TuHS Boy Scouts reach Eagle status

Clare Sherman and Sam Dunn

Two Tualatin High School (TuHS) seniors from the local Boy Scouts of America (BSA) troop have reached the elite rank of Eagle Scout: Matthew Hines and Mason Johnson.

Each year, only 6 percent of all eligible Boy Scouts of America (BSA) members reach the Eagle Scout rank. In 2011, this rank was added as the highest achievable class in the BSA, just after Life Scout.  

Another TuHS Scout, Ethan Shetler, is close to earning his Eagle Scout rank. Aside from Troop 530, there are many other local troops that train kids from ages 10 to 18 on their Scout journey.

The Eagle Scout title makes a person very appealing to colleges and even future employers. When entering the military, Eagle Scouts start at a higher rank than those who are not. This is all incredibly beneficial to the future of those who can make it, but the process is no walk in the park.

Most Scouts take four to six years to get there, spending most of their time climbing the ranks to the top. To attain Eagle Scout rank, one must be ranked a Life Scout. From there, they have to earn at least 21 merit badges, which include at least 14 categories of specific badges ranging from Communication, Citizenship in the Nation, First Aid and Environmental Science. The other badges can come from badges not included in that list. However, that isn’t all of the work required. It includes preparing a big project to show their commitment to providing service for others, as well as leadership and planning skills. This project can be anything from construction to conservation or just a presentation of a worthwhile idea.

Alongside the school and work benefits, Scouts master a variety of skills that can be used throughout their lives. Things like camping, cooking, volunteering and various sports and leisure activities provide a wide range of choices for learning something new but also prove to be a lot of fun. Becoming good communicators and understanding self-reliance in order to prepare for your adult life are things these Scouts discover along the way.

Hines has been a Boy Scout since 2016, about seven years now. 

For my Eagle Scout project, I led a group of 18 volunteers to repair and replace 120 feet of a split rail fence at Jurgens Park,” Hines said. “We also trimmed back the green space and picked up all of the debris/trash.

Hines reflected on how his experience with the Scouts has been important.

“During my time in Scouts, I got to spend a lot of time outdoors doing various activities,” he said. “I learned a lot of useful skills that I can implement into my future. I also met a lot of people who I am still friends with today.”

Whether or not you want to achieve the highest rank or are just along for the ride, having fun and making friends, there’s a place for everyone in a BSA troop. It’s also important to understand and recognize the efforts that so many young people have put into becoming an Eagle Scout or just a Scout in general. The amount of work these individuals put into their troop and community is admirable. Regardless of if you feel that joining a troop is for you, being a BSA Eagle Scout is universally acknowledged as notable work that deserves to be celebrated.