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Jayhawk Area Council Eagle Scout is Fourth Generation of Eagle Scouts


This year has been a very special year for Eagle Scouts here in the Jayhawk Area Council. 2012 was the 100th anniversary of the Eagle Scout Award, helping prompt 70 Scouts in the Jayhawk Area Council to earn their Eagle Scout Award. Among these 70 Scouts was Shawn Wood, who is the fourth generation of Eagle Scouts in his family, and could have been the fifth generation if the Boy Scouts of America was just a little older.

Shawn’s Great-Great Grandfather was Ernest A. Schmidt. Ernest was never a Scout simply because he was an adult in 1910, when William D. Boyce helped to found the Boy Scouts of America. Ernest did serve as an adult volunteer for many years, including sitting on the executive board for the Chicago Council. Ernest was awarded the Silver Beaver for his service. The Silver Beaver is the highest award a council can bestow on an adult.

Shawn’s Great Grandfather was also named Ernest Schmidt. Ernie earned his Eagle in 1926. He was later awarded the Distinguished Eagle Scout Award. Ernie served as a Professional Scout for the BSA as the Director of Camping at the Schiff Scout Reservation in Mendham, New Jersey from 1946 to 1963. The Schiff Scout Reservation was at that time the National Training Center of the BSA. Ernie wrote many articles for Boy’s Life. He also wrote the Canoeing Merit Badge pamphlet, and is still credited in the newest editions of the pamphlet. Ernie is also known for developing Lite Pak Camping, which focused on camping with lightweight equipment.

Shawn’s Grandfather was Robert Wood. Robert earned his Eagle in 1951. Robert also served as a Professional Scout for the BSA beginning in 1961. During his service as a professional, Robert served as an Area Director in the Northeast, East-Central, and Central Regions. He also served as the Personnel Director in the East-Central Region. Robert retired in 1997 after a wonderful 36 year career with the BSA.

Shawn’s Father is Eric Wood. Eric earned his Eagle in 1983. Eric is currently very active in Scouting as the Scoutmaster of Troop 7 in Topeka. All three of his sons are involved in Scouting, Shawn being the oldest.

Shawn is very proud of his Scouting heritage and has expressed his hope and intention to help his two younger brothers, Tyler and Luke as well as his cousins to earn their Eagle Scout Awards as well. Shawn’s Court of Honor will happen around his eighteenth birthday later this month.

It is not believed Shawn is the first fourth generation Eagle Scout, but it is a quite rare occurrence at this point in the BSA’s history.

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