If you have been following this blog for a while, you will know that I have been working on my Eagle Project for quite some time now. I wrote about my project several times on here. Well, today I have the pleasure of making a happy announcement: This past Tuesday I went before my regional Eagle Board and they approved the successful completion of my project and approved me for the Rank of Eagle Scout!
It’s been a fantastic journey! I first started working on my Eagle Project back in the summer of 2010. Since then, there have been hundreds of emails sent, thousands of dollars raised, and hundreds of hours spent working on this project.
For those of you who don’t know, my Eagle Project was to install an Amateur Radio Repeater near where I live for the purpose of strengthening emergency communications. I have learned many lessons and gained a lot of experience while working on this project. It turned out to take more time and be more difficult than I first had anticipated. I do not regret a minute of it, however. The experience really challenged me to improve my leadership and administration skills in a way that I never had before. I believe that this repeater will be a great benefit to the community and the local Amateur Radio operators.
Completing this Project has truly been a community effort and demonstrated how much Amateur Radio and Scouting can accomplish together! One hundred years ago this year, the very first Eagle Scout Rank was awarded. Since then, both Scouting and Amateur Radio have worked together side by side to build this Nation. As I have drawn inspiration from the past, I hope that this Project has helped to leave a legacy for Scouts in the future to look back upon.
When I first started working on getting this project approved, some warned me that it was going to be too large and complicated as a project. As a matter of fact, it did turn out to be more difficult that I had first anticipated. On the other hand, though, I chose it, in part, because I new that it would be hard.
One thing that I have learned as a Scout is that Scouting is built around the principle that pushing yourself beyond your comfort zone and doing hard things is the best way to improve and get better. This project has proven that to me. If I had remained at the level I was before I started this project, I would not now be writing this announcement. I needed to grow and get better in order to complete this project. If I didn’t, I would’ve failed. As it is now, I have learned so much more about communication and administration than I used to. I have had to develop my patience and salesmanship. This project has forced me to grow and to improve in a way that never would have happened if I would’ve chose a project that I was more comfortable with.
Through this, I have learned something very important. In Scouting, like most other things in life, you can do well without doing your very best. You can earn the rank of Eagle Scout without pushing yourself totally out of your comfort zone. When you settle for this, though, you are only cheating yourself. I can’t think of a better environment to learn this than Scouting. Scouting isn’t about being OK or just getting by. Scouting is about excelling. It is about getting better and better.
In a future post, I hope to write about the special responsibilities that being an Eagle Scout entails. As it is now, I am very happy to have successfully completed this project. There is a feeling that comes with finishing up a project like this and earning Eagle is one that is difficult to put into words. To all Scouts who are reading this now: I would like to encourage you to press on and earn the Eagle Scout Rank. It isn’t easy, especially if you set the bar high for yourself, but it is absolutely worth it! You will learn lessons and make memories that will last you the rest of your life. The responsibility of Scouting’s future is in your hands. Make a legacy that you and the Scouts that come after you can be proud of!