An Outstanding Eagle: Not If, But How

By 1969 the “Climbing Smiths” had climbed all 67 peaks over 14,000 feet in the contiguous 48 states. Their experiences helped the family forge strong bonds, learn important values and set records along the way.

George Nash Smith was a lifelong Scout who understood that there are many obstacles in life. However, it is about how you approach and overcome these obstacles that determines who you are. Smith earned his Eagle in 1942, but stayed active with his fellow Scouts for over 70 years! Learn more about his story below, or by reading his book.

Not if, but how.

George Nash Smith’s philosophy for life

George Nash Smith joined the Boy Scouts of America in 1939 as a member of Troop 1, in Denver, Colorado. He became an Eagle Scout on October 7, 1942, at the age of 14. In late 1943, during WWII the adult troop leader for Troop 1, Bob Shurtliff, was drafted and George became the de facto troop leader. He was 15 and the oldest Eagle Scout in the troop at the time.

During the summer of 1944, Troop 1 spent two weeks at Camp Tahosa. This was the first summer the troop attended camp without an adult leader. Troop 1 was awarded “Winning Troop” each week and George received a special award from the camp for his role as Provisional Troop Leader. During his four-year tenure as Scout leader of Troop 1, 20 out of approximately 30 boys achieved the rank of Eagle Scout. George set the example by earning at least one Merit Badge, each court of honor, and finished with a total of 61 Merit Badges (earning 8 palms). George and his fellow Eagle Scouts formed Eagles of Troop 1 (ETO), on February 10, 1946, to further unite the group. They created a motto: “Winners never quit, and quitters never win!” and created a troop emblem, articles of incorporation, and even gave each other quirky nicknames like: Greenie, Pat, Earthquake McGoon, Horseradish, Mole, and Flyswatter. The group held annual banquets, hikes, and cookouts.

The Eagles of Troop 1

George stepped down as the leader of Troop 1 when he started college at Colorado A&M in 1946 however, he kept the spirit of Scouting alive with the ETO alumni members by creating communication, fellowship, and comradery. They continued to gather every year, holding banquets, cookouts, and eventually weekend family reunions every five years. While their numbers have decreased over the years due to “Father Time,” the ETO alumni fellowship has remained strong for more than 73 years and they continue to be an important part of each other’s lives.

George has four boys, Flint, Quade, Cody, and Tyle, who are all Eagle Scouts. George has received notoriety for having a family of climbers. He led his four sons (ages 8 – 16) to conquer not only all of Colorado’s famous “Fourteeners” (peaks over 14,000 feet), but all the “Fourteeners” in the contiguous US; a total of 68 peaks in 48 days. The family and its climbing feats have been chronicled in numerous publications including The Denver Post and Sports Illustrated magazine.

George received his Outstanding Eagle Award on September 21, 2019. This well-deserved award is emblematic of Eagle Scouts who make a large and positive impact close to home.

After this full and Scouting-brimmed life, Mr. Smith passed away last month at the age of 92. His adventures may have come to an end, but his story continues in his memoir.

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