Poem Compilation

Author: Austin Miller

Identity Map

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Artifact Essay

Since I was eight, I have been a member of the Boy Scouts of America. April 5, 2017 marks my eighth year of Scouting, and on January 19, 2017, I finished off the requirements for the highest rank of Scouting, Eagle Scout. Over the past eight years, Scouting has taught me many skills and introduced me to many opportunities that I would never have had if it weren’t for Scouts. My artifact is a blue neckerchief, lined by a red, white, and blue ribbon with my name, the year I became an Eagle Scout, my troop number, and an eagle embroidered into it. I chose this to be my artifact because it represents my achievement of making it to the pinnacle of Scouting, along with all my memories and everything that has led up to getting the rank of Eagle. Most importantly, it represents that I am a part of something bigger than myself.

Scouting began in 1907 with Sir Robert Baden Powell and the very first “Scout camp” on Brownsea Island in England. One of the main reasons for doing this was because during his time in the military he noticed that men were coming into the armed forces untrained and unprepared. In the words of Sir Baden Powell, “There are thousands of boys being wasted daily to our country through being left to become characterless, and, therefore, useless wasters, a misery to themselves and an eyesore and a danger to the nation. They could be saved if only the right surroundings or environment were given to them at the receptive time of their lives”. He started Scouting to help prepare young men for the adventures that life will throw at them. Over the next three years, he worked with the Scouting program and helped to develop it. One might wonder, “If Scouting started in England, then how did it get to the US?”

According to legend, a man by the name of W.D. Boyce was lost on a foggy street in London when an unknown Scout came to his aid, guiding him back to his destination. The boy then refused Boyce's tip, explaining that he was merely doing his duty as a Boy Scout. The Scout then led Boyce to Scout headquarters and General Robert Baden-Powell, who was the head of the Boy Scout Association at that time. In this legend there are some holes; it is true that an unknown Scout helped him and refused a tip. But this Scout only helped him cross a street to a hotel, did not take him to the Scout headquarters, and Boyce never met Baden-Powell. Upon Boyce's request, the unknown Scout did give him the address of the Scout headquarters, where Boyce went on his own and picked up information about the group. After his safari (which was his main reason to be in England) and talking with Sir Baden Powell, Boyce returned to America, and, four months later on February 8, 1910, Boyce founded the Boy Scouts of America. Over the next 100 years, Boy Scouts grew rapidly, spreading across America, England and spanning to several other countries around the world.

Today there are anywhere from 28-40 million Scouts worldwide (margin due to inaccurate census records). Percentage wise, only about 3-5% of all Scouts make it to the rank of Eagle Scout. As of January 19, 2017, I became a part of that 3-5%. One of the other things that the neckerchief represents to me personally, that no one else will be able to see, is the inspiration and desire it gave me to become an Eagle Scout. In my family, my dad and all of his brothers are Eagle Scouts. When I was younger, my dad got a box from my grandma, and in this box was a display case of some of my dad’s Scout stuff. It was an impressive display that consisted of his medals, Order of the Arrow and Merit Badge sashes, his uniform, an old swiss army knife, a picture of him, his brothers (uncles) and parents (grandma and grandpa), and to top it all off hanging down from the top of the case is a blue neckerchief, lined by a red white and blue ribbon with his name, the year he became an Eagle Scout, his troop number, and an eagle embroidered into it. I have admired this display countless times over the past eight years, and during my Eagle Court of Honor, my dad presented me my own neckerchief.

Along with advancement, another main focus of Scouting is personal development. In my own personal experience the best way i’ve been able to learn is by doing. In my time with Scouting I have held several leadership roles, planned countless activities varying in difficulty. I’ve worked on ways to better myself to be of service to others, always trying to follow the Scout Slogan to do a good turn daily. One of the main things i have strived to do that Scouting has helped with is making me a better leader. The past few years I have gone to two leadership training camps, the first being Twin Arrows, and the second being Aquatic School. At both of these camps I was the only one in attendance from my troop and I wasn’t the only one like this. We were split up into groups and more often than not, no one knew each other. Over the course of the next week we had to work together to function as a unified group. Even though none of us knew each other, we all shared the same bond of being Scouts. It was amazing to see how by the end of the week we were working together like a well-oiled machine. Even though our time with each other was short, and some of the guys there I may never see ever again; the lessons we learned together, taught together, experienced together, helped me grow into what I am today. Thanks to these different experiences I have been able to take what i have learned and apply it to all the different aspects of my daily life outside of Scouting. In the words of Sir Baden Powell, “The uniform makes for brotherhood, since when universally adopted it covers up all differences of class and country”

