Page 74

19389RD

BY TERI R. WILLIAMS | PHOTOS BY DAPHNE WALKER The rise of an Eagle Jesse Stephens accomplished something in scouting that few rarely do...the coveted Eagle Scout Award. I didn’t know one thing about Boy Scouts. Furthermore, it’s doubtful I would have ever wanted to know anything about the scouting organization had it not been for Jesse Stephens. In fact, I feel certain that Jesse’s Eagle Project has made many others want to know more. What would inspire a teenager today to want to do something solely to benefit the community? It’s not exactly something for which Millennials these days are characterized. But for Jesse, character runs deeper than culture. It’s just something that comes with being an Eagle. When I talked with Jesse about his journey from Cub Scout to Boy Scout to Eagle, I left wanting to know more. How has an organization that was founded in 1910 managed to remain “the largest, and most enduring training and development organization for young men in the United States,” as Michael S. Malone states in his book: Four Percent: The Story of Uncommon Youth in a Century of American Life? I wanted to know. To begin with, I learned that Boy Scouts was not created to resist innovation and change, but rather to bridge the character of the past that was formed through a close connection with nature with the innovation and technological advancements of the present. “Created during the Progressive Era,” writes Malone, “Boy Scouts was born largely out of the perception that, with the end of the frontier and the rise of industrial cities, something profound in the American character was being lost, especially among youth.” Sure, I could imagine boys braving the weather and wild animals in the early 1900s, but not so much in the 21st century. What persuaded boys today to leave airconditioned homes to walk into the woods with a tent? What made young men like Jesse care enough about his 72 Toombs County Magazine


19389RD
To see the actual publication please follow the link above