TOBIAS – Just 2 percent.
Since the beginning of Scouts in America, 2 percent of all boys who have been a part of Scouting go on to complete the Eagle Scout rank.
For the Elizabeth and Patrick Noel family, that statistic is somewhat higher, way higher. Of the five sons that were involved in the Boy Scouts of America, five completed the requirements to become Eagle Scouts. That is a 100 percent completion rate.
It didn’t come easy.
To earn the Eagle Scout rank, the highest rank in Scouting, a Boy Scout must fulfill requirements in the areas of leadership, service and outdoor skills. The ranks in scouting include Tenderfoot, Second Class, First Class, Star, Life and Eagle. To advance, a Boy Scout must meet specific requirements including active membership in a unit, leadership positions, community service, and earning merit badges. There are 136 merit badges available, 21 must be earned to qualify for Eagle Scout; of this group, 13 badges are required. According to the Scout News Room website, “Merit badges signify the mastery of certain Scoutcraft skills, as well as helping boys increase their skill in an area of personal interest.”
1998 started the decades’ long involvement when eldest son Jacob Noel joined the ranks of the scouting movement as a Cub Scout. He attained his Eagle rank on Aug. 5, 2010.
He was followed by his brother, Riley Noel, who is now in the Air Force, who earned his award on March 20, 2014.
He was followed by Liam Noel, who is soon to leave for basic training in the Air Force, who earned his award on May 14, 2015.
The fourth brother, Seth, earned his Eagle rank on April 12, 2018.
And on Sept. 12, youngest brother, Micah, entered the ranks after completing his Eagle Board of Review. It was a momentous event as Elizabeth Noel hugged her son, congratulated him and sighed.
After 20 years, all five Noel boys can proudly state, “I am an Eagle Scout.”
Becoming an Eagle Scout is no easy task.
“It takes perseverance, determination and a momma who is always saying, ‘You have some free time, why don’t you work on Boy Scout Stuff,’” former Scout leader and mother of two Eagle Scouts, Cynthia Cassel, stated.
Community service is key in scouting; part of the Scout Oath states, “to help other people at all times.” It is estimated that well over 100 hours of community service were completed by the brothers (before the age 18). A total of 144 merit badges combined were earned by the brothers.
The boys have belonged to three different packs, units and crews during the past two decades, starting with Cub Scout Pack 201 of Daykin/Alexandria/Tobias. All five boys belonged to Troop 270 of Friend, while some participated with Crew 270 simultaneously. The last two sons were also involved in Troop 212 of Crete. There were countless nights of camping, high adventures – thousands of miles across America and memories to last a lifetime. However, it won’t end here -- all five young men stated that when they become parents they will again be part of the Scouting movement.