Student Spotlight: Aaron Belaire


The Boy Scouts of America recently inducted its newest members into the prestigious rank of the Eagle Scout. Out of more than 100 million boy scouts from 1911 to present day, only 2 percent have ever attained the rank of Eagle scout, which is also the highest possible honor a boy scout can receive.

About one month ago, Sophomore Aaron Belaire was one of those who was honored at a special ceremony, achieving more than what was required of him.  Aaron has received 32 merit badges, hiked 149 miles, and camped 39 total nights, one of those nights being with temperatures below freezing point. On top of that, he dedicated 55.5 hours of his time to community service and has made it to the state swim meet twice for the Ascension swim team. On average, the Boy Scouts of America estimates that it would take seven years to become an Eagle Scout. Aaron did it in just under two years.

All of these accomplishments are very impressive, especially considering that Aaron is only 15 years of age, while most scouts do not become an Eagle until 18 or 19. That being said, I sat down with Aaron to talk to him about his successes. Here’s what he had to say:

TM: What made you want to become a boy scout?

Aaron: “What made me become a boy scout? I was with my brother and my dad one time, and I saw how much fun they were having, and I decided ‘wow that looks fun’, so I joined.”

TM: Was it too much to handle at first or were you able to adjust pretty easily?

Aaron: “I was able to adjust pretty easily because I was a Cub Scout, and I’ve always been an outdoors guy, so it was very easy to adjust to.”

TM: What made you decide that you were ready to go after the rank of Eagle Scout?

Aaron: “Just seeing some of Christian’s friends becoming Eagle, I was like ‘wow that’s such an accomplishment’ so I decided ‘yeah I’ll do that.'”

TM: Obviously, you have perseverance, but was there ever a time that you felt like giving up?

Aaron: “I don’t think there was ever a time I just wanted to give up. After the first few weeks of boy scout camping, I gained so much perseverance to where I would never not finish something. Starting from my first merit badge to earning my first gold badge, I had that mindset.”

TM: Your brother Christian is also an Eagle Scout. Before you became one, was there a competition between the two of you?

Aaron: “There was kinda a competition, but I wouldn’t really call it a competition. We just wanted to become Eagle at the same time. My mom didn’t really know much about being a Boy Scout at the time Christian got in that year. So when I joined,she knew more about how we should progress in Boy Scouts, so that Christian became an Eagle Scout because of the time he had.”

TM: Out of all the hiking and camping and other activities, which one was the hardest?

Aaron: “I definitely have to say that the training for Philmont was the hardest. Well, not even Philmont. Eagle Rock Loop in Arkansas had increased grading by almost 65%. It was literally like climbing a mountain. It was really, really, really hard. And it’s not like there was a set amount of time for the hikes, but you would have to do a certain amount of hikes just to get prepared. It’s not like it was necessary, it’s just that getting us prepared would definitely ensure that we could do Philmont without quitting midway.”

TM: Doing all of this, plus swimming for you school, must have been pretty time-consuming. How did you manage your time with a busy schedule like that?

Aaron: “Well, what happened was that I took a swimming course and earned a merit badge for that. Getting the swimming merit badge, which was Eagle required, I decided  ‘wow that was pretty fun.’  Then I thought that I should swim competitively. So I started swimming competitively. And by that time I was pretty much at the end of my journey. I was a Star Scout, about to become a Life Scout. So the only thing I was waiting on was time. I had everything done by Star. Maybe I had a few pieces of paperwork to fill out, but that was about it.”

TM: Do you plan to continue swimming in college?

Aaron: I think it is definitely an opportunity for me, and I think that I would enjoy swimming in college. If I’m not too busy by then, I would definitely swim in college.

TM: Now that you have reached the highest rank possible, what will you do now?

Aaron: “I’m probably going to put more work into swimming since Boy Scouts is over for me. But I do have three other siblings. I’ll help them along the way while spending more time practicing for swimming.”

TM: Out of the 149 miles of hiking and the 39 nights of camping, one being in 32 degree weather, if you had to start all over, would you do it again?

Aaron: “I would do it all over again because it taught me lots of life lessons. Like whenever you start something don’t just quit halfway because it gets tough. You have to go all the way to get it done. Because once you get it done, you feel so good about yourself.”