11 Boy Scout Skills That Prepare You For College

11 Boy Scout Skills That Prepare You For College

Scouting and Studying go together quite nicely
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Being a part of the Boy Scouts was a huge part of my life. I became an Eagle Scout at the age of 15 and continued on to earn 11 Eagle Palms, which are awarded for every three months of continued activity, leadership, and five merit badges. Scouting played a huge role in making who I am today. Today, I am a college student. To most people, they believe that scouting only teaches you to build fires and set-up tents, but scouting truly teaches you so much more.

1. Tying Knots


You read that right. Anyone who has to deal with moving and transporting equipment has had to know a good knot or two to hold everything together. As a rower, when we leave to compete, we have to tie up our boats, oars, riggers, and other equipment tightly so that they do not fall off the trailer. It also applies to moving in and out of dorms. Have to tie extra bags to the roof of your car or secure them in your truck bed? There is a knot for that too. I certainly know a few people in the rock climbing club who definitely need to know knots too.

2. Time Management

Five merit badges each month sounds easy right? Having to work with a merit badge counselor, Scoutmaster, whoever manages the merit badges, and not to mention getting all the requirements done can get a little complicated. It takes time and planning to make sure you can get everything done on time. Group projects are a breeze if you can get your work done, schedule around your group members' times, and get it turned in on time. The same goes for multiple homework assignments from different classes. Manage your time and set goals. They will be easily completed without a rush.

3. Teamwork

The ability to work with people of all kinds is an important skill for many aspects of life. Being in the Boy Scouts has allowed me to meet and work with a variety people from many walks of life. Those experiences have allowed me to enhance my own teamwork abilities, and thus help my team. I'm not just talking sports teams. There are other groups that require teamwork too, like study groups, lab partners, and group assignments.

4. Leadership

Speaking of teamwork, sometimes you have to take the reigns. Leadership is a core value in the Boy Scouts. Scouting offers a variety of leadership roles such as quartermaster, historian, patrol leader, troop guide and more. The most important form of leadership I learned was servant leadership. The team does not work for you, you work WITH the team. I have found this form of leadership to be most applicable to those in leadership positions of clubs. The best way to improve a club is to lead the way, not tell the members which way to go and watch them wander.

5. Cooking

No, I do not have a gas stove or fire pit in my dorm room. Yes, I have taken two Home Ec classes. What I mean by cooking is how important food and the preparation of it is. Home Ec taught me how to cook and health class barely taught me the food pyramid (Is that still a thing?). Cooking in scouts has taught me how to properly nourish myself on my own. I've learned how to make the best, quick cold cut sandwiches and can cook up an exquisite meal using only leftovers. Being the grubmaster on camp outs has also taught me to be thrifty when buying enough food, even finding good deals for a little extra. Using every bit of what you buy can help cut into your grocery bill.

6. Adaptability

Thanks to scouting, I have had the opportunity to travel to many places and do many things I would have not been able to without. Going to all of these places and doing so many activities usually required me to get used to a new environment. When I attended the World Scouting Jamboree in Sweden, I had to learn to communicate with people who did not speak my languages, English and German. While I was at the National Advanced Youth Leadership Experience in Philmont, I had to get used to the hot and dry environment while performing first aid and search and rescue exercises. Let's just say the weather doesn't bother me anymore. College will end up placing you in many different situations that you will have to adapt to or risk not performing well.

7. The Importance of Physical Fitness

Scouting offers many outdoors adventures from hiking to whitewater rafting. Everything we did required some level of physical fitness. PE and Health class did teach me about physical fitnes, btu scouting really nailed how important it is to maintain a good level of physical fitness for life. In college, we are usually confined to a desk, bench, or bed. It's is easy to pick up that habit of staying there and continuing it once you leave college. If I maintained a more sedentary lifestyle through college, I would not be able to do all the activities I loved doing in scouts once I leave.

