Eagle Scout Eli Earns the Distinguished Conservation Service Award

Eli Lapeza became the Atlanta Area Council's first recipient of the BSA's Distinguished Conservation Service Award (DSCA) after passing his Board of Review in October 2023. The BSA created the DCSA in 2020 as the replacement for the William T. Hornaday Conservation Service Award. Only 47 youth nationwide have earned the award!

To earn this prestigious and rare award, a Scout must research, plan, lead, and publicize two significant conservation projects as well as earn seven conservation-related merit badges.

Eli's first project was completed as part of his Eagle project at his Cordele, Georgia Troop 270 in the South Georgia Council in the soil and water conservation category. He planned and led his volunteers to plant bushes and install drip irrigation to stop the erosion and water damage around a historic building.

His second project was done at the South Georgia Council's Osborn Scout Camp in the fish and wildlife category. The camp had recent significant tree loss from several tornadoes. Eli and his volunteers built and installed bluebird houses to replace habitat that had been lost.

He completed the DCSA Venturing requirements as a Venturing Scout with Crew 749 in Covington, Georgia while he was a student at Oxford College of Emory University. He is now at Emory Atlanta campus as a junior majoring in Biology and Philosophy.

Eli has also had a significant Scouting career as an Eagle Scout with 2 silver palms and the Venturing Ranger Award. He attended the National and World Jamborees, worked on Scout camp staff for two summers, and staffed NYLT courses. He is an Order of the Arrow Vigil member where he led his lodge for two terms as Lodge Chief and most recently as OA Territory President.

Congratulations, Eli, on this remarkable achievement!

To be put in touch with a DCSA award advisor, contact Kent Watkins, Atlanta Area Council Conservation Committee Chair at kent.watkins@gmail.com.