In August 2021, Elliot Paisner left Gwinnett Georgia to begin his first semester of college at the University of Maryland. He studies Fire Protection Engineering with hopes of one day becoming an EMT, and in his spare time volunteers as a fireman at a local station. At a young age, Elliot was diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder meaning he interprets and understands things a little differently. He found a home in Scouting where he was accepted for his differences and allowed an opportunity to learn and flourish as a leader.
Elliot is an Eagle Scout from Troop 129 of Stone Mountain, an Order of the Arrow (OA) Vigil Honor member, and the former Lodge Chief of the OA Egwa Tawa Dee Lodge – leading over 800 other Scout participants. He served as a staff member at Bert Adams Scout Camp and had the opportunity to attend the BSA National Jamboree. Elliot’s extensive and impressive Scouting experience has served him well in developing leadership skills, friendships, and a sense of purpose. Elliot credits his adult leaders with helping him see his Autism, not as a weakness but as a strength and he hopes that he can show other youth facing challenging barriers of entry that every child deserves a chance to be a leader.
On December 10, 2021, the Atlanta Area Council held the annual Golden Eagle Luncheon with over a thousand participants celebrating another successful year of Scouting. Elliot had the opportunity to speak at the event and share his Scouting journey. As Elliot so aptly stated in his remarks, Scouting is “the greatest gift I have ever received from my parents and, you, my community.”
See Elliot’s full speech below
Learn more about Scouts BSA by visiting our website.