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07 Jun 2012 15:34 | Anonymous member


By Michael R. Brand, Membership Chairman, Eagle Scout Association of St. Louis Missouri

Since the first Eagle Scout received his badge in 1912, more than 2.1 million Eagle Scouts have contributed more than 400 million hours of service through their leadership projects. In St. Louis alone, thousands of Eagle Scouts have completed significant hours of service to make St. Louis an even better place to live.   Many Eagle Scouts go on to become the future leaders of our country, involved parents, and community members who give back.

What makes a good leader in the community? Is it time spent giving back? Passion for improving the community?   Perhaps it’s quality time spent with children?   There is no one answer, but most of our community’s leaders have a combination of these characteristics and share a similar drive to make our community an even better place to live and work. For more than 35 years, I have been volunteering for the Greater St. Louis Area Council of the Boy Scouts of America and have seen the development of this type of model citizenry at a very young age. Throughout my tenure, I have witnessed boys in the Greater St. Louis area become men that exemplify the Scouting way of life by demonstrating character, leadership, and service. Those who thrive on giving back, those who want to achieve even more, those who will be our future leaders, rise to the challenge of advancing through Scouting to reach the BSA’s highest rank - Eagle Scout.

Becoming an Eagle Scout is no small feat. Young men must earn 21 merit badges; serve six months in a troop leadership position; plan, develop, and give leadership to a service project; take part in a Scoutmaster conference; and successfully complete an Eagle Scout board of review. The road to becoming an Eagle Scout is not short, but it’s one that impacts young men and shapes them into the model citizens that we all should strive to become.

I'm pleased to see what I've known for years has actually been scientifically proven.  A recently released research study conducted by Baylor University found that Eagle Scouts are more likely to be involved in their community, hold leadership positions, and have closer relationships with family and friends than men who have never been in Scouting.


 According to the study, Eagle Scouts are approximately 55 percent more likely than non-Scouts to have held a leadership position at their workplace and are around 76 percent more likely than non-Scouts to have held leadership positions in the local community. Eagle Scouts are 34 percent more likely than non-Scouts to have donated money to a non-religious institution or charity in the community within the last month, and Eagle Scouts are 56 percent more likely than non-Scouts to work with others in their neighborhood to address a problem or improve something.

Lucas Shapland is one of St. Louis’s newer Eagle Scouts, and Michael Ukman is one of our more seasoned Eagle Scouts. Lucas Shapland wants to be the CEO of a large company someday, and anyone who knows the Lafayette High School senior is confident he'll achieve it.

Shapland, 18, of Wildwood, is one of the most decorated Eagle Scouts ever in the Greater St. Louis Area Council. He's an accomplished musician, playing percussion for three years with the St. Louis Symphony Youth Orchestra. He's performed in several one-act plays, and he's been lauded for his leadership. He does it all while maintaining a 3.8 grade-point average. He hasn't decided where he'll attend college.

"He's a real Renaissance man," said Joe Mueller, spokesman for the local scout council. "I'd really like to fast-forward 20 years because it would be fascinating to see who he is going to be."

After Shapland completed 21 merit badges and the other requirements to become an Eagle Scout in 2008, he stayed involved with his troop, racking up dozens of honors, including 12 palm awards. Each palm means Shapland earned five merit badges over a three-month period.  So 12 palms signifies earning 60 merit badges over three years. Shapland ended up with a few extra merit badges, 88 in all.

Read more: http://www.stltoday.com/news/local/columns/susan-weich/decorated-eagle-scout-from-wildwood-takes-leadership-skills-to-the/article_2e5dd7ed-be7c-5261-8a84-b2aa676d1118.html#ixzz1x7PKRbFn


Michael Ukman

Eagle Scout Mike Ukman’s devotion and enthusiasm for the Scouting program is an example for other adult volunteer leaders to follow.

 He was a Tiger Cub leader, den leader, Webelos Leader and Cubmaster at Pack 621 and an assistant Scoutmaster for Troop 783, chartered to Salem Methodist Church. He attended summer camp for 17 years, including a week assisting Troop 109, chartered to the Missouri School for the Blind. He mentored and influenced countless Eagle Scouts, taking special care to make sure each candidate understands their leadership responsibilities.

He completed Wood Badge training and served on more than a dozen Cub Scout Leader Pow Wow and University of Scouting staffs. He was a member of 22 camporee staffs, seven Klondike Derby staffs and is a member of the New Horizons District camping committee. He is a unit commissioner and serves on the district Eagle Board of Review. He supports the efforts of the district Venturing Officers Association and helped with many Fall Fun Rally weekends.

Outside of Scouting, he worked with Habitat for Humanity to build homes, volunteered to help the D.A.R.E program at his sons’ school, and coached t-ball and baseball teams.

He received his district’s Award of Merit and numerous training awards. He is the father of two Eagle Scouts.


His Silver Beaver Award will be presented at the Greater St. Louis Area Council Annual Meeting & Recognition Dinner on June 14. 

The Silver Beaver Award is the highest award a local council can present to an adult volunteer of the Boy Scouts of America. The award is presented to those volunteers who have made outstanding contributions to the Scouting program. Nominations are recommended by the local council and approved by the National Council of the Boy Scouts of America.

These are just two examples of the many Eagle Scouts in St. Louis who live their lives by the values instilled in them through Scouting. As we celebrate 100 years of this remarkable achievement, and the impact that these men have had on our nation, I encourage all of us to take a moment to recognize an Eagle Scout for the great service he has provided to our community. And if you don’t know an Eagle Scout, please encourage the young men in your life to think about working toward this esteemed honor. We’ll all be thankful for it in the long run.

© The Eagle Scout Association of St. Louis, Inc 2017

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