8. First Aid

I'm not talking about running to the scene of an accident on you way to class, I'm talking about the little things that can add up. Knowing first aid also means you knows how to treat yourself. While studying, it is easy to focus too much on that and not on your health. I have had several friends become very dehydrated because they did not bring a drink and did not want to leave to go get one. First aid also comes in handy in case of an accident in the lab for you science majors.

9. The Importance of Community Service

Giving back to your community is something I firmly believe in. Whether it is a merit badge or an Eagle project, scouting requires community service to be performed in some way. There are a multitude of ways you can serve your community. When you help out your community, you build a bond with the people you work with. It is an excellent way to get you out of your room too.

10. Fun and Work are not mutually exclusive

The Order of the Arrow, a group within scouting, emphasizes cheerful service. It has taught me that no matter how arduous my task, I can do it with a smile. It may not be the most fun thing in the world, but I can make the most of it. You can enjoy whatever work you are doing as long as you view it that way.

11. Keeping to my Values

Even though I am no longer a Boy Scout, I continue to live the Scout Oath and Law in my everyday life to the best of my ability. These sets of values have helped guide my morals and decisions as I matured. In college, you will have your values challenged. Of course, this is not a bad thing. You should also listen with an open mind, btu you should not be so quick to change your mind on your values. Scouting gave me firm groundwork to lay my values, ethics, and morals. I still build on it to this day.



Cover Image Credit: James Stephenson

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​An Open Letter To The People Who Don’t Tip Their Servers

This one's for you.
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Dear Person Who Has No Idea How Much The 0 In The “Tip:" Line Matters,

I want to by asking you a simple question: Why?

Is it because you can't afford it? Is it because you are blind to the fact that the tip you leave is how the waiter/waitress serving you is making their living? Is it because you're just lazy and you “don't feel like it"?

Is it because you think that, while taking care of not only your table but at least three to five others, they took too long bringing you that side of ranch dressing? Or is it just because you're unaware that as a server these people make $2.85 an hour plus TIPS?

The average waiter/waitress is only supposed to be paid $2.13 an hour plus tips according to the U.S. Department of Labor.

That then leaves the waiter/waitress with a paycheck with the numbers **$0.00** and the words “Not a real paycheck." stamped on it. Therefore these men and women completely rely on the tips they make during the week to pay their bills.

So, with that being said, I have a few words for those of you who are ignorant enough to leave without leaving a few dollars in the “tip:" line.

Imagine if you go to work, the night starts off slow, then almost like a bomb went off the entire workplace is chaotic and you can't seem to find a minute to stop and breathe, let alone think about what to do next.

Imagine that you are helping a total of six different groups of people at one time, with each group containing two to 10 people.

Imagine that you are working your ass off to make sure that these customers have the best experience possible. Then you cash them out, you hand them a pen and a receipt, say “Thank you so much! It was a pleasure serving you, have a great day!"

Imagine you walk away to attempt to start one of the 17 other things you need to complete, watch as the group you just thanked leaves, and maybe even wave goodbye.

Imagine you are cleaning up the mess that they have so kindly left behind, you look down at the receipt and realize there's a sad face on the tip line of a $24.83 bill.

Imagine how devastated you feel knowing that you helped these people as much as you could just to have them throw water on the fire you need to complete the night.

Now, realize that whenever you decide not to tip your waitress, this is nine out of 10 times what they go through. I cannot stress enough how important it is for people to realize that this is someone's profession — whether they are a college student, a single mother working their second job of the day, a new dad who needs to pay off the loan he needed to take out to get a safer car for his child, your friend, your mom, your dad, your sister, your brother, you.

If you cannot afford to tip, do not come out to eat. If you cannot afford the three alcoholic drinks you gulped down, plus your food and a tip do not come out to eat.

If you cannot afford the $10 wings that become half-off on Tuesdays plus that water you asked for, do not come out to eat.

If you cannot see that the person in front of you is working their best to accommodate you, while trying to do the same for the other five tables around you, do not come out to eat. If you cannot realize that the man or woman in front of you is a real person, with their own personal lives and problems and that maybe these problems have led them to be the reason they are standing in front of you, then do not come out to eat.

