Meet Ben Daly, one of the councils newest NESA Outstanding Eagle Scouts. Ben comes from a family of scouters and has been a life long scouter himself, starting as a tiger at the age of seven. He earned his Eagle in 2008 from troop 911 of Pleasanton, Calif. As a scout Ben attended the World Jamboree in 2007, and worked on both Royaneh Camp and NYLT staff. He continues to give his time as a volunteer to NYLT along with his parents and wife.
Are you a recipient of the Distinguished Eagle Scout Award, NESA Outstanding Eagle Scout Award, NESA Distinguished Service Award, or Adams Eagle Scout Service Project of the Year Award, or a member of the NESA Legacy Society?
I was awarded the NESA Outstanding Eagle Scout Award this year, 2021.
Are there other Scouting or Non-Scouting awards or recognitions you would like to mention?
I made my scouting career more about garnering experiences than awards. I was lucky enough to participate in five years of NYLT staff, three years leading my troop as SPL for summer camp, and two weeks at the 21st World Scout Jamboree in England, in 2007.
That said, there are a few awards that stick out to me, all from my time as camp staff at Royaneh:
- Best First Year Staffer, Camp Royaneh 2009
- Mr. Avon (cleanest living quarters), Camp Royaneh 2009
- Mr. Avon (cleanest living quarters), Camp Royaneh 2012
Tell us a little bit about you…
I currently live in Concord CA with my wife, Lindsey, and two rambunctious dogs. I received a bachelor’s degree from Humboldt State University and now work as a development and reliability engineer at a company that manufactures electrochromic windows.
I’m lucky enough to have an entire family of scouters around me. Both of my parents were scout leaders in England, before moving to the US and continuing with scouting here. My brother Thomas became an Eagle Scout in 2004 and my sister Gina earned her Gold Award in 2010. My siblings and I worked at Camp Royaneh for many years, and now I volunteer on staff at NYLT, along with my parents and my wife. You could say it runs in the family…
NYLT stands for National Youth Leadership Training. NYLT is the number one training course for personal development. The course is youth led and stimulates one month in the life of youth-led scouting. Learn more about NYLT on their website.
When and where do you earn your Eagle Scout?
I achieved my Eagle Scout rank in September 2008, as a member of Troop 911 from Pleasanton, CA. I was one of the last-minute eagles, waiting until the week after my 18th birthday to do my board of review.
What did you do for your Eagle Project?
For my eagle project, I worked with the Taylor Family Foundation to build storage for several large shade structures that were used at a youth bereavement camp. It was a very humbling experience, and something I will always carry with me.
What does being an Eagle Scout mean to you? Does being recognized with the NESA Outstanding Eagle Scout Award give change to that meaning, if yes, how so?
Being an Eagle Scout means recognizing that you have taken on a lifelong responsibility. Scouting, to me, is about giving more than you get from the program, and the Eagle Scout rank is the embodiment of that. By the time you have achieved that top rank, you’ve been the beneficiary of hundreds, if not thousands, of hours of work, largely by volunteers, and it’s your responsibility to pay that forward. To give more than you’ve gotten.
Being recognized with the NOESA reaffirms that commitment and reminds me that the efforts put forth to help scouts, young and old, never go to waste. It’s the most rewarding part of this lifelong experience, to me, and I’m excited to keep giving wherever I can. After all, once an Eagle, always an Eagle.
What is the greatest personal asset you developed while earning your Eagle Scout or from being an Eagle in the greater community? How has this asset contributed towards personal fulfillment and success in your professional or personal life?
The greatest personal asset I developed in earning my Eagle Scout was follow-through. It’s hard to step back and notice at the time, but for many scouts the journey to Eagle is many-years long. For me, it started when I was seven and joined Tiger Cubs, and didn’t end (or, more accurately, move to the next phase) until my board of review at 18. That’s eleven years working toward one vision.
The skills I developed to keep at it and keep moving forward for those eleven years have helped me in my academic, professional, and personal lives in more ways than I can count.
Do you have any advice for your fellow Eagles, or for those working towards becoming an Eagle? Or is there common advice that you think should be ignored?
My advice for any scout, whether they are working toward Eagle or not, is to take your own path. My brother and I were in scouts together, and we very consciously decided to take our own paths through the program. By doing that we made it special and didn’t leave feeling like we had just followed the instruction book. We both got much more out of it that way, and in turn were able to give much more back.