Once you turn 18, you’re no longer eligible to earn the Eagle Scout rank (unless you qualify for a special-needs extension).
But the honorary — and, it must be said, completely fictional — “Bald Eagle Scout” rank has no such age limit.
Joe Kita, a former Cub Scout who left Scouting after Webelos, wanted to earn the honor that eluded him as a youth. So the Men’s Health writer, now a middle-aged man, embarked on the journey to become a “Bald Eagle Scout.”
He visited Camp Minsi in Pennsylvania and teamed up with Minsi Trails Council Troop 1600 to get a taste of the challenging journey to Scouting’s highest honor.
Then he wrote about it. His story is chronicled in the March 2015 issue of Men’s Health, a magazine with a total audience of 13 million. He also tells what he learned in a BSA-produced video you can watch below.
The video and story were first posted at Scouting Wire, which offers this suggestion for how to use the story: “Use this video to tell the Eagle Scout story and invite adults to turn regrets into opportunities by volunteering. Also, the video is a great way to show parents how Scouting makes the most of the little time they have to impact their children.”
My favorite quote from the video
My favorite moment in the video was when Kita recounted a trip down the Scout Law trail at Camp Minsi. Those 12 words, each posted on its own sign, really resonated with him. And he thinks parents should take note.
“Do you want your child to be honest? Trustworthy? Reverent? Do you want him to be a leader?” Kita asks. “So you can almost walk that parent down that path and say do you want your son to grow up to be this and this and this? Of course they’ll say yes to each one. But then I would ask them how are you teaching, or how is your son being taught those values?”
Scouting, of course, is the answer.
Watch the Bald Eagle Scout video
Would you want to become a Bald Eagle Scout?
Did you miss out on earning the Eagle Scout rank as a youth? Did Kita’s story resonate with you? Leave a comment below with your thoughts.