The Baltimore Area Council, Boy Scouts of America (BSA) celebrated Eagle Scouts with a reception held Wednesday, May 12, 2010 at the Buffalo Wild Wings in Bel Air, Maryland. Twenty people including local Eagle Scout alumni and BSA staff joined BSA National Eagle Scout Association National Director, Bill Steel, and Baltimore Area Council BSA Executive Board member Tom Owsley in recognizing the accomplishments of Alex Griffith. As the Scouting movement celebrates its 100th anniversary an emphasis is being placed to reconnect with Eagle Scout from all years. A recent poll by Harris Interactive showed that over 13,000 Eagle Scouts reside within the metropolitan Baltimore area.
At the reception key note speaker, Mr. Steel announced that 16-year old Harford County Resident, Alex Griffith, has been awarded the National Eagle Service Project of the Year for his Eagle Scout Service project. Alex’s project was chosen from over 50,000 Eagle Scout Leadership Service Projects in 2009. This award will be presented at the National Council Annual meeting at the end of this month in Dallas, Texas.
Alex attracted national media attention when he decided to raise funds and build a playground for the orphanage in Krasnoyarsk, Russia where he was adopted from at the age of 11 months for his Eagle Scout Leadership Service Project. Through this project and over more than two years, Alex, along with the assistance of his Boy Scout Troop (Troop 809) and other volunteers, dedicated countless hours to raising over $60,000 for the purchase of the elaborate playground. In April 2009, Alex and a crew of Boy Scouts and leaders travelled to Krasnoyarsk with the playground kit and spent two weeks assembling the playground. They worked alongside Russian youth, overcoming language and cultural difference.
Alex has been recognized for his efforts as a 2009 CNN Hero of the Week, one of 28 Heroes selected from over 9000 nominations from 100 countries. Alex is here to tell us about his Scouting experience.
The Eagle Scout award is the highest rank a boy can attain in the BSA. Only 4% of all registered Scouts earn this coveted mark of success. A Scout must complete 21 merit badges, serve in a leadership position successfully for six months in their Scouting group, show Scout Spirit, and complete the capstone Eagle service project. Once the requirements are met the Scout takes part in a board of review with adults from his group and the larger Scouting community.
The Eagle Scout Leadership Service Project provides a Scout with the opportunity to demonstrate leadership of others in the completion of a significant project to benefit his school, church, or community. Normally the service project involves over 100 hours of effort by the Scout and individuals who assist him. In 2009, total project hours of Eagle Scouts throughout the metro area was 87,972 hours. In Harford County 54 youth achieved the rank of Eagle.
The Baltimore Area Council, BSA is initiating a number of opportunities for Eagle Scouts of all ages to renew their commitment to serve others. First among these is the “Eagle Reserve” an alumni and affiliation network of Eagle Scouts in the Baltimore area. Realizing that many Eagle Scouts are not in a place in their career or family life to be able to devote time as a unit volunteer the Eagle Reserve connects Eagle Scouts to the countless options to serve others, and perhaps help the next crop of Eagle Scouts. All Eagles are encouraged to contact firstname.lastname@example.org or 443-573-2540 for alumni information and updates.