On his first day as a Boy Scout in fifth grade, Tyler Guyton introduced himself to his Scoutmaster by saying, “I’m going to be the youngest Eagle Scout in your troop,” and gave the date he planned to complete his project.
Troop 888 Scoutmaster Mitch Goldenberg laughed at the gall of the little Scout but would soon learn about the legacy Tyler hoped to uphold.
He told Tyler: “We’ll support you in any way we can, but there are no shortcuts.”
Nationally, only 4% of Boy Scouts attain the Eagle Scout rank.
Tyler Guyton is a fourth-generation Eagle Scout, following his father, grandfather and great-grandfather. Tyler earned the honor on Aug. 17, 2021, exactly 65 years after his grandfather earned this honor.
Most Boy Scouts earn this award at around age 17. Tyler completed his project at age 13, three days earlier in age than his dad was when he completed his project years before.
Knowing how busy life can get in high school, father Brad Guyton mentioned to his son that he might consider completing his project early. Tyler quickly took the reins and plotted his path to a Eagle Scout.
To achieve the Eagle designation, a Scout must earn 21 merit badges, advance through six prior ranks, and lead a team through a community-based Eagle Scout project.
“It was really cool because I got to try something on my own,” he said of planning the project.
He decided to build an outdoor classroom at his school, Evergreen Middle School, that could be used for classes during the pandemic. That began hundreds of hours of work calling companies to donate supplies, filling out paperwork and completing the labor.
Brad Guyton says the work that went into this project helped shape Tyler’s work ethic.
“He learned to work hard at a really young age,” Brad said.
Brad is no stranger to the effort that goes into becoming an Eagle Scout. His project years ago surveyed a hiking area at a church and created a map system accessible to hikers. He reminisced on some of the important parts of being a Boy Scout.
“You get into Scouting because you want to help others and have adventures,” he said. “Every time the door opens, you just gotta walk through it.”
Tyler is the youngest Eagle Scout in Troop 888’s 50-year history. Goldenberg was impressed, but says the work is not over.
“It’s an exceptional accomplishment,” he said. ““He’s earned it; now he has to live up to it.”
Tyler still has things to achieve as a Boy Scout. He has badges to earn, and for every five he gets after being an Eagle Scout, he gets an Eagle Palm to indicate he has gone above and beyond.
While Tyler hopes he won’t make mistakes like forgetting his coat on two cold-weather camping trips years ago, he still has things to learn and grow from in Scouting. Completing his award at a young age means now he gets to work on his relationships with the other Scouts.
Goldenberg has given him the opportunity to help others with pursuing the Eagle Scout rank, and expects he will continue to exemplify leadership and set the bar high for others.
Dad Brad added: “If you get it early, you can focus more on leadership opportunities and helping younger Scouts.”