by Trevor Goldman
"I look back at that phone call on that second night of my first Boy Scout summer camp and realize that was my first taste of independence. That was the first time I’d left the nest and spread my own wings."
on my Eagle Scout journey including first-aid, knot-tying, cooking, interview skills with boards of review, wilderness survival, crucial leadership and organizational skills from the Eagle project, as well as many others (the list could go on and on). There were also many intangible skills that contributed to my growth as a person. There was one in particular I would like to share a story about:
My very first lesson I had to learn rather quickly was independence. It was my first summer camp; this summer the troop went to Pioneer Scout Reservation located on the Ohio-Michigan border. I distinctly remember seeing the Ohio state line and Michigan state line markings while walking around the camp trying to find where I needed to go. The days went very well. I earned 5 merit badges that summer, while making a habit of buying cherry slushies and Twix bars from the trading post. My problem came in the nights while hanging around the camp after dinner clean-up when I wasn’t busy running around the camp. This was the first time I was away from my parents for an extended period of time and I did not know what to think. I missed them very much; I was (and still am) a mamma’s boy. We were not allowed to have personal cell phones, I also didn’t have one at that age, so there was no way to contact my mom to say goodnight. The first night in my tent I cried myself to sleep, which made for a grumpy next day. My Scoutmaster at the time, Mrs. Heim, noticed my mood the second night and confronted me about it. I tried to play the tough guy act, but she saw right through it. I broke down right in front of her. That night she let me use her cell phone for 5 minutes, just enough time for me to call my mom and tell her goodnight. I’m not sure
if that was the proper way to deal with a homesick Scout, but I was surely thankful. The rest of the nights went smoothly, and I ended up having a great time at my first summer camp and every summer camp after that!
As I write this story, I am sitting in my college apartment in Boulder, CO at the end of summer, freshly moved in with the help of my parents. They left to go back home yesterday, and I am preparing to start my junior year of college at the University of Colorado at Boulder (yeah, I’ve aged a bit since that picture). Many other skills I learned from Boy Scouts have made my transition to college much easier (I can cook more than just Ramen and mac and cheese, I know my personal study habits that work for me from doing merit badges, I am mostly organized in my apartment, I have time management skills that are critical to success, and I have good interview skills that help earn internships and on-campus jobs). I look back at that phone call on that second night of my first Boy Scout summer camp and realize that was my first taste of independence. That was the first time I’d left the nest and spread my own wings. I am grateful for those tears and that phone call. I would never have had the courage to attend a prestigious, out-of-state university, especially one as far away as Colorado, if it had not been for my Eagle Scout journey. When I left for college, I made my parents become empty nesters, and I soared out to Colorado to study Chemical Engineering. I am loving every minute of it.
I 've learned many skills