Sean Openshaw Photography

In today’s ‘everyone gets a badge’ society, it’s great to see that there are still some awards that mean something. I think the rank of Eagle Scouts is that kind of award because Eagle Scout is more than just an badge or a rank to be earned, I think it represents doing the kind of hard work that it takes to build strength and character and forges the kind of a person that you will ultimately become.

And it’s not just a testament of the kind of person Jack is, but what kind of people his parents, Rob and Alice are as well. Having teenagers, I’m sure there were a couple times that Jack had to be ‘encouraged’ to stay on this path. But after all the hard work and making it through the challenges, there’s no doubt it was well worth everyone’s hard work and dedication.

Jack started cub scouts with my son (and unofficially, my daughter) in 2009 and these are memories that I’ll always carry with me. The camping trips, food drives, trash pickups, geocaching, pinewood derby’s and all the outings to fire stations, police stations, recycling stations and trips to so many other local businesses.

Somehow, I ended up as Scoutmaster and while it was a lot of fun, it was a lot of work and pretty daunting to be in charge of that many active, little minds. But I couldn’t have done it without the help of Rob and Alice. I could always count on them volunteer – to show up early, stay late and not just be there to drop off kids.

And although not always innocent, Jack was one of my favorite Scouts because of the way he was engaged, led by example and participated. I could always count on his calming demeanor to help reign in some of my more boisterous scouts. His drive and determination raged below his quiet smile as he would steer in the group in the right direction or motivate them to push to that next level. He was always a pleasure to have at any event.

What Jack accomplished is nothing short of phenomenal and something he should be extremely proud of – I know that I am proud of him – as I’m sure everyone in the room was. And I’m grateful for the time that I got to spend with him in scouts.

As an ‘almost Eagle’ scout, myself, I can personally attest to what it takes to make Eagle rank and the feeling of regret those of us have, who didn’t quite make it to that rank.

So, as he was awarded the badge of Eagle Scout, I hope he understands that it’s more than just an award, a plaque on the wall or a badge on his uniform. I think what he really earned was a symbol of the kind of person he is and the great young man that he is becoming.

See all the images from Jack’s Eagle Scout ceremony (password required)

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