I began my scouting career when I was only seven years old as a cub scout. During the time I was a cub scout, there were several events I participated in. The annual Pinewood Derby, where the Entire Pack would get together and race all their pinewood cars they got from Santa the previous December and then they made them, and we would race them. Over the years, I won several awards. My most memorable year was when I was in the third grade and I won first prize for overall design, and second prize for overall speed with the same car. As I got older, I then was able to go to summer camp and do other fun activities that I considered “extreme” back then. But before I knew it, I was in fifth grade earning my Arrow of Light award, the highest honor in the ranks of cub scouting.
After receiving my arrow of light award, I then advanced up to the Boy Scouts. I then got to meet some great people. My Troop was extremely welcoming and fun. I always remember on Thursday nights when we held are meetings and afterwards we would be able to go to the gym across the hall to play dodge ball in the gym. When I first started out, I, like all the other new scouts at the time, weren’t really the greatest. We would stand in the corner, hoping that we wouldn’t be pegged in the face with a ball. As time went on, I then had more courage to come out of the corner and actually get into the game. Although I couldn’t throw for the life of me, I was able to catch the ball, and that’s what made me deadly.
As the years continued on, I continued to work hard and advance through the ranks of Scouting, and by this time I was a first class scout, which is the half way mark in scouting. I was in 7th grade at the time, and my leadership qualities were starting to shine. Soon after I then became a Patrol Leader. This is a person who takes charge of a small portion of fellow scouts and helps guide them on their ways up the ranks. I would remain a patrol leader for 2 years.
I then was a freshman in High School and I received the rank of Life scout, the rank before Eagle. Over this time I would spend it working hard on getting my Eagle Scout project done, which involved cleaning up a vandalized and inactive cemetery. I then became a Senior Patrol Leader, which is one of the highest positions a scout under the age of 18 can hold. This person is responsible to help the scoutmaster to keep the troop in order. I remained in this position for two and a half years. I then received the Rank of Eagle Scout on January 11th, 2008. This day is when I became a nationally recognized Eagle Scout.
Today, I still remain in my Troop, and I am now a Junior Assistant Scoutmaster, working closely with my scoutmaster to help the newer scouts with their rank advancements, and I also help lead the campouts our Troop goes on once a month.
Every time I go to a scout meeting, I wear my Eagle Patch with honor and pride. Scouting helped me look at things differently, including the way I see the future. If it wasn’t for the experiences I had, I probably wouldn’t be looking at the future as brightly as I do now. Eagle Scouts impact the lives of others, but especially themselves. Being an Eagle Scout is the best thing that can happen to a man. This, I truly believe.
If you enjoyed this essay, please consider making a tax-deductible contribution to This I Believe, Inc.