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  • Doug Cook

An Open Letter to all earning Scouting’s highest awards*

Updated: Feb 27

Welcome new Eagle Scout / Summit Award / Quartermaster Award / Gold Award Girl Scout recipient – congratulations on your accomplishment. You have achieved what so few in their youth have done in earning Scouting’s highest awards.

You will encounter challenges in your life that will test your character as a leader. The skills you have learned from the leadership EDGE model with the BSA will help assess when a situation is “Storming.” The leadership method of “Demonstrate” backed up by your values will navigate you and your “team” to calmer waters. For the Girl Scout, “Discover / Connect / Take Action” offers a method to do the same.

In some ways you are a marked person. People will judge you by this new standard you have set for yourself. A mis-step could put a spotlight upon you which may, in other instances, be overlooked with another person.

You have all the tools to make ethical choices in your life: The Scout Oath and the Scout Law…, and remember the Scout Motto, “Be Prepared,” will help enable you to handle any situation.

Don’t let that award, however, go to your head. Eagle Scout Mike Rowe says he knows people that earned their award, gained an over-inflated ego, then rested upon their laurels – like some collegiate achievement that sits upon a mantle and they never go further in life. Don’t do this. Stay humble.

Because this was just a training exercise for being an adult. Along your trail you learned that big goals are achieved in small bites. So it will be with the next goals you set upon. Your future, whatever career you chose, hobbies you acquire, and even the family you start are all tackled the same way.

Remember your family of Scouting will be there.

Yours in fellowship,

Doug Cook Eagle Scout, 1981 and proud father of a Gold Award Girl Scout, 2020

BSA Program’s Highest Youth Achievement Awards Cub Scouting – Arrow of Light, Scouts BSA – Eagle Scout Award Venturing – Summit Award, Sea Scouting – Quartermaster Award

Girl Scouts of the USA Highest Youth Achievement Award Girl Scout Gold Award

* = BSA’s Cub Scouting’s Arrow of Light, Scouts BSA’s Eagle Scout Award, Venturing’s Summit Award, Sea Scouting’s Quartermaster Award and the GSUSA Gold Award Girl Scout.

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