The more I get to attend a Court of Honor and help recognize these young men, the more I have come to realize it’s not so much the prize they are after.
The stellar caliber of all of the volunteers that love and support these boys – from smallest to biggest – impress upon each one of them the immense and lasting value of the journey.
Because therein lies the true prize.
So because of their boundless commitment and tireless efforts, honoring young men like David in a Court of Honor, need not be a rarity in these parts.
It is this community’s tradition. Our customary rite of passage.
All part of the journey.
Now I am told an Eagle project is meant to reflect one’s true passion. To be a lasting statement of purpose. An enduring asset for the community that provides opportunity for those that will follow.
I can remember sitting across from David in the Starbucks last summer, listening to his vision as I was paging through his project binder. I think he had every detail and contingency covered, down to the last washer.
Sort of how he went about making his Pinewood Derby cars.
As he laid out the scope of his project to me, darting between binder and pictures on his smart-phone – and knowing a little about this kid – it all made perfect sense.
He is one that is built for leadership.
One that can articulate a vision, find all the pieces, put them all together and then lead the effort in making good things happen.
And whether it is building teams, or building venues to build them, it is all part of his extraordinary nature.
So when you have a moment, venture over to the north side of the Homestead campus, and you will see what an army of 30 or so volunteers can do with donations from WE Energies in over a hundred hours of effort.
David’s dream team made his dream come true for our school district in the form of a team building course.
While this was an amazing accomplishment, there is something substantially more exceptional about David than just his numerous achievements.
It is something you see in how he dotes on his little sister and loves his mom.
His coaches and teachers know of it in how he prepared for each season or lesson.
We witnessed how he rallied his teammates on the field. And I have heard about how he inspires his friends and classmates in school.
But what I find most striking about David is how he goes about his business, every day.
Inside that rather large frame is this little kid.
And everything remains a blessing to him.
One that can live and give from that perspective puts himself in a perpetual state of gratitude and humility.
Knowing that it can all go away in a second, David still regards every second as a precious and priceless privilege.
It is precisely because he looks at it this way that he can fully apply himself to everything he does, and “be” fully in every moment.
“Leaving it all ” not just on the field, but everywhere he goes.
Patterning his life towards always hoping, always working and always striving for the best.
Never wasting the time or energy fretting about the outcome or not being able to handle what may come out of it.
Simply cherishing the gifts he has been given along with the many opportunities that came along with them.
A life full of – and lived in – awe.
And therein lay his true gift as a leader.
To be an original in a world dominated by twitter, consumed with “selfies”, and other forms of social narcissism can be a very challenging undertaking.
The tug of the herd is pervasive, persistent and strong.
But men like David are built not to be pulled, but to pull their own weight.
He understands his responsibilities as a leader. He knows that character is and will always be the coin of the realm.
And David’s application of this wisdom will enable him to connect with others on a deeper basis, leading them to do the same.
Embracing that same sense of gratitude and humility.
Getting others to reap all they can out of their own personal journeys.
Living their life filled with awe.
Just like him.
It is the optimum way to inspire others, to build a lasting team and create the ultimate team experience.
Sort of like that course over at Homestead.
On behalf of the Mequon-Thiensville Optimist Club, I would like congratulate David Pfaff:
Troop 865’s newest Eagle Scout.
Number 123 – and counting – I reckon.