these young men to love others in turn.”
In conclusion, he affirmed: “We all love you, we are cheering for you!”
Author: Paul Graf | Snow Canyon District Commissioner and Troop 1806 Committee Chairman