EDDINGTON, Maine — The first time Daniel Scott climbed down the granite cliff in Clifton, he was very afraid. He was shaking.
“I was scared of heights,” the 23-year-old acknowledged. But he didn’t turn back, because he had a goal.
“To work on the camping badge,” the Boy Scout recalled.
So down he went. Once at the bottom of the cliff, Scott had something to say.
“Can we do it again?”
That’s Daniel Scott, who will officially become an Eagle Scout in ceremonies this weekend.
The son of Edna and Dan Scott of Eddington joined Cub Scouts at age 10 and has been an active Scout ever since.
What he likes about Scouting is simple: “Everything,” Scott said. “I like working on badges, and camping.”
The Brewer High graduate is older than most Eagle Scouts, as the Boy Scouts of America allows for young men with disabilities. But Scott didn’t take advantage of any allowances for special needs in accumulating his merit badges. He did everything required to earn all 31 badges.
His favorite? “Astronomy,” he said, pointing to the badge bearing an image of the planet Saturn. It kind of goes along with one of the reasons Scott loves camping so much.
“I like looking at the stars,” he explained. “I love the outdoors and I love to swim.”
Like every other Eagle Scout, Scott had to come up with an appropriate Eagle project.
“My project was building four picnic tables,” Scott said.
The tables were built at, and given to, Amicus, the day program he attends five days a week. One table is located at Amicus, while the others were placed at apartment buildings owned by Amicus so that clients who live there could enjoy being outside with their neighbors.
Officials at Amicus were very pleased to have Scott choose to help the agency in his Eagle project.
“My sincere thanks to Daniel Scott for choosing to do his community service project for Amicus,” said Paula Matlins, program director for community life. “Daniel planned for all of the necessary supplies, helpers and to determine placement locations for the gorgeous picnic tables he built for our agency.
“These picnic tables allow our consumers to have a pleasant area to sit outside enjoying the fresh air and time with friends,” Matlins said. “We want to congratulate Daniel for his success in scouting and his continued enthusiasm in supporting the community.”
Scott helped paint the tables with red stain, but his participation involved much more than that.
He took part in the design, coordination and supervision of the tables’ construction at Amicus. And he learned a lot from the project, Scott said, “to be prepared” and to stick with things.
It’s one of the many things Scott learns during the time he spends attending Amicus.
“Working on everyday skills” is another example, Scott said, also “riding buses, map reading, cooking, budgeting — to save money.”
Dan and Edna Scott, of course, are extremely proud that their son has achieved the rank of Eagle Scout, which only a small percentage of Boy Scouts do.
It’s something Scott has always wanted, his dad said, expressing pleasure at seeing “what sort of commitment he made at such a young age.
“It’s really prepared him for life in the world,” Dan said, “something that makes me extremely proud. He has accomplished things many people would say are above his ability to do.”
“As a parent, it just makes your buttons pop,” Edna said.
Both Daniel’s parents acknowledge that any young man who becomes an Eagle Scout has lots of help along the way. That’s certainly been true of Daniel, from his first scoutmaster, Tim Higgins, who himself had a child with special needs, to Dave Stanley who helped him rock climbing, to other scoutmasters and scouting parents and the Scouts in Troop 23.
Daniel’s own scouting talents have included an ability to raise funds, from selling popcorn to collecting bottles and cans during bottle drives.
And he has a unique way of sharing his patriotism, having used sign language to “sing” “Proud to Be an American” during Penquis Regional Transition’s banquet last year.
Scott’s merit badges include “everything to do with water,” Edna pointed out, including life saving.
Could Daniel save someone who was in the water struggling?
“Yes,” he said with a big smile. He would hold the swimmer “under the armpits” and bring the person in to shore.
Daniel Scott realizes that becoming an Eagle Scout is a big deal, but he’s not one to rest on his laurels.
He’s already earned a palm, which requires additional work, and “I’m working on another badge,” he said with enthusiasm while waiting to have his photo taken. “It’s cooking. I like to cook hot foods — pasta.”