Michael Newman credits the Boy Scouts with helping shape who he is today. The 17-year-old junior at Olympic High School was recently accepted into the prestigious rank of Eagle Scout.
“At first I didn’t think I would get it because I was just so nervous,” Michael said.
Michael joined the Scouts 10 years ago at the age of seven as a tiger Cub Scout. When he got older he joined the Silverdale Boy Scout Troop 1539.
During his time as a Boy Scout, Michael achieved a number of accomplishments, earning 47 merit badges and spending more than 130 nights camping with his troop. He hiked multiple 50-mile treks and climbed eight mountains, including Mt. Adams.
He is also a member of the Order of the Arrow, a brotherhood for dedicated Scouts.
“Just the feeling of being an Eagle Scout is, in my opinion, the most amazing thing I’ve ever experienced,” Michael said. “All the hard work and dedication has paid off.”
As an Eagle Scout, Michael continues to be active in his troop. He acts as a junior assistant Scout Master, helping and mentoring the younger scouts.
“A lot of the young scouts when they join, they don’t enjoy it initially because they don’t know anybody in the troop,” Michael said. “Once you meet people in the troop and once you start going on campouts it’s more worthwhile.”
For his Eagle project Michael had the opportunity to revisit a place from his past. He replaced the back deck and stairs at the Crystal Grange Community Center in Brownsville, where his old Cub Scout Troop 4539 meets.
Michael’s mother, Julie Newman, said she looks back on her son’s time in the Boy Scouts as beneficial not only for Michael but for her as a parent.
“It was very fun, I have to say. It’s not just dropping your child off at a meeting,” Julie said. “For your Scout to be successful, it really does matter, I think, when a parent is involved. It shows them that not only are they interested but you’re interested for them as well.”
Beyond Boy Scouts, Michael attends running start at Olympic College, plays piano and sings in Olympic High School’s jazz choir. He isn’t sure what he wants to do after graduation, maybe join the military or transfer to a four-year university, he said.
No matter what he chooses to do in the future, Michael will have a strong background of work and a large brotherhood of supporters as an Eagle Scout.
“The Boy Scouts of America is a great organization, and it pretty much shaped my character, my being,” Michael said. “If it wasn’t for the Boy Scouts I wouldn’t be the person, the man I am today.”