You can’t beat the look on an Eagle Scout’s face as he recites the oath, receives the pin, the coin and finally swaps the neckerchief.
But in time, you take notice that it wasn’t so much the awards they were after.
It becomes apparent when they address the court.
Expressing their thanks.
Acknowledging the support.
Recollecting the sum of the venture.
Finally letting the moment sink in.
It is then that you really see it in their face. You witness what has really meant the most to them.
Now no two scouts are the same.
Each will choose to forge their own distinctive path. Amass their own collection of merit badges. Create, lead and consummate a project as individual as they.
And quite honestly, it isn’t hard to see the appeal of doing something like that.
Joey’s path led him to an appreciation of the great outdoors.
Along the way, he earned 22 merit badges.
Then, he led the renovation and reorganization of an equipment shed at Rotary Park on behalf of all of the boys and girls that participate in TMYBA.
And this, today, completes the Fischer boys Eagle Scout trifecta. Motivation enough considering how tough big brothers can be on the youngest sibling that doesn’t hit the mark.
It is said that an Eagle project is meant to reflect a scout’s true passion.
Represent a lasting statement of purpose.
Create an enduring asset for the community, in a gift that will provide opportunity for those that will follow.
True, the physical representation of Joey’s project stands on the north side of town.
But in my estimation, Joey left this community something even more lasting.
When you happen to spend your summers on the diamond and your falls on the gridiron, it is hard not to see the world through “coach colored glasses.”
So in retrospect, as I followed this kid throughout his Highlander wrestling career, it became apparent that in many respects, Joey was already an Eagle that just also happened to be a student-athlete.
An ongoing, four-year, adversity rich, precursor to his eventual Eagle project; leading a team.
This one is an “all in” kind of man.
The little dog with the biggest share of fight.
The kind coaches – and teammates – appreciate and treasure.
Joe’s unbridled passion for his pursuits on the mat inspired many, including this old coach.
He understands the connection between work and sacrifice. Perseverance and achievement. Opportunity and adversity.
But perhaps most importantly, he knows courage.
A trait one only learns from always being the smallest dog in the fight.
Joe’s willingness to expend himself – in full – towards an end unknown gained the respect of many.
Choosing to leave it all out there, come whatever may, for all to see, are the feats of a truly intrepid soul.
Win, lose or draw, Joey would always come back, with a level of enthusiasm and energy usually reserved for Christmas morning.
Now that is leadership.
Communicating to others, in no uncertain terms, to fear not.
Let the chips fall where they may.
And just “go for it.”
Because no matter what you think or the size of the challenge you face, you do have it in you to do it.
The residue of sharing a nest with two other Eagles, wrapped in the love and support of parents that understand the true value of this rare venture.
The brand of leadership that helped us escape the clutches of Earth and got us to the heavens and back.
So maybe that is this Eagle Scouts true passion:
Representative of his lasting statement of purpose.
His enduring asset for our community.
A gift that will provide opportunity for those that will follow.
After all, Joe is an Eagle Scout.
And always has been in my book.
A man we can always count on to show us the way.
One that will forever honor his oath.
Someone that has shown others how to be at their best, even when things are their worst.
A kind of man in short supply, but in increasingly high demand.
A true original, content and confident to forge his own, sometimes winding path.
Leading all of us in a manner we will choose to embrace and emulate.
On behalf of the Mequon-Thiensville Optimist Club, I would like congratulate Joey Fischer
Troop 865’s newest Eagle Scout.