After years of working toward his goal, Matthew Gregg, of Harmony, Minn., reached the highest advancement rank in Boy Scouting on May 27, 2017, when he became an Eagle Scout.
Matthew, 18, the son of Ron and LeAnn Gregg, started in Cub Scouts in first grade and, as his family is very active in scouting, he was also very interested. After a few years he made the decision that he wanted to become an Eagle Scout.
In fact, Matthew is the thirteenth member of the Gregg family to become an Eagle Scout. Ron became an Eagle Scout in 1973 when he was only 13 years old and remembers working very hard to accomplish the rank.
“All of Ron’s brothers have Eagles, his cousins all have Eagles and his nephews have Eagles,” states LeAnn. Matthew’s older brother, Andrew, became an Eagle Scout in 2013.
In order to receive the Eagle Scout rank you have to earn merit badges through camp or conventions, according to Matthew. “If you get merit badges you rank higher and higher,” he explains, stating, “you have to go through certain ranks,” until the rank of Eagle Scout is achieved.
In Boy Scouts the ranks are Scout, Tenderfoot, Second Class, First Class, Star, Life and then finally Eagle Scout. There are certain requirements to reach the rank of Eagle Scout that can be quite daunting.
As part of advancement toward Eagle Scout, “You have to do a project that is going to benefit the community,” states Matthew. The scout must think of a project to complete and take the necessary steps to complete the project.
“I placed pavement markers that said For Safety Buckle Up,” says Matthew. “I put buckle up pavement markers up to remind people before they got in the street to buckle up. I placed them in certain locations that I knew that a lot of people would be leaving,” he explains.
Before he could place the pavement markers, Matthew attended a Fillmore County Board of Commissioners meeting to explain the project and ask for approval, which he was given. He also attended a Harmony City Council meeting to get permission to place the markers in Harmony.
Matthew placed approximately 16 pavement markers in total. Some of the locations where the markers can be found are in front and in back of the high school in Harmony, the Fillmore County Courthouse parking lots, the Fillmore County Fairgrounds and the elementary school in Preston.
In addition to the community project you have to earn 21 merit badges, states LeAnn. Twelve of these merit badges are required, such as Emergency Preparedness, First Aid, Environmental Science, Personal Management and Cooking.
A few of the other nine merit badges Matthew chose to earn to meet his goal of Eagle Scout were Fish and Wildlife Management, Public Health, Fire Safety, Leatherwork and Fingerprinting.
Matthew says the favorite badges he earned were swimming and canoeing because they are water sports, which he enjoys.
He also had a great time working toward his Environmental Science badge, as he says, “We actually went out on hikes to see if we know certain animals” and in addition to that, “there was a huge room full of different animals that you could learn about and get to know and there was information about them,” he says.
Matthew earned his Cooking Badge and he says, “I can cook still today — I have been learning recipes!” He enjoys cooking so much that he has recently asked for a blender for his birthday, to which his mom smiled and replied, “No kid ever asks for that” for their birthday!
Matthew has many terrific memories from his time in Cub Scouts, through Boy Scouts and now to the rank of Eagle Scout. He has met many people and has had many experiences that he otherwise would not have.
“Only about 3% of the scouts that actually participate in the program get the Eagle Scout,” notes Ron, which makes them proud parents for the hard work and determination that Matthew has shown to achieve this impressive accomplishment.
“I have a lot of people that helped me through this,” notes Matthew, adding that it was good to rely on them through the process. Matthew’s family supported him in his efforts and had words of encouragement along the way.
Matthew also points out that Andy Lieb, Assistant Scout Master for Gamehaven Council, was a great help to him, saying Lieb was very helpful and encouraged him to keep going toward his goal.
When Matthew was asked what is something he learned through his years in the Boy Scouts of America program that he will use in his everyday life, his answer was, “Do a good turn daily,” which is a slogan of the Boy Scouts.