Meet this week’s Eagle Scout Spotlight, an Adam’s Eagle Scout Service Project of the Year Award recipient and Lifetime member of NESA, Euan McManus. Euan earned his Eagle with Troop 152 of Oakley, Calif. two months before turning 14 and is on a quest to earn every merit badge. He has attended World and National Jamboree and has visited Brownsea Island in the United Kingdom. Euan’s passion for STEM has led to him earning multiple STEM Nova and Supernova awards, provided him with an idea for his award-winning Eagle Project, a focus for study in college, and hopefully a career. Please enjoy this all-encompassing spotlight of Eagle Scout Euan McManus.
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 the 2019 Recipient of the Adams Eagle Scout Service Project of the Year Award from Mount Diablo-Silverado Council, and I am a lifetime member of NESA.
Are there other Scouting or Non-Scouting awards or recognitions you would like to mention?
During my six years as a member of Scouts BSA I have earned 132 merit badges and the following awards and recognitions:
- VFW (Veterans of Foreign Wars) Scout of the Year (2020) Program winner at Local and District level
- OA Vigil Member nominee (still to complete induction)
- National Medal for Outdoor Achievement (2019)
- Dr. Bernard Harris STEM Supernova Medal (2017)
- Thomas Edison STEM Supernova Medal (2017)
- 7 STEM Nova awards
- 50th Anniversary Environmental Protection Agency Award (2021)
- Outdoor Ethics Awareness Award (2018)
- Outdoor Ethics Action Award (2020)
- International Spirit Award (2017)
- Den Chief Service Award (2017)
- Messenger of Peace Award (2017)
- 50-Miler Award (2019)
- Historic Trails Award (2019)
- Hometown USA Award (2020)
- Complete Angler (2018)
- Kayaking BSA Award (2020)
- Scuba BSA Award (2020)
- Whitewater Rafting BSA Award (2020)
- World Conservation Award (2016)
- National Honor Patrol x 2 (2016)
- Winner of MDSC International Committee 2017 Patch Design Contest (for Outspan School, Uganda)
- Winner of Diablo Sunrise Spring 2018 Camporee Patch Design Contest
I am a Wolfeboro Pioneer and have attended National Jamboree in 2017 and World Jamboree in 2019. In July 2018, I visited Brownsea Island in the UK, where Lord Baden-Powell held the first experimental Scout camp in 1907.
In school, I have been an Honor Roll recipient each semester at High School and currently have a GPA of > 4.0
Tell us a little bit about you…
I am currently a Junior at Heritage High School in Brentwood. My subjects this year are: AP Physics 2; AP Chemistry; AP Computer Science; AP US History; ROP Robotics II; Pre-Calculus; French 3; English 11.
For my senior year I have requested: AP Physics C: Mechanics; AP Biology; AP Calculus AB; ROP Forensic Sciences; English 12; US Government/Economics; Design 1; Biotechnology.
I hope to study Engineering or Physics at University once I graduate High School in 2022.
Despite a very heavy study workload, I am still as active as possible in Scouting, since I believe it is important to give back. I am a member of Troop 2020 in Brentwood, Crew 236 in Danville and Order of the Arrow Iowac Village (serving as Chapter Chief for the past two years). My current Troop position is Junior Assistant Scoutmaster and Outdoor Ethics Guide. Prior to lockdown, I was also VOA (Venturing Officers Association) Treasurer for two years and VP Outings with Crew 236.
I am still working on merit badges and earning Palms. I have 132 merit badges as of March 2021 and hope to earn the final five sometime this year to meet my goal of earning all 137 badges. I have learned about so many interesting subjects and activities on my Scouting journey that would never have been possible if I had not become a Scout.
When and where did you earn your Eagle Scout rank?
I earned my Eagle rank in February 2018, two months before my 14th birthday. At that time, I was with Troop 152 in Oakley, but since October 2018 I have been a member of Troop 2020 in Brentwood and continue to be an active member there. I will be attending summer camp and Sea Base (sailing round St. Thomas and St. John in the US Virgin Islands) with Troop 2020 this summer. I also attend Crew meetings and OA meetings when I can.
What did you do for your Eagle Project?
