January 16, 2012
Trevor in Scouting: A History
given by Wade DeMordaunt
In late 2002, Newton, Utah, Trevor became a Cub Scout. Thanks to his leaders and
Mom, he passed the successive levels and earned his Arrow of Light while living in
In late 2005 Trevor became an 11 year-old Scout, graduating from the Cubs and
coming to play with the big boys in San Antonio. Without hesitation, he joined in with
the older boys’ Eagle projects and any camping and hiking opportunity that came his
In particular, I recall the time I was able to accompany the scouts on an overnight hike
in the Texas Hill Country. This motley crew of boys came at all levels of preparedness.
Many showed up at the mustering point equipped with only their school backpacks,
expecting, I guess, to carry their sleeping bag under one arm. Another 11 year old
showed up with a giant plastic bag full of potato chips and a 2 liter bottle of Coke for
his sustenance. By and by all were adequately outfitted, and the trip went mostly as
planned. I recall Trevor’s distress as he once departed the trail into the chaparral to
relieve himself and found himself in Shelob”s Lair (Shelob is the giant spider in Tolkien’s
The Lord of the Rings), entangled on every side with endless spiderwebs. I know this
because he was in plain view of the group across the ravine.
Yes. Some things that should be forgotten are never lost.
History became legend, Legend became myth. And for one an a half years Trevor lived
in Rexburg, Idaho. It was there he went to his first Scout Camp: Treasure Mountain,
Camp Loll, or Island Park? I don’t remember because much of his agenda passed out
of all knowledge for me at that time as I served in Turkey. I do remember one high
point, where I was able to accompany him and his Troop on a day of bicycling through
Yellowstone in early April before the Park opened. The roads were empty and bisons’
winter coats still thick and full. Trevor made more scouting achievement progress, until,
when chance came, he was uprooted to his next stage of life.
In Ohio, Trevor had a solid year of high-speed Scouting until he turned 14, joined swim
team at the nearby YMCA, did middle school track, and high school swimming and
volleyball. Along with the usual scouting activities, Trevor went to BYU swim camp and
Sky Mountain Ranch leadership camp for boys 3 summers running. He still took part
in the scout troop activities and made progress, but scouting became a small part of
his tightly scheduled adolescence. In the months before he pulled together his Eagle
project, his Scout Master, Doug Sellers, approached me to ask about his progress.
My response had to be something like this: “If scouting progress were one of the signs
of life, Trevor would be a vegetable.” Brother Sellers nodded in understanding and
Perhaps you recognize the source of this dialogue (Monsters, Inc.):
Roz: Hello, Wazowski. Fun-filled evening planned for tonight?
Mike: Well, as a matter of fact...
Roz: Then I'm sure you filed your paperwork correctly, for once.
[Mike smiles innocently]
Roz: Your stunned silence is very reassuring.
For about three years, Trevor was an inch from earning his Eagle. He was front and
center and a top performer in the High Adventures: 50 miles on foot in West Virginia,
mortal peril scenarios in the Sierra Nevada, and months of conditioning and skills
training to summit Mt. Shasta in the far reaches of northern California, managing to
make it up and back without surrendering to “the Target.”
Let me now quote the dear departed Robert Jordan:
“The Wheel of Time turns, and Ages come and pass, leaving memories that
become legend. Legend fades to myth, and even myth is long forgotten
when the Age that gave it birth comes again.”
With all this youthful life experience and achievement, there was the lingering
awareness of the “paperwork.” What good is all this scouting if you don’t have your
Eagle to show for it? One of life’s persistent questions. Employers and Universities
may not give it the same weight they once did, and maybe none at all. Our oldest got
into BYU, the university of his choice, with just his Tenderfoot. All the same, when your
Boy Scout experiences come up in conversation, and they will many times in your life,
rather than spend two minutes explaining how close you got, and that it doesn’t really
matter, you will be able to answer decisively that you are an Eagle Scout.
You have heard the saying “resting on one’s laurels,” referring not to the Young
Women’s group, but to the tendency to stop trying or stop progressing after reaching a
great achievement. Laurels are the leafy crown given to athletic champions in ancient
Your Eagle Scout is a benchmark in your life’s progress, a sign of your character, and
ultimately a small part of the good things you will accomplish in life.
Your Eagle Scout award is a tribute to your tireless and visionary scouting leaders. By
doing the paperwork and carrying this to its conclusion you validate and respect your
leaders’ sacrifices and their dedication to excellence.
I encourage you to continually seek out, or at least accept, the challenges that come
your way. Apply your intelligence, energy, and principles to overcoming each one,
making you a better person and the world a better place.