Scouting – A Family Affair, Local Scout Becomes 4th Generation Eagle Scout
On February 12th, 2014, Brent Valentine received a prestigious title that he had been coveting ever since he was a little boy. It isn’t simply a title that he can ask his parents for or bestow upon himself; no, it is a title that has to be earned with preparation, determination and hard work. On that Wednesday, Brent, a Scout from Troop 90 in Newport Beach, earned his Eagle Scout Rank, a cause for celebration that dates back to four generations in the Valentine family.
Brent is the 158th Eagle Scout from Troop 90, which was founded just over 25 years ago. Nationally, approximately only 2% of all Scouts obtain the rank of Eagle. Troop 90’s percentage of Eagle Scouts earning their Rank is between 15 and 17%.
Brent’s Great-Grandfather, George Josten, received his Eagle Badge from Scouting’s founder Lord Baden-Powell himself at a ceremony held in Madison Square Garden on May 17, 1919. George was a member of Troop 9 in New Brunswick, New Jersey. Brent’s Grandfather, Don Valentine, received his Eagle Badge on October 10, 1949 as a member of Troop 9 in Pasadena. Don has been a member of the San Gabriel Valley Council, Boy Scouts of America for 76 years, making him its longest tenured member. Brent’s father, Bill Valentine, was a member of Troop 377 in Pasadena and was presented his Eagle Badge on June 13, 1980. It’s evident that Scouting is a celebrated and cherished tradition in the Valentine family.
When asked what it meant to become a fourth generation Eagle Scout, Brent stated, “Being an Eagle Scout is great by itself and adding the history makes it even better. It’s also fun! There was little expectation for me to become an Eagle Scout. I wanted it and wanted to do it for my grandfather. I was asking my dad to do Cub Scouts ever since I was little.”
Brent’s father, Bill, stated that Brent was the driving force in his quest for Eagle Scout Rank. At eleven years old, Brent was given a Scouting handbook from his father, after Brent’s repeated pleas to join the Scouts, and by his first troop meeting, he had everything memorized. “I didn’t get signed off, but I even did all the work for my first merit badge before that first troop meeting,” Brent eagerly recalls.
Aside from the family bonding, Brent has developed and cultivated new passions. He completed his fishing merit badge at the Newport Sea Base and had a great experience. “I heard stories from my dad and grandfather about fishing and it’s something I always wanted to try,” Brent said. Now it’s become one of his biggest hobbies and Brent finds himself on the water fishing at least two times a week.
“One of the biggest things to look at is how merit badges are designed to let you discover the world,” Bill stated. Brent did a couple merit badges that helped him discover what he wouldn’t want to do as either a career or hobby. The merit badges provide the opportunities to find your career path and later on if you’re in a social setting, you have some background information on a multitude of subjects and can have a discussion with anybody.
When asked what element of Scouting had the biggest impact on Brent’s life, he said “I was the Senior Patrol Leader of one of the county’s largest troops and I was 13 at the time. To run a troop and actually have people listen, I look back now and I’m amazed. I was able to lead in a way where the boys respected me and liked me. I tried to make it fun because that’s what Scouting should be.