The journey of a Boy Scout is a rigorous adventure for any young boy.
It requires time, effort and dedication with the ultimate goal of reaching the top rank — Eagle Scout. This distinction is something only 4% of all Boy Scouts across the nation reach.
But in Buckeye Boy Scout Troop 515, two of its scouts, Logan Locke and Bryce Lake, joined that 4% and completed their respective journeys.
“It’s the feather on their cap. It’s their foundation,” said Catherine Locke, Logan’s mother. “It’s the ‘I’ve taken everything I’ve learned and I’ve applied it not just to a little setting or something small but something that has benefits the community that I live in, where I go to school, but I take everything I learned and applied it to something tangible that they can see and be proud of.’
“Eagle Scout is the diploma or the feather on the cap for the end of the program.”
To complete the process of attaining Eagle Scout, boys must complete 21 different merit badges, hold leadership positions within the troop, plan and complete a community project with an in-depth project report, obtain different reference letters, and pass a board of review.
Such a thorough process might seem like it would occupy nearly all of the boys’ time, but they also still remain active in their personal lives, doing whatever their interests are outside of scouting.
“It’s providing them opportunities and experiences, to try things, to learn things,” Catherine said. “It gives them the chance to meet other kids that have similar interests and make friends and provide community and build character and leadership.”
The culmination of all of the years of work the boys put in is their final project. This is a community service event that they organize from the ground up, creating funds and scheduling what they can do that benefits the city they live in.
Logan’s project was a carefully mapped out depiction of where all the recreational benches were in the city of Litchfield Park. He and a group of scouts took to the streets and located and mapped every bench in the city, giving the information back to the city leadership so the benches could be repaired and properly maintained.
Lake took his services to the YMCA in Goodyear. As a member of the Millennium High School swim team, Lake practices at the facility and noticed that it needed some repairs.
He took it upon himself to schedule the repairs, raising all of the funds needed, and even took part in the renovations. His efforts gave the facility a new back end, including an improved snack bar area and more usable space for the YMCA that they didn’t have the funds for.
“As parents we provided an opportunity for them to see something but do something about it,” Catherine said. “That’s what we’re proud of as a parent when you see something, but there’s something you can do about it. It’s as simple as you see a piece of trash on the ground where you just don’t walk by it, you pick it up, and you put it in the trash can. Or you see somebody leaves the door open, because they’re struggling to get out of their car, or you’re just always looking for opportunities and ways that you can extend that small hand in helping somebody because you don’t know how much impact that’s going to give to that person, you just don’t know that small little gesture can really change somebody’s day.
“So for Logan and Bryce, and all the boys in particular, it’s been a process of instilling those types of character in, in his traits as at a young age that they then will carry on into their adult lives.”
The Eagle Scout process has been a blessing for both Logan and Bryce, as they were able to find an alternative passion that they can call their own. They were able to succeed and grow through the program in Buckeye, joining seven others from the troop to earn Eagle Scout.
At the rank ceremony, Buckeye Mayor Eric Orsborn was in attendance to watch Locke and Lake earn their “feather in the cap.”
“As a kid, you try baseball and you find out that you’re not a good hitter, and then you try other things and you find out that it might not be something that brings you joy,” Catherine said. “But for Logan, it’s been something that continuously filled his bucket and brought him satisfaction and achieving a goal or actually finishing something that he started.
“It has made him extremely proud of his accomplishment. Finding that purpose and contribution back to his community brings him happiness. For him, becoming Eagle just validates it.”
Catherine is adamant that this was the right decision for Logan to continue through, as not only has it made him the person he is today but will have positive effects later on in his life.
“The benefit of obtaining the rank is that it will open up doors for them in the future, similar to receiving a college degree or certificate in a field,” Catherine later added. “They can receive scholarships for college and use the distinction on job applications. It provides a competitive advantage for things they may want to do in the future.”