Spiritual strength part of Boy Scouts' highest rank, says Eagle Scout
Published: August 20, 2012
WASHINGTON (CNS) -- For Catholic Eagle Scout Michael Sherburne, achieving the highest rank in the Boy Scouts "is not just about being smart or physically strong, but also spiritually as well. That is where the character and values come in," he said. "Eagles are supposed to be able to stand up (for) their beliefs. We are different from the rest of society and that is not a bad thing," Sherburne said in a telephone interview with Catholic News Service. The Eagle Scout is the highest rank attainable in the Boy Scouts of America program and it is awarded to Boy Scouts who achieve excellence in service and leadership. The first Eagle Scout medal was awarded to Arthur Rose Eldred, 17, of Rockville Centre, N.Y., in 1912. As the Eagle Scouts celebrate their 100th anniversary, a study by Baylor University's Institute for Studies of Religion and Program on Pro-Social Behavior shows the merits of the achievement go beyond the badges. Byron Johnson, the principal researcher, shared findings of the study with an audience earlier this summer at the Heritage Foundation in Washington. "Scouting generates social capital as well as spiritual capital," he told his listeners, who included Eagle Scouts of all ages. "Spiritual capital" refers to the amount of active religious participation of Eagle Scouts.
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