Students soar above expectations to earn Eagle Scout badges

January 3, 2011 — by Paul Jung

Senior Karthik Annaamalai receives help on his Eagle Scout project.

This past summer, junior Vikas Nookala spent roughly 100 hours creating a database for Argonaut Elementary in an effort to achieve the highest possible rank in Boy Scouts, the Eagle Scout.
Nookala had to complete this project as well as meet various requirements to show leadership and community service.

Most Boy Scouts begin working toward earning this prestigious rank in the last few years of high school.

“It’s important because it teaches you all about how to work well in a group,” Nookala said. He relied on help from fellow scouts to complete his project during the summer.

To achieve the Eagle Scout rank, a Boy Scout must demonstrate leadership and spirit, receive a minimum of 21 “merit badges,” complete a review conducted by the “board of review,” and lead a service project that benefits the community before turning 18. This service project, the Eagle Project, is run mostly on donations and is led by scouts to emphasize leadership.

Junior Kyle Schulz, who has been a scout for 12 years, is also working on his Eagle Project, which he hopes to complete in the summer. He plans to install cameras in the band locker room to prevent thefts of instruments. According to Schulz, being a Boy Scout is important because of the lessons they learn.

“It’s really useful because it teaches you a lot of skills, and prepares you for college,” said Schulz.

Senior Nick Renda, who earned his Eagle Scout over the past summer, constructed uniform racks for the school marching band, which he says required strong leadership and teamwork.

“I got a lot of experience with leadership and teaching people how to do things,” said Renda. “Group delegation and dynamics were also important.”

Renda thought the uniform racks, which are still in use, were very helpful during the marching band season and saved a lot of time.

“We used to spend a lot of time waiting in line to get our uniforms,” said Renda. “With the racks, we could just roll them out and get them quickly.”

Schulz, though soon turning 18 and leaving Boy Scouts, feels close and bonded with his fellow scouts.

“To me, being a Boy Scout means being with a certain group of guys,” said Schulz. “We just chill out and do things and learn together.”

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