2012′s Eagles are the only ones who can wear this 100th Anniversary patch.
For Eagle Scouts and their fans, 2012 was the gift that keeps on giving.
We spent all year celebrating the 100th Anniversary of Arthur Rose Eldred becoming the first Eagle Scout. We got scientific evidence of what I’m calling “the Eagle Scout effect.”
And now, just this morning, comes news that more boys earned Eagle in 2012 than in any year in the award’s history.
A whopping 57,976 new Eagle Scouts joined the ranks last year, surpassing the previous high mark of 56,176 in 2010.
The 2012 total represents a 12.6 percent increase over the size of 2011′s class (51,473).
To me, a record-setting Eagle class is proof that Scouting remains alive and well as we settle into the movement’s second century. And it represents the nationwide impact of nearly 58,000 young men who know what honor, loyalty, and hard work really mean. Not to mention nearly 58,000 Eagle service projects that improved countless communities. The way I see it, the world could use a few more Eagle Scouts.
So here’s to 2012′s Eagle Scouts — and to 2013′s, 2014′s, and so on. Let’s keep that number growing.
For Scouts and Scouters, 2012 had plenty of ups — and a couple of downs.
We welcomed changes: new merit badges, new Eagle Scout requirements, a new Chief Scout Executive, and a new high-adventure base in West Virginia, to name a few.
We celebrated 100 years of the Eagle Scout award and learned 46 ways that Eagle Scouts are different from non-Eagles.
We mourned together when news broke that two of the young victims of the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting were Tiger Cubs.
And we healed together when superstorm Sandy struck close to home for some Scout units on the East Coast.
I tried to chronicle these important BSA happenings throughout the year here on Bryan on Scouting through 229 new posts. I’m thankful for readers like you who contributed to the 850,000 views in 2012. Statistically, it was the best year of the three full years I’ve been blogging about all things Scouting.
So thanks for helping me share what I found newsworthy, interesting, or fun.
But which of these posts caught your attention most this year? Let’s find out by revealing the 12 most-read blog posts of 2012, after the jump… Continue reading
How’s this for a busy life?
Quinn Alec Hoover, a 17-year-old from Hagerstown, Md., was an honor student, band member, soccer player, runner, award-winning Indian dancer, swimming instructor, church volunteer, and Life Scout.
He touched so many people during his life, and after his tragic death in March, he’s touched even more as an organ donor.
At the 124th Rose Parade on New Year’s Day, Quinn’s picture will be among 72 memorial floragraph portraits of deceased donors recognized on the Donate Life float, seen in an artist’s rendering above.
Read more about Quinn’s touching story after the jump… Continue reading
UPDATE (Dec. 10, 2012): Added mention of all of Manti’s impressive awards.
Manti Te’o is a brave, confident leader with an impressive collection of awards on his shelf. He’s comfortable in a uniform. He’s a loyal teammate.
But enough about his time in Scouting — I hear he’s pretty good at football, too.
Long before Manti became an All-American linebacker for top-ranked Notre Dame, he became an Eagle Scout.
And now that he’s piled up tons of awards for his play (see a partial list below) and is projected as a Top 10 pick in next year’s NFL Draft, he’s become a household name.
To fully grasp the ways in which Scouting prepared Manti for life, check out this excellent South Bend Tribune article from April. In it, the author describes a time early in Manti’s life where his character was tested. Continue reading
The road was twisted, dark and damp, but somewhere, somehow, there was always there to find, the lamp of life to guide you through life’s tricky game of chance.
Heartfelt poetry about overcoming hardships isn’t what you’d expect to hear at an Eagle Scout court of honor. That’s what made Billy Kleinknecht’s ceremony last weekend in Spokane, Wash., so special.
You see, Billy, a newly minted Eagle in Troop 130, was raised by his grandmother, Bonnie Ferrell. She signed Billy up for the Scouting program when he was little. She held his hand through Cub Scouts. She watched him progress and mature through each rank in Boy Scouts. And when he reached the pinnacle of the Scouting program, it was Bonnie who pinned the shiny Eagle Scout medal onto Billy’s chest.
Any Eagle Scout court of honor is special, but Bonnie and Billy’s story turned this one into “one of the most emotional ceremonies I have ever attended,” Tim McCandless, Inland Northwest Council Scout Executive, told me in an e-mail yesterday.
