There’s only one award from my childhood that I still list on my résumé.
It isn’t “Honorable Mention, fourth-grade Science Fair,” and it’s definitely not “Participant, junior-senior talent show.”
It’s the Eagle Scout award, that instantly recognizable achievement I share with more than 2.1 million men out there.
Turning the calendar to August this morning got me thinking about Scouting’s highest honor. It was 100 years ago this month that Arthur Eldred became the first young man to earn Eagle.
In other words, the monthlong party begins today! Here are 10 ways to celebrate:
1 – Watch and learn
The video below, first shown at the National Annual Meeting, commemorates the occasion:
2 – Hear from some famous Eagles
You could spend all day going through this list of men who earned Eagle (or this one) and then went on to fame, fortune, and/or political success.
I have written blog posts on a few of these famous Eagle Scouts:
- Mike Rowe (right), Ford pitchman and host of Dirty Jobs
- Pip Arnold, contestant on the second season of NBC’s The Voice
- Twins Grant and Ross James, members of Team USA’s eight-man rowing crew at the 2012 Olympics
- Merrill Moses, goalkeeper for Team USA’s Water Polo team at the 2012 Olympics
- Andy Lewis, who slacklined with Madonna at the 2012 Super Bowl
- Pat Gillick, pro baseball Hall of Famer
- Alvin Townley, author of two books about Eagle Scouts
3 – Check the facts
This special infographic offers visual evidence that Eagle Scouts have had a tremendous impact on society.
4 – Study up!
If you’re the kind of person who needs proof that Eagle Scouts are awesome, check out this Baylor study that shows 46 ways Eagle Scouts are different from non-Scouts or Scouts who didn’t earn Eagle.
5 – Get the picture
Joseph Csatari’s latest painting celebrates “100 Years of Eagle Scouts.” Take a look, and then order your own copy for $60 to $300, depending on whether you want it on paper or canvas.
6 – Wear it with pride
Unless you work for the BSA, you might not get away with wearing your Scout uniform to work all month. But you can still show others that you’re a proud Eagle (or a proud dad or mom of one) by wearing an Eagle Scout medal or pin with your normal office attire. This ScoutStuff page has all the Eagle Scout stuff organized in one spot.
7 – Prepare for your next Eagle ceremony
Is your son or another boy in your troop just a few steps away from Eagle? You might find something helpful in one of these posts:
- Learn how to request congratulatory letters for your Eagle Scout
- Find easy-to-use ideas for Eagle Scout Courts of Honor
- Check out great ideas for Eagle Scout service projects
- Look at the special badge for Scouts who earn Eagle in 2012
8 – Take part in a friendly debate
Are boys who earn Eagle at age 13 or 14 too young? Read what other Scouters say, and add your thoughts on the matter.
9 – Join NESA
If you’re an Eagle Scout but aren’t a member of the National Eagle Scout Association, you’re missing out.
Learn more about joining NESA and the benefits of doing so.
10 – Leave a legacy
Perhaps the best way of all to celebrate this month’s special anniversary is through an Eagle Scout-related Good Turn. Here are a few ideas:
- Help a Life Scout plan his final steps toward Eagle
- Recruit your family to lend a hand at an Eagle Scout service project
- Donate or lend tools and supplies for an Eagle project
- Make a financial contribution to NESA
- Recruit some “future Eagles” (Cub Scouts, Webelos Scouts, young Boy Scouts)
What do you think?
How will you celebrate the 100th Anniversary of the Eagle Scout Award? If you’re an Eagle Scout, what does the honor mean to you? If you’re the parent of a current (or future) Eagle Scout, what makes the award relevant in today’s society? Leave your thoughts below!
Photo of the Eagle Scout cake is by Flickr user JDierking Photography.