Eagle: Craig Wilson
Eagle Court of Honor
September 25, 2005
I must be getting old. It is hard to get young, so I guess that is obvious that I am getting old. Somewhere over the years, though, I have lost something, something that I cannot get back, and to be honest, I don’t think I want it back. Over the more than twenty-five years I have spent in the Boy Scouts of America, I seem to have misplaced my age.
There are times that I almost find it again; days when the foul weather makes all of my old injuries ache more; days when I just can not seem to get out of my sleeping bag, and off the ground; days when sitting around the campfire in the cold or rain is plenty of exercise for me. There have even been times when I actually went to bed before the other Scouts in the troop. I guess that meas that I am getting old.
On the other hand, there are more times than I can remember that I could not wait for the next camping trip; days that getting up at 5:30 in the morning in the rain or freezing cold, making a fresh pot of perked coffee and watching the sunrise was about as close to perfect as I could imagine. I look forward, probably more than most of the Scouts do, for the new year to start, just so that I can laugh with them, enjoy the experience of Scouting, and help guide them on their way.
Craig Wilson has been one the most enjoyable to share this experience with. Not only because he has good outdoor skills, but because he understands what it means to laugh. Craig, like almost every other Scout in this troop, has a great sense of humor. He also understands that he can be the humor all by himself, and knows that when people laugh at things that he has done or said, that it is all in fun, and is usually laughing along with them.
From the day when he joined Troop 20, he has been “Mr. Wilson”, from the cartoon strip “Denis the Menace”. He has laughed about hoses being too long, looked up into trees for dead birds, and fallen for many practical jokes. He even endured them during his Eagle Board of Review, and laughed along with the District Eagle Board. It was after that, though that the true spirit of an Eagle came through. They questioned him because of his age, and he stayed the course. He carefully explained his Eagle project to them, and went on to answer every question that they asked. Before the review was done, he showed them what an Eagle Scout is. When he was asked if he had any questions for the Board, he politely replied, “Will you come to my Court of Honor?” The Review was not even completed, and his confidence came through. He was not showing off. In fact, he was quite humble about it, but he was confident in himself. When the Board finished chuckling, I think that they saw that as well.
I have watched this young man change from the little boy that first joined my troop into a young man. I have seen him have wonderful times and amazing adventures. I look forward to watching him pass on his knowledge to others, and I look forward to laughing along the way.
Yes, I am getting old. My body aches in one place or another most of the time. The best part of it is, I don’t care. As long as I can watch these young men have the great times that Craig has had, and can help them to also understand what an Eagle Scout is, I feel just a little bit younger than I am. I laugh as I did when I was a boy. I do things that many men my age only dream of. I have misplaced my age, and I hope that I do not find it for a long time.