Making it to the rank of an Eagle Scout is great honor to have bestowed. In order to become an Eagle Scout, one must earn twenty-one merit badges, including twelve special required merit badges. Some of these required badges are first aid, communication, personal fitness, and camping. The rest of the merit badges can be chosen from about a hundred badges and are referred to as “elective badges”. Examples of elective badges are welding, mammal study, public speaking, rowing, and many others.
Along with these badges, it is required that the boys complete a project referred to as the Eagle Project that benefits the community. These projects can range from making flowerbeds at primary schools to helping the homeless.
John Goetze, senior at West Linn High School, fulfilled his Eagle Scout Project by building a stairway and trail along the Tualatin River connecting an existing trail system to Willamette Park.
“I have huge respect for the program as a whole, especially the Eagle Scout program,” Goetze said.
Other Eagle Scouts at West Linn High School include Daniel Nquan, Sean Garfield, Nathan Weierich and Kevin Layoun.
The Troop celebrates their 65th Anniversary this year and is charted by the West Linn Lions. 144 scouts from Troop 149, the West Linn troop, have reached the rank of Eagle including eleven scouts since 2012. Troop 149 is made up of over 80 scouts and is one of three Boy Scout Troops in West Linn.
“Be prepared.” This motto has stuck with the scouting program plays an important role in many Scouts’ lives. More recently however, a new motto has begun to stick with the Troop of 149: “Do a good turn daily.”
Eric Waller, Scoutmaster of West Linn BSA Troop 149, became Scoutmaster after being a cub master, a leader for younger scouts, for about seven years. He believes that the scouting program shapes boys into responsible, giving and confident young men.
“Scouting instills in young men the values and knowledge that they will need to become leaders in their communities and country,” Waller said. “They learn the values of good conduct, respect for others, and honesty.”