For my Eagle project, I organized a Family STEM (Science Technology Engineering Math) night at Marsh Creek Elementary School in Brentwood – my former elementary school – on January 30th, 2018. A total of 318 students and families visited 17 different STEM stations featuring Mount Diablo Astronomical Society, Bricks4Kidz, Brentwood Police Department, Bristow Middle School Math Cȝ Club, Don Kubik (Geologist), Big Break Regional Shoreline, Curtiss-Wright Surface Technologies, REading ADvantage (who presented each student with two free STEM-themed books in exchange for Scouts categorizing all their donated books), Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, Los Medanos College, Patriots Jet Team Foundation, Spectrum of Science, live band Scientific Jam, a quiz station organized by Troop 90 Scout Axel Bernal, a microscope station organized by Brentwood Cub Scout Pack 21, and a circuits station organized by Troop 152 of Oakley. There were 70 volunteers helping at the stations and greeting/guiding families. Most of the station presenters were Scouting contacts I had made from my District, Order of the Arrow, National Jamboree and the many Scouting events that I have attended.
Euan’s Eagle Service Project was recognized by Mt Diablo Silverado Council as the 2019 Adam’s Service Project of Year Award for the council. The Adam’s award recognizes valuable service of an exceptional nature by an Eagle Scout candidate to a religious institution, a school, community or other entity through completion of an Eagle Scout project.
Did you have a favorite merit badge(s)? Did any merit badges(s) lead to a hobby or profession?
I have particularly enjoyed working on all the STEM and Outdoors-related merit badges. I hope to make my future career in one of the STEM fields and have enjoyed researching many of the requirements, some of which have even helped with my school classes. Equally, I love camping in the great outdoors, hiking and climbing, and all the aquatic activities. Whitewater kayaking and scuba diving have been two of my favorite merit badges and I am now working towards earning my Master Diver certification in scuba diving.
I have continued to collect coins ever since earning my Coin Collecting merit badge in 2015 and although I submitted my Pokémon collection for the Collections merit badge in 2018, I now also have a large collection of comic books, Scouting patches that I have bought, traded and even designed, and Scouting neckerchiefs.
What does being an Eagle Scout mean to you?
Being an Eagle Scout carries a great responsibility, since Eagles are constantly representing the Scouting organization at school, in the workplace and in the wider community. This means always setting a good example through servant leadership, protecting the environment and conserving resources, mentoring younger Scouts, giving cheerful service for the benefit of others and, in the words of Lord Baden-Powell, trying to leave the world a little better than we found it. In giving my commitment to the Eagle promise I know that I must continue to live by the Scout Oath and Law for the rest of my life, even if I no longer have a connection to a Scouting unit.
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?
Probably the greatest personal assets I have developed on my path to Eagle are: the confidence to try new activities and experiences; the opportunity to improve my presentation skills; learning how to set and achieve personal goals; and the training I have received (ILST, NYLT, Leave No Trace Trainer/Outdoor Ethics, CPR/AED and Wilderness First Aid) which I know will come in useful many times in my future life.
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?
I would remind fellow Eagle Scouts that they will always be Eagle Scouts for the rest of their lives. Very often I hear people saying: “Oh yeah, I was an Eagle Scout too”, or “I made Eagle Scout too”, but they don’t realize that they are still Eagle Scouts, and still representatives of the worldwide Scouting movement.
To those working towards becoming an Eagle, I would advise you to plan your path to Eagle so that you do not run out of time or end up trying to juggle final exams while finishing off an Eagle project. About a year after bridging into Scouts BSA, two older Scouts gave me this advice: they told me to try and achieve Eagle rank early on in high school, so that I could concentrate on my studies in Junior and Senior year. They had left it until late in their Senior year and were worried about either not completing their Eagle project in time or not doing well in their exams. I listened to what they said and set myself a goal to reach Eagle by the end of middle school. A lot of Scout leaders worried that I would not get the full Scouting experience in that short of a time, but by the time I had my Eagle Court of Honor in August 2018, I had earned 69 merit badges, camped 92 nights, hiked 203 miles and given over 300 hours of service.
If you could add a thirteenth point to the scout law, what would it be?
My Crew (Crew 236 in Danville) has actually already added their own 13th point to the Scout Law: responsible. This adjective covers many things, such as taking responsibility for your actions, as well as in the context of being prepared.
However, my own personal 13th point would be inclusive. I think all Scouts need to make sure that every new member of their Pack/Troop/Crew/Ship/Post is made to feel welcome and appreciated as an individual. Scouting is a worldwide organization, representing many different countries, cultures and viewpoints.
Is there anything else you would like to share with the readers?
I have been surprised how many people not associated with Scouting know what an Eagle Scout is and how much work there is involved to earn the award. It is still viewed as a significant achievement and I believe the skills and experience you learn on the journey to Eagle will definitely stand you in good stead throughout the rest of your life.