Since its inception in 1911, only four percent of Scouts in the Boy Scouts of America program have reached the rank of Eagle. Scouts typically earn the ranking in their last two years of high school.
But, in Rancho Palos Verdes, an eighth grader has already accomplished the feat.
Ridgecrest Middle School graduate Spencer Lam recently completed Boy Scouts of America’s stringent prerequisites of earning 21 merit badges, plus completing an in-depth community project to earn BSA’s highest honor.
Spencer’s Court of Honor was recently held at the Palos Verdes Stake Center of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints -- sponsors of Troop 134 -- with a number of family members and friends in attendance.
“I emailed the Land Conservancy who had a list of projects,” said the 14 year old, who wanted to do a meaningful, outdoor piece of work. “I learned a lot of leadership skills and how to build a table to lift the plants off the ground. I also learned how to work with tools and wood using drills and screwdrivers, and how to measure the length of the wood.”
Spencer built five wooden tables at $150 a pop over a span of two weekends, and would have done more, but his dad had to reel him in on the costs.
Scout Spirit, an important aspect of earning the award, isn’t just demonstrated by attending meetings and outings. Scout leaders and Eagle Scout advocates agree true scouting spirit is measured how a young man lives his life as witnessed by others.
Jeremy Lam said his middle child is a go-getter, and outside of being a good student and athlete, he never has to tell his son to practice piano or get his homework done. He also plays in a rock band with his older brother Aidan as well as performs as a piano accompanist at their local church.
“Spencer is my easiest kid out of three,” the proud father said about his energetic son. “He does things on his own. He likes to see how things work, where things come from and why did it happen.”
Still, Spencer credits the dozens of family, troop and friends for turning up at the project to help him achieve the Eagle Scout rank.
In September, Spencer will head off to Peninsula High School where he will be a member of the cross-country team.
Currently, he is still reaching for the stars.
“I’m continuing to work on my Eagle Scout Palm rank and looking forward to high school,” the high achiever said. “I want to go to Brigham Young University and be a doctor, someday.”