Eagle Scout Bryan Lane Tells Troop 21 Scouting Defines who he is Today

January 2, 2015
Staff Photo by Doug Robinson  Superintendent Bryan Lane sits and chats with Boy Scout Troop 21 at the Wattannick Grange about his life experiences as a scout.

Staff Photo by Doug Robinson Superintendent Bryan Lane sits and chats with Boy Scout Troop 21 at the Wattannick Grange about his life experiences as a scout.

by Doug Robinson

Only 2 percent of those who enter Boy Scouts reach Scouting’s highest honor:  Eagle Scout.

The 38th president, Gerald Ford, is the only U.S. president to have earned the Eagle Scout rank.  The first man to walk on the moon, Astronaut Neil Armstrong, is an Eagle Scout as is Robert Gates, U.S Secretary of Defense and former director of the Central Intelligence Agency.

And, Hudson’s Superintendent of Schools Bryan Lane is also an Eagle Scout.

The question proposed to Superintendent Lane was “What does being an Eagle Scout mean to you?”

Wearing a red sweater, tie, slacks, and with his shirt sleeves rolled up, Lane sat on the edge of the stage at the Wattannick Grange, Hudson, facing his Boy Scout peers.  This was a very special, personal, private, and very prideful side of Lane.  Here he had the opportunity to share, not what only being an Eagle Scout meant, but also share the whole meaning and value of his life as a scout.  To the scouts, he was not Superintendent Lane, he was one of their own, from Troop 44, New Rochelle, NY.

While Troop 21 of Hudson has had 50 Boy Scouts reach Eagle rank since 1952, at this meeting, the discussions did not center on fundraising, badges, upcoming trips or events.  Like a fireside chat, Lane spoke of his memories, his loves, and even his dislikes of Scouting.

“Once an Eagle, always an Eagle,” stated Lane, “It is ok not to become an Eagle Scout.  What is important is your character.  What I am today is because I was a scout.”

Without hesitation he recited the Scout Oath:  “On my honor I will do my best, to do my duty to God and my country, and to obey the Scout Law; to help other people at all times; to keep myself physically strong, mentally awake, and morally straight.  I think I still remember it.  I am close.”

As he began speaking with the scouts, he recited many of the honors and awards that he had received locally, statewide, and nationally.  NH Principal of the Year, NH Assistant Principal of the Year, and Coach of the Year list only a few of his professional honors.

“Scouting is where you learn how to be a become a good person, and I want those who read my resume to know that I have a good character,” Lane explained.  “While I appreciate the awards and honors, it is being an Eagle Scout, a Boy Scout that defines who I am.  So, I listed it first.  Being an Eagle Scout never goes away.  It is with you always.”

Lane then spoke about his days when he was in Scouting.  He told the Boy Scouts: “It was not cool to be a Boy Scout when I was growing up.  Those long socks that required a garter belt, I got laughed at all the time.  I remember that while others were playing sports or doing school activities, I was working on my scouting badges.  But, I was focused, and I had a goal.  That goal was to earn my Eagle rank.”

For Lane’s Eagle project, he elected to soundproof the gym ceiling for the temple at which they met for their Scout meeting.  “It took me four months, standing on scaffolding as I installed ceiling tile after ceiling tile.  It was hard work, but I finished it.”

“Always move forward.  Have a goal.  It’s ok to change your goal as you go, just keep going and concentrate on your character.  People perceive who you are by what you say and do.  People need to trust you.  What are you willing to sacrifice to remain constant with your goal?”

He then cited the Scout Law:  “A scout is trustworthy, loyal, helpful, friendly, courteous, kind, obedient, cheerful, thrifty, brave, clean, and reverent.”  And without hesitation he added, “Those 12 words have never changed since the beginning of Scouting.  The Scout Law is about character.  It is about how you are perceived and how you want to serve.”

The two dozen scouts in attendance were fully engaged with Lane’s commentary about Scouting.  Until this moment, he had always seen as the principal or the superintendent.

Then Lane went one by one, never missing a beat with each Scout Law, defining for the Scouts what each of the 12 laws meant to him as a scout, a teacher, and then as a community leader.

“What does it mean to be trustworthy, friendly, courteous and kind?  Be that person who helps another, not looking for rewards, but looking for that inner satisfaction that what you did was right.  If someone in front of you drops their books, help them pick them up.  Your job as 8th graders is to look out for the 6th graders.  Your job as seniors is to look out for the freshmen.  You have their backs.  That is character.”

He concluded with “Scouting is all about service.  Scouting will lead you down that path and will help you develop tools that you will use the rest of your life.”

What does being an Eagle Scout mean to Superintendent Bryan Lane?  It means that he will live up to the ideals, oaths, and promises of being a Boy Scout, then, now, and forever.