It Was a Very Good Year for 192 New Eagle Scouts Here — You Could Be One, Too!
Some great people become Eagle Scouts, the highest rank of Scouts BSA— and you can, too!
Many top leaders in all levels of government, the military, business and the community have earned the rank of Eagle Scout by age 18. It is the big goal for many kids when they join Cub Scouts or Scouts BSA (if they are a little older). Many Eagle Scouts have gone on to become astronauts, generals, engineers, community leaders and Gerald Ford, the 38th U.S. President, attained the rank, too. Here at the Catalina Council, 192 Scouts BSA became Eagle Scouts in 2019— impressive since only about 4 percent of Scouts manage to earn that lofty rank. Certainly you should join Scouts for the fun of it, the lifelong friends you can make and the outdoor stuff you get to do. But pursuing Eagle Scout is a great goal.
“It gives these kids something to literally set as a goal, and then they can go through and do what’s necessary to achieve that goal,” says (Ret.) Lt.-Col. Jeff Peterson, a former Air Force helicopter pilot. When he was working toward his Eagle in the late ’70s and early ’80s, there was an energy crisis in the United States. “Gas prices had skyrocketed; Jimmy Carter was done with being president; (the new president) was Ronald Reagan, and energy was on everybody’s mind,” Peterson recalls. “I did an energy thing for part of my community. I went around with information and did a thorough survey…I showed them where their home was lacking or where they could do more in energy efficiency,” he says.
Looking back, this talented pilot and 8-year Scoutmaster says joining Scouts set him on the right track for life. “It instills lifelong characteristics and traits that can always be used in different walks of life, but definitely helped in my military career,” Peterson points out.
Steve Mayer also is an Eagle Scout and now runs Troop 555, a highly successful troop in Nogales, Ariz. He has been a Scoutmaster for the past 35 years, and 60 of his Scouts have become Eagle Scouts so far!
As his Eagle Scout Project back in the ’70s, Mayer built booths for a big cultural festival, La Fiesta de Tumacacori, when it was just getting started.
He says that the adventure and outdoor activities like hiking and camping is what makes Cub Scouts and Scouts BSA exciting for young people. So his troop does a lot of fun, outdoor stuff. Soon Troop 555 and parents will head up to Sunrise Ski Resort for some snow adventures!
In Scouting, boys and girls start with their best right now selves and grow into their very best future selves. Mayer encourages his Scouts to be more outgoing and to put in that extra effort in just about everything that they do. “And picking up the leadership along the way is the way we do it,” he explains. “Take that extra step to do a little bit better, to make your program better, to try to get that next rank, to try and do it in a grand way. Then things really start to pop for you!,” he encourages.
“Being an Eagle Scout has a high connotation,” he says. “I’ve always looked up to the people who are Eagle Scouts. And now some of my Eagle Scouts are engineers and doctors; three of them are lawyers; one worked for NASA and now works for SpaceX. Quite a few CPA’s— the Eller (business) program—they’ve all taken that extra step.”
Boys and girls can do fun and great things in Scouts! To join, call the Catalina Council at 520-750-0385, and you can find a Pack or Troop near you by visiting BeAScout.org.