#16 TRENDING IN Youth Voices 🔥

Boy Scouts of America: My Experience with an Eagle Project

Youth Voices

Tue, June 11

BSA (Boy Scouts of America), which will be re-branded to Scouting America, has been an organization that shaped my childhood experiences and introduced valuable lessons that future leaders use today. I have had the pleasure of being affiliated with Scouting for over four years. During this time, my fellow Scouts and I grew as people, formed valuable friendships, and made memories that all teenagers deserve.

Recently, I undertook my Eagle project, a lasting achievement that a Scout can earn from BSA. It was a project that not only benefited the community and positively impacted society, the environment, and more but also filled me with a sense of accomplishment and pride. Here’s my experience working toward my Eagle project and how it can foster teenagers’ personal growth.

An Overview of Eagle Projects

Eagle projects are directed by teenagers with the Life Rank, which is one of the top ranks a Scout can achieve in the system. To reach this rank, Scouts must demonstrate leadership, participate in community service, and earn a variety of merit badges. They can range from building benches and chairs, making beehives, and even starting a charity fund.

The possibilities in BSA are limitless! An Eagle project aims to demonstrate leadership and make a difference in the community. This is one of the greatest honors for all Scouts, whether or not they earn the Eagle Rank, since everyone is welcome to participate. Scouting is a flexible program that promotes inclusivity for all Scouts.

Before starting my Eagle project, I volunteered for many others. It was beyond exciting to begin this adventure to benefit my favorite park, which I have visited over several years. Scouting has continually allowed millions of young Americans to make lifelong memories and positive changes. It has allowed generations to speak up and learn valuable life lessons that paved the way for their fantastic future.

My Eagle project’s objective was to remove garlic mustard, an invasive species that destroys native plants, from an environmentally troubled region. This invasive species was threatening the biodiversity of the area, and by removing it, we were able to restore the balance of the ecosystem. In return for removing the mustard plants, my volunteers and I planted cacti to encourage keystone species (such as the Cactus wren) to nest and dwell in the treated area.

This not only helped to restore the ecosystem but also provided a safe habitat for these species. BSA and my Eagle project gave me insights into the dangers ecosystems face nationwide.

Via Pixabay

The Process of Eagle Projects

Eagle projects require permission from the establishment they are supporting and troop leaders. There are specific guidelines to ensure the success of the intended project. My Eagle project followed a two-day plan: removing the invasive species and planting cacti in the treated regions in a local park.

Scouts were given instructions and safety guidelines by park staff, including how to stay safe while removing garlic mustard (pulled from the root). Safety and preparation are the two most important aspects of an Eagle project and must be prioritized for everyone involved.

Working as a team, my volunteers and I treated many areas impacted by invasive species. Together, we learned that the power of a community is an unstoppable force that can change the world, one project at a time. The sense of unity and teamwork that we experienced during the Eagle project was truly remarkable, fostering a strong sense of belonging and community.

Via Pixabay

Overcoming Obstacles

My Eagle project taught me efficient ways to solve problems outdoors. For instance, removing garlic mustard can be tedious and require strenuous physical labor to uproot large plants. Although it is fun, managing cacti isn’t always easy. These obstacles improved my team’s resilience and approach to new aspects of environmental issues.

To manage removing the roots of invasive species, park staff and I poured water to loosen the soil before starting the project. This way, it was easier to pull the roots out and prevent the garlic mustard from growing back. After this process, I discovered that obstacles and occasional setbacks within a project can provide valuable opportunities to learn and apply critical skills.

Thinking positively can encourage personal growth, even in the face of tribulation. This realization filled me with hope and resilience, and I believe it can do the same for you.

With all the Eagle projects nationwide, Scouts’ impacts accumulate into larger ones. Younger generations should be mindful of global issues that impact marginalized communities and ecosystems. BSA, which has served generations and the community for over a century, encourages young Scouts and future leaders to make a difference.

It’s not just about the projects we do, but also about the personal growth and the values we learn along the way. BSA is a place where everyone, regardless of their background or abilities, can find a place to belong and grow.

Via Pixabay

How You Can Make a Difference

Even if you are not a Scout or a member of BSA, there are still several ways to make positive contributions. You can volunteer at local parks, participate in beach clean-ups, or even start your own community service project. There are many free volunteering opportunities and organizations that need your assistance.

Your potential involvement with community service can open gateways to meeting like-minded individuals and leaders. I encourage you to support and advocate for what you believe in.

If you want to learn more about BSA, visit their website. Joining this national organization is supportive and convenient. Everyone, whether male or female, is welcome. Please access this resource for more information.

Eagle projects are beneficial for Scouts to express their dedication to a healthy community. I am honored to have the opportunity to remove invasive species and work alongside passionate volunteers. Young generations and today’s teenagers have the potential to not only solve issues but also use their voices to echo into the future.

Will you use yours?

Kelly Halliburton
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Kelly Halliburton is a member of the Creative Writing Conservatory at Orange County School of the Arts in Santa Ana, California. She enjoys writing poetry and volunteering. Through exploring themes of student life and personal growth, she aspires to project meaningful ideas in the community.