I suspect that only those in the know of Boy Scouting will understand what a BIG Deal it is to achieve your Eagle Scout.
This is a summary, from Wikipedia - because that's where I get the majority of my information:
Eagle Scout is the highest achievement or rank attainable in the Boy Scouting program of the Boy Scouts of America (BSA). The designation "Eagle Scout' has a long history since its founding over 100 years ago. Only a small percentage of Boy Scouts are granted this rank after a lengthy review process. The requirements necessary to achieve this rank take years to fulfill. Requirements include earning at least 21 merit badges. The Eagle Scout must demonstrate Scout Spirit an ideal attitude based upon the Scout Oath and Law, service, and leadership. This includes an extensive service project that the Scout plans, organizes, leads, and manages.Did you read how the requirements to obtain Eagle include earning at least 21 merit badges? There are 136 total merit badges offered, and each merit badge is no small feat to obtain.
Michael has earned 102 merit badges and has every intention of earning the remaining 34 badges, before he turns 18 years old. At the rate he's been going, he should have obtained all of them by the time he's 17. Of the more than 2,000,000 boys who have earned their Eagle Scout Award - since the inception of Boy Scouts in 1912 ... only 283 have achieved ALL of their merit badges.
Or approximately 0.01%
Carolyn and I on the bridge that Michael built for his Eagle Scout project.
WOULD YOU LOOK AT THIS BRIDGE?!
It's like a miniature version of the rude bridge that arched the flood, their flag to April's breeze unfurled ... here once the embattled farmers stood, and fired the shot heard 'round the world! (Which, FYI, happened exactly 241 years ago today!)
There is no doubt Michael is amazing because he's the one that has done all of this hard work. But I am equally impressed by the dedication and devotion of my sister, Beth, and her husband, Michael who have encouraged him every step of the way. Behind every Good Scout is a Great Leader.
As a sampling of what my sister, Beth, did for Michael ... here's a tiny percentage of the congratulatory letters that he received upon earning his Eagle Rank.
President and First Lady? CHECK.
Former President? CHECK!
(Bill and Hillary's letters were apparently somewhere in there, too ... I just didn't see them!)
In lieu of the Clinton's ... there were several celebrities including Jack Nicholson, Clint Eastwood, Matt Damon and all of the living James Bond's 007.
And look, Judge Judy weighed in!
And Chuck Norris!
As did the Celtics, Red Sox, Patriots, and Bruins.
HELLO Major Sports Teams!
As the mother of a new Boy Scout, who hasn't even achieved his Tender Heart rank ... I know that the road to Eagle is long and extremely time consuming. It seems that every week, Charlie and William are trotting off to at least one (and more likely two, sometimes three) Boy Scout events.
But the rewards are SO great. When resumes come across my desk, I can tell you that I specifically flag those that have achieved the rank of Eagle. To me it symbolizes devotion, dedication, leadership and teamwork - and the ability to set up a tent in snow, tie some serious knots, and start a fire with a piece of flint as a young teenager.
Tomorrow is my birthday and Saturday is my Dad's birthday. And seeing as this is the first year that I'll be without my Dad during "our" birthday week, my sister Beth and my nephew, Michael are flying in to Houston to spend the week with us.
Coincidentally, William will be attending his Camporee, this weekend - which just so happens to be the biggest camping event of his Boy Scout Troop all year long. And what he doesn't yet know is that his new Eagle Scout superhero cousin Michael will be attending it with him.
Squee, OMG, SQUEE!!
The kids have no idea that we're having visitors arrive TOMORROW morning. I'm hopeful they'll learn of this surprise when they return home from school, provided they actually have school tomorrow. They've been out for the past two days because of the intense rains in Houston and the severe flooding in the area.
One of the things that I miss the most about Virginia - next to the seasons and our friends - are the awesome snow days. While our hearts have been heavy for those negatively impacted from this severe inclement weather; I've been a smidge grateful for this slight reprieve from the bustle of what seems like a crazy busy life. With no school - homework - or after school activities, these "rain days" are the southern equivalent of a snow day, and what I'm taking as Mother's Nature's birthday present to me.
It's now OK for the gift to stop giving. Michael sent me a text this afternoon, inquiring if I could still give them a ride from the airport tomorrow and I said YES! The ride, however, might be in a boat since it's supposed to start raining again, tonight.