The following is an email sent to the Troop in February 2010 from a Troop 236 Eagle Scout. 

Hello Troop,

In the past five days I have realized how much scouting has impacted my life and I felt I should share a relatively short antidote. And there is probably no better time than the 100th Anniversary of Scouting.

I awoke this morning at 9:35 and rolled out bed. As has become custom, I immediately read my e-mail and the news. I noticed something that shocked me. It is the 100th Anniversary of the Boy Scouts of America. How did I forgot something so relevant to where and who I am today, especially since it was mentioned at least once a week for the past year and half. The bubble you live in while at college can be quite large at times.

Throughout this past day I was constantly smiling knowing that in a matter of months how perspectives can change. A short while ago I was, “ok, I am an Eagle Scout, and it help me get into college, whatever.” Now I am so happy and humbled to have been impacted by scouting. I have applied so many of the skills I learned in scouting in my college life I can not eve start to stress how much it has help me.

Last week I went to the spring career fair. It was there that I was struck by how much scouting has helped me and how much more it can in the future. I was there hopefully looking for a summer internship and to gain experience interacting with company representatives. To keep it short, it is near impossible to get an internship freshman year, especially in engineering. During multiple conversations and the handing out of my resume, the first item mention was not my GPA, major, or even being a freshman. It was “I see your an Eagle Scout,” or “Wow, you got two palms.” I am truly lost for words when I would then go on to have 10-15 minute conversations with these representatives. All while juniors and seniors who went before me only got a few minutes of their time. Even when I finished talking I received jealous and angry glances from those juniors and seniors behind me who had been waiting for, of all people, a freshman to finish talking. Despite my lack of success in gaining an interview due to my freshman status, I made connections and gained experience for the future. I could very well go on for hours about all the aspects of scouting that help throughout those conversations and day, but I will refrain.

On a lighter note, while I was at dinner tonight I saw a fellow student in his scout uniform. I immediately thought he is a better scout than I am. He was prepared and brought his uniform from home to wear today. I was disappointed that I did not think about doing the same and how cool it would have been to do so.

To reiterate the cliche contained in these messages. Yes, there are times when you want to do anything but a merit badge, project write up,or anything scout related. Please listen when I say, zip up your man suit cupcake and suffer a little now so you enjoy the benefits and rewards that out weigh any sacrifice time and time again.

A Very Happy Scout,

Matthew Elchison