The road to Eagle Scout within the Boy Scouts of America is no easy process. In fact, only four percent of scouts have earned the rank since the organization’s inception in 1911. Catholic Central is proud to recognize countless student and alumni Eagle Scouts, including Jacob McKee ‘23.
“Once I joined [Boy Scouts], I was inspired to reach the top,” said McKee.
A member of troop 326 in White Lake, McKee has been a scout since he was just eight years old. His parents, Becky and Jay McKee, are grateful for the ways scouting has challenged McKee and take pride in his accomplishments.
“I could see that scouting was giving him the opportunity to safely move out of his comfort zone and contribute to a world outside of his own,” said McKee’s mother, Becky. “The experiences he has had with Boy Scouts and CC have shaped him into the confident, decisive, and generous young man he is today.”
To earn the rank of Eagle required McKee to accrue 21 or more merit badges (he earned 33), achieve six rank advancements, develop and lead an extensive service project aiding the community, write several essays, request five recommendation letters, compile an application binder, and undergo an Eagle board of review.
His project? When Fr. Tom Meagher of St. Patrick in White Lake was looking for someone to spearhead the construction of a new prayer garden, McKee saw an opportunity and took it upon himself to organize the building of the St. Patrick’s Prayer Garden Bridge.
First, McKee would need to raise funds for project expenses like lumber and tools. Organizing a weekend bottle drive, McKee raised $3,475. Completing the project with close attention to budget, McKee was able to donate $1850 leftover to the parish for the creation of additional prayerful outdoor spaces.
It took Jacob over 60 hours to plan and implement the project, navigating his leadership role as project manager within a large group of enthusiastic adult volunteers. With over 100 hours of combined help from troop volunteers, area scouts, and parishioners, he finished the project the weekend before school started in August 2021.
“We are proud of him for choosing to give back to a community that has served him so well,” said Mrs. McKee. “It brings us joy to see his project as we drive past it every day and know that he has made his valuable contribution to our community.”
While some may view reaching Eagle as the culmination to one’s scouting career, McKee has embraced the chance to guide his troop, as well as teach and inspire the younger scouts. Embracing servant leadership is ingrained in McKee’s nature, having served his troop in the roles of Senior Patrol Leader, Scribe, and Guide. McKee attended the National Youth Leadership Training hosted by the Boy Scouts of America, Michigan Crossroad Council at age 13, exposing him at an early age to leadership training. As Senior Patrol Leader at age 15, a position elected to him by his peers, McKee led his troop of 35 scouts through the Covid-19 pandemic.
“I am particularly proud of the times when Jacob reaches out to a scout who is struggling and in need of direction or needs a friend,” said Mrs. McKee. “It makes me proud to see Jacob help other scouts advance through the ranks.”
“Being an Eagle Scout taught me leadership. Being a shamrock taught me brotherhood. Together, they taught me to be a man,” McKee said.
In addition to scouting, McKee stays involved at Catholic Central as a member of the drumline, Rocks Vitae (pro-life club), and the National Honor Society. Looking ahead towards graduation, McKee hopes to attend Michigan Technological University to pursue a career in either mechanical or design engineering through the school’s Computer Aided Design (CAD) program.
Detroit Catholic Central is proud to celebrate the hundreds of Eagle Scouts who have walked the halls of our school. This spotlight is part of a larger series highlighting current students who have earned the prestigious rank. If you know of a current student who has received the rank of Eagle, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.