Eagle Scout Speech
I would like to thank everyone for coming today. Scouting is a wonderful experience. You get lifetime friendships. You get opportunities to do things that some people will never get to do. So why not take that opportunity? Young people these days may think that Scouting is stupid; well, I have done amazing things that they would never have thought of doing. So I am very glad that Jacob Brooke invited me to Webelos and got me into Scouting. I will tell you now my brothers only wanted to do the outdoors stuff but not the merit badge work or go to meetings. They thought it would not be fun. But the first meeting they went to, they signed up! I was one of those kids who wanted to try Scouting, and it is just an all-around great program.
All of you Scouts out there who have not earned your Eagle --don’t stop striving towards it, because I am telling you from experience it is a great honor and feeling to be an Eagle Scout. The trail is very hard, but you have to keep going even when it is tough.
I think all of those who have been to Philmont would agree with me that the Philmont trek and the Scouting trail are very similar. Your first few days on the trail at Philmont are 2-mile short days; they do it so you can get used to the altitude. Then each day after that gets a little harder. Then the last day for us at least was hiking the Tooth of Time to 14,000 feet, which is like earning your Eagle rank. When you are on top of the Tooth looking over the prairie, you can see for miles and miles away. When you earn your Eagle, you look back and see all of the great times you had in Scouting. Then when you get off the trail, you are so happy to see a flushed toilet, real food, and soda. It’s just great! In Scouting you make some great friends, same at Philmont – and you learn things about your crew members that you would have never thought of. Just like a shotgun of humming birds. In Scouting, I have had a great time camping and seeing friends, it’s just incredible. I have seen every corner of Scouting, by going on four high adventures, and winter camping, plus Camp Geiger, the COPE course, and Mic-o-Say. I wish all Scouts had the same opportunities that I had. I’ve learned that you should not burn the trash until you are sure you didn’t throw away the dessert packet, and how cold it is in Minnesota when I forgot my sleeping bag, and how to launch water balloons 50 feet into the next campsite, and how to build a fire all night long for Mic-o-Say.
Probably the best thing that has happened to me was being a troop guide -- because you have to know all of the scouting skills all the time. I pretty much have the Scout book memorized -- back to front. So I can teach those Scouts the skills every week with the first years.
If I could give one piece of advice to the younger scouts here today, it would be: Step out of your comfort zone and try to achieve more, be that over achiever. Because if it’s not you – then who will step up and be a leader? So do your best to volunteer, take the lead, and help people. Because the people you help will help you when you need it most.
Now the moment you have been all waiting for -- the Mentor Pin. Some Eagle Scouts will give a Mentor pin. But the decision was a very hard one, I must say, because there were a lot of people who helped me along the way. Because of that, I decided not to give a Mentor pin, and instead say “Thanks” to all the adult leaders in Troop 216 who volunteer and come every week to help us.
This has been a day that I have been waiting for. Thank you for all of those people who have helped me along the way. Thank you all for being here today, it means a lot to me for your support.
I would like to leave you with a quote from Baden-Powell that talks about being prepared:
“A scout is never taken by surprise; he knows exactly what to do when anything unexpected happens.”