Benjamin Reed achieves rank of Eagle Scout

Eagle Scout Benjamin Reed. (photo by Chuck Mahaleris)

by Chuck Mahaleris

Delayed for two years due to Covid mandates, Vassalboro’s Benjamin Reed received his Eagle Scout rank during a ceremony on April 16, 2023, at the Vassalboro United Methodist Church.

Friends and family joined Scouts and leaders of Troop #410 to witness the presentation of scouting’s highest honor to Benjamin Delbert Reed.

Reed, who graduated from Erskine Academy, in South China, and now attends the University of Southern Maine, completed all requirements for the Eagle Scout rank in 2020 but was unable to be presented with the award due to Covid mandates. He was home from college on break for this ceremony,

Troop #410 Assistant Scoutmaster Christopher Santiago explained how challenging it is to receive the award. “Of any 100 youth who become scouts…will learn something from scouting. Almost all will develop a hobby that will last through their adult life,” Santiago said. “Many will serve in the military and in varying degrees profit from their scouting training. At least one will use the skill he or she has learned to save another person’s life, and many will credit it with saving their own.”

Santiago added, “Four of the 100 will reach the rank of Eagle and at least one will later say they value their Eagle Scout badge above their college degree. Many will find their future vocation through merit badge work and scouting contacts. Seventeen of the 100 youth will later become scout leaders and give leadership to thousands of other kids. Only one in four youth in America will become a Scout but it is interesting to know that of the leaders of this nation in business, religion, and politics, three out of four were Scouts.”

Scoutmaster Stephen Polley recognizing Cole Fortin and Nathan Polley. Cole attained the rank of Star Scout and Nathan reached Life Scout, the last step before Eagle. (photo by Chuck Mahaleris)

Scoutmaster Stephen Polley said, “When a youth joins scouting, there is within them something that we call Scout Spirit. The youth may not know that it exists, or know its meaning, but by following the trail to Eagle, the scout is enlightened. The spirit of scouting embodies the principles of the Scout Oath and the Scout Law. It becomes a shining beacon of inspiration. Alone, this light may seem feeble, but when multiplied by the more than 57 million youth and adult volunteers in Scouting around the world, it is powerful indeed.”

The award was pinned to his uniform by his mother, Jennifer Reed, and his father, Kevin Reed, presented him with his Eagle Scout certificate. “Becoming an Eagle Scout is not the end of the journey,” Kevin said. “It is the beginning. As an Eagle, you have far greater responsibilities than you had before.”

“Scouting has had a huge impact on my life, and through it I have learned more about myself than I would have had I never been in the program,” Eagle Scout Ben Reed said. “I’ve learned a lot about leadership skills and how to be an effective leader.”

Reed had served as patrol leader for the Ghost Recon Patrol and as the Troop’s Assistant Senior Patrol Leader and Chaplain’s Aide. “I learned very quickly that being a leader is not simply ordering others around, but instead it is being generous with your time, and delegating tasks and responsibilities to your peers.” He said, “I remember coming into this program being brought by my parents. I didn’t really know what I was doing at first but as the years went on I started thinking about what I was doing in scouting and who I am as a person.” He credited those he worked with in scouting with helping develop his confidence in life.

Troop #410 also presented the Star Rank to Cole Fortin and the Life Rank to Nathan Polley.


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