Seventeen-year-old Peter Knox of Amherst knew he had quite a legacy to live up to, so – with a great deal of hard work and commitment – he did what he had to do.
The Sweet Home High School senior joined his three older brothers and four older sisters in attaining the highest rank in scouting during a ceremony Saturday in St. Leo the Great Catholic School, Amherst.
Peter and his older brothers – Kurt, Mark and Eric – are among the few Boy Scouts who achieve the rank of Eagle Scout. His older sisters – Tracy Tessier, Wendy, Heidi and Sarah – are among the equally distinguished Girl Scouts to attain that organization’s highest rank, the Gold Award.
“It helped a lot – them being there before me,” Peter said of his siblings.
“Also, it pressured me to get Eagle more. I didn’t really have a choice not to get it,” he added.
Peter’s parents, Marian and Kenneth, also are longtime Scouts.
“I was a Boy Scout as a youth, but I didn’t make it to Eagle Scout,” said Kenneth Knox. “Back then you had to have lifesaving and swimming and it was 25 cents to go to the pool and we couldn’t afford it.”
As a leader in Boy Scouts for 27 years – 17 as a Cubmaster for St. Leo’s Troop 431 – scouting is an activity the parents shared with all of their children, beginning with his oldest, Kurt, who is now 33.
“I guess it became an expectation and a little furrowed brow from time to time didn’t hurt. But we made it fun and there’s always a little adventure in it, and my wife and I are active, as well. So we’ve led by example,” Knox said.
To attain the rank of Eagle Scout, Peter was required to earn at least 21 merit badges – which he exceeded – and demonstrate the Scout spirit through the Boy Scout oath and exhibit a dedication to service and leadership, among other positive attributes.
“You’ve got to do a lot of merit badges. Some of them are more difficult than others. Personal management, for one, is probably the most difficult,” said Peter, who vows to follow in his parents’ footsteps and maintain his connection to scouting.
Peter’s mother, Marian, was a Girl Scout for 18 years and has served on the local committee for Boy Scouts for more than 20 years.