Boy Scouts

Community service is a component of earning the Eagle rank. 

Dan Hunt recalls a Scouting-related conversation with a corporate client: “He found out I was an Eagle Scout, and we had a tighter bond.”

The president of HunTel Communications corrects himself: “It’s not ‘was’ an Eagle Scout. I am an Eagle Scout.”

Hunt says he’s proud to carry Scouting’s highest honor with him. So is John Shores, regional director for Farmer Brothers Coffee. Shores includes the achievement on his resume.

“I’ve had people suggest I remove it. I’ve kept it there because it’s so important to me.”

Earning the rank of Eagle Scout sends a powerful message, says Chris Mehaffey, Scout executive for the Mid-America Council in Omaha. “It immediately sets you apart. It shows perseverance, leadership. It shows you can work collaboratively with others. You’re goal-oriented.”

An independent study conducted by Baylor University found that Eagle Scouts, when compared to men who weren’t involved in Scouting, were more likely to have higher levels of planning and preparation skills, be goal-oriented, network with others, volunteer, and serve in leadership capacities at work or in their community.

Shores says his Eagle honor and Scouting, in general, helped him become more considerate and adaptable. He leads a Scouting troop of 120 and a professional team of 75. “At the end of the day, I lead people and I lead change.”

Eagle Scouts are required to earn 21 merit badges in such areas as communication, first aid, personal fitness and citizenship in the community. In addition, Scouts working toward their Eagle serve in a leadership role in their troops, live the Scout Oath and Scout Law, and complete a service project that benefits a religious organization, school or community.

Just 4% of all Scouts — 50,000 worldwide and 300 locally — become Eagle Scouts each year, according to Mehaffey. Eagle Scouts grow up to be lawyers, electricians, physicians and farmers. They’re also collegiate basketball coaches.

Former Creighton basketball coach Dana Altman says he enjoyed his time in Scouts. Working with his friends to earn their Eagle Scout was especially gratifying. “It still means a lot to me.”

Megan Wright has two children who are working to become Eagle Scouts. She says she has seen a transformation in both. The first area, she says, is that they are more active. The second pertains to leadership.

Ethan, who just finished eighth grade, is taking a leadership role in his former Cub Scout pack, helping to plan and run pack meetings. “He’s responsible for working out the details and putting them into action,” his mother says.

Sixteen-year-old Rebecca (girls were welcomed into Scouts BSA earlier this year) is gaining self-assurance. At first, she and her Scout mates were shy about taking the lead during activities, her mother says. “Now, they’re taking charge. They’re making all the decisions. The growth we’ve seen in them is amazing.”

Hunt says he applies the principles he learned in Scouting to his life — personally and professionally. He then recites the Scout Law: “A Scout is trustworthy, loyal, helpful, friendly, courteous, kind, obedient, cheerful, thrifty, brave, clean and reverent.”

“I still remember those 12 points. They mean something to me.”

LEARN MORE

Business and military leaders will discuss the merits of an Eagle rank at a Mother & Scout Eagle Brunch from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Aug. 10, at Soaring Wings Vineyard in Springfield. The event also will feature tips for staying track to earn an Eagle rank. For information or to register, contact Sherry Brady at sheryl.brady@scouting.org or 402-514-3029.

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