On Saturday, June 9, 2018 the Atlanta Area Council recognized the 695 Eagle Scouts of the Dr. G.P. “Bud” Peterson 2017/18 Eagle Scout Class in a ceremony at the Rialto Center for the Arts at Georgia State University. During the ceremony, Dr. Peterson spoke to the assembled Eagles about the impact of Scouting in his academic and professional career leading up to his current role as President of the Georgia Institute of Technology.
Sitting in the front row for the speech was Eagle Scout Benjamin, the recipient of this year’s Glenn A. and Melinda Adams Award for Outstanding Eagle Scout Project. During the ceremony that morning, Ben had been recognized by Council Commissioner Jenny Chapin for his impressive project.
“He is a truly impressive young man,” Chapin remarked after explaining the composting system Ben built at West Side Elementary School in Marietta. The bins will be used in interactive lessons about the life cycle of plants taught to first through fourth grade students.
As an alum of West Side Elementary, Ben says “this project means more to me, because that school gave me a great place to learn and a great education. Giving back to my school meant a lot to me.”
“I always knew Ben would be a good Scout,” his mother Lucia says, “but it’s been great to see Scouting hone his skills. It’s always brought out the best in him.”
Both Ben and Lucia point to National Youth Leadership Training (NYLT) as the most pivotal experience during his time as a Scout.
Looking back on his decision to attend the training, Ben says, “The majority of Scouts in my Troop were attending NYLT, but I didn’t really want to learn about leadership when I was younger. When I went through I ended up having so much fun and I learned things that I used in the classroom, on my project and elsewhere in life.”
Ben liked the program so much he returned to NYLT as a youth staff member the next year, serving as a Troop Guide.
“Seeing Ben go through NYLT and then go back as staff was really interesting to watch,” Lucia says, “that’s when I really saw his skills and abilities develop.”
Benjamin plans to stay involved in Troop 252 as a Junior Assistant Scoutmaster, attend Sea Base next summer and serve on staff for future NYLT courses. He hopes to attend medical school and become an orthopedic surgeon.