Joshua Lubahn earns scouting’s highest honor
Story and photos by John Hummer
Napoleon’s Joshua Lubahn reached a level only seven of 100 boys reach as they make their way up the scouting ladder: He became an Eagle Scout Monday at the Brooklyn Sportsman’s Club. He is the first scout to achieve the honor in the 11 years of existence of Troop #4472 chartered by the Brooklyn Sportsman’s Club.
Joshua began scouting in kindergarten at the age of four as a Tiger level Cub Scout and has now been in scouting for 11 years. He crossed over from Cub Scouts to Boy Scouts in fifth grade. Joshua is proud of having helped build the bridge used for the crossover ceremony back then.
“I’m incredibly proud of him,” said his mother, Lisa Lubahn. “He’s worked so hard and he has pushed himself so much to attain this goal. He’s always setting goals and striving to achieve them.”
His father had similar sentiments.
“It’s a great accomplishment,” he said. “He has the drive to get things done and sticks with it. To do it at such a young age – he’s really put a lot of effort forward.”
Russ Melville, who serves as the chair of the Eagle Board of Review for the Cascades District, opened the ceremony reading a letter to Joshua from the Scouts’ national office signed by the organization’s president and chief scout executive.
“Congratulations. You are now an Eagle Scout. In completing all the requirements, you’ve mastered many valuable skills and have made the Scout oath and law part of your life . . . we’re counting on you to aim high and continue leading by your service and example.”
Melville then officially convened the Court of Honor to present scouting’s highest achievement – the rank of Eagle Scout – to Joshua Lubahn.
“The Eagle Scout award is the nation’s premier youth service and leadership recognition,” said Merlyn Thomas, scoutmaster for Troop #4472, during the ceremony. Thomas has been Joshua’s scoutmaster for four years and for the troop for eight years.
Joshua, now a sophomore at Napoleon High School, had to progress through seven ranks and earn 21 different merit badges to achieve the Eagle Scout status, Thomas said. To earn the merit badges, he had to learn numerous skills and perform acts of community service for each rank of scouting. Then there is the culmination of it all – the Eagle Scout project.
“To earn Eagle Scout status, you have to plan, manage, and complete your own project to benefit your community,” Thomas said. “It’s not necessarily the size of the project, it’s the leadership you show managing and leading the project.”
Joshua’s Eagle Scout project was to revamp the buffet area at Grass Lake United Methodist Church. He retiled their counters and installed a new buffet hood, among other detailed tasks. He completed the project in January of this year.
“The work was the short and easy part,” Joshua said. “The hard part was the paperwork. It was mounds upon mounds of paperwork.” The project had to go through a local board of review and had to be approved at the national level as well.
“Now that it’s all over with, it was definitely worth it,” he said.
Thomas said he witnessed a great deal of maturity progression in Joshua the last four years.
“He can now teach the younger scouts the skills they need – and he does take the time to do that and he works very well with them. There are requirements for each rank to teach, and that’s where you learn leadership. You’re given responsibilities within the troop to learn those leadership skills.”
For example, Thomas said troop meetings are led by the older scouts and when they go camping, scouts set up the camp.
Joshua plans to stay active in scouting and help guide the younger boys coming up in the troop. In addition to keeping up with his school work, he is a varsity wrestler at Napoleon. He is also training to be a pilot at Skywalker Flying in Adrian.
“My plan is to become a pilot for UPS,” he said.
Joshua joins some respectable Americans in the Eagle Scout ranks including President Gerald R. Ford and astronaut Neil Armstrong.