By Community Submission
Nov 10, 2017

What Makes A Boy Want To Be An Eagle Scout?

What makes a boy want to be an Eagle Scout? What is different about a Scout, and especially about an Eagle Scout? Why was the highest order of Scouting named after the emblem of our country, the national bird, THE EAGLE?

How an Eagle Scout is Like an Eagle

A majestic bald eagle staring into the distance.

Because the Eagle Scout, and the Eagle itself all represent an entity which has overcome obstacles, mastered skills, and gained strength. And through that strength, he has achieved the ultimate independence and freedom.

There is no real freedom without the skill and the strength to establish and maintain that freedom. An eagle becomes free by breaking the shell of its egg into an existence high on a cliff. There it is exposed to sun, wind, storm, and all manner of predators and elements.

It gains mastery of these circumstances by developing the physical attributes and skills necessary to become totally self-supporting and respected in a harsh and adverse environment.

A boy soon senses the same type of differences between the untrained boy and the Scout who has not given in and drifted with the tide, but who has determined to learn of the world he finds himself in, and to master the skills and build the strengths he needs to not only live in that world but to be a leader in it. The learning process becomes the ultimate and the Scout achieves his Eagle award.

A Scream of Freedom

While the years ahead will add strength, polish, and experience, he has already achieved an astonishing height. He has achieved this height by building it from the principles which have guided and will continue to guide him to even greater heights.

The Eagle fully understands that his piercing scream can safely be called out in this world. It is a notice to every living thing within the range of that unforgettable sound; that he has achieved strength and reigns triumphant over his domain.

Just like the eagle, the Eagle Scout can also understand that he has achieved and has earned his own right to freedom through strength. And thus has sounded his own Eagle scream or freedom song.

How Scouting Changed My Life

An Eagle Scout standing next to the United States Capitol Building in Washington, D.C.

I began my journey to become an Eagle Scout many years ago but was called upon to serve my country in WWII. As a result, I never got the chance to achieve my goal.

However, many years later I was given the opportunity to serve as a Scoutmaster in my ward. With my limited experience, it was a major challenge. I struggled through and began to see changes in the boys in my troop.

When two of them became Eagle Scouts and others later followed I was greatly gratified. Later, I had a new relationship with Scouting when I became Bishop and had to choose a new leader. Fortunately, my choice was good and the troop continued to produce excellent results.

My ultimate joy in Scouting came as my own four sons, one at a time also became Eagle Scouts. They sounded their eagle scream as they grew along their journey to become Eagle Scouts. I am so thankful for the influence Scouting has had on my own, and my family’s lives, and I hope it continues in every boy’s life.


By Norley Hall

An eagle soars on rising wind,

And views his vast domain

Nothing escapes his vigilant mind,

Through dust, sun, mist or rain.


His nest clings strong to lofty crag

With keen and watchful eye,

He screams his loud defiant song.

T’is freedom’s lusty cry.


How like the eagle we should be,

This emblem of our land

Could we not train our eyes to see,

Beyond the mundane strand?


Could we not live in lofty height,

Above the worldy mire?

And soar with vigilance and might,

On wings that never tire?


Can it be done, though harsh the life,

With opposition strong?

Yes! We can rise above the strife,

If freedom stays our song.

An Eagle soaring high above the clouds.

Author: Norley Hall | Norley joined Scouting as a young man and he quickly rose to the rank of First Class. Due to the circumstances facing the nation, Hall was called upon to serve in WWII. Years after the war he served as a Scoutmaster and rekindled his love for Scouting. Today, his four sons have all earned their Eagle Scout Awards.

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