From the time he was seven years old, Eli Friedman loved the Boy Scouts. Reaching the highest rank attainable was the clear goal he kept in mind. Finally, at the age of 18 he has succeeded in joining the ranks of men who have also worked hard enough to earn the coveted title.
None of Eli’s friends became an Eagle Scout with him, but his decade long persistence finally paid off with an award ceremony on September 23rd. Eli Friedman admits that he invested hundreds of hours of his time in his bid to achieve Eagle Scout status. Eli has perfected the art of small boat sailing, first aid, CPR, and fire-building, to name just a few. In fact, Friedman’s own father is also a proud Eagle Scout and encouraged his son to stick with the arduous program through the years.
Camping and hiking are some of Eli’s favorite past-times, so the emphasis on nature and outdoor activities was an excellent fit for his interests and hobbies. For his final project, Friedman had to choose a special project and he turned to his Jewish roots. He has been involved with the Tomchei Shabbat program for many years and had noticed that the tables on which the food packages were made available for families in need, were in a decrepit state. He therefore came up with the idea of building new tables for Tomchei Shabbat. He raised the funds on his own and built the tables from scratch, custom designing them to fit the exact needs of the organization.
On September 23, Eli was triumphant when he was recognized as an Eagle Scout of Boy Scouts of America. Friedman achieved an astounding 28 merit badges, even though the requirement is for 21. Eli explained, “I focused on completing the ones I enjoyed; that way, they weren’t really a task I had to do, but something that was enjoyable for me.”
As a senior at YULA, Eli has matured and learned many skills over the last four years. “When I first got to high school, I was a quiet freshman. Working with Eagle Scouts has given me a great deal of confidence to speak up for myself, and YULA has given me the integrity to support that voice.”
Eagle Scout is the highest rank attainable in the Boy Scouting program of the Boy Scouts of America (BSA). A Scout who attains this rank is called an Eagle Scout or Eagle. Since its introduction in 1911, the Eagle Scout rank has been earned by more than two million young men.