Pequot Lakes Eagle Scout Doesn’t Let Disease Stop Him
There are over two million Boy and Girl Scouts in America, but only around five percent of them will go on to earn the rank of Eagle Scout. One Scout in Pequot Lakes earned that recognition over the weekend despite facing one very tough obstacle.
“I would say he’s the most positive person I’ve ever met,” Jeffrey Benson, Sam’s Scoutmaster, said. “He always has a smile on his face.”
Everyone in Boy Scout Troop 102 knows Sam Clement from his infectious smile and “can do” attitude. Thanks to his positivity after 11 years, Sam earned the Eagle Scout rank.
“My whole life for Boy Scouts has just been an adventure,” Sam Clement, Eagle Scout, said. “We’ve had our good times, bad times, silly times, and my whole life honestly has just been a never-ending-adventurous story.”
Sam’s story started before Boy Scouts when he was diagnosed with cerebral palsy, a disease that affects a person’s muscles, and can make some daily tasks very difficult. However, no disease could stop Sam from earning 36 of the required 21 merit badges to become an Eagle Scout.
“He’s Superman,” Benson said. “Cerebral palsy is a debilitating disease, and he’s overcome that which is amazing – he’s a true one percenter.”
Sam thought he was going to fall short of becoming an Eagle Scout when he turned 18, which is the maximum age for a Boy Scout. But…
“We found a clause that said he could continue in Boy Scouts, and so we submitted the paper work and the Pine Tree District and the Central Minnesota Council authorized it,” Benson said. “So, he was encouraged and he said, ‘Hey, I’m going to get this done.’”
For his final Eagle Scout project, Sam created a unique picnic table for campers at Camp Confidence.
“I love to build things,” Clement said. “It’s actually a convertible picnic table and bench, so that way it is wheelchair accessible.”
It may have taken Sam a little extra time, but the determination was always there.
“He never gave up,” Lynne Clement, Sam’s mother, said.
“It would have been easy [to give up] many times; a lot of the requirements are pretty physical which obviously was a struggle for Sam, but he pushed through them,” Pete Clement, Sam’s father, said.
Sam Clement may have earned his Eagle Scout status on Sunday, but he said his work with the Boy Scouts is just getting started.
“I’m going to be an adult leader for my Boy Scout troop,” Sam Clement said.
Sam definitely has the right personality for the adult leader position.