Archive for the ‘Eagle’ Category


I will admit that I have fallen behind on listening to the Scouting podcasts to which I subscribe, so when I recently took a trip to the Twin Cities I decided to catch up on listening to a couple episodes of the Scoutmaster Podcast found at scoutmaster cg.com. In episode #137, Clarke Green interviews author Mike Malone about his book Four Percent, a history of Eagle Scouts of the Boy Scouts of America. I really enjoyed the stories Mr. Malone shared about three of the most well known Eagle Scouts (listen to the podcast to find out who) and some of the changes to the Eagle Scout program during the last hundred years.

After listening to this podcast I wanted to get a copy of the book. Unfortunately, it is only available as an ebook through Amazon and iTunes. While I have read a couple ebooks on my iPad, I prefer to actually have a real book in my hands. I also think it would make an excellent gift for an Eagle Scout. Mr. Malone stated that his publisher is planning to publish an actual book sometime in the future but there are still some things to work out before that can happen, including getting the rights to use pictures within the book. Until then, it is the ebook or no book.

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    The Eagle in The Newspaper

    I was looking forward to receiving this week’s Melrose Beacon, our local weekly newspaper. An article about Dakota, our newest Eagle Scout, was included in it. I was curious as to were it would appear in the paper. It took the top fifth of page 5, and it featured a picture of Dakota with his proud parents.

    Herman, the writer of the article, attended the Eagle court of honor. His story included quotes from the ceremony and parts of his interview of Dakota and his parents. It also told the readers a little information about his Eagle project.

    I wish I could have you read the article, but the newspaper website is offline. The newspaper was recently sold and the new owners have been working on having a new site created.

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      Dakota received his Eagle Scout Rank on Saturday, April 2, 2011. That means it was time to make another Eagle Scout slideshow. This is the twelfth time I have created a video for an Eagle court of honor. Ten of those were for Boy Scouts from Troop 68. Two were for Scouts of other troops. I have also been working on creating slideshows for the earlier Eagle Scouts of Melrose Troop 68.

      Dakota and I sat down for the first time to plan the slideshow nearly a month ago. He is the first Scout who joined the troop after I switched to digital photography, so I have a lot of photos of him through the seven years he has been a member of the troop. Usually, I only had 200-300 photos of a Scout to sort through. I had over 900 pictures of Dakota. The two of us looked through them and began eliminating pictures. Dakota finally got it down to about 90 pictures. He choose three songs to play within the show, and surprised me with his choices. The finished video came to around ten minutes.

      The guests of the court of honor enjoyed the show. It included some serious pictures along with a few comical ones. The slideshow opened with a picture of a rabbit which has special meaning for Dakota. He explained the rabbit during his speech at the court of honor.

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        The Eagle Scout court of honor for Dakota was held this weekend. It went great. We had a good crowd. On the inside of the program was a little thing called, “One Hundred Scouts.” I have seen this before and I like seeing it as a part of an Eagle court of honor in some manner. Here is how it reads:

        Of any one hundred boys who become Scouts, it must be confessed that thirty will drop out in their first year. Perhaps this may be regarded as a failure, but in later life all of these will remember that they had been Scouts and will speak well of the program.

        Of the one hundred, only rarely will one ever appear before a juvenile court judge. Twelve of the one hundred will be from families that belong to no church. Through Scouting, these twelve and many of their families will be brought into contact with a church and will continue to be active all their lives. Six of the one hundred will become pastors.

        Each of the one hundred will learn something from Scouting. Almost all will develop hobbies that will add interest throughout the rest of their lives. Approximately one-half will serve in the military, and in varying degrees, profit from their Scout training. At least one will use it to save another person’s life and many will credit it with saving their own.

        Four of the one hundred will reach Eagle rank, and at least one will later say that he valued his Eagle above his college degree. Many will find their future vocation through merit badge work and Scouting contacts. Seventeen of the one hundred boys will later become Scout leaders and will give leadership to thousands of additional boys.

        One in four Eagle Scouts will earn their Bronze Palm. Only about half of these boys will earn their gold and silver palms.

        Only one in four boys in America will become a Scout, but it is interesting to know that of the leaders in this nation in business, religion and politics, three out of four were Scouts.

        This story will never end. Like the “Golden Pebble” of service dropped into the human sea it will continue to radiate in ever-widening circles, influencing the characters of men down through unending time.

        It makes you think, doesn’t it?
        100 Days of Scouting: Day 55.

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          Here is something you do not see everyday, or even more then once in a lifetime. It is something special when four brothers in one family each receive Boy Scouting’s highest award, the rank of Eagle Scout. When the four brothers are quadruplets, well, that adds a whole new meaning to special.

          Check out the story about the Goodspeed brothers at the Bryan On Scouting blog, found at http://blog.scoutingmagazine.org/2011/03/10/quadruplets/ Congratulations to the four new Eagle Scouts.

