2 ArkLaTex teens earn rank of Eagle Scout

“Less then 2% of African-Americans hit Eagle Scout”
Published: Sep. 3, 2023 at 8:09 PM CDT
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SHREVEPORT, La. (KSLA) — One is a freshman studying computer science at LSU Shreveport.

The other is a Southwood High football player with aspirations of attending Southern University to study engineering.

Both have achieved the honor of becoming Eagle Scouts.

“Boy Scout is being trustworthy, loyal, helpful, friendly, courteous, kind, obedient, cheerful, thrifty, brave and clean and reverent,” Tristan Smith said.

He and Keathon James are proud of their most recent accomplishment after becoming Eagle Scouts in Troop 77.

“Not a lot of people make it to Eagle Scout,” James observed.

The two have been members of Boy Scouts of America for nearly a decade.

“You need 22 to hit Eagle. And the ones in the silver, them the Eagle Scout badges; and the ones in the green are just extra ones you earn,” Smith said. “But the main one that you get first is the first aid kit.”

Smith and James are proud to break barriers in the Scouting community.

“Less then 2% of African-Americans hit Eagle Scout. So it’s best to start early. You ain’t in this journey alone.”

They mutually agree that becoming Eagle Scouts has molded them into leaders and disciplined young men.

“We have to strive to be role models for our troop members and even our Scout masters so they can look up to us and say that’s what a model Boy Scout is,” James said.

They also encourage their community to urge young boys to become Boy Scouts due to the qualities they will learn and possess.

“It’ll help them meet new people, help them build connections to other people,” James said. “And it’ll give them skills they’ll need in the future.”