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ON MY HONOR: A lesson in Scouting

Caleb Davis

ROCKWALL (January 27, 2014) The Boy Scouts of America are a group of young men, ages 10 to 18, who like to help others and learn the values of life. Scouts do volunteer work for the community, enjoy exciting field trips and experience outdoor adventures.

In Boy Scouts there are ranks, similar to the military. The rank system is as follows: No rank (new Scout), Scout (the first rank), Tenderfoot (most likely you are one-quarter through your first year), Second Class (you now know the works fairly well), and First Class (through with your first year).

Now things get serious, and it gets harder to earn a rank: Star (must wait minimum of four months), Life (must wait minimum of six months) and Eagle Scout (the most honored of Scouts, and you must wait a minimum of six months).

Each rank requires learning new skills. Life, Star and Eagle require earning multiple merit badges. Eagle Scout is not the end but the beginning because you can earn additional achievements called Palms. An Eagle Scout can earn the Bronze for completing five additional merit badges, the Gold Palm for ten, and the Silver Palm for 15. You must also wait three months between earning each Palm. Eagle Scouts help mentor younger Scouts by tutoring them in Scout skills, providing encouragement and serving as a role model.

The benefits of Scouting are numerous. Not only can being an Eagle Scout lead to scholarships, it will earn you respect for the rest of your life. Being a Scout is about having fun, earning merit badges and making lifelong friendships. As Scouts, we go camping almost every month. Troop 83 goes on a canoeing campout every August, and we always have a great time. We take field trips and go to merit badge classes as often as we can. But it is ultimately up to each Scout how fast he gets his merit badges or next rank. If you are thinking about joining the Boy Scouts of America, I encourage you to do so!

By Blue Ribbon News special contributor and Scouting columnist Caleb Davis, Life Scout, Troop 83 in Rockwall. Submit your Scouting news by emailing editor@BlueRibbonNews.com.