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Meet the Youngest African American Eagle Scout


James Hightower III from Glendale, Wisconsin is, at 12 years old, set to become the youngest African American Eagle Scout in America. His final project was building new bleachers for a local baseball field, and one of his merit badges awoke a passion in him for legal work, which he hopes to pursue as a career. But the Scouts did more for him than that. TMJ 4 News has the story:

His father, James Hightower II, tells TODAY’S TMJ4’s Jesse Ritka how much being in The Boy Scouts means to the Hightower family, “We believe in scouting.  Where else can a young man, at the age of 10 or 11 start a oath by saying ‘on my honor’?  It starts with saying ‘on my honor’ and those are very powerful words and words to live by.”

Covering political news and the DC dysfunction can make even the most sanguine person depressed at times. But it’s nice to remember that while politicians squabble and crooks steal, all over the country decent and honest people of every color and faith are working to build lives and raise families that will be the support and strength of our country in decades to come.

James Hightower is doing his part to make this a better country and world. So, obviously, are his parents and mentors. Fortunately, there are lots of people like this who don’t usually make the news, but do much more for humanity than most of the blowhards who dominate the front page.

[Image of Boy Scout Money from Shutterstock]

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  • Corlyss

    Interesting anecdote from a 70+ friend who was involved in scouting with his kids and grandkids. Today’s scouting is very different from when he was a boy and when his sons were boys. Today, most of the scout project work is done by parents with assistance from their friends, not by the scouts themselves.

    Three years ago a neighbor decided to spearhead the creation of a park in an isolated development plot that somehow came to the city’s inventory. For two years the guy came in to city council touting that the scouts had decided to adopt the project for one of their own, but nothing ever happened. This year, local garden and wildlife clubs (adults with kids they could commandeer for dirty, hot, time-consuming public spirited endeavors) seized the project back and finished it.

    So much for the service part of scouting. It’s gone the way of paper routes in the 70s and 80s – boy signs up and gets the money but its the dad who drags himself out of bed at 4 AM to collect, collate, and deliver the product.

    • William Barto

      Well said, Corlyss. A twelve-year-old boy probably did not build bleachers. Notwithstanding my having attained Eagle Scout rank, I let my eldest boy drop out in Webelos after a travesty of a Soap Box derby was swept by cars that could not have been built by 7-11 year old boys and his self-built car did not even place. The Scouting program is not what it used to be, especially given the number of boys who join from single-parent families and do not have fathers around to build cars or bleachers.

      • Matt B

        Thanks for the rays of sunshine guys.

        • Corlyss

          Any time, Matt.

    • Tom

      Not always the case, as I’ve seen several projects that were actually boy-led. Oftentimes using adult resources, true, but there’s still some of the old spirit left.

  • Pete

    Check this link out, guys, to see how the Merit Badges of the BSA have changed from 1911 to now.

    To me, it’s decay.

  • BobSykes

    However, the PC crowd will denounce him for being white. Their hero and role model is the thug Trayvon Martin.

  • ColoComment

    It should be of no distinction whatsoever that this boy is “African American.”
    His achievement is admirable; his race is irrelevant.

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