Sunday, November 6, 2011

From Boys to Men and the Blessings of Being a Part of it All

I have had the honor of being a part of The Boy Scouts of America from 1998 to 2008.  Ten years dedicated to weekly meetings with these young boys that would one day become men.  I was there to give to them.  Instead I find they gave to me.

I was given the gift of not only watching my two youngest sons grow into men but all of the young boys grow.  They all became mine and I love each and everyone of them.

Here are the Eagle Scouts from Troop 1167 from Princeton, Texas that I had the honor of working with.  I am very proud of them all.

Kristopher Boys, Daniel Boys, Steven Czepyha, Daniel Rios, Myself, Robert Turpin, Thomas Rios, Andy Turpin
(The two Rios young men are my sons)

Cathy McKenney with her two Eagle Scout sons
Eric Coffman and Zach Coffman
Dusty Ward (also and Eagle Scout), Alec Ward, and Donna Ward
Since becoming an Eagle Scout and graduating
Alec has joined the Marine Corp.
He is currently serving in Afghanistan

I have one other Eagle Scout that I was unable to obtain a picture of but still want to recognize.  Ryan Czepyha, who worked very hard and almost didn't make it.

There is a saying "It takes a village to raise a child."  That could not be more true than in scouting.  These young man put forth great effort to achieve the rank of Eagle.  Many give up when others trudge forward.  Many times it take some STRONG encouragement from the adult leaders as well as the parents to help push the boy forward when he is struggling.  It is usually when they are Life Scouts working on the final requirements.  Sometimes it gets to be to much and they get lost.  It is up to us at that time to help guide them.  Sometimes you have to help them break it down to what they need to do on a daily basis in order to achieve their goal.  It is not unusual for arguments and tears during this stage.  I can tell you it is well worth it when you watch the Eagle medal being pinned over your son's heart.  No, becoming and Eagle isn't for everyone.  It is for those who want it and are willing to work for it.

I have had the honor of working with these fine young men.  My life would not be what it is today had it not been for these young men and the scouting program.  Not to mention a big thank you goes out to our youngest son Daniel who was the one that started this journey for me.  What a ride it has been.

Talking about these guys always make me a bit emotional.  They would flock to us when we would come to parent night at summer camp to tell us of their adventures.  There was one summer camp where they had to take shelter because of a severe storm with a tornado.  Our middle son was Senior Patrol Leader at the time and it was his responsibility to make sure everyone took to the latrines for safety.  This he did even with the objection of an adult leader who quickly joined them after his tent was lifted by the wind. lol

There was the Eagle Project where they were suppose to be painting a fence.  Some of the younger boys got bored and started painting trees.  Yeah, that didn't turn out so good.  We all learned from that experience.

All in all I would have to say I would be glad have any and all of these young men around me if the SHTF.  These guys can do some outstanding things.  I feel Boy Scouts of America if the troop is ran correctly can better prepare our young men for the life before them than our school system.  (Note:  The program for Girl Scouts is equal to the Boy Scouts.  I guess they don't get the recognition because they are girls.  They too have a highest award equal to Eagle.)

 Here are a few more pictures I want to share then some information regarding Eagle Scouts. 

The American Flag flown over the State Capital
in the name of our son Daniel Rios
per the request of Ralph Hall


 From Boys to Men

Robert Turpin
Thomas Rios

Steven Czepyha



Andy Turpin


Daniel Ros
Daniel Boys




Kristopher Boys






Alec Ward





Eric Coffman


Fearless Leader since 1998
Scouting can be adictive

Scoutmaster Bruce Boys


Do you know that once you are an Eagle Scout
you are Always an Eagle Scout.

