He has only been a life scout, the rank before Eagle, for 3 years. Maybe 4. WAY too long to have been turning in paperwork at 10pm the night before his 18th birthday to complete the task. I finally looked at him and said, I know you are purposely waiting until the last minute because you think it is more rock and roll cool. Of course he just looks at me like he has no idea what I am talking about but I know I am right. But, FYI for other almost scouts out there, IT IS NOT COOL!
Anyway, he is done and as I begin to pull myself back together after a VERY tense couple weeks at our house I am proud of my son for seeing scouting through to the end. He really learned so many great life skills in scouting. Not just fun stuff life wilderness survival, cooking over a campfire, tying knots and wood carving but leadership skills, planning, organization. Some of these skills he may not be fully embracing at this point in his life...but he has them, they are part of him and as he grows and the need for them becomes more important in the coming years they will be there for him to draw on and use to succeed. Having watched the process and seen what it takes to become an Eagle scout it is easy for me to see why the rank is so highly regarded.
I would also like to take a moment to acknowledge the scout leaders in our troop (like this is my acceptance speech for his Eagle scout award). They truly walked him down this path. The advancement chair was sending him count down emails over 100 days before his birthday and walked him down every single step of the way. The scoutmaster and assistant both patiently helped him finish up last badges and found time in their schedules to meet with him at the last minutes to finalize things and get needed signatures. They both have Eagle scouts themselves and both have been involved in Jake's scouting since day 1 back in 2nd grade. I think almost every single one of the boys in that little 2nd grade pack have become Eagle scouts. An amazing accomplishment which is really the result of their amazing leadership within the group.