Today my Grandson Sam was recognized and congratulated by the Town Council of the city where he lives for achieving Eagle Scout. In the last 100 years less than 2.5 million young men (about 5%) have worked through all the leadership & service steps necessary to reach the honor.
The Boy Scouts have gotten a lot of controversy in the last few years – but one thing has never changed, they have one goal turning normal boys into good men. Below is a letter I found online written by Mike Rowe to an “almost” Eagle Scout:
From the Discovery website Mud Room ~
I’m not sure where I heard that you are an Eagle Scout, which brings me to my question. Could you PLEASE take a moment & post to my 13 year old son Kelby & encourage him to finish scouting (& anything else that will help with this?) Reason I’m asking is that he only lacks 1 1/2 – 2 years in reaching Eagle, but some of his buddies have got him to thinking scouting isn’t cool at his age.
Thanks much, Gary
Your Dad asked me to drop you a line and say something inspirational that might persuade you to dig down deep and find the determination to make the rank of Eagle Scout. It’s a reasonable request, from a father who obviously wants to see his son succeed. But here’s the thing – The Eagle Award is not really meant for people who need to be dragged across the finish line. It’s meant for a select few, and I have no idea if you have the guts to see it through.
Statistically, I suspect you do not. Only one out of a hundred Scouts make Eagle, so if you fail, there will be lots of other people with whom you can share excuses. Quitting now might disappoint your Dad, but I doubt that he or anyone else will be overly surprised. Anytime 99 out of 100 people do the same thing, it’s not exactly a shock.
I’m not trying to be cute with a bunch of reverse psychology. When I was 15, there was nothing that anyone could have said to me that would have inspired me to do something I didn’t want to do, especially a stranger with a TV show. So I’m not going to assume you’re any different, or pretend that I have some influence or insight that you haven’t already heard from a dozen other people who actually know and care about you. I’ll just tell you straight up, that doing something extraordinary can be very lonely, and most people simply aren’t cut out for it. Being an Eagle Scout requires you to be different than most everyone around you, and being different is really, really hard. That’s why the award is called “an accomplishment.”
Personally, and for whatever it’s worth, the best decisions I’ve made in my own life, are those decisions that put me on the outside of being cool. Singing in the Opera, working in home shopping, starring in the school play when the entire football team laughed at me, and especially earning my Eagle, were all choices that required sacrifice, hard work, and delayed gratification. I have no idea if you possess those qualities, or even envy them.
But I can tell you for certain, that NOT getting your Eagle, will be one of the easiest things you’ve ever done.
Anyway, I have no idea if you would prefer an easy life of predictability and mediocrity, or if have the passion to follow the road less traveled. Only you get to decide that.
For more ideas about what Mike thinks is important in young men read his S.W.E.A.T. (Skill & Work Ethic Aren’t Taboo) Pledge on his website here: http://profoundlydisconnected.com/skill-work-ethic-arent-taboo/
Personally, I believe in the Scout methods and goals. And one thing is for sure, they truly understand the importance of boys being boys. Yes having direction and discipline and training – but boys NEED to be boys. And here is an excellent delineation of the why:
Thanks for the video goes to Prager University.
Sam, we are all TRULY PROUD of your willingness to stay with it through it all. And we love that you are all boy, (Oh boy – are you ever!) rapidly maturing into a good & kind man. The future belongs to you, and it will be exactly what you make it become.