There is a day for everything and everyone and today is the day for those of us who were determined young men who strived for excellence and earned our Eagle Scout rank as a Boy Scout. Why is today National Eagle Scout Day, you may ask. On August 1, 1912, the first Eagle board of review was held for a young man named Arthur Eldred. Arthur became the first Eagle Scout in the Boy Scouts, only two years after the Boy Scouts was founded. Since the inception of the BSA, over two million young men have achieved this highest of honors within the Program, and I am proud to be one of them.
I have always been amazed by the fabric of those at a young willing to cast aside distractions of youth to move towards this goal. Others around the perspective Eagle Scout will always support the young man's desire and advise him on the real value of the rank that won't be delivered for many years to come. This weird mixture of the pull of adolescence and the desire to be something more, to separate from the pack and to show who you really are inside at a young age is quite extraordinary feat. This test at a young age has produced some amazing men, statesmen, astronauts, businessmen and just extraordinary human beings.
I shall always be indebted to my Scoutmasters, my scouting community, the first class Camp Yawgoog, my family and the older scouts before me who all provided support and direction to help me achieve this honor. I am an Eagle and always will be, for this I thank all of you. Gear Forward quite simply is my way of saying thanks to all those that supported me and made me the man I am. Gear Forward is my Adult Eagle Scout Project to ensure the next generation of adventurers are equipped to reach this highest honor as well. No matter one's economic or social background, those that want to get outside and become the best man or woman they want... should have the resources to do so.
Achieving the rank and status an Eagle Scout is a serious endeavor. One of my former bosses once said "When you take on a job you take on the responsibility that goes along with it". Well, this is me taking on the responsibility of my rank, and ensuring that I do my good deed daily. There are tens of thousands of young boys and girls who want to be outside, but don't have what they need to explore, experience nature and hone their outdoor skills, Gear Forward is here to satisfy that need.
If you are an Eagle Scout, today I ask... Have you done a good deed today? If not, find a way to give back and make the world a better place.
Executive Director, Gear Forward
Eagle Scout, 1993