Rare birds

Boy Scouts serve community through unique Eagle Scout projects

Duncan MacKenzie | Staff Writer

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Soaring high is what Eagles are prepared to do.

For over 100 years, the Boy Scouts of America has helped build the future leaders of our country, preaching the motto, “Be Prepared”. The most determined and persevering scouts make it to the organization’s highest rank, the Eagle Scout. But it’s not just the week long hikes or three-day canoe trips that Eagle Scouts become prepared for, it’s a lifetime of success.

A recent study by the BSA reports that Eagle Scouts are 55 percent more likely to report having held leadership positions in their workplace and 76 percent more likely to report having held leadership positions in their community than someone who was never in Boy Scouts.

Since its beginning, over 2 million young men have achieved this rank, but according to BSA, these 2 million represent only 4 percent of men who were Boy Scouts. To achieve this award, Boy Scouts must fulfill a list of requirements, including earning 21 merit badges, serving six months in a troop leadership position, and developing a service project for any religious organization or school community.

Senior Daniel Eichler built two giant 9×9 chess boards at the Mason Intermediate School to earn his Eagle. As a Mason Intermediate student, Eichler was dissatisfied with the options that he had during recess. Thanks to him, the Intermediate students can now exercise their bodies and minds. According to Eichler, the hard work that he put into his project reflects what being an Eagle Scout means.

“As an Eagle Scout, you work really hard for something and you want to help other people out in the community,” Eichler said. “You want to make things better for everyone else.”

When someone makes things better for everyone else, everyone notices. According to junior Andy Carroll, the respect that the Eagle Scout award captivates is one of his main motivations for achieving the award.

“I’m motivated by the effects (being an Eagle Scout) will have on me for the rest of my life,” Carroll said. “It’s something that I can put on my resume when I’m 60 years old. An Eagle Scout shows employers that they are able to do things that other people can’t.”

Carroll is currently working on his project, striving to be in the 4 percent who make it to Eagle. Early this spring, Carroll will be painting outdoor murals at the Crossroads Church of Mason, which he says is an activity like no other.

“Other activities and experiences can’t give you the leadership, communication, or responsibility that an Eagle Scout can give you,” Carroll said.

There are many ways that an Eagle project can give back to the community. No two projects are exactly alike. For his project, junior Justin Koehler built dog beds for the SPCA in Sharonville. Koehler’s definition of an Eagle Scout can be seen in the rules that the organization follows.

“Being an Eagle Scout is a list of characteristics that you need to have,” Koehler said. “In Boy Scouts, we follow a set of something called Boy Scout Law that says a scout is trustworthy, loyal, helpful, friendly, courteous, kind, obedient, cheerful, thrifty, brave, clean and reverent. I think that an Eagle Scout resembles those characteristics and other morals in their everyday lives. They’re an example of a good citizen and leader in society.”