Essay Read

<h2>Tell us more about yourself in your own words.</h2>

<p>For the past decade, I have been in Boy Scouting. My grandmother has a picture that hangs on her refrigerator. The picture is of me in second grade, picking apples at an orchard in a tiny Cub Scout uniform. That was the first thing I did in Scouting. Looking back at the past ten years, I see that this program was a huge part of my childhood. I have a thousand memories, and almost no regrets. </p>

<p>Last summer, I became an Eagle Scout. Many said that the Eagle Rank is the culmination of those ten years. I disagreed. For me, the rank was never about a point on a sum. I always tried to live for the experience. I was required to camp a total of thirty nights, earn twenty-one merit badges, and complete a service project. To me, putting a number on these things was contrary to the very values of the award. Anyone who counts his camping nights is no Eagle Scout. Why did I even bother with merit badges? Was it to learn new things or to complete a tally? </p>

<p>To be a true Eagle Scout is to have a certain view of life. I adhered to this mentality. Each boy had to make a choice. Whenever he did anything, either in Scouting or in the community, he had a motive. The true distinction in my generation is between these two motives. Did he do something because it looked good,? or did he do it for internal satisfaction? I can say with pride that everything I did was for the experience. I didn't have to plan two weeklong trips to Canada and Florida to become an Eagle. I planned those trips because the Troop wanted to go. I didn't have to earn ten more merit badges than were required, but I wanted to try new things. My service project is another good example. I could have chosen a meaningless project that helped no one, but still fulfilled the requirement. Instead, my project was the renovation of the local dog pound. If I drive by in fifteen years, the difference my project made will still be apparent. Permanence is much more gratifying than transience. Hopefully, giving an example of the opposite of my mentality will serve to better illustrate it. </p>

<p>Jason? was my peer. Jason camped only when forced, and participated at best half-heartedly. During sports seasons we never saw him. When he did come, he left meetings thirty minutes early. Jason consistently made Scouting a low priority in his life. I watched in wonder as Jason took his Eagle Scout Promise. When I was younger, I never placed much importance on each requirement. Jason was different; it was always as if he was on a conveyor belt towards the Eagle rank. What had urged him to such hasty advancement? Later I learned that his motivation came not from inside, but from his parents. </p>

<p>It's best to get it done before high school, so he can move on to other things,? his father told me. I was startled by the deliberate nature of this mans thinking. For him, Eagle Scout was just another box on a long checklist for his son. In his later years in high school, Jason adopted? another organization and became its State President. Scouting was forgotten.
At the time, I thought that Jason had cheated Scouting, and had pawned himself off as an Eagle. As I matured, I realized the truth. Jason was a fraud and a charlatan, but he was only cheating himself. Ambition can be a good thing, but too much will destroy a person. I am glad that my only ambitions in Scouting were to have fun and have a good experience. The rest just fell into place.</p>