It is a lifetime achievement.
Famous Eagle Scouts 
  • Gerald R. Ford Jr.; 38th President of the United States
  • William C. DeVries, MD; Transplanted first artificial heart
  • Mitchell Paige; Marine Corps hero who was awarded the Medal of Honor for his actions during the Battle of Guadalcanal
  • H. Ross Perot; Businessman and former presidential candidate
  • Donald Rumsfeld; former United States Secretary of Defense, former representative and ambassador to NATO
  • Stephen Spielberg; director
  • Neil Armstrong; First human to set foot on the Moon. Astronaut, test pilot, and naval aviator; Flew on the Gemini 8 and Apollo 11 missions.
  • James Lovell; Astronaut, Flew on missions Gemini 7, Gemini 12, Apollo 8, and Apollo 13, former president of National Eagle Scout Association.
  • James C. Adamson; Retired Army colonel and astronaut; Flew on shuttle missions STS-28 and STS-43.
  • James P. Bagian; Physician and astronaut; Flew on shuttle missions STS-29 and STS-40.
  • Guy Bluford; Retired Air Force colonel and astronaut; Flew on shuttle missions STS-8, STS-39, STS-53, and STS-61-A. First African American in space.
  • Ken Bowersox; Astronaut, test pilot and Navy captain; Flew on shuttle mission STS-50, STS-61, STS-73, STS-82, STS-113, International Space Station Expedition 6, and Soyuz TMA-1.
  • Charles E. Brady, Jr.; Astronaut; Flew on shuttle mission STS-78.
  • Gerald P. Carr; Retired Marine Corps colonel and astronaut; Commanded Skylab 4.
  • Sonny Carter; Astronaut; Flew on shuttle mission STS-33.
  • Roger B. Chaffee; Navy pilot and astronaut on Apollo 1.
  • Gregory Chamitoff; Astronaut; Backup crew-member for International Space Station Expedition 15.
  • Richard O. Covey; Astronaut; Flew on shuttle missions STS-26, STS-38, STS-51-I, STS-61.
  • John Oliver Creighton; Navy combat veteran and Astronaut; Flew on shuttle missions STS-51-G, STS-36, and STS-48.
  • Charles Moss Duke, Jr.; Retired Air Force brigadier general and astronaut. Flew on Apollo 16. One of only twelve men who have walked on the moon.
  • Donn F. Eisele; Air Force colonel and astronaut; Flew on Apollo 7.
  • Patrick G. Forrester; Astronaut; Flew on shuttle mission STS-105.
  • Michael E. Fossum; Colonel in the Air Force Reserve, and astronaut; Flew on shuttle mission STS-121.
  • C. Gordon Fullerton; Research pilot, retired Air Force colonel, and astronaut; Flew on shuttle mission STS-3 and STS-51-F.
  • William G. Gregory; Retired Air Force lieutenant colonel and astronaut; Flew on shuttle mission STS-67.
  • S. David Griggs; Navy Reserve admiral and astronaut; Flew on shuttle mission STS-51-D.
  • Jeffrey A. Hoffman; Co-director of the Massachusetts Space Grant Consortium at MIT's Department of Aeronautics and Astronautics, astronaut; Flew on shuttle missions STS-51-D, STS-35, STS-46, STS-61, and STS-75.
  • Gregory H. Johnson; Astronaut.
  • Thomas David Jones; Astronaut; Flew on shuttle missions STS-59, STS-68 and STS-80.
  • Mark C. Lee; Retired Air Force officer and astronaut; Flew on shuttle missions STS-30, STS-47, STS-64, and STS-82.
  • Don L. Lind; Astronaut; Flew on SpaceLab mission STS-51-B.
  • Steven W. Lindsey; Air Force colonel and astronaut; Flew on shuttle missions STS-87, STS-95, and STS-104.
  • Michael J. McCulley; Chief Executive Officer of United Space Alliance and Astronaut; Flew on shuttle mission STS-104.
  • William Cameron McCool (deceased); Pilot of the Columbia shuttle mission STS-107.
  • Brian O'Leary; Astronaut; Deputy team leader for Mariner 10.
  • Ellison Onizuka; Air Force lieutenant colonel and astronaut; Flew on shuttle mission STS-51-C. Died onboard shuttle Challenger, mission STS-51-L.
  • Stephen S. Oswald; Navy rear admiral and Astronaut; Flew on shuttle missions STS-42, STS-56, and STS-67.
  • Scott E. Parazynski; Astronaut; Flew on shuttle missions STS-66, STS-86, STS-95 and STS-100.
  • Donald Pettit; Astronaut who participated in missions STS-113, International Space Station Expedition 6, and Soyuz TMA-1.
  • Kenneth S. Reightler, Jr.; Astronaut; Flew on shuttle missions STS-48 and STS-60.
  • Richard A. Searfoss; Retired Air Force colonel and astronaut; Flew on shuttle missions STS-58, STS-76, and STS-90.
  • Elliott See; Astronaut; Backup pilot for Gemini 5 before his death.
  • Richard H. Truly; Retired Navy vice admiral and astronaut; Flew on shuttle missions STS-2 and STS-8 and first former astronaut to head NASA.
  • David M. Walker; Astronaut; Flew on shuttle missions STS-51-A, STS-30, STS-53, and STS-69.
 Many people do not know what it takes to become an Eagle Scout.  Here is a list of the requirements:

