• Carter Cote

Thank You, BSA.

Updated: Apr 12, 2019

Last Thursday, I reached the pinnacle of my eleven-year scouting journey. I had officially earned the Eagle Scout Award.


Here I am, still standing, after a long and enduring interview process.

Capping off My Scouting Journey

For the last eleven years, my journey through scouting has allowed me to learn several skills, to enjoy the outdoors, to adventure through the wilderness, and most importantly to shape my character. Looking back, I have definitely taken note of my growth and maturity over the years, and Boy Scouts has played a significant part in shaping who I am today. Now that my time as a Boy Scout is coming to an end, I can definitely look back and appreciate the journey that I have experienced with my friends, my family, and my troop adult leaders. Being a Scout has been a privilege and an honor, and it is a merit that I will continue to represent by reflecting a Scout’s values in my everyday life.


The Impact of Pursuit for Eagle

One of the lessons that I learned as a result of Scouting is to persevere. Over the last two years, I started to realize that my time as a Scout was coming to an end due to an increased commitment to other interests and a significantly greater workload at school. At the time however, I was a Life Scout and throughout my time as a Boy Scout, I had always had the goal of becoming an Eagle Scout. I could not bear the thought of leaving Boy Scouts while also standing so close to the finish line. Because of my work ethic and my personality, I could not accept leaving Boy Scouts without completing my journey the right way, by earning the Eagle Scout award. As a result, I began to look at what it took to become an Eagle Scout and I started to brainstorm project ideas. The process was very difficult and very time consuming, with several obstacles during my journey. There were several points throughout the process where I believed that reaching the Eagle rank did not seem like an achievable goal. However, I persevered and I committed myself to embracing the grit of whatever it took to complete the entire process. When my project was rejected, I felt like I had hit a low point due to the fact that I had spent a lot of time researching and planning my project. However, looking back, I felt even better about overcoming adversity to revise my project proposal and ultimately receive approval, because I was committed and I did not plan on stopping until I reached my goal. Through the power of passion and perseverance, I was able to achieve my goal, and I am very thankful that I continued to pursue the intent of becoming an Eagle Scout. In addition, it felt good giving back to the community and improving an elementary school as a result of my project. Overall, the entire journey towards becoming an Eagle Scout has been a learning process throughout, allowing me to learn several skills and critical components in planning, managing, and executing projects. Over the last year that I have worked on planning and ultimately executing my project, I have learned a lot about what it takes to complete any large task or project, and the skills that I have developed will definitely prove to be useful throughout my lifetime. By learning to overcome adversity despite frustration and self-doubt, I am more equipped to responding to conflict with the right attitude, utilizing the mindset that failure will only provide a learning opportunity that I can use to improve.


Eternal Valley Memorial Park Mortuary, May 28, 2016.

How Scouting Has Changed my Life

As a young kid, I was very reserved and did not necessarily have any leader skills. However, being placed in leadership opportunities in Boy Scouts has allowed me to learn how to communicate effectively with others and to lead a group. As a patrol leader, I learned how to bring a group together in order to complete tasks, to plan events, or to learn skills. I had a lot of hiccups and learning curves along the way, but experiencing adversity only made me a better leader than I previously thought. I started to be more open in learning not only how to be a leader, but gaining comfort in connecting with others. One Scouting event that stands out in particular is the Webelos Overnighter in 2016. My patrol and I worked together to assign roles among our group in order to plan meals. When we planned the overnighter, we were recently placed together as a patrol and did not know much about each other, but the overnighter brought us together and we were able to have fun as a patrol. In addition, I gained a lot of confidence in leading the group of younger boys by providing them with direction, explaining what needed to get done at the time, providing help when it was needed, and making sure all of the boys were involved in the activities that the troop participated in. This was only one event, but the collective effort throughout my time as a patrol leader significantly increased my ability to communicate with others, to effectively lead a group, and to connect with people. To this day, these are skills that I use every day and have allowed me to develop strong relationships with my friends, my peers, and my family members. In turn, my increased ability to lead others increased my self-confidence, allowing me to feel less insecure in certain situations and to take initiative when a group requires direction. Without Boy Scouts, I am not sure that I would have had any other opportunities to step out of my comfort zone in order to improve my ability to communicate, and my life as a whole has benefited as a result.


Moving On

Boy Scouts has been a significant part of my life. For many years, I never realized how much I continued to become a better version of myself as a result of Scouting. As life continues to move in a whirlwind, I have never really taken the time to stop and reflect about my journey and my growth as a young man. The numerous skills and values that I learned in my time as a Boy Scout were ones that I once took for granted, not understanding the impact that they would have on my life. However, as I now look back and reflect on my eleven-year journey through Scouting, I am grateful beyond words for the effect that Scouting has had and will continue to have for the rest of my life.

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