My Turn, Your Turn: Honoring the scouts

By Gary McNair - bio|email

I have a confession to make.  I have "Eagle envy."  That's right – "Eagle envy."  I'm not talking about the bird.  I'm talking about Eagle Scouts.  As a teen and a member of Boy Scouts, I was on my way to becoming an Eagle, but came up short.  I don't have many childhood regrets – but that would be one of them.

All this comes to my mind this week because the Boys Scouts of America are celebrating their 100th birthday.  To this day it remains one of the most vibrant and relevant youth organizations in the world. 

Boy Scouts turn 100

Why is that?  I'll tell you what I think.  They teach character and life skills.  They build leaders.  Scouting is great for making friends and bringing fathers and sons together, and there is a lot to be said for belonging to something that does so many good things in the community.  Plus, being involved with scouting is also fun.

I didn't achieve the rank of Eagle, but I did learn a lot, had a great time, and I'm a better person today thanks to the time I spent in Boy Scouts.

So to all you Eagles out there – I salute you, but I also salute all scouts, the volunteers and supporters who make this great organization with four million members truly exceptional.

That's my turn.  Now it's your turn.  To comment on this segment, or anything else, email me at

Emailed comments from viewers:

Just wanted to thank you for the nice commentary on the Boy Scouts and Eagles. I have two boys, both are in Boy Scouts. One just received his Eagle Rank -a first in our family.


Like you I never completed the quest for Eagle scout.  A lot of my success in life however, I attribute to the values I learned as a Boy Scout.  My sons were scouts but did not make Eagle either but they are productive citizens with honest values that make them good family men and one is now involved as an adult leader today.

All parents should encourage their children to become part of the scouting program - girl or boy.  Life skills learned in scouting stay with the individuals and make the participants better citizens all the way around.


I read your comment on the Scouts and would like to say "Like you, I too failed to get my Eagle" I had completed all requirements and filled out all the paper work...but for what ever reason I just didn't follow through.

I applaud the Scouts for all their work in their respective communities and providing a moral background for others to follow!

I made a statement recently  to my wife about the Haitian Relief

Efforts: "Take a dozen Explorer Scouts and send them to Haiti to organize the inbound flights and handle the medical and food distribution efforts and there is not a doubt in my mind that  the job would get DONE, without all the confusion and kayos that followed the infusion of our federal efforts and from the international community...all of who meant well but lacked the "common sense" to know that in order to help people you must first prepare the area for relief efforts.


Our son is in his second year of scouting and I am hoping that he follows in his father's footsteps and achieves Eagle Scout.  The scouts have changed a little since you were younger.  They now include all family members in scout activities, such as camping, and scouting is no longer just a father / son tradition.  With such diversity that our society now faces, how nice that scouts welcome those without the traditional family setting.

I can't think of many better times that my family has experienced, than those shared with our fellow scouts, leaders, and families.  I am confident that the experience my son has with scouting will make him a better citizen, leader, and friend.

Thanks for all of your attention on this important event.  Our country could use more scouts!

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