Magnificent seven. The seven UAE students with BSA Troop Scout Master Jeff Croake (fourth from left) after receiving the coveted honour Image Credit: Supplied

DUBAI: Seven boy scouts in the UAE received the coveted Eagle Scout award during a special ceremony at the American School of Dubai (ASD) last Sunday.

The students are Adam Nazari, 18, Zayn Elmasry, 16, Humza Syed Rasool, 16, Hamza Jilani, 15, all from American School of Dubai (ASD), Connor O'Neal-Carden, 16, from Ajay International School, Ralph Estephan, 17, of Lycee George Pompidou and Markus Baumgartner, 16, of GEMS World Academy.

For the uninitiated, Eagle Scout is the highest achievement or rank attainable in the Boy Scouting programme of the Boy Scouts of America (BSA).

The designation “Eagle Scout” was founded over 100 years ago. Only four per cent of Boy Scouts are granted this rank after a lengthy review process.

The seven boys earned 21 merit badges, completed an Eagle project, wrote a number of essays and accomplished a raft of other tasks to earn their rank. One of the students, Markus Baumgartner, said: “It’s a great honour. I put in a lot of hard work and I am glad it has paid off.”

Jeff Croake, Scout Master, BSA Troop 813, said: “At a time when we are seeing a gradual decline of Boy Scouts globally, it is heartening to see seven Eagle Scouts emerge from this troop. Earning this rank is no simple feat, and in doing so these scouts have demonstrated their commitment to a time-honoured tradition of self-improvement.”

“Scouting came into existence 100 years ago to give young people the opportunity to learn life-changing skills. These lessons of resilience, creative thinking and driving societal good have an impact not just on the scouts but on the whole community,” said Croake. Boys from the age of six can join the BSA programme at the Cub Scouts level, or enter the Boy Scouts division from the age of 10. The Eagle Scout rank is the highest rank.