Spring Early College Academy students Spencer Arnold, from left, Christian Arnold and Alexander Dossey are more than schoolmates, they are also Eagle Scouts.
HOUSTON – June 2, 2017 – Despite its relatively small student body, Spring Early College Academy has recently seen another of its students complete the requirements to become an Eagle Scout, the highest achievement rank offered by the Boy Scouts of America.
Graduating senior Alexander Dossey, who first got involved with Cub Scouting when he was six years old, recently earned his Eagle Scout designation during a May ceremony held at St. James the Apostle Catholic Church in Spring. Moving up through Cub Scouting and Boy Scouting over the past 12 years, he has been active with his troop in recent years as Patrol Leader, Instructor, and Senior Patrol Leader.
Dossey joins classmates Spencer Arnold and Daniel Hall – both graduating seniors – as well as Christian Arnold – a rising junior at the campus and younger brother to Spencer Arnold – all of whom previously completed their Eagle Scout requirements and together helped encourage Dossey to finish before he passed the official cutoff date on his eighteenth birthday.
“I think Eagle Scout opens doors for you,” said Dossey, who credited the ongoing support of his friends, family and scout leaders in motivating him to complete his final Eagle Scout requirements while also finishing his high school coursework and his associate degree at Lone Star College.
“There were definitely times over the years when I wasn’t as motivated, that I wanted to quit. I think, at one point, I didn’t show up to meetings for a few months and I wasn’t really going on campouts, and Spencer and Christian’s father – our troop leader – called me and said, ‘We need you in the troop.’ He re-inspired me and got me interested again – to be a leader and to be involved.”
A designation only attained by about five percent of all Boy Scouts nationally, the performance-based achievement requires members of the organization to pass through a series of ranks, tests, requirements and merit badges ultimately culminating in the Scout’s official recognition – during a formal ceremony before their entire troop – as an Eagle Scout, a lifelong honor that can help, in both college and job applications, to convey qualities of perseverance, attention to detail, and civic-mindedness.
“We always pushed each other to do the requirements and get the stuff done,” said Christian, the younger of the Arnold brothers, who completed his Eagle Scout requirements before entering high school. “I knew once I got Eagle Scout I’d be pretty much done, but that I would still stay in the troop and help other people. Once you get Eagle, you’ve ‘made it,’ but there’s also tons of other stuff you can do to help other boys out.”
After meeting advanced requirements in the areas of leadership, service and outdoor skills, Scouts still need to plan and oversee the completion of a community-oriented service project.
For Dossey, his project involved the design and installation of benches along a popular trail between Dennis Johnston Park and Pundt Park, a project he managed and completed with the help of his fellow troop members. “I approached Harris County Precinct 4 with the idea for the benches. I know some ladies who are older and some who have issues with their legs or their knees, and when they go out and walk that path they don’t have anywhere to sit down, so I thought we could build them a bench. The benches are there now, and sometimes I’ll be at home and I’ll get a Snapchat message, and it’ll be somebody taking a picture of the benches, saying, ‘Look, it’s your benches!’ It’s a nice feeling.”
The elder Arnold brother, Spencer, meanwhile, reflected on the ways that Early College had pushed him and the others to grow and succeed. “I like being challenged,” he said, “because I’m the type of person who gets very bored very easily. When I found out I got into Early College, I showed my mom the letter and she said, ‘Are you ready for the challenge? Because you’re going to have to juggle scouts, school and college.’ And I thought, ‘Awesome!’ Then I took it by the horns – having stuff to constantly do, having stuff to constantly worry about, making sure I’m doing well. But I have really enjoyed it here, because I like the challenge. Getting through the circumstances that I’ve put myself in – and growing out of those circumstances – is always really good for me.”
The end of the school year brings changes and will break the group up as some go away for college in the fall – Dossey has been awarded a scholarship to attend St. Mary’s University in San Antonio – while others remain in the Houston area to continue their studies, but all agreed that the bonds formed through scouting and their time together in school will hold them together across the miles and the challenges ahead.
“They become family,” Dossey said of his fellow scouts and his troop. “It becomes part of you.”
All four are members of Boy Scouts of America Troop 355. Affiliated with the Boy Scouts Iron Horse District and the Sam Houston Area Council, the troop – with more than 60 currently active members – makes its regular home in a building on the grounds of St. James, making regular forays into the outdoors for campouts and scouting activities around the state and the region.