Opinion

March 18, 2014

"The Ph.D. of Boyhood"

Earning the rank of Eagle Scout is a remarkable and commendable endeavor that all too few young men achieve.

In fact, out of the more than 115 million boys who have passed through the Boy Scouts of America in the last 102 years, approximately two million have become Eagle Scouts, about a 2 percent rate that has climbed to about 4 percent of all Scouts in recent years, according to Michael S. Malone, author of a new history of Eagle Scouting, “Four Percent.”

What they have in common is that they chose a life of achievement and assumed leadership roles at a very young age.

An Eagle is the highest advancement rank in the Boy Scouts. To become an Eagle Scout, boys must earn at least 21 merit badges and demonstrate the spirit of Scouting, leadership and service. They must accomplish an Eagle Scout Service Project where the Scout demonstrates leadership skills by completing a project that will benefit the community.

Attaining the honor represents years of hard work and dedication as each Scout puts in many hours of effort into reaching the recognition. Many Eagle Scouts go on to be leaders in the private and public sectors.

The ranking has been come to be called “the Ph.D. of Boyhood.”

So it is fitting that on Thursday at noon, Eagle Scouts will be honored at an annual luncheon fundraiser at the Dalton Golf and Country Club. Specifically targeted will be Eagle Scouts who achieved that designation 50 or more years ago.

Officials with the Northwest Georgia Council of the Boy Scouts of America Conasauga District (Whitfield and Murray counties) have been searching for Eagle Scouts that live in our community or earned their award here and moved away. In the past few weeks they have amassed a network of Eagle Scouts in order to celebrate their achievements and share their common bond.

The results have been fruitful. Many of those who earned the rank of Eagle Scout outside of this area have been included in this Eagle Scout search.

The luncheon Thursday is open to all who want to attend and commend Scouts of today and yesterday. You’re only asked to make a donation to Scouting. After all, this is their biggest local fundraiser.

It must bring much satisfaction to those who decided 50 years ago to become an Eagle that the achievement is still being recognized a half century later.

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