by Eddie Calderon|News Editor

Junior Zachary Howelton

Respect is only earned, never awarded. Junior Zachary Howelton knows all too well the difficulty that it takes to achieve this as he journeyed through Boys Scouts to become an elite Eagle Scout.

“An Eagle Scout demands respect. When people ask what I do and I say ‘I’m an Eagle Scout’ they [immediately] perk up,” Howelton said. “It demands respect because it’s a really long path. It proves whether you’re worthy, and shows you have dedication even to a non-profit organization.”

Achieving the Eagle Scout rank provides many skills outside the classroom along with a project to earn the rank.

“It teaches organization, determination, how to manage money through donations, and ways to contribute to society,” Howelton said, “[For my Eagle Scout project] I built a prayer garden for a church that benefits everyone, especially for the elderly.”

Fulfilling the highest rank in Boys Scouts can provide more opportunities in the future.

“Eagle Scout looks good on any resume. You can look back and say you achieved a big accomplishment, and many seniors come back and say they wish they could’ve become an Eagle Scout,” Howelton said. “Out of everyone who joins the Boys Scouts only one percent achieve the Eagle Scout rank. iIt’s an elite class.”

Although there are so many benefits to achieving such a rank, not everybody is cut out for the process.

“I’ve been in scouts for seven years. They work your butt to the bone; you have to give it you’re all plus another ten percent,” Howelton said. “Don’t try it if you aren’t going to stay dedicated.”

Howelton implements dedication in everything he does, achieving many awards besides merit badges in Boys Scout.

“I was awarded the best camper of the year twice, I’ve participated in over 100 nights of camping which is awarded only one time, I’ve earned the Bronze Eagle award for earning 55 merit badges, the minimum was 25 merit badges,” Howelton said.

His accomplishments have earned him a spot in the highest group in all of Boys Scouts.

“I became a member of the Order of the Arrow, which is the honor society for scouts,” Howelton said. “You have to have eight hours of community service, which involves manual labor for a non-profit organization.”

Howelton has held several positions throughout his years in Scouts.

“In Scouts I’ve been a chapel aide, a quartermaster that was in charge of troop gear, a troop guide that teaches new troops, a troop instructor, a patrol leader, an assistant to the patrol leader, and a grubmaster,” Howelton said.

Besides being a decorated Scout, Howelton is also a hero.

“During a family reunion in Charleston, South Carolina my ten year old cousin decides to jump in eight feet of water, not knowing how to swim he begins to drown.  No one else notices what happens, so I took what I learned from scouting to pull him out of the pool where he immediately spat out water,” Howelton said. “We were able to give him medical attention quickly, and I was presented a lifesaver badge.”

Many students are not able to achieve such high ranks in scouts, but those who do are given lasting rewards.

“My troop threw me a going away party since I was turning eighteen, at eighteen you can no longer be in Boy Scouts, the party meant a lot to me.  It showed that they appreciated my contributions after all the big responsibilities I’ve held,” Howelton said. “I learned to give back to scouting more than what is given to you.”

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About The Author

Eduardo Calderon is a senior at Johnson High School. This is his third year as a member of the Pride, and his first year as the Pride's news editor. He enjoys the journalism field and the photography aspect as well. In his final year, he hopes to end on a good note with Johnson's student newspaper.

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