Boy Scout soars with eagles

Connor McClellan, son of Col. James McClellan, 366th Maintenance Group commander, proudly displays his Eagle Scout medal, Feb. 3, 2012 at Mountain Home Air Force Base, Idaho. For McClellan’s final service project he successfully improved a garden and built a new stage for the Family Camp. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Shane M. Phipps)

Connor McClellan, son of Col. James McClellan, 366th Maintenance Group commander, proudly displays his Eagle Scout medal, Feb. 3, 2012 at Mountain Home Air Force Base, Idaho. For McClellan’s final service project he successfully improved a garden and built a new stage for the Family Camp. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Shane M. Phipps)

Connor McClellan, son of Col. James McClellan, 366th Maintenance Group commander, wears his traditional Boy Scout uniform Feb. 3, 2012, at Mountain Home Air Force Base, Idaho. Connor recently earned the honor of Eagle Scout and will join the ranks of famous Eagle Scouts such as Henry Aaron, Neil Armstrong, Bill Gates and President Barack Obama. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Shane M. Phipps)

Connor McClellan, son of Col. James McClellan, 366th Maintenance Group commander, wears his traditional Boy Scout uniform Feb. 3, 2012, at Mountain Home Air Force Base, Idaho. Connor recently earned the honor of Eagle Scout and will join the ranks of famous Eagle Scouts such as Henry Aaron, Neil Armstrong, Bill Gates and President Barack Obama. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Shane M. Phipps)

MOUNTAIN HOME AIR FORCE BASE, Idaho -- One Gunfighter recently earned the highest position attainable in the Boy Scouts.

Connor McClellan, son of Col. James McClellan, 366th Maintenance Group commander, joins a small percentage of Eagle Scouts, an elite group of people to include astronauts, academics, politicians, professional athletes and business men.

The Boy Scouts of America state, only about five percent of boys earn the honor of Eagle Scout, and some notable Eagles include Henry Aaron, Neil Armstrong, Bill Gates and President Barack Obama.

McClellan enlisted the Outdoor Adventure program for possible ideas for his final service project and set his sights on improving a garden and constructing an all-purpose stage to be used by the base Family Camp.

According to Master Sgt. David Smith, McClellan's assistant scout master, his hard work ethic and dedication to this project, which was a requirement to make Eagle Scout, were able to propel him above his peers.

"Connor put a lot of thought into his Eagle project," said Smith, who is also the 366th Fighter Wing command post acting superintendent. He continued by saying the Eagle Scout achievement is bringing an individual's time in the scouts to a close, so if one can go out with a big project it makes it much more special.

After months of preparation, planning and constructions McClellan was responsible for the successful improvement of a garden and new stage, which is available for Family Camp residents to utilize as they see fit at their leisure.

"It makes me feel good to know that my stage can be put to good use," said McClellan.

The new Eagle Scout also said he was honored to have the support from the rest of his troop throughout his journey to the coveted status, and this did not go unnoticed by his leadership.

"His peers provided their time and tools which really made his project stand out," said Smith. "What really impressed me is when it came to his final project he dreamed big."

According to scouting.org, other Eagle Scout requirements include earning a total of 21 merit badges, serving actively for a period of six months in a leadership position, taking part in a Scoutmaster conference and successfully completing an Eagle Scout board of review.

Those who reach the prestigious objective of Eagle Scout maintain a strong character, ignoring peer pressures and continuously choosing to do the right thing even when it may not be the most "popular" decision.

"There's the term 'that guy is being a boy scout' and I guess that comes from being helpful," explained McClellan. "I however, don't see that as an insult, because you should want to do the right thing and contribute to society."

Connor's proud father is confident his son has gained much more than just a promotion, but rather valuable life skills as well.

"Earning the Eagle Scout rank is difficult, but Connor faced this challenge and found a way to succeed," explained Colonel McClellan. "I believe this achievement sets a foundation for future successes as it has taught him leadership lessons that will be with him for a lifetime."