The Laurel Highlands Council, headquartered in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, recognized the Eagle Scout Class of 2014 during its Annual Eagle Scout Recognition Dinner at the Wyndham Grand Pittsburgh Downtown on Monday, Nov. 17.
Keynote speaker Rex Tillerson, ExxonMobil’s CEO and former BSA national president, addressed the 774 event attendees. Tillerson told the audience that Scouting played a major role in the development of his leadership skills.
“Most of the leadership skills I’ve learned are all grounded in my Scouting experiences,” he said. “I learned great followership, and in learning great followership, I learned great leadership because what is leadership other than getting people to follow you?”
This year’s class consists of 444 Eagle Scouts, the largest in the history of the dinner. During the event, the 180 new Eagle Scouts who attended were matched with mentors from a career field in which the Eagle Scout had expressed an interest. Throughout the mentoring process, many of the mentors invite the Eagles to shadow them during part of their workday. This allows Eagle Scouts to explore their career fields further.
In addition, during the dinner the council randomly selected six members of the class to receive $2,500 Trail to Eagle Endowment Scholarships. An anonymous donor started the scholarship 14 years ago to encourage more boys to become Eagle Scouts.
In order to become an Eagle Scout, the highest rank a Scout can earn, a Scout must earn 21 merit badges, 13 of which are required; complete an Eagle Scout project; and appear before their Eagle Scout board of review. However, only a small percentage of Boy Scouts attain the Eagle Scout rank.