Alexander Wood, a junior at Evergreen High School, officially attained the status of Eagle Scout on Saturday, April 27th, when family and friends gathered at the Lakehouse to witness the ceremony.
The Eagle Scout Award represents an understanding of the community and nation as well as a willingness on the part of the wearer of the badge to help others. It is a recognition of a young man's strength of character, the completion of a long list of accomplishments in Scouting, and represents what a boy will be in the future as he grows to manhood.
Wood, now 17, first started in scouting in 2004 at the Cub Scout level, achieving the rank of Boy Scout in November of 2008.
With numerous merit badges to his credit, he received special recognition for: CPR training, Tot'n Chip, Fireman Chip, Order of the Arrow, 62 nights camping, 47.5 service hours, Senior Patrol Leader, Order of the Arrow Representative, Quartermaster, Chaplain Aide, and Instructor.
He was recognized as a member of the Order of the Arrow (OA), Scouting's National Honor Society. OA recognizes Scouts and Scouters who best exemplify the Scout Oath and Law in their daily lives, encouraging others to live these ideals as well. Members of OA are expected to be mentors and leaders for younger Scouts.
To be considered for Eagle Scout status, a Scout needs to have earned the Scout badge as well as achieved the ranks of Tenderfoot, Second Class, First Class, Star and Life. He earned 21 merit badges – 12 that were required and 9 of his choosing. He needed to serve in troop leadership positions for a total of 16 months and spend at least 13 hours on a service project in addition to his Eagle Scout service project. In all, Alexander completed approximately 325 different requirements.
His Eagle Scout project was that of working with the Evergreen Park and Recreation District in creating a picnic area on the edge of Evergreen Lake.
"I chose something that would include one of my favorite places that has given so much to me without ever asking anything in return," he explained. I have spent countless days with family and friends and have grown up admiring its beauty. Since I was a young boy, I have gone fishing, hiking and thrown many rocks in this beautiful lake. I would notice families gather on the banks fo the lake and fish, laugh and have family picnics."
"I wanted to do something that would give back to this lake and my community that has given so much to me including many happy memories," he continued. "With the guidance and support of the Evergreen Park and Recreation District and the Evergreen Lake House, I was able to choose a spot on the south side of the lake and make a picnic table for everyone to enjoy."
In the process, Alexander has become an outdoorsman who knows how to camp, swim, hike and use the tools expected of an experienced outdoorsman. He's comfortable with nature and can identify local animals and plants, including understanding the dangers he might encounter. He has a working knowledge of pollutants.
Part of fulfilling the scouting motto to "Be prepared" means he must know how to treat fractures, head injuries, hypothermia, convulsions, frostbite, burns, abdominal pain, muscle cramps, even the loss of teeth that are knocked out. He knows what to do in case of fire, explosion, desert emergency, motor-vehicle accidents, mountain accidents, food poisoning, gas leaks, earthquakes, floods, tornados, hurricanes, atomic emergencies, and avalanches.
Being a good citizen is paramount in achieving the Eagle Scout level.
Training to become an Eagle Scout requires exposure to the governmental process. An Eagle Scout must know how to manage money and understand the risks and benefits of various forms of investments. He must set financial goals and work toward achieving those goals.
Fitness goals are equally important. He must demonstrate being physically, mentally and socially fit as well as being a good family member, which means having talked to his family about finances, drug abuse and growing up.
An Eagle Scout prospect must plan, develop and give leadership to a service project for any religious organization, school or community. He must also take part in a Scoutmaster conference and successfully complete an Eagle Scout board of review.
The badge is not considered a decoration but rather a symbol of knowledge and ability.
Alexander, the son of Mark and Monika Wood, is a member of Boy Scout Troop 737.
Fewer than three percent of all boys in Scouting in the United States achieve the Eagle Scout Award each year. Each receives a medal and a badge.