Ryan Hosenfeld • Troop 200 Eagle Scout

Ryan Hosenfeld

When you have ambitions, there are usually three stages I’ve noticed. First, you are young, naive, and start your journey believing that you will absolutely reach your goal. Second, after progressing for a while, you soon realize that there is a chance of failure. This could be due to seeing others fail to achieve similar goals, or it could just be due to yourself maturing. Either way, you now know that this goal you seek will be a lot more difficult than you originally thought. 

This can be a scary thought for some, but it is important. Accepting that you can fail makes succeeding all the more triumphant, because when success requires your own effort, rather than being a guarantee, it emphasizes that YOU earned it. 

This was how I viewed my journey to becoming an Eagle Scout, and as I look back on it, I love to observe how my peers and I grew over these years. We made so many fun memories in events like the Pinewood Derby and the Scout House sleepovers and went on so many fun outings like sleeping on a 19th century sail-only warship, sailing on the Chesapeake, and whitewater rafting in the Poconos. But finding safe spots to pitch tents, going on high-adventure ropes courses, learning new cooking skills, and acquiring merit badges… that is only a fraction of how scouting affected me. To say that scouting influenced my life would be an understatement. 

I have been with scouts since I was a Tiger Cub – nearly a decade. It has most definitely played a role in shaping me as a person. Overall, I would say that scouting was a very positive experience for me (after all, I’ve stuck with it for all of these years), but… it’s a very complicated journey – physically, mentally, and emotionally. Becoming an Eagle Scout and actually finishing this seemingly out of reach goal feels nothing but utterly surreal. Even now, as I am writing this, I think to myself… “Wow… this actually happened… I actually made it this far…”. It’s a truly incredible milestone. 

If you can only take away one piece of information from this message, let it be this: It is impossible to accomplish certain things on your own. And that’s okay. Achieving a goal this large is something that you cannot do by yourself. I certainly couldn’t make it without the support of my friends and family, and there should be no shame in seeking out that support. Humans, like many other animals, have evolved to be a social species. We rely on each other to help each other. So help others, but more importantly, accept help from others!

If you know any boys or girls ages 5-17 who are interested in joining the Scouting program or learning more about the opportunities, here is some helpful information. Derry Church sponsors three scouting units: Pack 200 Cub Scouts (for boys and girls grades K-5), Troop 200 Scouts (for boys grades 6-12), and Troop 2200 Scouts (for girls grades 6-12).