The majority of people can’t say that they have anything in common with famous people like Stephen Spielberg, all 12 of the astronauts who walked on the moon, Robert Gates, or Tuskegee Airman Charles McGee, but Southmoreland math teacher Christopher Yeager can. Mr. Yeager is an Eagle Scout.
“I started Scouting when I was seven,” said Mr. Yeager. “It is such an honor to achieve Scouting’s highest rank.”
The rank of Eagle Scout is a very elite and prestigious advancement. A scout on the trial to Eagle needs to complete a total of 21 merit badges with skills ranging from first aid to camping. Once the badges are complete the candidate then completes a self coordinated and self lead service project.
“I wanted to do my project in a place that really needed it,” said Mr. Yeager. “The church in Tars where I went needed Sunday school rooms redone. I thought that it would be a great project since no one really bothered to fix them up.
One of the highlights of Mr. Yeager’s Scouting experience, beside his Eagle Scout, was going to one of the high adventure scouting bases in the country. He went to Philmont in Cimarron, New Mexico.
“This was one of the coolest things I have ever done. The experiences I had at Philmont will never leave my mind,” said Mr. Yeager. “I love being outside, which is why I joined Scouts, and these trips are all about the outdoors.”
Mr. Yeager’s time at Philmont consisted of hiking and camping for about 10 days. This is why he enjoyed his Scouting experience so much. His experiences in scouting also transcended into his career choices as well.
“When I was in high school I hated it. I was never crazy about school,” said Mr. Yeager. “My career choice at the time was a park ranger who worked on the Appalachian Trail. I wanted to go into Forest Management in college.”
It wasn’t until looking at the job availabilities that he considered teaching as a possible career option.
“I saw that the debt I would be in and the salary I would be making with a Master’s Degree, $20,000, was not worth it. That’s when I made the realization that I would go into teaching.”
Mr. Yeager then started with student teaching and realized that the perspective of the teacher was completely different from the student’s perspective. He liked teaching and decided to pursue it as a career.
Being an Eagle Scout is a very elite recognition. Only about 2% of scouts actually get their Eagle. Mr. Yeager is part of an elite group of men who range from high ranking military officers, Senators, Presidents, astronauts, and tech moguls.