Portman challenges scouts: Help our nation ‘by coming together’

U.S. Senator Rob Portman told a crowd of more than 300 people at the Cincinnati Masonic Center in downtown Cincinnati last weekend that he hopes the scouters who were being recognized do a better job of aligning our country than what’s happening in Washington, D.C., right now.

The Dan Beard Council, Cincinnati’s Boy Scouts of America organization, Feb. 5 recognized 308 scouts who overcame numerous pandemic obstacles over the last year to earn scouting’s highest achievement, the rank of Eagle Scout. The council recognized Portman and his wife, Jane, as the class honorees, and they both spoke to the audience.

U.S. Sen. Rob Portman speaks to some of the Eagle Scouts attending the annual “Court of Honor” at the Masonic Center on Feb. 5.

“Whether you go into the trades, or business, or law, or healthcare, or teaching, whatever you do, certainly politics, take the [Scout] Oath with you, take the [Scout] Law with you,” said Sen. Portman, who has announced his retirement at the end of this year, to the 2021 class of Eagle Scouts.

“You are leaders, and you are going to be able to influence other people,” he said. “And you can help to ensure that our great country continues to move forward by being more unified, by coming together.”

The Eagle Scout award is a performance-based achievement whose significance is well recognized. Only about 8 percent of all scouts who join a Scouts BSA troop earn the Eagle Scout rank. To receive the Eagle Scout rank, a Scout must complete 21 merit badges in various life skills, serve in a leadership role, and fulfill various requirements in the areas of leadership, service, and outdoor skills. In addition, the Scout must also give leadership to a team of volunteers to complete a service project for a community organization. These projects account for thousands of hours of community service and donated materials to provide beautification projects and physical property enhancements at local non-scouting organizations throughout a community.

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