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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8 Reasons Why My Dad Is the Most Important Man In My Life

Forever my number one guy.

Growing up, there's been one consistent man I can always count on, my father. In any aspect of my life, my dad has always been there, showing me unconditional love and respect every day. No matter what, I know that my dad will always be the most important man in my life for many reasons.

1. He has always been there.

Literally. From the day I was born until today, I have never not been able to count on my dad to be there for me, uplift me and be the best dad he can be.

2. He learned to adapt and suffer through girly trends to make me happy.

I'm sure when my dad was younger and pictured his future, he didn't think about the Barbie pretend pageants, dressing up as a princess, perfecting my pigtails and enduring other countless girly events. My dad never turned me down when I wanted to play a game, no matter what and was always willing to help me pick out cute outfits and do my hair before preschool.

3. He sends the cutest texts.

Random text messages since I have gotten my own cell phone have always come my way from my dad. Those randoms "I love you so much" and "I am so proud of you" never fail to make me smile, and I can always count on my dad for an adorable text message when I'm feeling down.

4. He taught me how to be brave.

When I needed to learn how to swim, he threw me in the pool. When I needed to learn how to ride a bike, he went alongside me and made sure I didn't fall too badly. When I needed to learn how to drive, he was there next to me, making sure I didn't crash.

5. He encourages me to best the best I can be.

My dad sees the best in me, no matter how much I fail. He's always there to support me and turn my failures into successes. He can sit on the phone with me for hours, talking future career stuff and listening to me lay out my future plans and goals. He wants the absolute best for me, and no is never an option, he is always willing to do whatever it takes to get me where I need to be.

6. He gets sentimental way too often, but it's cute.

Whether you're sitting down at the kitchen table, reminiscing about your childhood, or that one song comes on that your dad insists you will dance to together on your wedding day, your dad's emotions often come out in the cutest possible way, forever reminding you how loved you are.

7. He supports you, emotionally and financially.

Need to vent about a guy in your life that isn't treating you well? My dad is there. Need some extra cash to help fund spring break? He's there for that, too.

8. He shows me how I should be treated.

Yes, my dad treats me like a princess, and I don't expect every guy I meet to wait on me hand and foot, but I do expect respect, and that's exactly what my dad showed I deserve. From the way he loves, admires, and respects me, he shows me that there are guys out there who will one day come along and treat me like that. My dad always advises me to not put up with less than I deserve and assures me that the right guy will come along one day.

For these reasons and more, my dad will forever be my No. 1 man. I love you!

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From One Nerd To Another

My contemplation of the complexities between different forms of art.


Aside from reading Guy Harrison's guide to eliminating scientific ignorance called, "At Least Know This: Essential Science to Enhance Your Life" and, "The Breakthrough: Immunotherapy and the Race to Cure Cancer" by Charles Graeber, an informative and emotional historical account explaining the potential use of our own immune systems to cure cancer, I read articles and worked on my own writing in order to keep learning while enjoying my winter break back in December. I also took a trip to the Guggenheim Museum.

I wish I was artistic. Generally, I walk through museums in awe of what artists can do. The colors and dainty details simultaneously inspire me and remind me of what little talent I posses holding a paintbrush. Walking through the Guggenheim was no exception. Most of the pieces are done by Hilma af Klint, a 20th-century Swedish artist expressing her beliefs and curiosity about the universe through her abstract painting. I was mostly at the exhibit to appease my mom (a K - 8th-grade art teacher), but as we continued to look at each piece and read their descriptions, I slowly began to appreciate them and their underlying meanings.

I like writing that integrates symbols, double meanings, and metaphors into its message because I think that the best works of art are the ones that have to be sought after. If the writer simply tells you exactly what they were thinking and how their words should be interpreted, there's no room for imagination. An unpopular opinion in high school was that reading "The Scarlet Letter" by Nathaniel Hawthorne was fun. Well, I thought it was. At the beginning of the book, there's a scene where Hawthorne describes a wild rosebush that sits just outside of the community prison. As you read, you are free to decide whether it's an image of morality, the last taste of freedom and natural beauty for criminals walking toward their doom, or a symbol of the relationship between the Puritans with their prison-like expectations and Hester, the main character, who blossoms into herself throughout the novel. Whichever one you think it is doesn't matter, the point is that the rosebush can symbolize whatever you want it to. It's the same with paintings - they can be interpreted however you want them to be.

As we walked through the building, its spiral design leading us further and further upwards, we were able to catch glimpses of af Klint's life through the strokes of her brush. My favorite of her collections was one titled, "Evolution." As a science nerd myself, the idea that the story of our existence was being incorporated into art intrigued me. One piece represented the eras of geological time through her use of spirals and snails colored abstractly. She clued you into the story she was telling by using different colors and tones to represent different periods. It felt like reading "The Scarlet Letter" and my biology textbook at the same time. Maybe that sounds like the worst thing ever, but to me it was heaven. Art isn't just art and science isn't just science. Aspects of different studies coexist and join together to form something amazing that will speak to even the most untalented patron walking through the museum halls.

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