Captain Glasstein: “You are cleared for take off. “

Now as you all know, no two scouts are the same.  

Each will choose their own path.

Granted the independence to amass their unique collection of merit badges, they begin to lean into and venture towards a scouting experience as individual as they.

All of which is intended to narrow the focus and point them  towards their  signature project.  And a life of leadership.

And while Josh’s endeavor proves without a doubt that he is a well grounded individual, this young man is already well on his way towards fulfilling some other lofty aspirations.

To put some distance between himself  and these earthly bonds.

Akin to how those other guys with “the right stuff” got their start.


Eagle Scouts all.  

Each with a burning desire to  escape the confines of the terra firma with the assistance of some man-made wings.

Joshua and his team paid tribute to their collective roots with a project meant to preserve and protect; a retaining wall for the Mequon Nature Preserve.


Doing some of the heaviest lifting known in the name of others, he and his team literally moved a ‘ton of bricks’.

And though some may be hard pressed to see the glamour in this kind of project, I have to imagine that Joshua envisioned this structure as meeting a pressing need for a very important place to Scouts in our community.

A starting point.

Even a landmark of sorts.

A site that has served as a launching pad for many other Eagles within our community.

By installing the drainage and a  three-foot high and one hundred foot long retaining wall, that team’s efforts have  protected the contents of the nature preserve’s garage.

Joshua led the way to insure that come “H – E – double hockey sticks” or  high-water, the equipment and educational  materials kept there will remain high and dry.

So that  future scouts will have access to the same opportunities as he, to touch the clouds.

His earthly mission accomplished, Joshua  is now free to focus on ascending the heights in pursuit of  his other life long dream;  to  become an airline pilot.  

And to reach this desired cruising altitude, Josh is taking flying lessons and will obtain his private pilot’s license before he graduates from Homestead.  

Then – the sky truly is the limit.

Joshua plans to major in Atmospheric Sciences once he enrolls in  college next year.

Now some may not see the connection between a brick retaining wall and one’s future flight plans.  

But if you think about it, at one time, before radios, radar, air towers and telemetry, the pioneers that forged the path of discovery through  the air used the stars at night and landmarks during the day to navigate the heavens.

To find their way home.

It might have been a river.

Maybe a farm.

A stand of trees or orchard.

Or even, some stone retaining wall.

So perhaps in the wisdom befitting an Eagle Scout, Josh’s project was intended to serve a dual purpose.

Perhaps he envisioned meeting two pressing needs.

On the one hand, Josh was protecting the future of Scouting here at home from an unforeseen precipitation induced calamity.

And on the other, he was leaving himself “literally a ton of brick” bread crumbs.

So now, when Captain Glasstein makes his way across the continent, he can just look over his shoulder and find his landmark.

An indelible and lasting indication that he was “home”.


Everything you do matters.  And nothing is ever wasted.

It all adds up to become the working capital that will accrue interest over the course of your lifetime.

A highly personal investment that you make in “you.”

Assets to be withdrawn for moments that have yet to come.

Like when you strive to earn your first set of wings.  

Followed by the efforts that will lead you to your dream of  a second pair.

Captain Glasstein: “You are cleared for take off. “

On behalf of the Mequon-Thiensville Optimist Club, I would like congratulate both Joshua Glasstein – and Troop 865 – for  a job well done.

And for having the right stuff.


Author: Mark J. Hahn

"To be there when the light goes on." Those few, powerful words, succinctly sum up my quest as a coach. That is really what it is all about. This is precisely what drives me. To have good fortune shine upon me briefly so that I can be present at that very moment. The instant of revelation. When the years of heavy lifting results in it making sense for someone else. The almost audible “click”, followed instantaneously by an unmistakable incandescence. The illumination that can only accompany accomplishment. To see bean in the eyes, the look on the face, a change in stature and the air of confidence overtake and envelope the protoge, the “project” or the late bloomer. That is why I am in it. There may never be a stat for achieving those kinds of victories. But it is by far the most important “w” I will ever achieve.

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