I chose my neckerchief to be my artifact because it is a representation of my accomplishment of Eagle Scout which binds me into a group of the elite. It is a part of my uniform which represents my affiliation with a group much bigger and older than myself. It represents a family bond between me and my dad and uncles. It has a hidden meaning of all the trials and hard work that has lead to my development and improvement during my time in Scouting. In Scouts there are lots of awards to be earned, so much so that one could not earn all of them before his time in Scouts comes to a close. In the past eight years of my Scouting career, I have worked my way up from the bottom of the totem pole. I have gone on countless adventures where i have learned, seen, and been a part of many unique and different experiences that have all contributed to get me to where I am today. As I look back, sure the medals and badges are flashy. It is always nice to be recognized for things you have done there is no doubt about that, but in the end I have learned (along with many other things) that in the end it’s not about the award or the presentation. The most important things are the friends and people you meet, the journey and the lessons you learn along the way, and the way you use what you have learned for the benefit of others.

Blackout Poem

As a child you would watch while they all play

Awake at night and scheme

Of things that you would change,

But it was just a dream

Here we are

Don’t turn away now

We built this town from dust

You have to rise

above the best

and prove yourself

I’ve gone to take my throne above

But don’t weep for me

This will be a labor of my love

Here we are

Don’t turn away now

We are the warriors

That built this town from dust

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Where I'm From

I am from the outback

Wide open endless space to Backpack

I am full of nature’s Thrills

I adventure over and through the Hills

I continue on into the night

I am full from the day’s delight

I sit and watch the Fire

Till it is time to retire

I lie down

But never with a frown

I see the stars up above

Glimmering like the eyes of a dove

I am from a cold morning

I am slow going

I am from colorful skies

I am from climbing so high

I am a stranger

I wander and gander

I am from here

I am from there

I will never forget

All the struggles I’ve hit

That have kept me marching on

To the beat of my own Drum

For it won’t be long until i’m gone


"Dreams made from destruction of others"

"Broken down to build back up"

"Gravity, its' always holding you down"


"The tree will grow tall

Overcoming the trials

That seek to destroy"

"It’s serenity

Infects all who dare enter

Into the forest"

"When you’re surrounded

And there is no end in sight

Don’t fret, redirect"

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It was a hot day of the trial. There was a solemn blanket hovering over the town. Walking into the courtroom i feel the eyes of everyone in presence looking down on me. The scent of smoke is thick. There is a loud clamor echoing about the room. Conversations ranging from all different subjects as if no one wants to acknowledge the real reason they are all gathered. The trial was to be held in the Maycomb County courthouse. An early Victorian-style building, presenting an unoffensive view when seen from the north. From the other side, however, Greek revival columns clashed with a big nineteenth-century clock tower housing a rusty unreliable instrument. As i take a look around I see people still filing in. All the white folk finding their seats on the first floor. As i look up I saw all of my fellow blacks huddled together on the run-down second floor above the vast room. All of the sudden the clamor died down and i turned to the front just as the Judge walked up to take his place in his judgment seat. First up on the stand was Heak Tate the sheriff of the town. He gave his perspective on the scene and when asked why they didn’t look for a doctor he explained that there was no reason to for it was obvious to see that there had been an incident. He also explained that there were bruises on Mayella’s RIGHT side. This means that her attacker was left handed. After Heak, Bob (mayella’s father) a rough looking character, took the stand. He went on to explain he was at the window and saw the event happen (which is later contradicted in Mayella’s testimony). Before they let him go atticus asked bob to write his name on a piece of paper. Oblivious to what atticus was trying to get at he obediently obliged into which he wrote his name on the paper with (in front of all in attendance) his LEFT hand. After he did this and heard all the gasps he realised what just happened. Infuriated he left the stand to be replaced by his daughter and plaintiff, Mayella. In her testimony she explains that after the event she remembers her dad standing over her asking “who did it?”, “who did it?”. If this is to be true than Mr. Ewells statement is false for how did he not see who did it if in his words “was standing at the window”. When asked to point out the man that attacked her she indicated over at me. In response to this atticus asked me to stand up. When i stood up i could feel all the eyes turn to me. At this atticus also pointed out my left arm that is deformed due to an accident i had as a child explaining that how could i hurt her if i didn’t have a left arm to hit her with. If only people knew me better. They would know that i would never strike a woman but sadly at this point there was no way i could explain my point yet. After a few more questions Mayella took her leave of the stand with a dagger-look pointed at atticus as she left. Finally it was my time. They asked me several questions and i tried my best to answer them full and true as they tried to get me to slip up. I saw her in need and i felt sorry for her i explained. I did the best i could under the circumstances, but even my best (in the end) wasn’t good enough. As a black man living in a white world, I was doomed from the start.


Pictures: From Austin Miller and pinterest

Poem Author: Austin Miller

Blackout Poem taken from: "warriors" by Imagine Dragons

Inspiration From: Nature, To kill a mocking bird by Harper Lee, Scouting events, Tennis, and post weight room events