          Are there any quintuplets out there who can do better? Hmmm? Anyone?

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            I sat down with Dakota, the troop’s next Eagle Scout, this weekend to begin work on the slideshow presentation that will be shown at his court of honor next month. We quickly discovered this was not going to be as easy as past slideshows. In fact, it was going to take awhile to put this one together.

            Dakota joined the troop about the same time that I switched to digital photography and left film behind. That means I have a lot more photographs of Dakota than any other Troop 68 Eagle Scout to date. In the past, I would have several dozen pictures to pick from. With Dakota, I had over 800! By the time we finished narrowing down the number we still had ninety pictures that would be good to use in the slideshow. Past slideshows only used 30-50 pictures. Previous slideshows were 3 to 5 minutes long. This one would be a lot longer if we were to use them all.

            I left the final decision to Dakota. After all, it was his court of honor. He really did not want to drop any of the photos. Okay then, it was time to choose the music. I thought he would choose a couple country songs for the presentation but he surprised me when the first song he picked was a song by KISS, Rock And Roll All Nite. The second song he choose was Young, by Kenny Chesney. These two songs gave us nearly seven minutes, but since I like to transition the photographs to the beat of the songs I realized this would not be enough. We needed one more short tune. Dakota started looking through the song collection and surprised me one more time when he chose Bird is the Word, by The Trashmen.

            Three completely different songs within one Eagle Scout slideshow presentation! I shook my head. I did not know how this was going to turn out but Dakota seemed to think it would provide a few laughs for the audience. I could not argue with that.

            Over the next one couple hours, with Dakota sitting next to me, I began to edit the slideshow. It is finished except for the last picture, a photo of Dakota in his Scout uniform. I have to say, even though the presentation will be about ten minutes long, I think it is going to keep the audience’s attention. It will provide a few giggles.

            Dakota has decided that only he and I will see the slideshow before the court of honor. Even his parents will have to wait. I hope everyone enjoys it. I plan to post it to the Melrose Scout Production Podcast next month, after the ceremony.

            100 Days of Scouting: Day 27 .

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              When Mike Rowe attended the 2010 National Jamboree Arena Show the Boy Scouts went nuts! At that moment he was more popular then a rock star. And to top it off, he is an Eagle Scout. Did you know that a couple of Scouts had the chance to interview him while he was at The Hill? Yes they did. They asked him why he was not wearing his uniform. They asked him why he did not use all his powers to get a Dirty Jobs merit badge passed by the national office. They even got him to sing a song he remembered from his days as a Boy Scout. In other words, it was a fun video to watch.

              100 Days of Scouting – Day 8

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                I usually try to keep this blog in an upbeat mood, but I received a letter today from Justin Szalsa, the director of 759: Boy Scouts of Harlem, with some unhappy news this morning. One of the stars of the film, Colin “KC” Byers, has passed away. Here is Justin’s letter, reprinted with his permission:

                Dear friends of 759,

                I am writing you to report some very sad news. As some of you already know, our friend Colin “KC” Byers, an Eagle Scout and a star of “759,” died suddenly on February 1st . He would have celebrated his 18th birthday on February 9th.

                Colin was struck down within a matter of hours by a massive brain trauma related to a blood disorder called ITP that developed very rapidly. Some of you may know that Colin organized a blood drive for his Eagle service project and made it a point to regularly donate blood.

                For the Byers family this is a second tragedy in too short a time–Colin’s father, the composer Patrick Byers, died just a few months earlier after a battle with cancer. Colin leaves behind his mother, Jennifer, two younger brothers and a younger sister—along with a very large family and huge group of friends. The Scouts of New York City, The Village of Harlem, Troop 759, Miss Ann, Mr. Sowah, Jake and I are devastated by the loss of our friend. Please remember Colin and his family in your thoughts and prayers.

                For those of you in New York City, there will be a memorial service in Colin’s honor at LaGuardia High School at 100 Amsterdam Avenue at 65th Street on Saturday, February 12th from 10AM-noon.

                Also, many of you have asked how you can materially support the Byers family. The Boy Scouts of America Greater New York Councils have offered to assist anyone who’d like to make a donation to support the family. The gift will not be tax deductable but your support will go directly to the family. Simply indicate on your check “Byers Family”and mail it to

                Byers Family
                c/o Greater New York Councils
                Boy Scouts of America
                350 Fifth Ave, #430
                New York, NY 10118

                Finally, Albert Maysels, one of the greatest American documentary filmmakers who I admire very much said to make a good documentary you have to love your subjects. Jake and I love KC, Patrick and the rest of the Byers family. We will miss them.

                -Justin Szlasa

                Update: A video has been posted to YouTube in memory of Colin –
                http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pbLWnAtFTMM

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