by Eric A Thomas
Since its inception in 1911, just 5% of the scouts involved in Boy Scouts of America (BSA) have risen to the high rank of Eagle Scout. This honor has been bestowed upon 2.5 million young men throughout BSA history.
Starting in 2011 at the age of 6 years old, Joshua Crowder followed in the footsteps of his brothers, Matthew and Austin Crowder, and entered the world of scouting. “To start with scouting, I began as a Cub Scout and crossed into Boy Scouts at the beginning of 2015,” states Joshua Crowder.
The Crowder brothers are all members of Boy Scout Troop 103 — and as of August 2022, all three are Eagle Scouts. Joshua Crowder has witnessed at least 8 members of his troop go on and become an Eagle Scout.
To reach Eagle Scout rank, Joshua Crowder first had to advance through the ranks of Scout, Tenderfoot, Second Class, First Class, Star and Life. He went before the board of review for his Eagle Scout Project on July 20.
“When I was looking for an Eagle Scout project, I was given an idea by a fellow church member,” mentions Crowder. “I ultimately chose to remake the sign for the Woodland Farm Underground Railroad Historic Site.” Following the board of review, he was presented his badge and patch for Eagle Scout at his court of honor on August 8.
Some famous Eagle Scouts have included Neil Armstrong, the first man on the moon; Gerald Ford, the 38th president of the United States and the only one to hold that office; Robert Gates, former head of the CIA; Mike Rowe, host of “Dirty Jobs with Mike Rowe;” Steven Spielberg, filmmaker; Sam Walton, the founder of Walmart; Willie Banks, Olympic athlete; and John Heder, the actor who played Napoleon Dynamite in the movie of the same name.
Throughout scouting, each member works on earning up to 21 merit badges before they can go for Eagle Scout. Crowder personally assigns a level of importance to each of those 21 badges but sees two of the badges as playing a big part in his job. Having worked as a lifeguard, the first aid badge and the lifesaving badge have properly trained him. He also really enjoyed working toward his kayaking merit badge:
“You learn how to kayak and all of the safety precautions like how to un-tip the boat.”
Crowder continues, “The biggest highlight of my scouting career would be the first time I completed the Lincoln Pilgrimage, a 20-mile hike from New Salem to Springfield.”
Joshua Crowder is the son of Tony and Laura Crowder and the youngest of four children. He is a senior at Jacksonville High School, where he is involved with the swim and tennis teams. He is also involved with his church, Go Church, and is a counselor at Green Pastures church camp. youngest of four children. He is a senior at Jacksonville High School, where he is involved with the swim and tennis teams. He is also involved with his church, Go Church, and is a counselor at Green Pastures church camp.