It pays to be a Boy Scout…literally!

By Tamara

Who knew that getting lost in the fog would result in an organization that today includes over 2.6 million members between the ages of seven and seventeen? For those of you unfamiliar with the story, the Boy Scouts of America actually began after William D. Boyce lost his way in the fog during a trip to London. A young Boy Scout helped him find his way home, and Boyce was so impressed by his character that he worked to bring the Scouting organization to the United States. On February 8, the organization will celebrate its 104th anniversary, and to mark the occasion I have gathered a list of scholarship opportunities for those who have taken the pledge to keep themselves physically strong, mentally awake, and morally straight.

1. Eagle Scout Competition

The Bill of Rights Institute offers a $1,000 scholarship to one high school student who has earned the rank of Eagle Scout or is in the process of completing an Eagle Scout project. The winning Scout’s troop will also receive a $500 prize. Deadline: February 10.

2. NJCS Scholarship Program

The National Jewish Committee on Scouting offers a total of five scholarships valued between $500 and $1,000 each to Eagle Scouts. Students must be active members of a synagogue and must have received the Ner Tamid or Etz Chaim religious emblem. Deadline: February 28.

3. Eagle Scout of the Year Award

High school students who have earned the level of Eagle Scout, and are active members of a religious institution, may be eligible to receive this $10,000 scholarship. A total of four awards are available. Deadline: March 1.

4. Scout of the Year Scholarship

The Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW) provide three scholarships annually, valued between $1,000 and $5,000 each. Students must be between 15 and 18 years of age, and must have received the Eagle Scout Award, Venture Silver Award, or Quartermaster Award. Deadline: March 1.

5. Emmett J. Doerr Memorial Scholarship

Any Catholic high school senior, male or female, who is actively involved with a Scout Troop, Varsity Scout Team, or Venturing Crew, may be eligible for this $2,000 scholarship. A total of five awards are available. Deadline: March 1.

6. Lawrence 'Larry' Frazier Memorial Scholarship

Each year, the Lincoln Community Foundation provides a $575 scholarship to a Nebraska high school senior or undergraduate student who has participated in Scouting. Students should also have experience in debate, and considering a career in aviation, insurance, or law. Deadline: March 31.

7. NESA Scholarship Program

The National Eagle Scout Association will offer over 200 scholarships, valued between $1,000 and $50,000 each, to current Eagle Scouts. Students must be high school seniors and plan to attend an accredited 4-year college or university. Deadline: December 31.   For the first time in its history, the Boy Scouts of America will allow openly gay scouts this year. The new policy has been met with some criticism, which is not unexpected since more than half of the registered Scouting units are chartered to religious groups. I, however, think it’s a step in the right direction. Young men can gain many skills, build character, and even have access to free college money, just by participating in Boy Scouts. By opening its doors, the organization will be able to help even more boys become successful students and adults.