Not every Boy Scout becomes an Eagle Scout, the highest award a Scout can achieve. It’s even rarer to earn it before turning 17. Noah Bollinger has checked off both boxes – Georgetown’s newest Eagle Scout is only 14 years old.
“Getting there at such a young age, it means so much to accomplish this,” the Georgetown HS sophomore says. “I put so much time and effort into it. It’s a great feeling when they first say you became an Eagle Scout.”
Noah, a Scout in Troop 405 in Georgetown, earned his Eagle Scout award in June. When it came to choosing his service project (a requirement to become an Eagle Scout), he didn’t have to search very far. He got to work after noticing that his church, New Hope 365, needed better outdoor seating and a trash compartment. Noah added a trash compartment and built park benches to replace New Hope’s plastic chairs, allowing church-goers to more comfortably enjoy the beautiful view on a hill overlooking Round Rock.
Seeing the fruits of his labor, something that would last, gave Noah a feeling of accomplishment. “There was definitely a sense of pride,” he says. “I did this. It’s going to be here for a long time.”
Something else that will endure is the leadership skill the project taught Noah. The project, he says, wasn’t meant to assess what a Scout can do, but how they can lead a group to accomplish a goal.
When Noah became a Cub Scout in first grade, he was simply following in his father’s footsteps. It didn’t take long, however, for him to find his own passion for the Boy Scouts and its fun camps and activities. “I love scouting because it lets me do things most kids don’t get to do, like sailing or mountain climbing,” he says. Last summer he traveled to Philmont Scout Ranch in Cimarron, New Mexico to lead a trek through 77 miles of wilderness. “It was an amazing experience.”
Some kids need to be pushed through an activity, but not Noah. “Noah stuck with [the Boy Scouts] the whole way through,” says his father and Boy Scout alum, Anthony Bollinger.
Sixty-something merit badges later (an Eagle Scout only has to earn 21), Noah’s Boy Scout adventures are far from over. Next year, he plans to go on a canoeing trip in Minnesota and also hopes to attend Sea Base in Florida where he’ll get to live on a sailboat for a week.