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The student news site of Pleasant Valley High School

Spartan Shield

The student news site of Pleasant Valley High School

Spartan Shield

Boy Scouts of America presents benefits to students and the community

PV+Seniors+and+Eagle+Scouts+Spencer+Johnson%2C+Luke+Eckman%2C+David+Todd%2C+and+Cole+Halupnik+stand+with+former+Cub+Scout+Timmy+Ku+after+attending+an+Eagle+Scout+Court+of+Honor+on+Nov.+19.+Photo+credit+to%3A+Jennifer+Halupnik
PV Seniors and Eagle Scouts Spencer Johnson, Luke Eckman, David Todd, and Cole Halupnik stand with former Cub Scout Timmy Ku after attending an Eagle Scout Court of Honor on Nov. 19. Photo credit to: Jennifer Halupnik

Extracurricular activities are a subject of great importance for many high schoolers, whether they are doing them for fun, self-improvement or prestige. Boy Scouts of America (BSA) is an extraordinary extracurricular that checks all three of these boxes, along with many others.

Scouts often start their adventure in elementary school as cub scouts, but going through cub scouts is not a requirement for being a scout. 

Cub scouts often do activities like woodworking with the Pinewood Derby or Raingutter Regatta. As members get older and transition into scouts they are able to do a wide variety of activities. Campouts, merit badges and progressing through the ranks of scouting are some of the main ventures of scouts. 

Senior and Eagle Scout Nick Puthoff has camped over 20 nights with his troop, troop 199, and believes that camping is one of the best things about scouting. “We have a lot of fun at campouts; going on hikes, chopping wood, making food over an open fire and playing games with the troop,” explained Puthoff.

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For many kids, Scouts is an opportunity to have fun and explore the outdoors. Camping outside at campouts or at BSA summer camps can give scouts experience in the outdoors, and merit badges also give this opportunity. 

Currently, 139 different merit badges exist for scouts to earn and new badges are often added to the list. A merit badge is an achievement that requires a scout to dive deep into a specific topic. These badges vary in difficulty, and some are required for the progression to Eagle Scout rank. 

With such a wide range of topics, scouts have the freedom to choose whatever they are interested in. 

Eagle Scout Luke Eckman took advantage of these merit badges to learn more about specific outdoor activities.“Some of my favorite ones were the skiing, biking, shotgun and rifle merit badges. I still use a lot of the things that I learned from these, and they were really fun to complete too because they were activities I was already interested in,” expressed Eckman.

Along with fun hobbies, some merit badges focus on important lifelong skills. First aid, personal finance and cooking are all required merit badges that scouts will use for the rest of their lives. 

Scouts also have to complete requirements in order to progress through the ranks of scouting: scout, tenderfoot, second class, first class, star, life and eagle. These requirements teach participants even more skills and focus on the outdoors and leadership. 

Scouts who progress all the way to Eagle must hold leadership positions in the troop, complete numerous requirements and merit badges and finish an approved service project. 

The Eagle Scout Project is a staple of scouting, and it is often what people remember about their scouting experience. Not only does it give scouts great experience in leadership and planning, but it also helps the community. 

Last spring, Eckman maintained and built a new section of bike trails at Scott Community College. “I see a lot of people using my trails, and it looks a lot nicer there in general. The cool thing about my project is that it’s so relevant to me and a lot of people in the area, and anyone can use the trails whenever they want,” shared Eckman. 

BSA gives students experience in many different areas that can be used all throughout life, and the experience can be personalized to fit a variety of people. Not only is the extracurricular fun for members, but it is also educational and scouts are often sought after at colleges and companies.

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About the Contributor
Cole Halupnik, Copy Editor
Cole Halupnik is a Senior at PV and is the Copy Editor for the Spartan Shield. Cole is an aspiring engineer and hopes to study to be an aerospace engineer in college. He enjoys taking classes like Engineering Problems, AP Physics 2, and Robotics due to his love of engineering. You might see Cole running around town with the Cross Country team, and he also participates in the Trap Shooting Club. He is also an Eagle Scout who loves the outdoors, and he enjoys skiing, hunting with his friends, and biking local trails. Cole continues his love of biking by working at Healthy Habits bike shop. He also can't wait to work with the journalism team on the Spartan Shield this year!

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    Nick PuthoffFeb 10, 2024 at 4:06 pm

    I agree with everything that was said in the article. I believe that scouts can help kids in many different ways as well as benefit the community. The kids get to make new friends, do a lot of new things, and scouting can also help kids figure out what they want to do through the different merit badges that are offered. The Eagle Scout projects are great ways to help the community and everyone in the community, it provides many different projects that are able to be done all over the community. Congrats to all of the scouts for their camping nights and for getting to Eagle Scout.

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