Boy Scouts offer opportunties for students

Alyssa Ramsey and Tibernay Beal, Reporters

Way back when in 1910 a foundation was created by four men that has since evolved massively into a familiar organization known as the Boy Scouts of America (BSA). Many years ago, 108 years specifically, on February 8, Robert Baden-Powell, Daniel Carter Beard, William D. Boyce, and Ernest Thompson Seton came together to form the BSA.

Reasons for joining the BSA vary from person to person. For Freshman Jacob Guernsey, he enrolled in the BSA because his “dad was a Boy Scout . . he got his Eagle [badge] so that’s kinda something [Jacob] wanted to work for.”

For sophomore Marc-Anthony Smith he didn’t have much of a choice.

“It was something my church did, they supported it, and my parents were like, ‘Hey, you’re doing this!’” Smith said.

As one of the largest Scouting associations in the United States, the BSA includes more than 2.4 million young male participants. According to the Boy Scouts of America’s web page, their goal is to “ train youth in responsible citizenship, character development, and self-reliance through . . . a wide range of outdoor activities, educational programs, and . . . career-oriented programs.”

Junior Trenton Lowry, a member of the BSA, states, “It’s taught me survival skills, such as, search and rescue . . . I know advanced and basic first aid and if something happens I’m well prepared for any situation.”

As mentioned by Lowry, survival skills taught to the Scouts include learning how to use many survival tools, making shelters and building fires. Some first aid and medical skills are also acquired in training.

Through these lessons, the BSA offers the opportunity to earn 137 merit badges ranging in a variety of talents and knowledge. Archery, American labor, animal science and canoeing are some of the opportunities the boys are given to attain badges.

Smith currently has 26 merit badges, some include wood carving, basketry, leatherwork and personal fitness. Smith has also been awarded the highest level of Scouting, the Eagle Scout.

As a member of the Boy Scouts of America, there are six ranks to be achieved before receiving the Eagle Scout status. Scouts begin their journey in the Scout Rank, moving on to the Tenderfoot Rank, then Second Class Rank, First Class Rank, Star Rank and finally, Life Rank.

After acquiring the Eagle Rank, the opportunity to earn Eagle Palms, or feather shaped pins, are granted to Scouts who continue to be active in their troops until they turn eighteen. After a Scout turns 18, he is no longer eligible to be a Boy Scout.

“I have received the highest rank of Scouting, which is Eagle and a third palm. To get a palm you have to stay in five months after [becoming an Eagle Scout] and then also attain five more merit badges in that time. So I stayed in 15 months and gained 15 more badges,” Lowry explains.

After retiring from the BSA, the 18-year-old graduates may use all of the skills they have obtained throughout the years from Boy Scouts to flourish in their future upbringings.