Wyatt Toal, 15, is a very motivated and determined young man. The son of Jimmy and Audrea Toal, this Conway 9th grader is diligently working to become an Eagle Scout. But becoming an Eagle Scout is not for the faint of heart. Less than five percent of all scouts actually achieve this rank.
Wyatt is a member of Boy Scout Troop #392 at the Peace Lutheran Church in Conway. He started as a Cub Scout in first grade with Pack #400 at Jim Stone Elementary and became a Boy Scout in fifth grade. His scoutmaster is Christopher Scott.
To become an Eagle Scout, Wyatt first has to earn a minimum of 21 merit badges. Some badges are required while others are elective. Each merit badge course lasts approximately three months and is supervised by an expert on the subject matter. There are a variety of topics to study, with specific requirements for completion.
Wyatt said, “Some of the topics I’ve tackled are Emergency Preparedness, First Aid, Citizenship in the World, Communication, Aviation, and Public Speaking.”
In addition to earning merit badges, a scout must also plan and lead an approved Eagle project that benefits the community. The candidate must create a budget, gather supplies, and recruit others to help execute the project. The requirements also dictate that Wyatt must raise the funds to pay for his project or have supplies and material donated.
After noticing that there was no flag to salute during the playing of the national anthem at Curtis Walker Park’s Optimist Club football field, Wyatt asked Conway Parks and Recreation and the Optimist Club if he might install a flagpole at the facility for his Eagle project. They agreed so he is currently putting together his action plan to install the flagpole this summer. Wyatt also plans to have a ceremonial presentation of the flagpole to the City of Conway Parks and Recreation after it is installed.
“I plan to include the Conway High JROTC, the VFW, City of Conway officials, the Optimist Club and any other group that wishes to participate in the event,” Wyatt said.
According to Boy Scout rules, all Eagle Scout requirements must be completed before Wyatt turns 18 years old. A final step requires the candidate must go before an Eagle board, made up of council members, to answer questions about why they want to be an Eagle Scout and what they have learned during this long, sustained process.
Once Wyatt is approved by his troop, district, local council, and National Council, he will be recognized in a special Eagle Scout ceremony attended by his friends, family, and mentors. He will be awarded the Eagle Scout rank, represented with many ceremonial awards. He will then take a new oath as an Eagle Scout and his parents will be presented with keepsakes representing Wyatt’s journey to Eagle. His projects and memories of scouting will be displayed at the event and formal pictures will be taken with the new accolades.
Putting together a project like this shouldn’t be a problem for this scout. Last fall, Wyatt convinced a south Arkansas farmer who grows watermelon to send him some so he could sell them.
“The farmer sent Wyatt not only 62 watermelons but 50 pumpkins as well. He set up a trailer at Prince and Salem and sold them all in one weekend. He kept a spreadsheet, documenting each sale, and ended up making a profit of $750, which went into his savings account,” said his father.
In addition to Scouts, Wyatt has also been involved in several other community activities. He has volunteered for the Optimist Club for several years, helping manage the equipment for the youth football program. He also has gone on an Ozark Mission Project trip to Jonesboro with his church youth group. They helped with home repair projects and yard work for widows and the elderly. At Thanksgiving, he helps pack and deliver meals to needy families through New Life Church.
Wyatt has played football since fourth grade. He played on the White Team at Carl Stuart Middle School (CSMS) before joining the CJHS team this past year. He is currently participating in CHS spring practices. This past year, he joined the Conway JROTC program. He also recently ran his first 5K, the Glow Run at the State Fairgrounds.
While at CSMS, Wyatt served as vice-president of the Junior Optimist Club. He is now a member of FBLA, recently creating a PowerPoint presentation with two classmates on Internet Safety. They entered the presentation in the spring FBLA competition at UCA. And in the midst of all these extracurricular activities, he has kept up a 3.5 GPA, taking mostly pre-AP classes.
Wyatt Toal has accomplished a lot already but if the past and present are any indication of his future, we can expect even greater things from him in the future.