On August 2, M-A junior Schuyler Knapp became an Eagle Scout, joining the six percent of Boy Scouts to achieve this honor. Inspired by his father, also an Eagle Scout, Knapp started scouting in first grade, when he joined a local Cub Scout troop, before transitioning to Boy Scout Troop 206 in fifth grade and continuing with it throughout high school.
During his many years scouting, Knapp learned values and skills necessary to be an Eagle Scout. Although he believes the skills he learned are important, Knapp claimed that it is the values he will take with him from scouting. “Yes, we learn how to tie knots, we learn how to start fires, but a majority of scouting is just growing up and living by values that will make you a good person by the end of that time, and I think that is way more important than learning how to start a fire,” he said. “You can forget how to tie a knot and you can google search it back, but you’re not going to forget how to have integrity.”
For Knapp, scouting is not simply about learning those values. It is about living them and incorporating them into who he is as a person. In order to become an Eagle Scout, he lived by the Scout Law, which states:
“A Scout is trustworthy, loyal, helpful, friendly, courteous, kind, obedient, cheerful, thrifty, brave, clean, and reverent.”
The values were not something that came to him all at once, as he learned more about each value as the years went by. “It’s just been progressive; it hasn’t been like, ‘Here, Eagle now you have unlocked honesty and everything,’” he explained. “It’s the process, really, and then being an Eagle Scout is the end of that process.”
For his Eagle Project, one of the requirements to become an Eagle Scout, Knapp refurbished twelve of M-A’s unusable lunch tables. With the help of other scouts, who followed his leadership, Knapp disassembled the twelve tables, sanded them, put them back together, and repainted them, before placing them near M-A’s soccer field.
His Eagle Project was not the only requirement to become an Eagle Scout, however. In order to become an Eagle Scout, Knapp had to pass the many requirements of each of the seven ranks of scouting: Scout, Tenderfoot, Second Class, First Class, Star, Life, and finally, Eagle. The requirements for each rank can be found here. For Knapp, “the hardest part of the whole process was staying dedicated, because it was four, five years for [him] of just being in Scouts, and [he] was in Cub Scouts before that, which was for the younger kids, which was another three or four years.”
Despite it sometimes being a challenge, Knapp stayed invested in scouting for over eight years, which he attributes to his interests outside of scouting. “I was always busy with volleyball, or school, or other things that were always happening, so I wasn’t always one hundred percent going to everything, and I think that also helped me stay into it,” he said. “I was still able to finish everything, and get Eagle, but I also didn’t burn out due to everything else happening.”
Achieving Eagle just before his junior year, scouting was a part of Knapp’s life for many years, and he does not plan to let that fade away. Although Knapp plans to not make scouting the focal point in life, he wants to continue living by the values that being a Boy Scout taught him. Stated Knapp, “I just want to live with those values, be a high schooler, go to college, and live on with those values in mind.”
In the end, Knapp recognizes how important scouting is to him and how it affected the person he has become. Like his father passed the joy of scouting on to him, he plans to do the same for his kids. “It’s definitely a good thing to have, to have experienced and grown up with,” he claimed. “My kids will definitely be going through scouting.”