If you were on your way up to the summit of Mount Everest, the tallest mountain on Earth, knowing that every ounce of gear counts and any miscalculation or extra weight could actually mean the difference between life and death, would you be brave enough to take along your Scout neckerchief?
A Scout is brave, and that’s exactly what Scoutmaster Mark Milewski proved when he summited Everest with his Boy Scout Troop 25 neckerchief along for the ride.
Milewski, who is a Scoutmaster for Troop 25 from the Boy Scouts of America Connecticut Rivers Council, reached the summit on a clear day and stayed on the peak for a period of 20 minutes, soaking in the beauty of the surroundings and hardly even noticing the negative 30-degree temperature.
“Everything is below you,” he said. “I swear I could see the curvature of the Earth. Approaching the summit was a pretty profound moment.”
At the same time, he was also thinking about how Scouting had helped bring him to that moment atop Everest.
“Much of what I’ve learned about leadership, teamwork, and the outdoors came from Troop 25,” said Milewski. “We have a large and incredibly skilled staff, all volunteers and all wholeheartedly devoted to providing an outstanding program to our Scouts.”
He became part of Scouting in his youth, and he served as Troop 25’s assistant Scoutmaster for 26 years prior to taking the role of Scoutmaster in 2014.
Milewski has now made it to the top of five of the highest mountains on the seven continents. He previously climbed the summits of Mount Elbrus in Russia, Mount Kilimanjaro in Africa, Denali in Alaska, and Mount Aconcagua in Argentina.
Next, Milewski plans to summit Mount Vinson in Antarctica.