A True Eagle

By definition, an Eagle Scout is a Boy Scout who has reached the highest level of attainment in the various tests of skill
and endurance set by the Boy Scouts of America organization. In reality, however, that definition lends little insight into the kind of education, honor and commitment one both gives and receives with the title Eagle Scout.

Add the words humble and mentor to that list, and Adam Warren, a senior at Mansfield High School, is a true
Eagle Scout. “He’s been razzed about it before at school,” said his mother, Kay Warren, a detective with the Dallas Police Department, “but he just shrugs it off.”

Too few people truly appreciate the strength and dedication it has taken to get him to earn this prestigious title. Instead, for some, “there can be a negative stereotype of Boy Scouts which is too bad. There’s this idea that Boy Scouts are kind of geeky or something.”

Adam is a survivalist. Whether learning how to build a fire, tying knots or repelling a rocky cliff, Adam has learned to put his skills into action. This would include “realistic first aid,” where Scouts are made to look as though they have
broken bones or lacerations so that Cub Scouts can learn to apply first aid in different scenarios.

Adam’s greatest interest, however, has been passing on information to the younger Scouts, who come behind him. In fact, it was during a true test of his survival skills that Adam recognized his own skills. While working for his survival
badge, Adam and some other Scouts were required to build their own shelter.

“There actually was a storm that came in,” said Kay, “and Adam’s shelter stayed intact and kept him warm when other shelters did not fare so well.”

Through the Boy Scouts, his commitment has gone beyond mentoring. Every Labor Day and for other national holidays, the Scouts put out American flags. “And we pick up litter, adopt a street, help with other projects for churches and organizations,” Adam said.

Always an active and athletic boy, Boy Scouts taught him how to be physically active in a way that gives back to his
community. From building pathways around Joe Pool Lake to building bookshelves and stairs for homeless shelters and schools, idle hands has never been an issue for Adam. And while Kay always made education the number one priority in her son’s life, Boy Scouts provided an education that went beyond standard academia.

“It altered my view of Mansfield,” Adam said of the Boy Scouts. “Not just from the perspective of the city, but the people, too.” By attending city council meetings and working alongside park and city employees, “I saw what people do and how they make things work for the city.”

So when it came time for Adam to find his project for Eagle Scout, he owned a new attitude. He could, he knew, do
something exciting and ambitious. He could do something that was flashy. Or, he could do something the city really needed.

“I built bat houses for our parks,” he said. “The inspiration definitely came from my mom,” but after proposing his project to the city, Adam, too, was inspired.

“One bat house will hold 100 bats, and each bat eats up to something like 1,000 small insects a day. It was intriguing because a lot of the cities in the metro area are using pesticides that can be harmful and expensive to kill mosquitoes.
The bats provided a non-toxic, natural solution in Mansfield.” In total, Adam created three such houses for the Mansfield Parks and Recreation Departments; although he accomplished his goals and reached Eagle Scout status, he hopes to create more bat houses for the city. In fact, he intends to do a lot more for his community, including his old troop. Even though Adam turned 18 in October, an age that automatically makes him ineligible to remain with his troop, he has continued to help mentor the younger Scouts.

“I want to help any way I can,” he said, adding, “Once an Eagle, always an Eagle.” To his way of thinking, Eagle status is
just the beginning of many great things to come. He looks forward to Venture Scouting, entering the Corps of Cadets at Texas A&M or possibly West Point, as he considers a career in Special Forces in the U.S. Army. Already, Adam recognizes he has been able to do and see things through his adventures with the Boy Scouts that many people would never be able to do.

“It’s just been a great experience and something I know I will always learn from. To be an Eagle Scout proves an
individual has leadership and survival skills, honesty and commitment. I’m really proud I’m an Eagle Scout, but I’m most proud that I stuck with it,” he said. “It was really hard at one point, but worth it.”

“This has been his greatest commitment of all,” said Kay. “He will continue to help others on the trail.”

Written by Alex Allred