- 2012 Baha’i Eagle Scout
The National Spiritual Assembly, through the Office of Education and Schools, has long supported Scouting by offering a Unity of Mankind award to Baha’i and non-Baha’i Scouts. Scouting and the Baha’i Faith encourage children and adults to strive towards development of moral integrity and demonstrated service to others.
Recently, Artine Arzani of Arcadia, California, attained the full measure of the scouting aims when he was recognized as an Eagle Scout. His parents are proud of his achievement and his consequent personal demonstration of service to mankind. They feel scouting proved supportive in developing their son’s commitment to Baha’i values. Acts of service learned in his junior youth group, such as preparing meals for the homeless at Union station, correlated with his scouting ideals and activities. His mother remarked, “His service projects made him a kinder, more loving soul. He became more conscious of the virtues discussed in his children’s classes and of following the Master’s footsteps.”
Arzani states that “since the beginning” of his scouting experience at age nine, he set his sight on becoming an Eagle Scout; adding, “Scouting solidified key Baha’i principles in my life.” To become an Eagle Scout, individuals are required to demonstrate living a life based on the Scout oath and law on a daily basis; earn 21 merit badges including 12 mandatory badges designed to develop such skills as first aid and lifesaving, personal fitness, family life, environmental science, and citizenship in the community, nation, and the world; assume “positions of responsibility;” and plan, develop, and lead a group service project. Accomplishing these requirements demanded an eight year commitment. In the process, Arzani became a leader within his scout troop and guided his troop in completion of a handicap ramp for the Methodist Hospital of Southern California in his hometown of Arcadia. When asked about his merit badges, Arzani reported the Lifesaving badge was the most challenging due to the requirement that he demonstrate countless lifesaving maneuvers in a swimming pool and the First Aid merit badge the most enjoyable, due to the interesting information.
Arzani’s experiences helped guide his career choices as well. He has been accepted to the prestigious program of Preventative Medicine at the University of Southern California, a career choice that will allow him to commit to a lifetime of service in keeping with both the principles of his faith and Scouting.