WAYLAND — On Sept. 24, 2018, Wayland resident Everett Davison officially became an Eagle Scout. His ceremony took place on Jan. 6 at Nugget Hill in Wayland. An Eagle Scout is the highest scout rank for Boy Scouts of America; an extremely popular scouting organization in the US, with 2.4 million youth participants and 1 million adult participants.

Becoming an Eagle requires working up through each of the seven ranks: Scout, Tenderfoot, second class, first class, Star, Life, and finally, Eagle. This requires a lot of commitment.

When asking Davison about the difference between a regular scout and an Eagle Scout he said, “I think it’s just the dedication that it takes ... out of all scouts, only four percent actually become an Eagle.”

It also takes a long time for one to become an Eagle.

“The minimum time you can be in it [before becoming an Eagle] would be just short of five years, but it takes most people seven to eight years,” said Davison.

One of the two biggest things required to become an Eagle Scout are the Eagle Scout Board of Review and doing an Eagle Scout project. The former is where three people from the scouting organization ask questions to the Scout, in a way similar to an interview. Passing this is mandatory for becoming a Eagle.

The latter is a service project where the scout gets to pick an organization to work with, and then volunteer for them.

The Eagle Scout project took Davison almost a year to complete. He worked with the music department of Wayland-Cohocton High School, where he took unused or broken musical instruments and restored them.

A personal challenge Davison had to overcome was learning how to swim. Swimming is a required merit badge to become an Eagle, but he didn’t know how to swim at all, so he had to learn that. It took him roughly two years for him to do that.

Even though becoming an Eagle scout is challenging, there are several advantages. For one thing, mentioning it on a resume can boost the chances of getting a job, because Eagles are often seen as being good leaders, and it is seen as a huge accomplishment to employers.

The journey of becoming an Eagle is also rewarding.

“I’ve gained a lot of stuff from scouting. I used to be extremely shy. My third-grade teacher said that she knew I was smart, but she said that I just wouldn’t talk. I would’ve never been able to speak in front of people without scouting,” said Davison.