10 Famous Folks You Never Knew Were Eagle Scouts

10 Famous Folks You Never Knew Were Eagle Scouts


Of my accomplishments throughout my young life so far, I am not prouder of any of them than I am my Eagle Scout distinction. Being a part of the National Eagle Scout Association has instilled in me the promise of “Once an Eagle, Always an Eagle,” and I take that charge to heart, trying to live it out through my actions every day.

I am most proud of this honor because it symbolizes so much that I have learned in my life. Being an Eagle Scout means more than just knowing first-aid, how to tie certain lashings or how to camp out under the starry sky while also surviving at the same time.

While those skills are certainly important, it is the values of honesty, leadership and service that have been ingrained within me that I really cherish. The Scout Oath and Law provide marvelous moral codes to abide by, and while the eleventh and twelfth points being “clean and reverent” are a little less defined for myself as I am agnostic and heed famous Eagle Scout Mike Rowe’s call to be a scout “not afraid to get dirty!” I still follow Scouting’s guidelines in my normal life day-to-day now.

For those of you who may still not be convinced about the importance of the Boy Scouts of America and all its subprograms like Venturing and Cub Scouts, I decided to make a short list of some of the most famous Eagle Scouts out there. Some may surprise you while others really do just make a lot of sense considering the qualities of a good Eagle Scout I have already outlined in this article. Without further ado, here is the list!

  1. Neil Armstrong - I find it quite fitting that the first man on the moon was also an Eagle Scout. Armstrong led the Apollo 11 mission to land on the moon in 1969. Of the 312 NASA astronauts, 39 are Eagle Scouts.
  2. Gerald Ford - The first and so far only Eagle Scout to be President of the United States of America, Ford led the country as the 38th president. He served from 1974 to 1977.
  3. Robert Gates - This man was a director of the Central Intelligence Agency and Secretary of Defense from 2006 to 2011. I had the privilege to see him address thousands of scouts at the National Order of the Arrow Conference at Michigan State University in August 2015.
  4. Mike Rowe - This Distinguished Eagle Scout is most famously known for being the host of “Dirty Jobs with Mike Rowe” on the Discovery Channel. I was also lucky enough to see him speak at both the 2010 and 2013 National Scout Jamborees.
  5. Steven Spielberg - Filmmaker responsible for famous cultural phenomena of cinema like “E.T.,” “Jaws” and “Raiders of the Lost Ark,” Spielberg started filmmaking early on as he filmed his scout troop for his photography merit badge.
  6. Sam Walton - The founder of “Wal-Mart” was indeed an Eagle Scout. This now deceased businessman is also the founder of “Sam’s Club”
  7. Willie Banks - This Olympic athlete used to be the world-record holder in the long jump and triple jump. At the age of 56 in 2012, he became the oldest American to clear a six-foot high jump.
  8. Jon Heder - Yes, Napoleon Dynamite himself is an Eagle Scout and an enthusiast at that! While he is famous for many absurdly comedic roles, he is now a scoutmaster and family man with three kids.
  9. Wallace Stegner - Novelist and environmentalist, Stegner won the Pulitzer Prize for his book “Angel of Repose” about a man who loses touch with his family and writes about the adventures of his grandparents.
  10. Michael Bloomberg - The former mayor of New York City and owner of Bloomberg L.P. is our final notable Eagle Scout on this list, but there are plenty more. Search for yourself, and you might find that one of your favorite heroes or celebrities is also an Eagle Scout.

Cover Image Credit: meritbadge.org

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Why High School Musicals Should Be As Respected As Sports Programs Are

The arts are important, too.

When I was in middle school and high school, I felt like I lived for the musicals that my school orchestrated.

For those of you who don't know, a musical is an onstage performance wherein actors take on roles that involve singing, and often dancing, to progress the plot of the story. While it may sound a little bit nerdy to get up in front of an audience to perform in this manner, this is something you cannot knock until you try it.

For some reason, though, many public schools have de-funded arts programs that would allow these musicals to occur, while increasing the funding for sports teams. There are a few things that are being forgotten when sports are valued more than musical programs in high schools.

Much like athletic hobbies, an actor must try-out, or audition, to participate in a musical. Those best suited for each role will be cast, and those who would not fit well are not given a part. While this may sound similar to trying out for say, basketball, it is an apples to oranges comparison.

At a basketball try-out, those who have the most experience doing a lay-up or shooting a foul shot will be more likely to succeed, no questions asked. However, for an audition, it is common to have to learn a piece of choreography upon walking in, and a potential cast member will be required to sing a selected piece with only a few days of preparation.

