A Greenfield McClain senior recently celebrated his becoming an Eagle Scout, the highest achievement and honor of the Boy Scouts.
Caleb Schluep commemorated his Eagle Scout achievement on Sunday with a court of honor, a ceremony where he received his badge and pin and took his oath, solidifying the distinction.
While Schluep actually earned his Eagle Scout rank over the summer, the court of honor is the responsibility of the candidate and takes time to plan. Schluep joins 18 other scouts from Troop 5022 that have become Eagle Scouts since the local troop began about 20 years ago.
According to fellow Eagle Scout Daniel Mottie, who also administered Schluep’s oath, the distinction is “the ultimate reward of Boy Scouts” and, he said, “a great undertaking.”
According to the Boy Scout Law, a scout is trustworthy, loyal, helpful, friendly, courteous, kind, obedient, cheerful, thrifty, brave, clean, and reverent. The oath promises that a Boy Scout will do his best for God and country and will help other people at all times.
There are 21 requirements that must be met to become an Eagle Scout, and those are done throughout the course of a Boy Scout’s tenure. Completing the requirements takes a high level of dedication and commitment by the scout.
According to the Boy Scouts of America, since Arthur Eldred, the first Eagle Scout in 1912, more than 2 million Boy Scouts have earned the Eagle Scout rank. In that more than a century time frame, according to a blog post by Scouting magazine editor Bryan Wendell on the magazine’s website, that’s about 2 percent of all eligible scouts.
Of the Eagle Scout requirements, the candidate must complete compulsory merit badges like communication and multiple citizenship badges. In addition to certain required badges, scouts can choose between things like emergency preparedness or lifesaving, and environmental science or sustainability. But the merit badge list is large, and each candidate is required to learn across a broad spectrum of subjects ensuring that each scout’s learning experience is well rounded.
Candidates must also demonstrate their activeness in their troop and that they live by the principals of the Boy Scout Oath and Law in their daily lives. They must occupy leadership roles and complete a board of review. An Eagle Scout candidate must also first have achieved the level of Life Scout.
Capping off the earning of Eagle Scout, the candidate must also complete a service project; something that benefits the community and/or an organization other than Boy Scouts. These are projects of a candidate’s planning and completed by their own labor.
For Schluep’s project, he coordinated the move of occupants into the new Greenfield Area Christian Center building last fall. Those occupants included the New Directions youth ministry and the Christian center’s food ministry. Schluep said he also helped with building the New Directions stage and other things that needed doing.
Schluep, who joined the Scouts when he was in the first grade, officially became ranked as Eagle Scout earlier this year when he was 17 years old. In Sunday’s ceremony, the now 18-year-old thanked his family and fellow troop members for their continued support and encouragement.
Along the way, he said, he’s learned about many things and highest on that list is what he’s learned about service to others, teamwork, and leadership. Becoming an Eagle Scout, he said, has been “my biggest accomplishment so far in life.”
“It was a lot of hard work,” he said, and the most meaningful part for him has been serving others.
Shluep is the oldest son of Rick Schluep and Tonia McLanahan of Greenfield. The McClain senior plans to study adventure education at Pennsylvania’s Messiah College.