5 Life Lessons I Learned Becoming an Eagle Scout
1: Being Prepared
The Boy Scout motto is “Be Prepared”. On high adventure trips and campouts, you never know what will happen, and you are expected to be prepared at all times. Through countless situations, you learn to be prepared for the worst, for example, forgetting a whole weekend's worth of food to a fellow scout accidentally cutting open his hand while using an ax. Being prepared does not just mean having the right tools and equipment, but includes, being resourceful, mentally prepared, and preparing ahead of time.
2: Giving Back
“Do A Good Turn Daily”, is the Boy Scouts slogan. Initially, when I had joined the organization back in 4th grade as a cub scout I did not understand the importance of it but continuously volunteering and community service have thought me so many skills. You gain so much perspective by taking on all sorts of interesting volunteering jobs from helping at senior centers to helping out at the local church and participating in much more organized events like the red cross and kids against hunger.
3: Leave No Trace
Leave No Trace isn't just about picking up our trash, but it teaches us so much more; it can be applied to every aspect of our lives. Leave No Trace is the idea that we clean up after ourselves, and leave the place in a condition that is better than we found it. It is the mentality to always give everything 110%+ effort. Whether this is a simple task we are assigned to do or a job. Cleaning up the campsite after a weekend of camping felt like one of the worst tasks, but it taught us a valuable lesson that I will carry on to every other task I do.
7 years ago when I was bridging over from cub scouts to boy scouts I remember being surrounded by a pack with 100+ scouts. Less than 5% of those individuals made it all the way through the program to becoming an Eagle Scout.
There are 7 ranks in Boy Scouts (Scout, Tenderfoot, Second Class, First Class, Star, Life, and Eagle). Opposed to what many may think Life is halfway through the journey of becoming an eagle scout. It took me 2 years to reach the rank of Star, another year to reach Life, and then 3 years to reach Eagle. Another interesting thing to consider is that the Boy Scouts has a goal that all Scouts reach the rank of First Class, not Eagle. The reason for this is that most of the life skills and important lessons are taught over the first 4 ranks. Star, Life, and Eagle are all heavily leadership orientated and focused on putting those skills into practice.
5: Lead By Example
No good leader simply commands for tasks to be completed. A leader has to work with the team, give them direction, and enable them to accomplish the goal. A lot of the time you are learning how to do things with your patrol. Working with younger scouts teaches you how to truly be a leader. Using the EDGE method (Explain, Demonstrate, Guide, and Enable) has allowed me to teach so many skills and lessons to scouts and other people.