Anthony Johnson has been scouting since he was a first-grader.
Johnson, now a 16-year-old junior at Tea Area, got his start as a Cub Scout. He joined Boy Scouts as soon as he could when he turned 11. The Tea Boy Scout Troop 99 member said scouts prepares boys with life skills.
“I think scouting has taught me a lot about respect and gave me a lot of knowledge to be able to talk to others respectfully and honorably and confidently,” Johnson said.
The now Eagle Scout said getting to that level was one of the hardest things to do.
In Boy Scouts, they start at the level of Scout. Then it goes Tenderfoot, Second Class, First Class, Star, Life and Eagle. Troop 99 leader Garry Andrews said their troop started in 1982 and currently has 19 members.
In the first four ranks, they teach scout skills like tying knots, first aid and camping. In the last three ranks, Andrews said that’s when they earn badges and learn life skills.
In the Star rank, they need to earn four merit badges. In Life they need six more and the Eagle needs a total of 21.
Boys can belong to Boy Scouts until they reach 18 years old. Andrews likes the fact that they have three boys in the troop who have reached Eagle status but still have two or three more years until they are done.
“It’s nice these guys are 15 and 16. They are my youth leaders,” Andrews said.
“Something I implemented a few years ago is I told the boys if you’re star or higher you’re considered a troop guide. They have to teach the younger ones. They’ve never argued.”
Andrews was a Boy Scout himself for seven years as a youth. He has been a leader of either Boy Scouts or Cub Scouts for nine years.
He said scouting helps prepare boys for the real world.
“If you look at the oath and the motto and the law, the requirements for every rank is that they live by that,” Andrews said.
Johnson enjoys the outdoors and hopes to make a career someday in the outdoors. As quartermaster of their troop, many of the younger boys look up to Johnson and the other two Eagles.
“The youngest ones are in sixth grade. I think they look up to me and the other two Eagle Scouts,” Johnson said.