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Eagle Scout with an Edge: Inside Nitro Circus Rider Wake Schepman

Crushing the rollerblading scene is not the stereotypical Boy Scout routine. But like his fellow Eagle Scouts, Wake Schepman is a rarity.

The 18-year-old phenom accomplished the world’s first 1620 on rollerblades (yes, that’s four and half rotations in the air – check it out in the video below).

 

Wake is now on tour with Nitro Circus, and the world-traveling professional skater has dreams of managing companies in the skating industry. But before all the ramps, tricks, and skating stardom, Wake was a Scout.

Riding Strong From Cub to Eagle

The oldest of three brothers (all Scouts), Wake’s Scouting background is textbook.

“I stuck with it through Wolf, Bear and Webelos,” Wake said. “I earned the Arrow of Light and moved onto Boy Scouts.”

Wake's mom was his Den leader.
Wake’s mom was his Den leader.

After changing troops a few times as his family moved, Wake pushed forward with his achievements and got close to landing Eagle Scout. But his commitment to rollerblading made the final steps a challenge.

“I actually had all the requirements done for Eagle when I was 15, except the actual Eagle project,” Wake explained. “I was busy training and traveling with my skating so it kind of got put off, but I made sure it was complete before I turned 18.”

For his project, Wake organized and lead his troop in building benches for his city’s community basketball courts.

As to getting the project complete in time to reach the coveted rank, Wake said, “I don’t advise anyone to wait to the last minute. Get it done early before other things come up in life, and you run out of time.”

Sounds like the advice of Scouting leader, right? Wake takes on that role too. Aside from earning (and dominating) the skating merit badge, he also serves as a merit badge counselor. And he’s quite the legendary and relatable teacher to give skating guidance.

“I have been skating since I was five years old,” he said. “It is definitely a great opportunity to be involved in Scouts and still skate everyday. Just stay positive and work hard with what you love to do and understand that Scouting teaches you great life skills that can help you in everything.”

Scouting and Skating

Wake with his brothers Skyler and Gavin in Boy Scouts.
Wake with his brothers Skyler and Gavin in Boy Scouts.

Wake’s Scouting experience has helped him focus and learn new tricks in his monumental rise to rollerblading fame – which is actually pretty rare. Gaining notoriety as a blader isn’t common in action sports. You may be able to visualize skateboarders and snowboarders grinding rails and eclipsing half pipes, but watching Wake soar in skates will erase any cheesy 90s movie imagery you have of inline skating.

His skating inspiration fits in with what younger generations consider “old school” though. The Nickelodeon show Rocket Power sparked his interest.

Wake explained, “I would watch that show all the time and my favorite character was Otto Rocket. In the show, they did every action sport you could think of.”

Years later, and the cartoon-inspired hobby has turned into a career for Wake. But that’s not the only part of the young man’s inspirations that will carry through in the skater’s professional future.

“Being an Eagle Scout is an accomplishment that I will always carry with me and be proud of. That’s something that I can put on my résumé which represents all the important character traits of a citizen and leader,” he said.

You read that right – even an action sports superstar puts Eagle Scout on his résumé.

Check out the gallery below to see where Wake comes from and anticipate where’s he’s rolling next.

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Gina

This blog is managed and written by staff of the Communications Department of the Boy Scouts of America.