No Ordinary Boy

March 3, 2003

When a Scout becomes an Eagle Scout he's still a young boy, but he is no ordinary boy.  Only a little more than a million Scouts have ever advanced to Scouting's highest rank.  slightly more than 1% of the more than 40 million Scouts who have started out on the Eagle trail since the beginning of Scouting in America nearly 100 years ago completed the trip.  The Eagle has traveled a long, rugged, yet rewarding trail.

No two Eagle Scouts are exactly alike, yet all are fundamentally alike.  The Eagle has learned that reverence to God comes before all other things.  He knows that respect for the rights and convictions of others is part of his duty to God and his fellow man.  He demonstrates the true meaning of loyalty, although he may not be able to define it.  He has learned discipline and teamwork and how to apply them in his daily living.  He has a code of honor based on the ideals of Scouting.  He has learned that physical bravery may require less courage than standing up for one's convictions.  He has perseverance and determination: He must have it if he is to attain Eagle rank.  He has the knowledge that nature gives to those who seek it.  He has Scouting skills that will be invaluable to him all his life.  He presents a cheerful outlook on life even in the face of hardships and disappointments.  He has more than a vague idea of what duty to his country is: he knows it starts with duty to God, his family and himself.  He eagerly seeks the underlying peace offered by God through his wilderness and wildlife.  He's a qualified junior leader.  He realizes his obligation to the movement that gives him the opportunity to gain and develop those attributes of character.

In sum, he is no ordinary boy.

Tonight, I challenge those among you traveling that long, rugged trail, to commit yourself to the journey's end, and join the ranks of the Eagle.  To those already there, I challenge you to be a friend to those still on the trail; help them, guide them, and encourage them to complete their journey.

Good night, gentlemen.