As a server myself, it kills me to see the people around me being deprived of the money that they were supposed to earn. It kills me to see the three dollars you left on a $40 bill. It kills me that you cannot stand to put yourself in our shoes — as if you're better than us. I wonder if you realize that you single-handedly ruined part of our nights.

I wonder if maybe one day you will be in our shoes, and I hope to God no one treats you how you have treated us. But if they do, then maybe you'll realize how we felt when you left no tip after we gave you our time.

Cover Image Credit: Hailea Shallock

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Tiger Woods' 2019 Masters Victory Means More Than Winning a Tournament

At the 2019 Masters, Tiger Woods defined what a comeback story truly means.

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For the last week now I have tried to process the events that transpired in the world of golf. As many of you may know by now, I am a fanatic for Tiger Woods. I have watched as one of the greatest athletes to ever grace this earth fell from his pinnacle. I have watched as he and his family were brutally subject to a national embarrassment. I have watched as one of the greatest athletic bodies in all of golf was twisted and contorted through 4 back surgeries and physical rehabilitation. I have watched as critics and fans alike believed that his professional career was over. That he would no longer be a competitive golfer and that he should just retire instead of trying to recreate something that had gone awry.

Today I can say with the utmost of certainty that this is no longer the case. Tiger Woods won the 2019 Masters last week in dramatic fashion. Here are the stats plain and simple. Woods had never won a major tournament after trailing entering the last day of competition. Woods had also not won a major in more than 11 years and his most recent Master's victory was in 2005. Last week, Woods entered Sunday just two strokes behind the leader Francesco Molinari. At the end of the day, Woods won the event.

I have stood by this man's side as a loyal fan for the last 11 years and seen all that he has endured. For me, his victory was unequivocally the greatest moment in all of the sports. Period. There really aren't enough words for me to sum up the magnitude of this event and in the fashion that it took place. I still am speechless a week later. As I sat watching the final round unfold from a live stream on my phone (as I was in a car driving back from Florida), I was in actual tears. I knew that Tiger Woods would be a winner again. What I didn't know is that he was destined to return back to his place in history as the greatest golfer to ever live. The race for Jack Nicklaus 18 major championship victories mark is now back in contention - something that has not been highly considered for the last decade. What Tiger Woods did on Sunday at the Masters is greater than the sport of golf. It goes beyond athletics and winning. It demonstrates the story of grit, relentless toughness in the face of adversity and most importantly, it epitomizes never giving up.

For this current generation of young golfers who grew up idolizing Woods, they saw and heard first hand the return of the roars that followed Tiger every time he stepped onto a golf course. For runner up's Brooks Koepka and Xander Schauffele, they were not mad that they had lost, rather they were happy that Woods had won. They both said in their post-round interviews that the atmosphere and energy that was felt at this tourney was unrivaled to any other sporting event they had played in. It was because of one man, wearing his notorious "Sunday red" as he remained unflappable in the face of his opposition. On the 12th hole, a short par-3 that faces the infamous Rae's Creek, Woods demonstrated his poise and maturity. 5 of the top 6 players in the field hit the ball well short of the hole and landed in the water. The only player not to do so was Tiger who chose to aim well left of the hole and play for par. It was here, with 6 holes left to play that Woods reclaimed the lead. Fans and players were all aware of what was to transpire, they could feel that Tiger was ready to pound.

For me, Tiger Woods' victory will be a moment in my life that I will never forget. More importantly, he unified an entire nation to sit down glued to their televisions and watch the final round play out. I had friends reaching out to me to let me know that they were tuned in to witness history unfold, people who aren't golf fans in the slightest. This demonstrates in the most minimal way possible the magnitude and importance of this win. It was bigger than golf. It was something that young fans and old ones alike will cherish indefinitely. For that, I thank you Tiger Woods. You made all of the moments where we as sports fans wanted to let you go and move on to this new era of talented golfers worth sticking by your side. You brought a country with such polarization and difference together to watch a round of golf. And lastly, you made a fan of yours believe in something bigger than sports, but rather, believe in comebacks and hope. Tiger Woods you will always be my hero.

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