Dare to Soar — Eagles of the Mad River Valley

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Scouts roast hot dogs. (L-R): Boy Scouts Walker Caffry Randall, Tyler Skroski and Seth Davidson and Cub Scouts Owen von Recklinghausen and Christopher Cummiskey

Scouts roast hot dogs. (L-R): Boy Scouts Walker Caffry Randall, Tyler Skroski and Seth Davidson and Cub Scouts Owen von Recklinghausen and Christopher Cummiskey

During the past two years, five local young men in Boy Scouts of America Troop 700 earned the rank of Eagle Scout. Earlier this fall, two Cub Scouts interviewed the recent Eagle Scouts to learn more about what that achievement meant. Below are excerpts from the interview; the full interview can be seen on Mad River Valley Television (go to www.mrvtv.com and scroll down to “Program Categories,” then click on “Human Interest”). "These Eagle Scouts are dedicated young men who have devoted a lot of time to achieving this rank and given a lot to their community in the process. Be sure to recognize and congratulate them if you see them. Encourage more youth in our community to become involved in Cub Scouts and Boy Scouts – it can make a great difference in their lives and in our community," said Scouting spokesperson Carlton Cummiskey, Troop 700 historian and video producer.

What was your favorite memory of Cub Scouts?

Seth Davidson: Every year we used to go down to Massachusetts for a whitewater rafting trip as a pack and it was a lot of fun.

Walker Caffry Randall: We got to do a ton of activities … and there was also the Pinewood Derby which was super fun – my car was never very fast, but I still had a lot of fun racing it and building it with my dad.

What was your favorite memory of Boy Scouts?

Davidson: My favorite memory was probably last summer when we did our 50-mile hike. We went along the Long Trail. … It was a lot of fun just being out on the open trail and staying in shelters.

If boys didn’t do Cub Scouts, should they still consider joining Boy Scouts?

Tyler Skroski: Absolutely. I didn’t do Cub Scouts, but I went right into Boy Scouts and got right up to speed and caught up with these guys and had just as much fun.

How did you feel when you got your Eagle?

Davidson: I was at a loss for words. It had been many years. I started way back in Cub Scouts in second grade. It was just very unreal to finally achieve something I’d been spending the greater part of my life heading up to, working towards, putting all of the effort and work into my Eagle Project, learning all the skills in Boys Scouts, it was a very unreal and elating experience.

Why do you think so many boys got their Eagle rank at the same time in The Valley?

Skroski: We did have a big group of kids that were all the same age; we were all there for each other and encouraged each other ... to help each other get there, so that’s really why it happened.

Do you guys have any advice for Owen von Recklinghausen and me or any other boys hoping to get their Eagle?

Skroski: My advice is just have fun while you’re getting there. It might seem like a lot of work to get your Eagle, but that’s not really the point. The point is to serve your community and have fun while you’re doing it.

Caffry Randall: I’d just say stick with it. It’s not necessarily the coolest thing – people at school might say stuff, but you know you get to go on cool camping trips, you’re learning all these cool skills, so just stick with it. If it’s something you really want, you can make it happen and it’s totally worth it and it pays off in the end.

It sounded like you had a bigger group of kids. How do you think we could get more boys involved in our pack?

Caffry Randall: Invite friends to join you for a camping trip or hike and hopefully that grabs their attention to join.

Skroski: Going through it and getting your Eagle is going to help you in life … it teaches you to lead people and people see that when you go out into the world.

Davidson: Beyond all the great experiences you get in Boy Scouts, being an Eagle and having that on your resume and college applications does give you a competitive edge.

What is your hope and dream in the future?

Skroski: I want to help people and be happy while doing it.

Caffry Randall: I want to live life and make a difference and be happy.