There are many more variables involved with an audition that makes it that much more nerve-racking.

The cast of a school musical will often rehearse for several months to perfect their roles, with only several nights of performance at the end. Many sports practice for three or four days between each of their respective competitions. While this may seem to make sports more grueling, this is not always the case.

Musicals have very little pay-off for a large amount of effort, while athletic activities have more frequent displays of their efforts.

Athletes are not encouraged to but are allowed to make mistakes. This is simply not allowed for someone in a musical, because certain lines or entrances may be integral to the plot.

Sometimes, because of all the quick changes and the sweat from big dance numbers, the stage makeup just starts to smear. Despite this, an actor must smile through it all. This is the part of musicals that no sport has: introspection.

An actor must think about how he or she would respond in a given situation, be it saddening, maddening, frightening, or delightful. There is no sport that requires the knowledge of human emotion, and there is especially no sport that requires an athlete to mimic such emotion. This type of emotional exercise helps with communications and relationships.

Sports are great, don't get me wrong. I loved playing volleyball, basketball, track, and swimming, but there were no experiences quite like those from a musical. Sports challenge the body with slight amounts of tactic, while musicals require much physical and mental endurance.

The next time you hear someone say that it's “just a musical," just remember that musicals deserve as much respect as sports, since they are just as, if not more demanding.

Cover Image Credit: Cincinnati Arts

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10 Shows To Watch If You're Sick Of 'The Office'

You can only watch it so many times...


"The Office" is a great show, and is super easy to binge watch over and over again! But if you're like me and you're looking for something new to binge, why not give some of these a try? These comedies (or unintentional comedies) are a great way to branch out and watch something new.

1. "New Girl"

A show about a group of friends living in an apartment in a big city? Sound familiar? But seriously, this show is original and fresh, and Nick Miller is an icon.

2. "Crazy Ex-Girlfriend"

Ya'll have been sleeping on this show. It's a musical comedy about a girl that follows her ex boyfriend across the country. I thought it sounded horrible so I put it off for WAY too long, but then I realized how incredible the cast, music, writing, and just EVERYTHING. It really brings important issues to light, and I can't say too much without spoiling it. Rachel Bloom (the creator of the show) is a woman ahead of her time.

3. "Jane the Virgin"

I know... another CW show. But both are so incredible! Jane The Virgin is a tongue-in-cheek comedy and parody of telenovelas. It has so many twists and turns, but somehow you find yourself laughing with the family.

4. "Brooklyn Nine-Nine"


Brooklyn Nine-Nine has been in popular news lately since its cancellation by Fox and sequential pickup by NBC. It's an amazing show about cops in, you guessed it, Brooklyn. Created by the amazing Michael Schur, it's a safe bet that if you loved "The Office" you'll also love his series "Brooklyn Nine-Nine".

5. "The Good Place"

Another series created by the talented Micael Schur, it's safe to say you've probably already heard about this fantasy-comedy series. With a wonderful cast and writing that will keep you on your toes, the show is another safe bet.

6. "Fresh Off The Boat"

Seriously, I don't know why more people don't watch this show. "Fresh Off The Boat" focuses on an Asian family living in Orlando in the mid 90s. Randall Parks plays a character who is the polar opposite of his character in "The Interview" (Yeah, remember that horrifying movie?) and Constance Wu is wonderful as always.

7. "Full House"

Why not go back to the basics? If you're looking for a nostalgic comedy, go back all the way to the early days of Full House. If you're a '98-'00 baby like me, you probably grew up watching the Tanner family on Nick at Night. The entire series is available on Hulu, so if all else fails just watch Uncle Jesse and Rebecca fall in love again or Michelle fall off a horse and somehow lose her memory.

8. "Secret Life of the American Teenager"

Okay, this show is not a comedy, but I have never laughed so hard in my life. It's off Netflix but it's still on Hulu, so you can watch this masterpiece there. Watch the terrible acting and nonsense plot twists drive this show into the ground. Somehow everyone in this school dates each other? And also has a baby? You just have to watch. It might be my favorite show of all time.

9. "Scrubs"

Another old show that is worth watching. If you ignore the last season, Scrubs is a worthwhile medical comedy about doctors in both their personal and medical life. JD and Turk's relationship is one to be jealous of, and one hilarious to watch. Emotional at times, this medical drama is superior to any medical drama that's out now.

10. "Superstore"

I was resistant to watch this one at first, because it looked cheesy. But once I started watching I loved it! The show is a workplace comedy, one you're sure to love if you can relate to working in retail. If you liked the Office, you'll like Superstore!

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