Scouting in America was founded on February 8th, 1910 and since then, it's become one of the largest youth organizations in the country, with more than four million members. However, from all of those members, very few become Eagle Scouts, but of those that do earn the honor, all recall their scouting experience fondly and all say they will forever treasure their memories.
Eagle Scout, Ron Gay says, "I think that what scouting gave to me was a desire to be of service to my community."
"My dad's an Eagle, I'm an Eagle, my brother's an Eagle, both my two sons are Eagles and we need to begin and start new legacies," says Eagle Scout, Steve Aldrich.
For an entire century, boy scouts have not only been dedicated to service and as their motto states, they've been prepared not only lead, but to make a difference in the communities in which they live and that's just what Ron Gay and Steve Aldrich have done during their lifetime. Throughout its history, the organization has provided its members the opportunity to succeed and the highest level of achievement is when one becomes an Eagle Scout.
"There's that extraordinary feeling of accomplishment. Only about 1% of those who are in the boy scouts make it the the rank of Eagle," says Ron Gay.
As adults, being Eagles is a medal both men wear with honor and pride.
Steve Aldrich says, "When you think of the values of trustworthy, loyalty, helpful, friendly, the Scout law, the Scout oath, those principles haven't changed in a 100 years and they won't change in another hundred years."
"I try to still live the 12 points of the scout law, when you think about it's very basic and it's principles that everybody should be following. The principles of trustworthy, loyalty, thrifty, cleanliness, reverence...those are human traits that everyone should live to follow, but I think the Boy Scouts in general those who reach the rank of Eagle have emblazoned them in their character," Ron Gay says.
Thanks to scouting, both men have taken what they learned as youths and made it a part of their lives as adults and it all started through the fun and adventure the Boy Scouts provided.
"I think the outdoors, camping and being able to go out and hike in the woods and learn how to survive out in the environment, that was at times hostile was not only a challenge it exciting," says Ron Gay.
And it's those types of experiences that made responsible men of the boys who joined an organization that allowed them to set goals and stay on track to achieve success in life.
Ron Gay says, "The lessons that you learn from scouting will be with you your entire life.
In celebration of the organization's 100th anniversary, the Brazos Valley is hosting one of the largest gathering of scouts in the country. The Sam Houston Area Council of Scouts will host SHAC JAM on October 8-10. The event takes place at the Texas World Speedway in College Station and more than 15,000 scouts of all ages, their families and scout leaders will attend the jamboree.