Striving for Greater Things: Adam, Eagle Scout and CHS junior
When and how did you earn the rank of Eagle Scout?
I began scouting as a wolf scout, in second grade, and I continued throughout Cub Scouts until I earned my Arrow of Light, the highest rank of a Cub Scout. I then joined BSA Troop 71 in Stratford, CT, at the end of my fifth-grade year. I continued to work throughout Boy Scouts, achieving the ranks of Scouter, Tenderfoot, Second Class, First Class, Star Scout and then Life Scout. Each rank was harder to achieve than the rank before it. Each required some form of first aid knowledge, camping experience, knot-tying, and adherence to the Scout Law. Soon I had to earn the 21 merit badges required to become an Eagle Scout. There are 13 required badges and 8 elective badges, which are necessary for becoming an Eagle Scout. As a life scout, I undertook my Eagle Scout Project in the summer of 2018. I worked on archiving data and memorabilia in the CHS Alumni and Archive Center. My finished project included over 8 photo albums of different CHS sports and events, as well as an updated archive center. As a result of my Eagle Scout project, I was able to get a job at CHS this past summer to continue working in the Archives. I had my Eagle Board of Review on April 4, 2019, and that night I joined the 1% of scouts who remain a scout until the rank of Eagle Scout.
What has scouting taught you about life? How has it influenced you?
Scouting has shown me that life is full of challenges, but with preparation, good work ethic and positive attitude, any problem can be solved. By working with others, especially other scouts, I have found a community that has been created by Scouting; a community that prepares young men for their futures and their lives ahead. But Scouting has mainly taught me things about myself that I would have never known; how far I would I be willing to go, how my character would develop, what kind of paths I can follow, what kind of influence I can have on the world.
Scouting has influenced me to do better and to be the best I can be. By following the Scout Oath and the 12 points of the Scout Law (a Scout is trustworthy, loyal, helpful, friendly, courteous, kind, obedient, cheerful, thrifty, brave, clean, and reverent), I have a desire to work to my full capacity. Scouting has influenced me, through all the requirements and merit badges, to always strive for greater things and to always work my best.
In what ways does Scouting intersect with your Christian walk?
Many scout meetings are still held in churches, which reflects the 12th point of the Scout Law, reverence. Being at this church keeps a Christian atmosphere within the troop, despite the changing times and ways of the world. But one way that Scouting intersects with my Christian walk is how I try to uphold the twelve points of the Scout Law. I’ve found that by upholding these things, despite how hard it can be at times, I am a better person as a result. As I strive to be loyal, friendly, kind, obedient, etc. I find God working in my life to continue to bring me towards his purpose for my life.
What are your future plans, and how do you think that your work with the Scouts and with CHS has guided or prepared you?
I do not have a clear Idea of what comes next for my life. But regardless of what happens, I think that because of Scouting and my 12 years (so far) at CHS, I will be prepared for what post-high school life looks like for me. I think that my time at CHS and in Scouts has made me a better person and better prepared for the future that will one day be my life. By following the morals of Scouting, the Scout Law, Oath, and Motto; I am ready for what life holds for me.
Experiencing American Democracy: Model Congress at CHS
“People are amazed by how sharp, articulate, thoughtful, and productive our teenagers can be when discussing issues that would baffle most adults,” says Patricia Liu, CHS upper school faculty member.
She is speaking of student participants in Model Congress, an initiative she launched at CHS two years ago that provides a unique opportunity for students to experience the American democratic process firsthand.
At Model Congress conferences, students step into the roles of government officials, writing legislation, debating policy, and voting on laws — all within a simulative environment that models the rules of order used in our nation’s lawmaking bodies. According to Miss Liu, the topics of debate at Model Congress are pressing and pertinent: should we invest in experimental alternative energy resources? Repeal the death penalty? Increase funding for national park preservation? Tax junk food? What should our government’s stances be on issues such as voter ID laws or health care? Most importantly, how can these stances be turned into actionable policy?
Model Congress conferences are held all over the country, including major conferences organized by students at Yale, Princeton, Harvard, UPenn, Columbia, Rutgers, and other prestigious universities.
