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Eagle Scout Showcase Series #1

Eagle Scout Showcase Series 

It seems to be that even when people don’t know much about Scouting, they know about Eagle Scouts. You might see your friends and neighbors snacking on our popcorn, you might drive by the occasional “Join Cub Scouts!” lawn sign, and you might not think twice about what any of that really means. But Eagle Projects tend to stand out. People notice Eagles.  

So for the next few weeks, here at the Spirit of Adventure Council, we’re going to do a little bragging. We’re going to showcase just a small sampling of some of our Eagle Scouts who have be standing out in their communities. Their friends, families, and neighbors have noticed them and we want everyone else to notice them too. 

In the first post of this series, we’re highlighting two unique Eagle Scouts: one of our oldest and one of youngest in the 2019 class. Each of their stories helps us showcase that Scouting isn’t about what you look like or how old you are, it’s about supporting anyone and everyone who wants to work hard to become a person of character.  

 

Shiloh Ellis, 13 years old
Troop 87, Groveland

Q: Why did you pick the project that you picked? What or who motivated you? 
A: In 2015 I got involved with kettlebells4kids, a nonprofit organization that is focused on raising funds and awareness for America’s 2.5 million homeless children. Through kettlebells4kids I learned about the educational, physical, and emotional challenges that homeless kids face. In 2018 I met the people from Emmaus, a homeless shelter in my community, and at the time I was doing a project for kettlebells 4kids in Newburyport. Then, in 2019, I reconnected with Denise from Emmaus and we proposed a playground project that they City of Haverhill which was ultimately rejected because of ADA compliance issues.  Denise let me know that they had a real need to improve the Early Education Center at Emmaus and they had tried, unsuccessfully, to get a grant to do something. Denise showed me the room and let me put together my vision for the space, and since Denise’s son is an Eagle, she understood the need to let me be a leader for the project. I then went to kettlebells4kids and they agreed to provide a grant to pay for the project. Aside from helping the kids that use the learning center, my friend Becky had recently passed away from a Brain Aneurysm. She was always helping others, so my project seemed a perfect opportunity to honor her memory. We had a plaque made that is on the wall at the Emmaus Center honoring Becky.    

Q: What you think you learned from doing the project? What was easier than you expected it to be? What was more difficult?   
A: The planning and organization of the project itself was easier than I expected, motivating the scouts to stay on task was hard and I did learn that at times, too much help becomes a hinderance.  Which is something my dad has always taught me, the difference between helping and hindering. 

Q: Aside from your project, what’s the thing you’re most proud of from your Scouting career so far?  
A: This year, as one of the requirements for the National Medal for Outdoor Achievement, I organized and led a Scuba BSA program with the help of Undersea Divers. 16 scouts from Troops 87 and 219 participated in the program. 

Q: What are you the most proud or excited about that has nothing to do with Scouts? 
A: Although I enjoy sports (I currently play baseball and football), I am most proud of my work with kettlebells4kids. I have travelled to 16 states raising awareness and funds to support various programs for homeless children. I have personally raised over $30,000 and worked with several other kids to raise another $20,000. In 2018, I funded the renovation of the Newburyport Early Learning Center at the Newburyport Housing Authority. 

Q: Did being a Scout help you do any of your non-Scouting work or activities? What skills have you acquired by being a Scout?  
A: I was a Cub Scout when I first started with kettlebells4kids and along the way, the skills that I have learned through merit badges like Communication and Personal Management, and trainings like NYLT and Brownsea, have helped further my leadership abilities. Both of my older brothers are Eagle Scouts and achieved it after turning 17, so they did have to cram at the end and didn’t get to enjoy being an Eagle in the Troop. Seeing their experience has motivated me to achieve Eagle sooner by taking advantage of the many opportunities the Spirit of Adventure Council offers such as the merit badge weeks at New England Base Camp and Merit Badge Universities. I am looking forward to spending the next 4 years in my Troop as the guide and helping others on their path to Eagle. 

Q: What was the most fun part of your Scouting career so far? Do you have one memory that stands out? 
A: This last summer I spent 6 total weeks at Summer Camp; 4 weeks of provisional, 1 week of Brownsea, and a week with my Troop. I participated in so many different adventures and activities and the provisional weeks I got to make so many lifelong friends. 

Q: Do you think you will continue to participate in Scouting as an adult? Could you see yourself being a Scoutmaster one day?  
A: Yes. I enjoy leading and teaching others, whether Coaching athletics or teaching Scoutcraft, so yes, I could see myself as a Scoutmaster someday. 

Q: If you have children in the future, do you think you’d encourage them to join Scouting? 
A: Yes, it is a great growth program. My father and my 2 brothers are all Scouts and they were a big motivation for me in my Scouting career. 

