Why this 12-year-old college graduate plans on remaining active in Scouts

A photo of 12-year-old college graduate Clovis Hung
Photo courtesy of Song Choi

Earlier this spring, Clovis Hung became the youngest person to ever graduate from Fullerton College, but he has another goal that’s just as important: earning the rank of Eagle.

“I would like to be an aerospace engineer and a pilot, but I would also like to earn my Eagle,” he says.

Clovis, a member of Troop 214 in Chino Hills, California, says he’ll remain active in Scouting for at least a few more years because, in spite of all he’s done, there’s still so much more to do.

“I’ve heard a lot about Sea Base and Philmont,” he says.

Clovis is still taking college classes as he works towards more advanced degrees. It’s remarkable when you think about it: For all Clovis has accomplished in the world of academia, he still isn’t old enough to go to one of the BSA’s National High Adventure Bases.

“Scouting has really been good for him,” says his mother, Song Choi. “Earning different merit badges has helped him to learn new knowledge. He’s always learning something new that he can’t learn from a textbook.”

A perfect match in Cub Scouts

Choi signed her son up for Cub Scouts when he was in elementary school for the same reason a lot of families join the program.

“I think it’s a very good activity for children,” she says. “It helps the child become a well-rounded person.”

Clovis has always been a voracious learner. In 2019, Choi pulled her son out of traditional school and opted instead to home-school him.

But she was insistent that he remain in Cub Scouts, and Clovis agreed.

“In our Cub Scout meetings, we would always play fun games,” he says. “And I liked camping with my mom.”

Clovis is also active in sports, making for a tight daily schedule. But no matter what, he and his mom make time for Scouting.

They both say they love the community service opportunities Scouting provides for them.

“I love giving back to the community,” says Clovis. “It’s a good feeling.

“We’re all a part of the same society. And it’s in the Scout Oath and Law to help others.”

Clovis took his first class at Fullerton in 2020. On the one hand, he was learning about world civilizations in college. On the other, he was a Webelos Scout, going on hikes and learning how to cook meals outdoors.

12-year-old college graduate Clovis Hung prepares to ride on a zip line
Photo courtesy of Song Choi

Bigger goals ahead

Clovis says he learned some things in college before he learned them in Scouting.

Most of the elements of first aid, for example, were covered in his college biology class, he says.

But there are other things you simply can’t learn in a classroom.

“It’s the experience,” says Choi. “You have to use your heart to feel the difficulties and the joy of triumph, like camping in the snow … how can you learn to do that in a book? What an awesome experience and beautiful childhood memory.”

As Clovis was preparing to graduate from college, he was also preparing to go on a 50-mile bike ride with his Scout troop.

Both accomplishments were thrilling in their own right.

“It was tiring, but I trained a lot for that moment,” he says. “I was like, ‘Wow, you did a really good job!’”

In the coming years, Clovis may end up attending a school far away from his California home. He mentioned Georgia Tech as one possibility.

But no matter where he goes, Choi says his involvement in Scouting will not change.

“He really wants to go high-adventure camping,” she says. “He’s looking forward to that. He will definitely continue in Scouting. Eagle Scout is his goal.”

A photo of 12-year-old college graduate Clovis Hung
Photo courtesy of Song Choi

About Aaron Derr 466 Articles
Aaron Derr is the senior editor of Scout Life and Scouting magazines, and also a former Cubmaster and Scouts BSA volunteer.