Paul Ruetten, a member of BSA Troop 16 chartered at Federated Church in Sycamore and a Sycamore High School Freshman, was recently awarded the Eagle Rank, the highest award achievable in Boy Scouts. Paul is the son of Drs. Tim and Cathy Ruetten of Sycamore.
Paul began his scouting journey in First grade in Cub Scout Pack 140. He earned all five Cub Scout ranks and the Arrow of Light (the highest award given in Cub Scouts). Paul continued his trail to Eagle with Boy Scout Troop 16 serving as Patrol Leader, Troop Quartermaster, and Assistant Senior Patrol Leader. Being active in the numerous campouts and troop activities and service projects in the last 4 years, he also attended Tomahawk Scout Reservation and Tesomas Scout Camp. He has enjoyed 2 High Adventure experiences including the Boundary Waters and Philmont Scout Ranch in 2016. Paul was inducted into the Order of the Arrow in 2015. He earned 26 merit badges and comments his favorite was Small Boat Sailing.
A student for 11 years at St. Mary’s School in Sycamore, Paul wanted to do something in appreciation of his time spent there and chose his Eagle project to help the school. Paul built an 8’ x 10’ storage shed to store playground equipment. “I learned not only how to be a leader during this project, but also learned patience and how to be organized,” comments Paul.
To achieve the Eagle rank, each scout must earn a minimum of 21 merit badges, remain active in their troop, live by the Principles of the Scout Oath and Scout Law, complete a service project, and participate in an Eagle Board of Review with all requirements being completed before their 18th birthday. This is quite an achievement as only about 5 percent of all Boy Scouts achieve the rank of Eagle. This prestigious award is recognized by colleges, the workforce, and all branches of the armed forces.
Paul held his formal Eagle Ceremony and was awarded his Eagle rank along with his twin brother and four other scouts who also achieved the rank this past fall at Federated Church in Sycamore. Paul comments, “Earning the Eagle rank is very meaningful to me. I have reached what my Dad calls a “20,000 foot view”. I can see how far I have come and now can see another path that leads up another mountain. I am ready!” Paul would also like to acknowledge and thank his parents, brothers, Troop 16 members, friends, and everyone that helped him along his trail to Eagle.
Paul is a Sycamore High School (SHS) Freshman and a member of SHS Cross Country, SHS Track, the DeKalb-Sycamore High School Co-Op Swim Team, and the DeKalb County Swim Team. He will continue to be active in Troop 16. He looks forward to enjoying high school and plans to attend college with a goal to become a surgeon. Paul also hopes to compete in an Ironman Triathlon before he graduates college.
Troop 16 is a strong troop with over 40 active scouts. Any boy aged 11 through 18 is invited to join; no past scouting experience or background is required. Troop 16 meets most Sunday evenings from 6:00 pm – 7:30 pm at the Federated Church in Sycamore. For more information, please contact Scoutmaster Tom Peterson at TPeterson10@me.com or 815-546-0894.