Only 4 to 7 percent of kids who enroll in Boy Scouts go on to become Eagle Scouts. Recent Woodbury High School graduate Eric Westfall not only earned the rank of Eagle Scout at age 14, he continued to prove his dedication to his community by earning an additional 55 merit badges beyond the minimum requirement as well as 11 Eagle Palms, a further rank advancement for Eagles who continue to lead their fellow scouts. “It’s nice to be able to show people that I’ve stayed involved after getting my Eagle,” Westfall says.
David Brady, advancement chair for troop 9071, sat on Westfall’s Eagle Board of Review. He recalls that when he asked Westfall about his motivation for serving his community, Westfall explained that he couldn’t imagine not being involved, having planned and participated in countless camp-outs, cleaned cemeteries, and rinsed off fire hydrants. “I consider him a great leader,” Brady says. “I think he has a lot of potential.”
Marty Hoven, Eagle Scout and head coach of the boys’ diving team at Woodbury High School, has coached Westfall for six years. “I would describe Eric as a person who does everything the right way,” Hoven says. “I could always count on Eric to follow through with tasks and to be an example to everyone.”
Last spring, Westfall received an additional scouting honor: the outstanding Eagle Scout of the Year award, which is given to one high school graduate every year by their individual council. This fall, he’ll leave to study aerospace engineering at Iowa State University. But Westfall definitely isn’t finished with the world of scouting. He plans to volunteer with a local troop and continue to serve his community and act as a role model for younger scouts.