“For the ceremony, his grandmother wrote and read the attached poem which left nary a dry eye in the house,” Tim continues. “I thought that the poem might be valued by Scouting magazine readers. I have forwarded the poem and photos with Bonnie’s permission.”
The print product doesn’t publish poetry, but I do. I’ve pasted the complete poem after the jump. Take a look. Continue reading
When I announced that Cooking merit badge and the new Sustainability merit badge would join the Eagle-required list in 2013 and 2014, a lot of you had questions.
You asked about rollout plans, what happens with Scouts nearing the end of the Eagle trail, and an explanation of what will be covered under Sustainability merit badge. At the time, I was silent.
But today, courtesy of Advancement Team Leader Christopher Hunt, I’ve got some answers. Here they are:
UPDATE (11/1): Answers to some Frequently Asked Questions about these changes.
Beginning Jan. 1, 2014, this badge will get a silver border.
Moms and dads, prepare the needle and thread!
Sustainability and Cooking merit badges will join the list of Eagle-required merit badges over the next 14 months, the Boy Scouts of America’s National Executive Board announced today.
Sustainability, a new merit badge, will join Environmental Science as an Eagle Scout option after its debut at the 2013 jamboree.
Cooking, meanwhile, will become Eagle-required as of Jan. 1, 2014.
The total number of merit badges required for the Eagle Scout Award will remain at 21. In other words, instead of 12 Eagle-required badges and 9 elective badges, a Scout must earn 13 Eagle-required and 8 elective badges.
Why the change? The goal is to “reflect a better balance of the needs of youth and our nation today and in the future,” according to the BSA’s resolution. Personally, I like it. Keeping up with the ever-changing world means questioning the way things have always been done.
Sustainability becomes more important as our population increases while resources decrease. And a boy who reaches Eagle without skills in cooking and healthy eating habits hasn’t become fully “Prepared. For Life.” in my opinion. I think the BSA’s board got it right on here.
What do you think?
For the list of Eagle-required merit badges as it looks now — and as it will look in 2014 — follow the jump. Continue reading
Do you know an Eagle (or soon-to-be Eagle) who is graduating high school and entering college in 2013? The time has arrived for Eagle Scouts to apply for 2013 National Eagle Scout Association scholarships.
First, see who’s eligible for up to $446,000 in scholarships:
- An Eagle Scout having passed the board of review on or before Dec. 31, 2012.
- A graduating high-school senior (for academic and merit scholarships) or an undergraduate college student no later than completion of his junior year of college (for merit scholarships only).
- A NESA member.
The third requirement of NESA membership is new this year. If a new Eagle isn’t currently a NESA member, he must first join the organization to be considered for NESA scholarship. (Within the first six months of an Eagle Scout’s board of review, a “special” one-year NESA membership is $20.) Read more information on the varying membership levels, and register as a NESA member.
Investing in a NESA membership opens the door for an Eagle Scout to earn up to $446,000 in college scholarships.
The applications are now “live” at NESA.org. Applications are due Dec. 31, 2012.
See below for a full list of the available 2013 NESA scholarships. (And see who won the 2012 scholarships.)
Update July 17, 2013: The grants have returned for click here for details.
Consider it giving back to those who give back.
Lowe’s, the home-improvement giant with more than 1,700 stores, has teamed up with the BSA and local Scout councils to give selected Eagle Scout candidates a $100 prepaid gift card to be used toward their service projects.
Any Life Scout still in the planning phases of a construction-based Eagle Scout service project is eligible. In other words, if the Scout’s project requires supplies from, say, Lowe’s, it’s eligible.
Your local councils will actually award the money, and councils will get a certain number of awards based on a percentage of their three-year average for Eagle Scout Awards earned.
Here’s what you need to know: Continue reading
Forget that sit-down with the hiring supervisor at Subway. When it comes to life-changing interviews for a teenager, you can’t top the Eagle Scout Board of Review.
For some Scouts, the thought of answering a barrage of questions from adults is worse than a trip to the dentist.
Turns out, though, that the boy often isn’t the only nervous person in the room.
Here’s what Kathy, a Scouter from the Northeast, told me:
I’ve just been asked to sit on the Board of Review for one of my students, since I’ve known him since he was in the second grade. If I’m to ask questions, can you give me some insight as to what’s appropriate? I don’t want to look stupid.
Kathy’s certainly not the only one at a loss for words at a Board of Review. So I asked our Facebook friends for their go-to questions.
Here are 20 to try the next time you’re involved in this important final step on a boy’s journey to Eagle: Continue reading