The Best Decision
Local Father & Son Talk Impact of Boy Scouts
Matt Best and his son, Jeremiah, Fishers, have found that “doing a good turn daily” as Eagle Scouts has greatly enriched their lives and vastly improved their community.
Jeremiah, 16, became an Eagle Scout on Dec. 21, 2017, exactly 23 years to the day after Matt became one.
“Becoming an Eagle Scout has helped me grow and do good things in my life and for others,” Jeremiah says. “I have made good friends and had some amazing adventures.”
Matt, a Scoutmaster, says being an Eagle Scout has had a profound impact on his life as well.
“Having the values instilled in me from Scouts has guided my life,” Matt says. “From an early age in Cub Scouts, we are taught to ‘Do Your Best.’ Later, as a Boy Scout, we figured out the value of ‘Be Prepared’ and ‘Do a Good Turn Daily’ that leads to service to others. Then the Scouts’ Oath and Law add the characteristics of what we call Scout Spirit.
“Through life, living with that spirit has helped me in every aspect, whether it be my time in the military, being a good husband and father, a good friend or a strong citizen and employee.”
In order to be an Eagle Scout, Matt explained that individuals have to be registered with the Boy Scouts of America, and work their way through the ranks.
The ranks are Scout, Tenderfoot, Second Class, First Class, Star, Life and Eagle.
“You first learn as a Scout what it means to be a Scout, including the Oath and Law that we live by,” Matt says. “You build on that and become proficient in scout skills like cooking, citizenship, camping and outdoor ethics, first aid, family life and fitness, among many other things.”
The next ranks focus on leadership, according to Matt. Scouts learn to lead themselves and others while building on their skills and developing strong moral character.
“Along the way, you must also show your proficiency in learning new skills by completing Merit Badges, some that are required of every Eagle Scout, and others that you can elect to learn based on your personal interests,” Matt adds.
“The Eagle Scout project is chosen by the Eagle Scout candidate and must benefit the community outside of scouting,” Matt says. “The project is planned and executed at the leadership of the Eagle Scout candidate and approved and assisted by the scout’s mentors.”
After the project is complete, the Scout appears before a board of review to assess every aspect of the Scout’s career and project for testament of the character of an Eagle Scout.
“Finally, the scout’s records are reviewed by the Boy Scouts of America for the Scout to be recognized as an Eagle Scout,” Matt says.
Being aware that Jeremiah has a strong foundation to grow from gives Matt a sense of security about Jeremiah’s future.
“Knowing that he has had the positive impact of so many Scouters in his life tells me that he has those influences to build his life on,” Matt says. “He is an amazing young man who has already given so much, and now he is working at a Boy Scout summer camp, passing the spirit on to the next generation and building a legacy of his own. Now I get the pleasure of helping my daughter, Amber, who is currently working on her silver award in Girl Scouts, working on becoming an Eagle Scout, along with her Girl Scout Gold Award.”
Matt says the best part about working as a Scoutmaster is being a servant to young people and their families.
“To see a Scout become a person of strong character and spirit gives me assurance in the future,” Matt says. “The best feeling in the world is seeing the pride in a young person when that moment of accomplishment happens. Building a legacy that I will never know the extent of and is so much larger than myself.”
Matt added that the value of an Eagle Scout is knowing the measure of the person in front of you and the strength of their character.
“It’s knowing that they can learn new skills and be a leader,” Matt says. “They are a person that can be trusted, courteous and will add value. They will do their best, and they will most likely exceed any expectation you may have.”
Jeremiah agrees and encourages other kids to join The Boy Scouts.
“I would tell them that Scouts is a lot of fun, and there are a lot of good people in Scouts that will teach you things,” Jeremiah says.
Jeremiah noted that his dad has been a positive influence.
“Dad has taught me that I can do what I dream of if I try hard and don’t give up,” Jeremiah says. “ I know how people depend on me to help and that it is up to me to make a difference. I recommend Scouts to everyone, and if you can’t be a Scout, you can still change what you can to make things better. I’m going to continue to be Scout-like all my life because what I do matters.”