By Luke Feeney
December 10, 2017 marks a very big achievement in my life. I have been involved in scouting for the past nine years of my life. I started out as a tiger cub scout when I was five years old with Troop 396 as a part of the pack.
The most important part of the scouting program I think is that it teaches you the aspects of leadership. It teaches you how to lead others and also how to be a good follower to your leaders.
In my experience with the Boy Scouts, like everybody, I started off as the new kid. I was part of a patrol and was told what to do by somebody older and more experienced than I was. I learned how to make their jobs easier by doing what they told me to do.
Now as an Eagle Scout, I have the opportunity to be a patrol leader, and was able to implement the things I learned about being a follower to teach the members of my patrol how to be good and successful followers. I also taught my patrol all the different scout skills and how to be successful leaders in the future. Speaking of the future, one thing that Mr. Cirino, my Scoutmaster, told me numerous times after passing my board of review, was that now my job as an Eagle Scout is to make more Eagle Scouts.
At first I thought, man this is going to be tough, how can I make Eagle Scouts? Isn’t it up to them if they want to follow through or not?
“Mr. C,” as I called him, then reminded me that no one makes it without a mentor. Every one has a mentor because we can’t make it alone. We all need someonepushing us to strive for better in order to achieve our goal. We tend to forget who these people were and the role that they played in our achievement.
Advice for Future Scouts
The journey to Eagle Scout is a long one. Be aware that once you obtain the rank of Life Scout, your work is just beginning because there is still much to do. Time will fly because you are having so much fun thinking of projects, coming up with a plan, buying materials, setting a date, working on it and then finally finishing the projects. To see what you have done is the true definition of an accomplishment, which very few people in this world have ever felt, or will ever feel. Savor every minute of it while you can. But honestly don’t give up when it gets hard because it will get hard. Always remember that the people around you are always willing to help.
I believe scouting is very important. It has taught me important values which have made me a better human being. I’ve learned the importance of family and community. I developed an awareness about the importance of patriotism and how I can be a part of sharing that. I have also discovered the importance of giving back and paying it forward. During my Eagle project, I built and beautified a play yard for special needs students. I found it to be a very rewarding experience to see how much impact I made on the students.
The skills I learned on this journey will stay with me for life. I would like to thank everyone who helped me on this path to Eagle Scout. Once an Eagle, always an Eagle.
Luke Feeney is a freshman at Xavier H.S., Manhattan. He was formally presented with the Eagle Scout award at a Court of Honor ceremony Dec. 10 at his home parish, Resurrection Church, Gerritsen Beach.