What is an Eagle Scout?

For the last 25 years, during Conferences, when a Scout is struggling for an answer to this question, I have always offered to these Scouts the following possible, personal, definition: “An Eagle Scout is the best Scouting has to offer” Perhaps there is more to say?

Perhaps someday, I will get lucky and hear more, like:

  • He enjoys a hike through the woods more, than he does a walk over the city’s streets.
  • He can tell North or South or East or West by the “signs.”
  • He can tie a knot that will hold.
  • He can swim a river.
  • He can rescue a life.
  • He can pitch a tent that will protect during inclement weather.
  • He can tell you which fruits and seeds are poisonous and which are not.
  • He can reef a sail or take his time at the wheel, and can pull an oar or use paddles properly.
  • He knows the stars by name and can find his way by them.
  • He can identify birds and animals and fish and knows the ways and habitat of each.
  • He can walk through the woods with silent tread.
  • He holds his honor to be his most precious possession.
  • He knows what is his duty.
  • He can kindle a fire in the forest on the wettest day and he seldom uses more than one match.
  • He knows the danger of forest fires, and he kindles a blaze that will not spread.
  • He knows what to do in case of panic in others, and trains his mind to direct, and his body to act.
  • He sets an example of resourcefulness, coolness, and courage, and considers the safety of others before that of himself.
  • He is especially considerate of the helpless and weak.
  • He is kind to everything that lives.
  • He prides himself upon doing “good turns daily, ” and no day in his life is complete unless he has been of aid to some person.
  • He does not run away when an accident occurs.
  • He knows that not a minute can be lost.
  • He knows that people expect more of him than they do of other boys.
  • He can guide a stranger wherever he desires to go; to include where the police stations are located, where the fire-alarm boxes are placed, where the nearest hospitals are, and which is the quickest way to reach them.
  • He is a patriot, loves Old Glory, and knows the proper forms of offering it respect.
  • He chooses as his motto “Be Prepared,” and he seeks to prepare himself for anything.

Jan, 10 2012
John Douglas
Troop 212, Scoutmaster

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