Shaler Area senior achieves Eagle Scout rank
Wednesday, February 12, 2020 | 10:44 AM
by Julia Falgione, Shaler Area HS
Shaler Area senior Jacob Ishman has recently been awarded the title of Eagle Scout from the Boy Scouts of America. The rank of Eagle is the highest achievement possible in Boy Scouts and takes a huge amount of effort and time to achieve it.
Ishman started Boy Scouts when he was in sixth grade due to one of his close friends also being a part of the program. He didn’t take much convincing to join.
“My friend said, ‘Come to this meeting, try this out,’ so I did,” Ishman said.
Ishman is passionate about the work he did for the Boy Scouts of America for the six years he was involved and was able to balance his schedule to put in many hours every week to participate in the activities his troop would do.
“We have a meeting every Wednesday night and camping trips one weekend a month. We also do other service projects that we participate in on other weekends, like cleaning various roads,” Ishman said.
To be able to achieve the Eagle rank, there were numerous ranks that Ishman had to achieve beforehand. When people join Boy Scouts they start, obviously, as a scout. If they pursue the advancement process they would next be a Tenderfoot, then Second Class, First Class, Star, Life and Eagle.
“The Boy Scout Handbook lists all the requirements needed to rank up. There is a combination of First Aid, knot tying skills, fire building and just basic survival skills,” Ishman said.
Before Ishman was able to call himself an Eagle Scout he had to get a at least 21 Merit badges. Thirteen merit badges are required to be an Eagle, while the remaining eight can be any of the 135 offered by the Boy Scouts of America. Some of the thirteen required for the Eagle rank are camping, personal fitness, Citizenship in the community, etc.
“I personally have twenty-four merit badges and like to complete the ones that are interesting to me like electricity or wood carving,” Ishman said.
Ishman also participated in a program called National Youth Leadership Training, which was a week-long program where the scouts were taught how to lead. When a Boy Scout is attempting to rank up to Eagle he has to be knowledgeable on how to lead others because he would be the top rank in the troop.
The Eagle Project also had to be completed to earn the rank. The Eagle Project is supposed to demonstrate leadership of others while performing a project for the benefit of his community. Ishman decided to complete a project at his church, North Hills Christian Church.
“There was a walkway at my church, made out of wood. It was falling apart and rotting away, so it was very unsafe. So I tore it down and decided to rebuild it with Trex, so it is now sturdy, safe, and waterproof,” Ishman said.
Being an Eagle Scout is truly a great achievement that takes many skills and many hours devoted to the Boy Scouts of America Program.
“Scouts is a really great program to learn new things and to experience things you wouldn’t elsewhere. It is an excellent way to prepare for life and I feel like it has done a good job to prepare me for the rest of my life, especially with the morals and leadership skills that the program enforces,” Ishman said.
After putting in the time and effort to achieve everything he has, many of Ishman’s friends and family are proud of him, as they should be.
“It’s quite an accomplishment and it takes a lot of work to get there. I’m proud of him as a friend and his family is proud of him too,” senior Jon Brougher said.