The value of a badge

BSA Eagle Scout Badge (Image taken from )

BSA Eagle Scout Badge

Last night my son and daughter and I attended an Eagle award ceremony—a double Eagle award ceremony—two Scouts from the same Troop being awarded the rank of Eagle Scout on the same evening.

For readers who aren’t familiar with Scouting, Eagle is the highest rank awarded by the Boy Scouts of America. Very few Scouts (between 4 and 5% of all Scouts) earn the rank of Eagle Scout.

These two young men had worked toward a goal set before them nearly a decade earlier. And they achieved this goal through hard work, perseverance, planning, leadership and execution.

Not just a scrap of embroidered cloth

“What?”, I can hear you say, “all of that effort just for a scrap of embroidered cloth?” You could say that.

Or you could choose to look at the project management skills learned while working through their Eagle projects. The leadership lessons learned as they led their peers planning camp outs, menus and activities and then executing those plans. The lessons in team development as they lay awake at night, wondering why their patrol (what Scouting calls a “team”) was behaving in a peculiar way.

No, the scrap of embroidered cloth is another one of those outward signs of inward transformation. The real value of the badge is found in all the lessons learned while earning it, lessons and values that will shape these young men’s lives as they head off to college and prepare for careers.

I earned my Eagle some time ago and am still quite proud of it. I continue to list it on my resume because it’s still as relevant today as when I earned it at seventeen. And while it’s true that today the projects, the teams and the stakes are bigger, the lessons are largely the same.

Congratulations to both these new Eagle Scouts!

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