While this is a pinnacle in Scouting for young men, the 14-year-old definitely plans to continue in Scouting though his new role will be more one of giving back.

Not a decoration but a symbol of knowledge and ability, Clayton Cowen recently received his Eagle Scout badge and joined this upper echelon of Scouting - in which a boy becomes a young man “qualified to help others as well as take care of himself.”

While this is a pinnacle in Scouting for young men, the 14-year-old definitely plans to continue in Scouting though his new role will be more one of giving back.

He plans to continue with Scouting as long as possible and to help guide his younger brother and other Scouts down the Eagle Trail. Clayton’s brother, Jarrett, will be crossing over to the Boy Scouts in February.

One of his first steps in that line was to thank the community that supported him through his more than seven years in Scouting from folks who bought umpteen pounds of popcorn over the years to businesses who donated directly to his Eagle Scout project - a new and bigger storage shed at his church.

Residents of Linn Creek, the Cowen family attends church in Olean and Clayton belongs to the Osage Beach area Boy Scout group - Troop 232.

The Eagle Scout project took approximately 225 hours to plan and build. After really starting to plan the project in May, Clayton completed the 12x12 building on Sept. 1, 2016. He passed his Eagle Board of Review on Feb. 20, 2017, and his Eagle Court of Honor was held June 4.

Clayton started out with Cub Scout Pack 229 in 2010 and his Arrow of Light ceremony on Feb. 28, 2014. He transitioned to Boy Scout later in 2014 and quickly achieved several merit badges on his way up the ranks that include Scout, Tenderfoot, Second Class, First Class, Star, Life and finally Eagle Scout.

Clayton says his Eagle Scout project helped him learn life skills like planning, documenting expenses and some basics of construction as well as responsibility and leadership.

Camping is one of the things Clayton says he has enjoyed most about Scouting.

He has attended many troop trips to the BSA’s Camp Hohn on the Lake of the Ozarks in Laurie. His popcorn and candy clientele enabled Clayton to attend these camps for free. The climbing wall and water activities at Camp Hohn are among his favorite as well as the site’s invention lab.

Boy Scouts isn’t what it used to be.

In addition to traditional activities like archery, canoeing, first aid, fishing and wilderness survival, they now offer boys badges in things like robotics, computers and nuclear science. These are all among the merit badges Clayton has earned - and several others as well.

Some of the recognitions he’s earned as a Cub Scout include the Leave No Trace Award, The God & Me and God & Family Religious emblems, the Thunderbird Men honor, Arrow of Light and World Conservation Award and the Webelos Superachiever Award for earning every Cub Scout academic and sports below loops and pins.

As a Boy Scout, he has earned Order of the Arrow, Sons of Daniel Boone, Medal of Merit, Den Chief service award, Messenger of Peace and more.

And thanks to that community support, Clayton has also been a top popcorn seller which funded his camping trips.

Clayton is currently Senior Patrol Leader. He has been Patrol leader three times, Assistant Patrol leader, Scribe two times, Chaplain’s aide and continues to be Den Chief for the Cub Scouts.

Clayton has done more than 70 nights of camping and has volunteered at the Camdenton air show, Parade of Lights, Osage Beach Easter egg hunt and completed 195 community service hours not including the hours for his Eagle project.

While Clayton is fairly young to have achieved the rank of Eagle Scout, his mom Ashley says he has always been very goal-oriented and wanted to make sure he achieved this honor before he got busy with the next phase of his life as soon he’ll need to be thinking about getting a job and a car and then college.

Long-term, he’s considering Missouri S&T in Rolla and eventually wants to work in information technology as a network administrator.