Troop members learn leadership, outdoor skills
After joining Boy Scouts in kindergarten, senior Walter Scott, center, continues to advance through the ranks and expects to become an Eagle Scout during the current school year. During the August 2007 World Scout Jamboree in London, England, Scott discusses new ways of recycling.
Not many students on campus know how to construct a fire or build a shelter while venturing through mountain trails.
Some would shy away from inclement whether when asked to hike or perform difficult tasks, but those students who endure the challenges of Boy Scouts now aspire to become an Eagle Scout.
The Boy Scouts of America (BSA) was founded to provide an organization that offers effective character, citizenship and personal fitness training for youth.
"I started Boy Scouts in kindergarten because my parents signed me up," senior Walter Scott said. "I continue Boy Scouts, because I want to try and do new things that I would normally not have an opportunity to do."
Boy Scout founders found outdoor activities develop skills in young boys and provide enjoyment, fellowship and a code of conduct for everyday living in the early 1900s.
"Boy Scouts is for teaching boys and young men a variety of skills and leadership abilities," Scott said. "My favorite thing to do as a Boy Scout is playing with knives and with fire. The worst part of Boy Scouts is tying knots because it was something I never wanted to do."
Scott said that during his trial to become an Eagle Scout he has learned first aid techniques, the art of knot-tying, been on countless camp-outs and learned adventure skills, and spent time performing skits to improve his people skills.
"On top of all my technical tests, I have amassed several hundred hours of community service," Scott said. "I only have a board of review left before I earn the title of Eagle Scout."
There are different levels of boy scouts. The highest status a scout can reach is an Eagle Scout.
Senior Walter Scott, left, and his fellow Boys Scouts presented their findings after researching the illegal African animal trade during the August 2007 World Scout Jamboree in London, England. The boys were challenged to become more aware of problems facing endangered animals.
"A Boy Scout can become an Eagle Scout after showing he has learned and retained all the skills and leadership from his years before," Scott said. "To earn badges a scout must complete all requirements to obtain that badge. Badges are to show achievements that you have done. I am going to become an Eagle Scout soon, hopefully by February."
While Scott had already completed most of his requirement for Eagle Scout, he wanted to attend the August 2007 World Scout Jamboree in London, England.
"It happens once every four years so I wanted to meet scouts from other countries and learn their culture," Scott said. "It was also a good reason to visit a new place and have some fun."
The scout law is to be trustworthy, loyal, helpful, friendly, courteous, kind, obedient, cheerful, thrifty, brave, clean and reverent. The Boy Scouts' motto is 'Be Prepared'.
"I am in Boy Scouts because I can make friends, learn new things, go camping, have fires and eat food," Doug Daniel, '10, said. "Right now I am a star scout. My goal is to become a better person in Boy Scouts and learn as much as I can."
When boys join the troop they make an oath. "On my honor I will do my best; To do my duty to God and my country and to obey the Scout Law; To help other people at all times; To keep myself physically strong, mentally awake and morally straight."
"I knew I wanted to become a Boy Scout when I saw this one guy, Chris Robbins, when he became an Eagle Scout and it looked cool so I joined," Daniel said. "I love Boy Scouts. It is fun and it challenges me."
Prior to joining, Daniel heard of a difficult and unusual trek which nearly kept him from joining. The scouts hiked one mile towards Shaver Lake in the snow. After the hike, the scouts were forced to sleep on wet cots.
"Initially the snow ordeal nearly stopped me from joining, but I was able to endure and even got some sleep despite the cold," Daniel said. "Another time at camp, we constructed a catapult," Daniel said. "It was really fun building it and it was awesome that we had a catapult at camp. For fun we got to shoot things out of it. So my experience in Scouts has been good."