Every Eagle Needs a Summit
Every Eagle needs a Summit is what these three youth have used as their mantra to continue their journey in Scouting. Riley Mann, Miles Mann, and Maren Johnson, from Crew 425 Coon Rapids, MN. They all had previously earned their Eagle Rank and did not quit. They set their sights on earning their Summit Rank. They have done it! One rank is impressive but 2 is an incredible, unique, and a rare occurrence.
Since the inception of the Eagle Scout award in 1912, 2.01 percent of eligible Scouts have earned Scouting’s highest honor, the award is still incredibly rare. Statistics for Venturing are even slimmer, the Northern Star Council reports for the year 2022, Eagle ranks earned were 576 in 2022 and in 2023 so far 173. Summit Ranks that were earned were only 5 in 2022 and in 2023 only 2 so far. The statistics for earning Eagle and Summit rank are minuscule.
The highest award of Venturing, the Summit Award, goes to those Venturers who have matured in their personal direction, skills, and life competencies, and who have accepted the responsibility to mentor others and serve their communities in a lasting way. The purpose of Venturing is to provide a positive environment for youth members (14-21). can lead the adventure, take on new leadership roles, and mature into responsible adults. I believe these three youths have done this and excelled tremendously.
Riley Mann is only 17 and a junior in high school. Riley earned his Eagle Rank at the age of 15. His Summit project benefited the Wildlife Science Center in Stacy, MN, a recovery program providing a safe, healthy place for red wolves and Mexican gray wolves. He fundraised for funds from the Stacy Lions, asked for donations from businesses for supplies, and led a project to build, and repair broken benches and stain all the benches for the center visitors and school groups. Riley reached out to both scouting communities (Troop and Venturing) to help him complete this project. Riley is also involved in Order of the Arrow as a Brotherhood member.
Maren Johnson is a college student aged 20. Maren is a member of the girls’ inaugural class of Eagle scouts. Maren’s Summit project was to help the organization SCRAM, a non-profit, animal welfare organization. They prepare pets for adoption to good homes where the animals' needs and nature are respected. Maren coordinated the building of 6 cat boxes for feral cats, these boxes provide a warm and safe place for the cats in inclement weather so they can be captured, spayed/neutered, and be rehomed. Maren is involved in Order of the Arrow and will be participating in her Vigil Conclave soon.
Miles Mann is a college student aged 19, Miles earned his Eagle Rank at the age of 15. His Summit project was to plan and organize a Fill the Pantry, community collection of nonperishable food items, paper products, cleaning supplies, toiletries, and school supplies for Ronald McDonald House Upper Mid-West in the Twin Cities. They provide a warm and welcoming community of support and respite for families with seriously ill or injured children. The collection consisted of 22 boxes, along with a generous donation of Thrivent Funds for food and a cash donation from the Stacy Lions in the form of gift cards for families at the house who are in need of personal items. This project reached out to 6 different communities to help make a difference in the lives of the families at the house. Miles also dedicated his talents to Order of the Arrow and was inducted as a Vigil member in 2021.
These three youth have defied the odds by earning their Eagle, but they did not rest on their laurels. They strove for more. They have also been involved in so many parts of scouting with all attending Grey Wolf (National Youth Leadership Training), Order of the Arrow, National Jamboree, NOAC, and OA Sea Base. They have accomplished a very rare achievement very few ever even consider. The things these scouts will do in the future are limitless. They will be honored for their work on June 18th in a Court of Honor, planned and executed by themselves to acknowledge each other’s amazing persistence.
--Written by Kristy Mann