A Scout’s Honor: Students work collecting merit badges and volunteering


Courtesy Photo

Junior Diego Melgoza gives back to his community. “My Eagle project was giving food to families in need. That made me feel like I did something good for my community and country,” Melgoza said.

Jamie Weiss, Staff Writer

When the Boy Scouts of America opened its door to include girls, senior Aniston Faul knew she wanted to become one of the first to hold the highest rank: Eagle Scout. She progressed quickly while earning various merit badges until she finally achieved this prestigious rank, making her a part of the inaugural class.
To achieve the title of Eagle Scout, Faul chose to volunteer for The Whole Person, an organization that helps people with disabilities with yard cleanups, fundraisers and performing a multitude of other community service projects.
“My brother has been involved since Cub Scouts, so I was always around it because my dad and brother were very involved in the troop,” Faul said. “When BSA decided to let girls join, my dad asked my sister and I if we wanted to, and we said yes.”
Another Eagle Scout is senior Ethan Janssen, who is also a senior patrol leader.
He has been involved in Scouts for over 10 years and volunteered at Project Uplift for his service organization.
“My great grandfather was a Scout a long time ago,” Janssen said. “When he passed away, I decided to follow in his footsteps when I was really young.”
Sophomore Kristina Erskine, Girl Scout, holds the Silver Award. To achieve this rank, she had to complete her troop’s “Silver Project.”
“We helped the elderly by cleaning and building porches for visiting,” Erskine said. “Especially since this was during COVID times, they could not visit outdoors otherwise.”
Janssen also said that scouting teaches about both the good and the bad along with making memories and meeting new people.
“Hard work and Boy Scouts helped me install my core values,” Janssen said. “It has been a part of my life for so long that I decided to keep it going.”
One “right of passage” in Scouts BSA is camping out at Camp Bartle. Here Eagle Scouts like freshman Faith Thomas spend a week and a half learning about skills to move toward their next rank.
“There are songs during meals, and everyone is usually just having a great time,” Thomas said. “You get a lot closer with all of your troop because you are camping together, eating together and basically doing everything together.”
Thomas also said that she enjoys all the new skills she has learned through her time as a Scout.
“You learn how to camp, tie knots, go fishing and are able to be out in nature,” Thomas said. “At the same time, you even get to learn how to be a leader in your community.”
Along with volunteering, Scouts acquire merit badges by learning about different survival and life skills. Erskine said her favorite badge was one where she was able to cook.
“We were able to make food for someone who was staying in the hospital, but we still were able to eat the sides of it,” Erskine said. “It was fun because we were able to shred our own carrots and create a whole pasta dish with a real life cook.”
Faul is currently spending her time in Scouts helping her brother and friends with their Eagle Scout projects. She said that anyone who is interested in Scouts should join, especially females.
“Everyone should become a Scout because you learn some really good life lessons and are able to meet people you probably would not have not met,” Faul said. “You cannot go wrong with it. Camping and being out in nature is fun.”