Miss Liu initiated CHS’ Model Congress program in 2018 as a way of engaging teenagers in the kind of thoughtful dialog that can lead to deeper understanding of, and helpful responses to, difficult and complex subjects. “The need for civil discourse and productive debate in our society has never been greater,” she explains. “Model Congress demands that CHS students step past shallow analyses and challenges them to dig deep.” Here, she says, students must discover and appreciate the complexity of our political systems; respectfully consider viewpoints that challenge their own; and work together with their peers to tackle the biggest issues concerning our country today. More than a club for high school students to get together and argue, the program runs on collaboration, dialogue, and teamwork.
It’s a challenge the students seem to relish. “Every debate expands your knowledge on the topic at least a little bit,” says Levi, one of the participants. “You get a greater appreciation for the nuance in topics that could otherwise stay firmly in the realm of the abstract.” Ally, a student leader in the program, says that expanding her perspective is “the best aspect of being involved.” “Obviously,” she points out, “I have my own perspective on a certain thing. However, my perspective can be changed by discussing certain issues with other people…I can persuade someone or I can be persuaded by someone. Listening to and knowing other people’s perspectives is always fascinating.”
One of the joys of facilitating the program, says Miss Liu, is seeing students flourish in new ways – and her students agree.
“This club is one of the most influential and life-changing experiences to have happened to me. I used to be so anxious, and scared to publicly speak. Model Congress has taught me to be confident, especially in what I say and in what I believe,” says Sabina, a student leader in the program.
Matthew, another student leader, initially joined the initiative for the overnight trip to Yale. Since then, he says, “I have definitely become a better speaker, and my knowledge on all sorts of governmental, economic, and world affairs has quadrupled.” He notes that traveling and debating have helped to prepare him for life after high school.
To William, another student participant, the exchange of ideas is a way of connecting with others, meeting new people, and learning to find a way forward together. “I learned through experience the importance of compromise – because that is literally the only way to get anything done,” he says.
Since it began with thirteen students, CHS Model Congress has now grown to 35 active participants.
Ultimately, Miss Liu sees Model Congress supporting the mission of CHS as expressed in Colossians 2:3: “In Christ are hid all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge.” “It is one thing to debate fiercely and bring home armfuls of awards from a conference,” she says; “it is quite another to engage one’s peers in discussion that reflects all the qualities of Christ: His defense of the truth, His sense of logic, His love for justice, His compassion, His mercy. As advisor, it is my greatest hope that amongst the hundreds of schools that attend these Model Congress conferences, CHS’ reputation will be defined, first and foremost, by their love for Jesus and their commitment to speaking truth.”
Mrs. Lilian Mogle
M.S. Southern Connecticut State University
B.S. University of Connecticut
I presently teach kindergarten at CHS. I have been teaching "K" for 18 years, but I have been teaching for over 30 years and have taught every lower school grade except second. But I love kindergarten. It is my happy place!
What do you love most about CHS?
There are so many wonderful things about CHS, both as a school and place to work. But the number one thing I love is the sense of community we have here. I have worked in many schools, but this school has a great sense of community. When one of our families is in crisis or hurting, the community comes around them and gives the love and support they need.
I love that I can use my God-given gifts and abilities to teach in the context of a biblical world view. I love that I can share the gospel with my students and we can grow together to become the people God is calling us to be. I love that we have a strong relationship with parents and work with them to grow their children.
What one word would you use to describe CHS?
Christian. I chose this word because we strive to bring everything we do under the authority of Christ. We are not perfect, but our hearts are directed toward Him and His will, and that is a major difference compared to other educational opportunities today.
How are faith and learning integrated at CHS?
Our school has a biblical world view. We believe and teach that God is the creator and all things hold together through Him. Whenever possible we bring God into the discussions, lessons, and activities of the classroom. Children are encouraged to ask spiritual questions and ponder spiritual topics.
What is a unique experience, talent or interest that you bring to your classroom to help shape the learning experience of your students?
I have always had a great interest in the sciences. This has helped me to make my instruction in this area very exciting and interesting with a lot of hands-on activities. The challenges of my own children have also helped to shape me as a teacher and allowed me to develop strategies for children who face learning challenges.
How would you describe CHS students?
I believe our students are service-oriented and focused on others. Our focus on the Word of God and a pursuit of excellence often inspires our students to rise above and strive.
I realize there are many options when parents are deciding for their child's education. I believe that CHS offers so much that is intangible but invaluable in the character development of a child.