Scouts continuously inspire
Almost all Boy Scouts want it. Almost all Boy Scouts dream of it. Almost all Boy Scouts hope that one day they can show their Boy Scout their achievement. It's the highest rank a Boy Scout can get -- the Eagle rank.
This past Sunday I was honored to participate in the Eagle ceremony of my friends, Tyler and Cody. Tyler and Cody finally earned the Eagle rank. They didn't just get it, they had to earn it.
Many boys start with Cub Scouts. In Cub Scouts we had pinewood derbies and day camps with special T-shirts. We would make weird and useless things out of leather, and tie dye hats we would never wear. We all had tube socks on (because you know, they were cool back then) and my hair was tied up in pigtails. All our chubby baby cheeks were plastered with smiles and laughs.
At one of the day camps we were assigned to dens. Each den had to pick a slogan. Our den leader -- my mom -- came up with the catchy slogan, "Den 8, Den 8, our poop smells great!!!" after the rest of us couldn't think of a better one for two days. I absolutely loved it. I loved it so much that I felt the need to practically scream it in everyone else's faces.
My victim was Aaron. I kept on clinging on to him and singing, "Den 8, Den 8, our poop smells great!" He was extremely annoyed by me by the end of the day. It's what made me a great little girl Cub Scout. I lived to annoy the boys.
Throughout the years, Cody, Tyler, Dylan and I became friends. Dylan is my brother, but Cody and Tyler became my brothers. Honestly, those were some of the best years of my life.
Dylan and Tyler were always the mean bullies who wouldn't let me do things with them. Cody was always the big brother who encouraged them to let me join in. We had many adventures doing random things almost always involving getting dirty.
Tyler and Cody basically spent the summers at our house. We would swim, eat, have water gun fights and mud fights. We were a little less reckless back then. No fires, (mostly because nobody trusted little children with fire), no guns (same thing) and no blowing things to smithereens (aaaand again. We face this thing called parental guidance), whether it be with guns or anything else we could find. The most "dangerous" thing we ever did was make a bottle rocket with vinegar and baking soda.
Finally it was time to leave Cub Scouts behind, and become a Boy Scout. Cub Scouts joining the Boy Scouts go through the Arrow of Light ceremony. Basically they walk over a bridge and get a patch. There is a bass drum playing in the background and older scouts shooting arrows. It's very symbolic.
All Eagles have to go through many obstacles to earn the rank. They had to endure my mom's constant persistence. She was constantly encouraging them to get requirements done, and merit badges earned.
Once the merit badges started coming, the real determination to earn the Eagle rank really set in. Dylan, Cody and Tyler all took the journey together so they had help. They all had the support of the troop, friends and family. There were times when giving up felt right. But giving up isn't how to do things. Once you set your heart on it, you can achieve it.
Dylan started his journey earlier so he earned his Eagle rank first. We all knew Dylan was going to earn it. It was no surprise. We all had our doubts about Cody and Tyler though.
But with enough support, determination, enthusiastically persistent scout leaders and motivation, they did it. Cody and Tyler, if you're reading this (which you better be), I am so proud of you guys.
Some say the journey has ended. The journey in scouting never ends. All they have to do now is keep on doing what they're doing, and keep inspiring people like me.
Berit Ramstad Skoyles is a freshman at Detroit Lakes High School.