- Parma City School District
Normandy sophomore learns lessons in leadership as he earns rank of Eagle Scout
April 20, 2020
Normandy High School sophomore Noah Bishop had a lot to celebrate already this school year.
Bishop, a member of the Boy Scouts, recently earned the rank of Eagle Scout, culminating years of hard work, commitment and personal growth. A product of John Glenn, Green Valley and Hillside Middle School, he recently learned of his Eagle Scout status in October.
According to the Boy Scouts of America and the National Eagle Scout Association, there are currently 2.6 million Eagle Scout alumni nationwide. Only four percent of all Boy Scouts reach the rank of Eagle Scout.
The journey for Bishop to Eagle Scout started in Kindergarten, when his parents enrolled him in Cub Scouts. When close friends joined the Boy Scouts and Troop 297 from Independence, the decision was easy for Bishop to continue.
To earn the rank of Eagle Scout, Bishop had to complete a number of merit badges. These badges teach skills and lessons to help young adults get exposure to a variety of subjects and challenges. Over 220 different merit badges exist, and Eagle Scout candidates must complete 21 of them to earn the rank, with 13 required badges.
Eagle Scout is the seventh and most involved rank that Boy Scouts can achieve.
“The first five ranks are teaching you skills like basic knot-tying, which is the first one,” Bishop said. “It gets more into leadership and teaching you how to plan, how to build yourself up mentally to achieve bigger things. The last four ranks are geared more towards you, your leadership and helping other people advance.”
Another part of the leadership aspect of Eagle Scout is planning and completing a service project for someone or something in your community, also known as the beneficiary.
“I met with someone from the Parma Animal Shelter, because we’ve gotten multiple pets from there,” Bishop explained. “They told me there was some small renovations I could do or help out with…Some of the things were just not built right, like a shed door – I fixed that. I put a fence post back in that fell out, stuff like that.”
“You have to ask the beneficiary what you can do. Then you have to figure out a way to fundraise for all the equipment, all the materials, everything you need for it. Luckily, I had Home Depot and Lowe’s donate all the materials I needed. So, I didn’t have to fundraise, money-wise, for anything.”
Bishop admits that the biggest challenge during his service project was not the physical labor, but managing other volunteers on the project.
“I had a lot of younger scouts who were helping out,” Bishop expressed. “I mean, when you have a bunch of 11-year olds, they don’t want to listen to someone who is 14. It was a bit tough to get everyone on-task, actually work on it, and stay working on it. We also had some shortages. I didn’t get enough wood. I didn’t get enough shingles for the cat shelters I was building. That was a little bit of an issue, but my Dad could drive, so he went and got the materials when we were working.”
Bishop has been recognized by local civic leaders for earning Eagle Scout, including state senator Matt Dolan and former Seven Hills mayor Richard Dell’Aquila, along with attending events which recognize this important achievement.
Earning Eagle Scout isn’t all work and no play. Bishop, 15, still thinks the entire experience was not only worth it, but fun.
“Not a lot of people actually earn Eagle Scout,” Bishop expressed. “But there’s a lot of fun in it…It’s a lot of work too. But, however many hours you have to work on it (Eagle Scout), hundreds and maybe thousands of hours, it’s just a small percentage of your life.”
“There is so much you can learn which can help you later in life. You might not care about it when you’re younger. But, when you get older, you’ll realize you can manage people, manage your finances and do things that most people can’t - because they weren’t in scouting. When you’re older, it’s going to help.”
PHOTO CAPTION: Bishop is recognized at his Eagle Scout ceremony on February 23 by Seven Hills mayor Anthony D. Biasiotta.