Recently, Dublin students Warren and Dow Umbach received Eagle Scout awards. The Eagle Scout is the highest achievement attainable in the Boy Scouting program of the Boy Scouts of America. Only four percent of Boy Scouts are granted this rank.
The requirements necessary to achieve this rank take years to fulfill. Through their scouting careers, Warren and Dow camped more than 50 nights; canoed more than 75 miles; and hiked more than 100 miles in all kinds of weather. They also became certified in SCUBA and CPR; hiked in New Mexico and canoed in the Boundary Waters of Canada.
To become Eagle Scouts, boys must earn at least 22 merit badges. Warren and Dow earned 29 and 30 respectively. To earn these badges, they mastered subjects like first aid, emergency preparedness, swimming, personal management, camping, physical fitness, cooking, and citizenship.
They must also "stay active" in the troop and hold leadership positions. Meeting this requirement was a particular challenge for scouts whose home in Alabama is 1200 miles from Dublin.
Warren and Dow fulfilled this requirement by participating in Scout activities whenever they were home in Alabama. This included attending meetings, helping others with their Eagle projects, selling Christmas trees to raise money for the troop, and raising flags along the highway for patriotic holidays. Warren also served as troop webmaster while in NH.
A scout must plan a service project, have it approved by the Eagle Scout Board, raise money, and lead others to carry out the project. Both scouts did their Eagle project at Red Mountain Park, a fairly new outdoor area on the west side of Birmingham.
- Dow built a hammock park where people can stop along the trail. Dow raised almost $1500. At least 10 people worked on his project totaling 140 hours.
- Warren worked on a different trail, where he built a workout station (pull up bar, push up bar, and sit up bench). He raised $1000. Nine people worked on his project totaling 165 hours.
Warren and Dow join select list of scouts that have had the “moxie” to go the long road needed to achieve it. At least forty astronauts earned the rank as a youth, including Neil Armstrong and Charles Duke who walked on the moon. Notable people who have earned the award include Wal-Mart founder Sam Walton, Michael Bloomberg, former Mayor of New York City and founder of Bloomberg L.P., President of the United States Gerald R. Ford, U.S. Secretary of Defense Robert Gates, Associate Justice of the U.S. Supreme Court Stephen Breyer, Pulitzer Prize-winner E.O. Wilson, documentary filmmaker and Academy Award-winner Michael Moore, and Academy Award-winning director Steven Spielberg.