Eagle Scouts at U-High Fly High

Lauren Van Plew, Reporter

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The Eagle Scout status is the highest ranking possible for Boy Scouts,a youth development organization that provides programs for boys that build character, train them in the responsibilities of participating citizenship, and develop personal fitness.  

Only the most dedicated Boy Scouts can attain this rank, and it takes months of time and hard work. Seniors Vish Balasubramanian-Karthikeyan, Jack Dawson, Daniel Ray, and juniors Jimmy Murphy and Nathan Pritts, earned this prestigious status by running their own community service project, earning various merit badges, and going through a stringent review process.

“You learn a lot of things in boy scouts that you wouldn’t learn elsewhere,” Balasubramanian-Karthikeyan said. “You learn about camping skills while on the trips, and leadership while working with the younger boys.”  

Most of the boys who obtain the Eagle Scout status have been involved from a very young age.

“I was in boy scouts from 2011 until my 18th birthday last August,” Ray said.  “I was also in cub scouts for about 5 years before that.”

A favorite activity for boys in boy scouts is traveling across the country to various locations for hiking or camping trips.  

“I enjoy the trips that we go on and the activities that go with them,” Murphy said. “My favorite one was a trip to the Florida Keys because I got to scuba dive for a week.”

Attaining the Eagle Scout status takes time and many steps.  

“To obtain the Eagle Scout status I had to complete 25 required merit badges and some non-required,” Pritts said.  “Next, you have to lead an Eagle Scout project that benefits a community of your choice. Then, you go through a board of review and get asked about what being a boy scout means to you, and how you think being an Eagle Scout will change how others view you.”

Each of these young men ran a unique Eagle Scout project.

“My Eagle Scout project was at OSF hospital,” Dawson said.  “We did some landscaping around their helipad, like moving some rocks around and planting new grass.”  

Kids from the whole troop come to help with these projects, but the boy who is trying to obtain the status is the one who leads it.

Once the boys turn 18 they can no longer be a youth member, so this status must be obtained before they turn 18.  They can then be an assistant scoutmaster of a troop, and help lead the younger boy scouts.

“My favorite part about Boy Scouts is getting away from my routine life by doing things,” Ray said.

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