Without a doubt, the look on an Eagle’s face when he recites the oath, receives the pin and coin, then swaps the neckerchief is priceless.
But when they address the group and express their thanks for the support they have received all the way through, that is when you witness what has really meant the most to them.
And it is the stellar caliber of the volunteers that love and support these boys from smallest to biggest that make it so. For they impress upon each one of them the immense and lasting value of this journey.
For therein lies the true prize.
So because of their boundless commitment and tireless efforts, an Eagle Court of Honor has become this community’s tradition. A rite of passage.
All part of our collective journey.
I am told that an Eagle project is meant to reflect a scout’s true passion. To represent a lasting statement of purpose. To create an enduring asset for the community, in a gift that provides opportunity for those that will follow.
Perhaps in some measure, Conlin’s passion mirrors that of his father.
For it seems to have shed some light on what he holds dear and the value he places on the health and well-being of others.
I took a few moments this morning to experience his accomplishment first hand, meandering down the path Conlin and his team helped to renovate.
Originally carved out of the landscape over the course of 1000 hours by members of the staff, family and friends of Columbia St. Mary’s back in 1996, Conlin identified this little known community treasure as something in desperate need of some TLC.
Relying on the support of “865”, friends and siblings, Conlin and his team hefted and spread over 200 wheelbarrows full of crushed limestone along the nature walk, stabilizing its base for those that seek to follow its healing path.
Add to that the dozens and dozens of hours weed walking in a much-needed course of restoration and revitalization treatments.
Then, turning their therapeutic regimen to the framework of their patient, they built an arbor at the trail head, spruced up the other arbor in the back and mended benches and bridge alike.
And just so one need not rely on intuition or the stars to get to you want to go, Conlin prescribed a map of the trail system; now for all to see in living color, emblazoned on the kiosk where you start on the north side of the campus.
Quite the healing touch by he and his team.
Now I cannot speak to Conlin’s future aspirations, but there seems to be this underlying current between his dad’s vocation, Conlin’s vision and this project.
His efforts recognize the importance of attending to the well-being and healing of others.
Something reminiscent of three key elements in his father’s oath, attributed to Hippocrates and his students;
“I will remember that there is art to medicine as well as science, and that warmth, sympathy, and understanding may outweigh the surgeon’s knife or the chemist’s drug.
So, a peaceful walk along that path in the sunshine may just be the right tonic to provide the warmth someone needs most in a trying moment.
I will remember that I do not treat a fever chart, a cancerous growth, but a sick human being, whose illness may affect the person’s family and economic stability. My responsibility includes these related problems, if I am to care adequately for the sick.
This path will serve as a perfect instrument of healing, when a patient or family feels overwhelmed by circumstances, outcomes or the unknown.
I will remember that I remain a member of society, with special obligations to all my fellow human beings, those sound of mind and body as well as the infirm.”
That nature walk can be an avenue of much-needed reflection, personal restoration and spiritual revitalization.
Conlin’s vision of service reflects a desire to promote the needs of others in an endeavor that will provide a healing touch for a community at large.
And in certain respects, this too is what leadership and character is all about.
Helping to mend what is broken, so that all can begin anew. In works that are aimed at the greater good.
No small undertaking.
But given the nature of those that aspire to be an Eagle, this is a challenge he will lean into, in a role he desires, with a level of responsibility Conlin longs to embrace.
He is an Eagle Scout.
A man we can always count on.
One that will forever honor an oath – Scout, Eagle and to some extent – Hippocratic.
Someone that will guide others to be at their best even when things are their worst.
A kind of man in short supply, but in high demand.
Someone that is a true original, content to forge his own, sometimes winding path. Leading in a manner that others will choose to embrace and emulate.
Someone willing to lead us here at home, out into the world, or even to the moon.
On behalf of the Mequon-Thiensville Optimist Club, I would like congratulate Conlin Steinert –
Troop 865’s newest Eagle Scout.
Number 124 – and fortunately for all of us – still counting.