  1. Be active in your troop, team, crew, or ship for a period of at least six months after you have achieved the rank of Life Scout.
  2. Demonstrate that you live by the principles of the Scout Oath and Law in your daily life. List the names of individuals who know you personally and would be willing to provide a recommendation on your behalf, including parents/guardians, religious, educational, and employer references.
  3. Earn a total of 21 merit badges (10 more than you already have), including the following:
    a. First Aid
    b. Citizenship in the Community
    c. Citizenship in the Nation
    d. Citizenship in the World
    e. Communications
    f. Personal Fitness
    g. Emergency Preparedness OR Lifesaving*
    h. Environmental Science
    i. Personal Management
    j. Swimming OR Hiking OR Cycling*
    k. Camping, and
    l. Family Life
    * You must choose only one merit badge listed in items g and j. If you have earned more than one of the badges listed in items g and j, choose one and list the remaining badges to make your total of 21.
  4. While a Life Scout, serve actively for a period of six months in one or more of the following positions of responsibility:
  5. While a Life Scout, plan, develop, and give leadership to others in a service project helpful to any religious institution, any school, or your community. (The project should benefit an organization other than Boy Scouting.) The project plan must be approved by the organization benefiting from the effort, your Scoutmaster and troop committee, and the council or district before you start. You must use the Eagle Scout Leadership Service Project Workbook, BSA publication No. 521-927, in meeting this requirement.
  6. Take part in a Scoutmaster conference.
  7. Successfully complete an Eagle Scout board of review.


The Eagle Scout Charge

The foremost responsibility of an Eagle Scout is to live with honor. To an Eagle Scout, honor is the foundation of all character. He knows that "A Scout is trustworthy" is the very first point of the Scout Law for good reason. An Eagle Scout lives honorably, not only because honor is important to him but because of the vital significance of the example he sets for other Scouts. Living honorably reflects credit on his home, his church, his troop, and his community. May the white of the Eagle badge remind you to always live with honor.
The second obligation of an Eagle Scout is loyalty. A Scout is true to his family, Scout leaders, friends, school, and nation. His loyalty to his troop and brother Scouts makes him pitch in and carry his share of the load. All of these help to build the loyalty which means devotion to community, to country, to one's own ideals, and to God. Let the blue of the Eagle badge always inspire your loyalty.
The third obligation of the Eagle Scout is to be courageous. Courage has always been a quality by which men measure themselves and others. To a Scout, bravery means not only the courage to face physical danger, but the determination to stand up for the right. Trusting in God, with faith in his fellowman, he looks forward to each day, seeking his share of the world's work to do. Let the red in the Eagle badge remind you always of courage.
The fourth obligation of an Eagle Scout is to be cheerful. To remind the Eagle Scout to always wear a smile, the red, white, and blue ribbon is attached to the scroll of the Second Class Scout award, which has its ends turned up in a smile.
The final responsibility of an Eagle Scout is service. The Eagle Scout extends a helping hand to those who still toil up Scouting's trail, just as others helped him in his climb to the Eagle. The performance of the daily Good Turn takes on a new meaning when he enters a more adult life continuing service to others. The Eagle stands as protector of the weak and helpless. He aids and comforts the unfortunate and the oppressed. He upholds the rights of others while defending his own. He will always "Be Prepared" to put forth his best.
You deserve much credit for having achieved Scouting's highest award. But wear your award with humility, ever mindful that the Eagle Scout is looked up to as an example. May the Scout Oath and the Scout Law be your guide for tomorrow and onward.

The Eagle Scout Challenge

Your conduct along the trail has been excellent. You have rededicated yourself to the principles of Scouting, but one more thing is important: Your future.
As an Eagle Scout, you become a guide to other Scouts of lower rank. You become an example in your community. Remember that your actions are now a little more conspicuous and people will expect more of you. To falter in your responsibility would not only reflect upon you, but on your fellow Eagles and all Scouting. The torch you carry is not only yours, but is ours also.
I challenge you to enter this Eagle brotherhood, holding ever before you, without reservation, the ideals of honor and service. By the repetition of the Eagle Scout Promise before your fellow members, you will become an Eagle Scout. Though the words you use are similar to those by which you joined Scouting, they will mean more now than they could have meant at any time in the past. When you pledge yourself on your sacred honor, you will be sealing your eternal loyalty to the code of the Eagle Scout, with the words which closed the Declaration of Independence.  Repeat after me:
I reaffirm my allegiance
to the three promises of the Scout Oath
I thoughtfully recognize and take upon myself
the obligations and responsibilities of the rank of Eagle Scout
On my honor
I will do my best
to make my training an example
my rank and my influence count strongly
for better Scouting
and for better citizenship
in my troop
and in my community
and in my contacts with other people
to this I pledge my sacred honor.

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