MHS Students Pursue Eagle Scout Rank

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Media by Luke Dahlgren

Luke Dahlgren, freshman, built an outdoor classroom at Ballwin Elementary for his final Eagle Scout project. “Eagle Scout projects are a big undertaking,” he said.

Freshman Luke Dahlgren has spent nearly 100 hours researching, planning, designing and constructing. The result: a whiteboard stand and weatherboard for the outdoor classroom at Ballwin Elementary.

Dahlgren said he built these items in order to achieve the rank of Eagle Scout, which is the highest accomplishment a Boy Scout can receive. Earned by only 4 percent of all Boy Scouts, an Eagle Scout ranking requires the Scout to organize and manage a community service project.

“I’m trying to get Eagle Scout because of the experience and the leadership skills that I can learn from the path to getting Eagle,” Dahlgren said.

It has taught me to never give up no matter how long the road is, to learn from my mistakes and grow and be better.”

— Riley McGrail

Before starting his project, Dahlgren had to first get approval from a panel of adults. Once he was approved, he had to gather a group of people, whether it be other scouts or community members, to work on the project. After the project was completed, Dahlgren appeared before the panel again to describe the challenges faced during the project.

Along with the service project, prospective Eagle Scouts have to earn and complete other achievements, which involve various outdoor, athletic and leadership skills.

I’m better at swimming because of Scouts and I’m also better at things like keeping track of money,” Dahlgren said. “This is a bit of a niche thing, but I’ve even learned a lot about fingerprinting.”

There are six preceding levels, or ranks, of Boy Scouts that one has to achieve before looking to become an Eagle Scout. For each rank, a Scout can show mastery of a certain skill in order to gain a merit badge. There are 135 possible merit badges from 12 categories.

Riley McGrail, sophomore, is currently pursuing an Eagle Scout rank and has had 29 merit badges so far.

[The Eagle Scout rank] requires a youth to work hard, be dedicated, demonstrate citizenship, have significant leadership skills, and provide service to the community.”

— Rick Metz

McGrail said his journey to Eagle Scout has prepared him for his future.

It has taught me to never give up no matter how long the road is, to learn from my mistakes and grow and be better,” McGrail said.

Scout Leader Rick Metz said earning the rank of Eagle Scout serves as a cumulative achievement for Scouts, showcasing all the awards and badges they have earned throughout their years of participation.

“It shows that a Scout has what it takes,” Metz said. “It requires a youth to work hard, be dedicated, demonstrate citizenship, have significant leadership skills, and provide service to the community.”

Metz said these important skills will also help scouts in their future lives, carrying into adulthood and standing out on resumes.

The Boy Scouts of America’s mission statement is ‘to prepare young people to make ethical and moral choices over their lifetimes by instilling in them the values of Scout Oath and Law’,” Metz said. “Becoming an Eagle Scout is the pinnacle in Scouting and demonstrates the strength of character.”