Brandon Nussbaum may have joined the Cub Scouts at the urging of his parents, but he stayed in the scouts and earned his Eagle rank because it was something he wanted to do for himself.
Nussbaum, 18, who recently graduated from Seaford High School, officially earned Boy Scout’s highest honor at a Court of Honor ceremony on Aug. 3. He is a junior assistant scoutmaster with Troop 581.
Over the last 12 years, Nussbaum has moved up the ranks, starting out as a Tiger Scout and finishing up an Eagle. Only 5 percent of boys who join the scouts earn the honor. About 40 people attended his ceremony, including several local dignitaries. “It was a pretty good feeling knowing that they were all there for me,” he said.
Nussbaum became a Life Scout about four years ago and had most of his Eagle requirements complete except for a community service project. When that time came, he built a garden in front of Seaford Middle School, which included a raised flower bed, and new mulch and flowers around nearby trees.
The project took about two months of planning, in which he had several meetings with the district superintendent. All of the work was done in a day, with the help of nearly 20 volunteers including fellow scouts, parents and troop leaders. Nussbaum also had to secure donations, several of which came from local florists. “It actually does take a lot more work than you think,” he said of a community service project.
As the person in charge of the project, Nussbaum had to supervise his volunteers and make sure the work was divided up evenly. He estimates that he has helped at least 10 other Boy Scouts with their projects in the past, and hopes to assist future Eagle Scouts in his troop.
Boy Scouts must earn 21 merit badges to make Eagle, and Nussbaum picked up 28. His favorite one was camping, an activity that is a staple of the Boy Scouts. “I’ve always been an ‘outdoorsy’ kind of person,” he said. “It’s fun to have to cook for yourself, to not have all the luxuries that you’d have at home.”
Nussbaum said that the key to a successful camping trip just happens to be the Boy Scout motto — “Be Prepared.”
Every summer, he and his fellow scouts would spend a week camping at the Yawgoog Scout Reservation in Rhode Island, which he puts down as one of his best memories.
He will be attending Nassau Community College in the fall and plans to study criminal justice. Nussbaum also hopes to remain active in his troop.
Troop 581 is a close-knit group, he said, and he has made many lifelong friends through the scouts. He cited Scoutmaster Scott Fox for motivating him to complete his journey toward Eagle Scout.
Nussbaum said that his experience in the scouts was very positive, and because of it he has the tools to succeed as an adult. Earning his Eagle rank was the icing on the cake.
“You put all those years in,” he said, “you don’t want to have nothing to show for it.”