The Boy Scouts of America (BSA) has a rank know as Eagle Scout, which the highest rank a person in the Boy Scout program can earn. Of the millions of boys that go through the Boy Scouting program, only 4% ever achieve Eagle Scout status, primarily because of its rigorous requirements.
The primary Eagle Scout requirements are earning a minimum of 13 merit badges, maintaining membership for at least half a year, demonstrating strong leadership among the team, and leading a service (“Eagle”) project that betters the community. All tasks must be fulfilled before the age of 18 to be eligible for the Eagle Scout review process.
The 1st merit badge is camping. This assures that the man can venture out into the woods with his fellow teammates and survive. It’s as simple as that. They must find a way to survive for a couple days in the woods without assistance from troop leadership. The boy scouts search for a good location to set up camp based on their experience and survival skills. They may set up a lean-to, they may put a sleeping bag on the ground, or they may build a fort. Whatever the case, shelter is an essential item to have. Next, they have to sustain themselves with some sort of food. The minimal food they packed will run out, so they may be required to hunt or fish for their meals. Commonly, the boy scouts will go fishing together to catch the evening’s meal. Upon returning to the camping area, they use their wilderness skills to start a fire and cook the fish or any other animal they killed for meat.
Another primary issue a boy scout may face is sleep deprivation. It’s not always easy to sleep in the middle of the woods on the ground. Animals make noises and it’s just uncomfortable at times to lay down because you usually end up lying on a root or get attacked by bugs and insects. Boy scouts may also face inclement weather conditions. Often, the weather is not favorable. The boys deal with rain, sleet, and high winds, as they try to figure out how to stay warm in these rigorous conditions. Additionally, wild animals can cause trouble if they’re lurking around in the woods nearby. There have been stories of boy scouts fighting off bears and other wild animals that got too close. Luckily, outnumbering these animals is usually enough to make them run away.
After the camping merit badge, there are at least 3 that involve citizenship. These merit badges are heavily interactive, requiring the boy scouts to learn the material and figure out who to contact for different circumstances. As an example, for the community service badge, boy scouts must attend a local municipal meeting, take notes, participate, select one of the issues discussed and explain to the troop leader which opinion you agree with and why (with supporting facts). Next, he must choose an issue that’s important to the community based on the meeting and determine what branch of the government is responsible for it. Then, the boy scout needs to contact the government branch, set up a time to interview the representative in charge, and ask how young people can help assist the cause. Beyond that, boy scouts must also work with charitable organizations in the community and create a presentation on the unique elements of the community, issues it’s facing, and what can be done, for the public to view. This is hard work, but teaches a plethora of different skills from project management to organization and more.
Other easier merit badges include cooking, first aid, and physical fitness. Cooking requires practice, but can easily be achieved with a quality cookbook handy. First aid has a class that the boy scout must attend. And, physical fitness requires knowledge of the importance of physical fitness and how the nutrition you put in your body affects your health.