 

Ryan Carey30 years old
Troop 83Dracut
Achieved Eagle Rank: 5/16/2019 

Q: Why did you pick the project that you picked? What or who motivated you? 
A: This was my third try at an Eagle project. The first two had to do with handicapped access to my church and they, unfortunately, fell through. Then, I found out that the church had wanted to do something with a nearby piece of land. When it was suggested that it would be a great place for a community garden, they asked me if I would like to build the garden beds as my Eagle project. I thought it was a good idea so I went to some of the meetings at my church and at the Methuen Arlington Neighborhood (MAN) and got more information and thought it would be a great idea. A lot of the people who live around my church cannot have gardens where they live but would like to have fresh veggies. They also have trouble affording and getting to a place where there would be fresh veggies.  The idea of people not being able to eat well bothered me, especially kids. I agreed to take this project on and submitted it to the council. Laura Walta at my church really inspired me to take this on.      

Q: What you think you learned from doing the project? What was easier than you expected it to be? What was more difficult?   
A: I learned that people really come together to do something they all agree is good. We asked for donations of specific items and time. I got a lot of the items we needed donated and the church had asked for donations from members. I was surprised that most companies we contacted were willing to donate to the project. The hardest part was the first day of the build. I had over 30 people show up to help and I had to get them organized and put into the different groups so that each part of the job got done, getting adults to listen is not always easy. 

Q: Aside from your project, what’s the thing you’re most proud of from your Scouting career so far?  
A: I am proud of the fact that I learned to swim at camp. I am also very excited and proud of being able to hit the target in archery. I even got a bullseye once or twice. 

Q: What are you the most proud or excited about that has nothing to do with Scouts? 
A: I really love playing sports and play a lot of different things outside of Scouts. I play basketball, baseball, flag football, golf, and I go bowling with an organization called Kids in Disability Sports (KIDS).  I have volunteered at the food pantry in Lowell and Habitat for Humanities in Lawrence. I am also in Best Buddies. 

Q: Did being a Scout help you do any of your non-Scouting work or activities? What skills have you acquired by being a Scout?  
A: Having food drives has helped me in my work at the food pantry. The fact that I could take the extra time to get to the Eagle Rank helped me a lot. I have Down Syndrome and it takes me a little longer to learn and to complete things. If I had to have it done by my 18th birthday I would never have been able to do it. So the fact that I could stay in Scouts and keep working towards this goal meant a lot to me. 

Q: What was the most fun part of your Scouting career so far? Do you have one memory that stands out?  
A: I had a lot of fun winter camping, going to Wah-Tut-Ca, and going kayaking. I really enjoyed sitting around the campfire with all my fellow Scouts. 

Q: Do you think you will continue to participate in Scouting as an adult? Could you see yourself being a Scoutmaster one day? If you have children in the future, do you think you’d encourage them to join Scouting? 
A: My mom was a Girl Scout for a very long time but, having three sons, she switched to Boy Scouts when my older brother, Chris, wanted to join Cub Scouts. My Dad was never a Scout until us boys became Scouts. He was even my Scoutmaster for a few years. I would encourage kids to join Scouting.  It was a lot of fun and I got to do many things I would not have done if I hadn’t been in Scouting. I can’t see myself being a scout leader in the future, but I would tell others to join Scouts. If I ever had a kid, I would probably encourage them to do Scouting. 

 

New Eagle Scout Recognition Process

Eagle Court of Honor

One of the greatest moments in the Eagle Scout process is the Court of Honor. This is the event that celebrates your success with those who helped you and the rest of the community. We’d like to share some advice that may help make your special event even a little more special.  Please use this as a guide to help the community celebrate.

Invite the following to share in your special day:

Your Community

  • All the parents, Scouts, and leaders who assisted you on your trail to Eagle, including your project
  • Any vendors or donors who helped
  • The non-profit or recipient of your efforts
  • The Institutional Head of your chartered organization
  • Elected Officials or other community leaders
  • Extended family – they likely helped you in ways you may not yet realize

The Scouting Community

  •  Your troop
  •  Camp directors, merit badge counselors, and countless others that helped behind the scenes to help make Scouting thrive

In addition, your council would love to have a representative on hand to celebrate on that special day, and to present a certificate in recognition of your achievement. Once you have selected your Court of Honor date, please send an invitation to:

The Spirit of Adventure Council, 2 Tower Office Park, Woburn, MA 01801

Send Out Public Announcements

  • List your Eagle Award in your chartered organization newsletter or bulletin
  • Send a press release to the local media.  
  • Take a picture RIGHT NOW with your family, and post to your social media outlets. Tag your Scouting Community and The Spirit of Adventure Facebook site.

 

  Other Helpful Information

  • The National Eagle Association offers several academic and merit scholarships.  Be sure to bookmark NESA.org, read about the offerings, and set a reminder for yourself to apply.  There is a fairly tight window of opportunity to do this and all submissions must be completed online by October 31 of each year.
  • As a bonus, each Eagle Scout who applies for a national NESA scholarship is automatically entered for consideration for our Spirit of Adventure NESA scholarship.
  • There is also the Glenn A. and Melinda W. Adams Award.  This is a service project of the year award.  Each council selects one recipient and our selection is further considered at the regional and national levels, which have cash awards attached to them.  The form for this award can also be found on NESA.org.  Send the completed form, along with a copy of your Eagle project workbook by next January 21, to the Spirit Adventure Council at the Woburn address.
  • Finally, Scouts will receive an invitation in the future to attend our annual Eagle Scout recognition dinner.