Murphy Resident Earns Prestigious Eagle Scout Award
Jeffrey Daniel Dickenson’s journey to achieve the rank of Eagle Scout began in elementary school as a Tiger Cub in Pack 481. His rise to the highest rank within the Boy Scouts of America required countless hours of hard work and determination. Dickenson earned 21 merit badges, lived by the principles of scout law and was the leader of a service project he developed. He successfully completed an Eagle Scout board of review and also participated in a unit leader conference.
Without exceptional leadership skills, it would not be possible to earn the rank of Eagle Scout. Dickenson explained, “I think one of the most important aspects of being a leader is the ability to adapt to the situation. Many people argue in favor of one leading style over another, but in my opinion there is no best leading style for all situations. It takes an effective leader to analyze the situation and determine what they should focus on. It is important for a leader to be authentic.”
For his leadership service project, Dickenson chose to landscape the main entrance to Canyon Creek Presbyterian Church. With the help of 19 people, the project took 116 hours to complete from start to finish. He explained, “I think the best part was seeing that people really did appreciate the project. People were glad to see that the area would soon get a fresh look and the parking lots in the corner would no longer be taken over by overgrown shrubs and poison ivy. I also think the project completion was very memorable because that was when I could step back and see all the people who had helped out that day. All of us had worked to reach the finish line together.”
After graduating from Plano East High School in June, Dickenson will remain in Dallas to attend the University of Texas on a full scholarship. He explained his choice stating, “After considering the pros and cons of going to a nearby college compared to a faraway one, I came to the conclusion that staying nearby was a much better option for me. First of all, I will be close to home, so I can visit family often. Second, UTD offers great programs in STEM fields which is what I'm interested in. I don't need to go to the very best STEM college, for tens of thousands of dollars more, when I can go to UTD for a much more affordable price and get essentially the same education. Also, many of my friends at PESH are going to UTD as well, so I will be starting college off with a great friend group.”
Dickenson has sound advice for the many boy scouts dreaming of one day becoming an Eagle Scout. “I'm sure they've heard it a billion times, and I know it sounds very cliché, but really— don't quit. There's no reason for me to dodge the issue, so I'll say it now— getting Eagle Scout is hard. If you want to become an Eagle, it's going to be hard, and you're going to face challenges. But that's the point of reaching Eagle Scout. There will be challenges, but you can overcome them if you don't quit. Keep trying, and I promise you, you can and will reach Eagle.”