Twins earn Eagle Scout Award on same day, but their journeys weren’t identical

From left: Jim, Claire, Bryce and Maria McEachen

They were born on the same day 15 years ago. And they earned their Eagle Scout Awards on the same night last October.

But for these two twins from Beavercreek, Ohio, that’s about where the similarities end.

Eagle Scouts Bryce and Claire McEachen of the Tecumseh Council prove that two young people born on the same day, raised in the same household and working on the same rank requirements can have drastically different journeys toward Scouting’s highest honor.

That flexibility is one of the many factors that sets Scouting apart. The program has structure, but it’s infinitely adaptable to a young person’s interests. It allows Scouts to choose when to take controlled risks, but it’s offered in an environment where safety comes first. And it enables Scouts to have a meaningful journey in both the busiest cities and the most remote towns.

Bryan on Scouting caught up with Bryce and Claire to learn more about their Scouting experiences and to see just how different their journeys were.

Claire and Bryce with U.S. Rep. Warren Davidson.

What was similar?

OK, we must admit that Bryce and Claire’s paths didn’t diverge at every juncture. They both:

  • Entered Scouting with the goal of preparing themselves for the future and an aim toward becoming Eagle Scouts.
  • Benefitted from adult leadership that supported their troops.
  • Enjoyed opportunities to grow in leadership skills and provide service to others.
  • Served as troop scribes at the same time, allowing them to compare notes and help each other.
  • Overcame the challenges of the pandemic, which required them to hold meetings over Zoom, conduct virtual summer camps and complete some merit badges online.
  • Completed their Eagle Scout boards of review on the same night just before their 15th birthdays.
Claire and Bryce help clean up a nearby nature preserve.

What was different?

1. Bryce’s troop had a long, established history with many traditions while Claire’s troop was a blank slate.

Bryce: “When I joined, my troop had already been in existence for more than 60 years. There were Scouts of all ages and skill levels, which allowed me to grow accustomed to the Scouting way as I advanced through the early ranks.”

Claire: “I was a founder of a newly formed troop. We got to shape our own patrol and quickly learn about leadership, rank and the basic functions of a troop.”

2. Claire’s troop had just one patrol, while Bryce’s had five.

Claire: “My troop was very small in comparison to my brother’s troop. This allowed us to better get to know one another. Throughout my Scouting journey, despite the increase in numbers, our troop had only one patrol.”

Bryce: “The number of patrols led to increased patrol identity. It also allowed for some healthy competition between the patrols.”

3. Leadership positions were filled differently.

Bryce: “The boy’s troop had a lot of Scouts who wanted to be patrol leader. Typically, the older Scouts were elected, and it was never a worry of having limited experience up front. I was able to observe leadership qualities while watching the more senior Scouts lead the troop and my patrol. I served as a chaplain aide, scribe and instructor.”

Claire: “With fewer Scouts in my troop, senior leadership positions were often filled by younger Scouts. For example, I was patrol leader as a Tenderfoot, which meant I had to quickly learn the expectations of being a Scout. I also served as scribe, assistant senior patrol leader and senior patrol leader.”

Meet Bryce

What’s your Scouting experience been like so far?

“Scouting has taught me the importance of community service and growing my leadership skills.”

What are you most proud of about your time in Scouting, and why?

“Earning Eagle Scout while overcoming the many challenges associated with the pandemic. I learned to become versatile in how I earned merit badges, developed a lot of experience building Zoom presentations for my troop and learned many new organizational skills to complete my Eagle project.”

How has your time in Scouting helped you in the other parts of your life?

“Scouting has helped me grow in my service to others in very meaningful ways. When 19 tornadoes hit the Dayton, Ohio, area on Memorial Day of 2019, my fellow Scouts and I were out in the community the very next day helping families remove debris and get back on their feet.”

What do you hope to do after high school?

“I want to go to college and earn a degree in science or engineering. Scouting will help me get there with a knowledge that I can succeed.”

Why does our country need Scouting?

“Scouting is all about preparing young people for the next step in life. It produces a foundation that no other organization can duplicate.”

Claire and her helpers at her Eagle project

Meet Claire

What’s your Scouting experience been like so far?

“Scouting has taught me about leadership and how powerful a calm, confident mind can be.”

What are you most proud of about your time in Scouting, and why?

“I have great memories from when our service created a lasting impact in the lives of others, including making meals for Ronald McDonald House families. These were all humbling yet meaningful experiences.”

How has your time in Scouting helped you in the other parts of your life?

“It has shown me the importance of planning, preparation, remaining poised under pressure and pulling together as a team to accomplish great things. I believe the qualities I took from Scouting contributed to my high school swimming relay team qualifying for the district championships and my high school marching band achieving many awards.”

What do you hope to do after high school?

“Attend college and perhaps major in writing, English, a foreign language or science. Scouting helped me realize the many things I can accomplish when I truly put my mind to it.”

Why does our country need Scouting?

“To show young women that you aren’t required to choose between being a girl and an adventurer. I have always loved shopping, dressing up and going out with friends, but I also enjoy biking, rock climbing, swimming and camping.

“My hope is that other young girls out there who see my experiences may have similar interests and consider joining Scouts to help build a better world.”

About Bryan Wendell 3282 Articles
Bryan Wendell, an Eagle Scout, is the founder of Bryan on Scouting and a contributing writer.