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the Gauntlet

the official student-produced news site for Saint Stephen's Episcopal School

the Gauntlet

the official student-produced news site for Saint Stephen's Episcopal School

the Gauntlet

Senior Jake Clulow earns Eagle Scout status after a long journey

Jake Clulow has been a Boy Scout for years, but he recently earned the highest status in the organization

Would you spend the night in the wilderness alone with nothing but leaves to protect you? Senior Jake Clulow did that as part of his journey to becoming an Eagle Scout. 

From pitching tents as a young cub scout to leading his service project, Jake has demonstrated leadership, service, and personal growth to achieve this impressive milestone.

On average, only 6-7% of scouts become Eagle Scouts. An Eagle Scout is the highest rank attainable in the Scouts BSA program by the Boy Scouts of America.  It takes years of hard work, perseverance, and dedication. This prestigious accomplishment reflects Clulow’s character and capabilities.

To become an Eagle Scout, a scout must demonstrate proficiency in leadership skills, a dedication to service, and adept skills in the outdoors. Additionally, they need to earn at least 21 merit badges, which cover a wide range of topics like citizenship, personal fitness, and first aid. An Eagle Scout must also plan, develop, and lead a service project that benefits their community. 

Clulow became a Cub Scout when he was ten and later became a Boy Scout. Over the years, he completed the many requirements and earned plenty ofmerit badges, including all the merit badges required for Eagle Scout. Still, his favorite merit badge was Wilderness and Survival.  

Clulow standing with Senator Jim Boyd of Florida at his Eagle Scout ceremony.

“Wilderness and Survival was my favorite one that I completed because you got to spend a night outside by yourself,” Clulow said, “with only a shelter that you made, so you have to go and build a teepee out of leaves. It was like a survival show.”

Jake was driven to pursue the rank of Eagle Scout because it allowed him to learn many life skills, and once he started, he felt it was essential to get the highest rank possible. However, his true inspiration was his grandpa.

“My grandpa was an Eagle Scout, and my dad didn’t get his Eagle Scout, so I was doing it to honor my grandpa.”

Clulow has developed some wonderful memories on his journey to becoming an Eagle Scout, but one of his favorite memories was a canoeing trip around the Canada/Minnesota border lakes.

“We went up to the border of Canada and Minnesota and did 80 miles in a canoe in five days,” Clulow said.  “And we packed in and packed out our food, so we basically had five days worth of food and five days worth of water purification abilities. It was beautiful, and a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.”

Over the years, Jake has gone above and beyond to serve his community. His Eagle Scout service project directly benefited the Saint Stephen’s school community. He made two outdoor bulletin boards for the Lower and Intermediate School drive-thrus. The school will use these to improve communication with the parents. The boards will disseminate information, which will also reduce waste— a crucial Scouting value.

“For the Eagle Scout project, it is interesting because you completely facilitate it by yourself,” Clulow said.  “You can’t just say, I want to build this, and have someone else do it for you. I had to do the planning, fundraising, all the community service hours, and the organizing.” 

For Jake, the biggest challenge to reaching his Eagle Scout goal was staying focused on his long-term goal amidst a busy schedule. He credits his old scoutmaster, Mark Landers, for keeping him motivated. Jake encourages younger scouts who want to be Eagle Scouts to just get it done. 

“It is not as hard as it seems; the earlier you get it done, the less you will stress.”

An Eagle Scout Board of Honor for Scout Troop 22 was held on May 5th, 2024 at Palazzo Botanical Park to honor Jake and four other Eagle Scouts. There were many community leaders in attendance who earned Eagle Scout over the years. 

Jake received letters from Joe Biden, Barack Obama, and a special letter and coin from Congressman Vern Buchanan. He was also presented with a red, white and blue cord to wear with his graduation cap and gown. Jake will be wearing this when he graduates from Saint Stephen’son May 25th. 

Now that Jake has completed his Eagle Scout, he can enjoy the benefits of his hard work. He has access to various scholarships that recognize his dedication, leadership, and service, and he belongs to a distinguished community of Eagle Scouts with strong bonds. Clulow describes it like an ‘honor society for Eagle Scouts’.

It is fair to say that Jake’s grandpa must be very proud. Like him, his grandson is an Eagle Scout, a prestigious achievement that will open doors throughout his life. 

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About the Contributor
Jackson Pakbaz
Jackson Pakbaz, Staff Writer
Jackson Pakbaz is a sophomore in his first year writing for the Gauntlet. His role in the Gauntlet is a staff writer who writes good stories. He has one tortoise, his favorite color blue, and his favorite show is Cobra Kai. His favorite hobby is playing soccer.  


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