By: Sharon Aron Baron
Since the age of 12 when Christian Michel first wore his Boy Scout uniform with Troop 27 on the arm, he has been dreaming of the day he would earn his Eagle Scout Award. This month, Christian become one of only a handful of young men who complete the rigorous requirements to earn this distinction only achieved after earning 21 merit badges in everything from riflery to family history.
What sets an Eagle Scout apart from a Boy Scout is the minimum 100 hour service project that must be conceived, planned and executed. For his service project Christian contacted the Sawgrass Nature Center in Coral Springs who was in need of a donation box for the front lobby area to help raise money. With the help of scout leader, Richard McEwan along with the troop, Christian crafted a large blue box that now stands near the front door of the Nature Center, ready to accept the donations from those who generously support them.
Besides completing his Eagle Scout Award, Christian, who lives in Tamarac, has been busy attending high school at JP Taravella High School, tutoring math, and is member of the Gold Coast Youth Orchestra.
“He did the hard work that he needed to do and he became very independent in the process,” said his mother Sabine Michel. “I’m very proud of him.”
Christian said the best part about this scouting experience has been all the mentoring he has received, especially from Troop Leader Richard McEwan.
“Brother McEwan has been with me the entire way, always supporting me and encouraging me.”
Christian awarded McEwan with a mentor’s pin, reserved for the leader who has made the greatest impact on the scout’s journey toward Eagle.
Lighthouse District Leader Andy Buglione honored Christian with the presentation of a special belt buckle created and exclusively distributed to young men earning their Eagle Scout Award in the district. He chose a belt buckle because a plaque or a certificate were just “more things for your mom to dust.”
President Stephen Smith, leader for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints in Coral Springs where Troop 27 is based, summed up the responsibility of carrying the distinction of an Eagle Scout. “People now have higher expectations of you; expectations of integrity, honor, honesty, and virtue. They see a man of achievement who is willing to help lead and serve others.”
Smith also shared why the LDS church has historically been such strong supporters of the scouting program, with nearly each of its units sponsoring a troop nationwide.
“Scouting prepares you to remain strong in the face of adversity and temptation. This is why our church endorses scouting: Because of the path it puts you on, and the skills it provides you with, to make you ultimately successful as a contributing member of your church and your community.”
For more information about how to get involved in Boy Scouts, you can contact the South Florida Council for the Boy Scouts of America at 954-584-4200.