What are the odds? They have the same name, patrol, birthday, Eagle board date

Andrew Buchanan (left) and Andrew Nelson
Andrew Buchanan (left) and Andrew Nelson aren't related, but they have a whole lot in common.

Each year, about 6% of eligible Scouts become Eagle Scouts. Zoom out to consider the entire population of Scout-age youth in the United States, and that percentage drops to about 0.3%.

So yes, becoming an Eagle Scout is extremely rare. (When you look at the award’s challenging requirements, it’s easy to see why.)

But what are the odds that a single Scouts BSA patrol would have two young men with the same name and same birthdate earn the Eagle Scout Award on the exact same day?

That unlikely scenario played out earlier this year in Troop 120 of Mill Creek, Wash., part of the BSA’s Mount Baker Council.

On Feb. 6, 2020, Life Scouts Andrew Buchanan and Andrew Nelson each passed his Eagle Scout board of review and officially earned the highest award in Scouts BSA.

Andrew and Andrew are members of the Sparta Patrol. They were born on the same date: March 6, 2002.

Meet Andrew … and Andrew

For his Eagle project, Andrew Nelson repainted a faded world map on an elementary school playground in Mill Creek, Wash.

He calls his Scouting journey “long and fun.”

“It truly means a lot to me because of the friends I have met, the badges I’ve completed and the experiences that I have gained through my years of Scouting,” he says. “The morals of Scouting have helped me become the person I have wanted to become.”

For his Eagle project, Andrew Buchanan replaced an aging playground at a local airport in Snohomish, Wash.

He calls his Scouting journey “extremely valuable.”

“It has taught me that in order to gain something you want, you must be prepared to put in the work that it takes to achieve it,” he says. “I feel that Scouting has taught me what the true definition of persistence and hard work is.”

From left: Andrew Buchanan, Adam De Paolis and Andrew Nelson
From left: Andrew Buchanan, Adam De Paolis and Andrew Nelson

A noteworthy postscript

Just to make things a couple of degrees more interesting, there was actually another Troop 120 Scout who passed his Eagle Scout board of review that night last month.

And his name also starts with the letter A.

For his Eagle project, Adam De Paolis designed and installed trail markers for his heavily wooded neighborhood.

“My Scouting journey prepared me for life by teaching me the skills that school and other institutions simply could not provide,” Adam says. “Skills such as leadership, effective communication and budgeting — all of which are crucial in both the professional world and everyday life.”

Congratulations, Andrew, Andrew and Adam! That’s an A-plus effort right there.

About Bryan Wendell 2988 Articles
Bryan Wendell, an Eagle Scout, is the founder of Bryan on Scouting and a contributing writer.