Pam’s People Profile: Steve Hartman takes CBS viewers on journeys across America with his “On the Road” series of stories. Pam Clifton takes readers across the Parkland by sharing stories of local residents.
Although Irondale resident Levi Mills is only 19, he’s already accomplished great things. In fact, he joins the ranks of famous people like Pulitzer Prize winners, authors, astronauts, filmmaker Steven Spielberg, journalist Walter Cronkite, and Gerald Ford, the U.S.’s 38th President.
Mills and this group of well-known people all became Eagle Scouts, and he accomplished this feat by the time he was 12. He joined scouting when he was 6.
Years later, Mills has earned close to 100 merit badges and four Silver Eagle Palms. He’s also attained leadership roles in various aspects of scouting, including his recently elected position as lodge chief for Shawnee Lodge Order of the Arrow. This group is the sixth largest scouting lodge in the entire U.S, and Mills is the first scout from his Ozark Trailblazer District to earn this important leadership role.
Mills is the son of Greg and Leah Mills. They have encouraged him from his first days as a Cub Scout to become involved in scouting. In fact, Mills is following in his family’s footsteps as he works his way up through the scouting ranks. His dad, grandfather Tom, and uncle Steve, and cousin Thomas are all Eagle Scouts. Mills’ dad is still a scout leader and has earned numerous awards, including the Silver Beaver award.
“I don’t know where I’d be if it wasn’t for scouting,” said Mills. “I’ve met so many great people and made so many great friends because of it.”
He said scouting is important because it is a youth-led organization and it has really allowed him to decide what he wanted to do.
“It’s also taught me to be a better leader.”
Mills’ dad Greg agrees. “My favorite thing about scouting is watching a young boy gain skills in a wide range of areas, which leads to confidence as they go through the ranks to become the next generation of leaders. I have enjoyed seeing this in my own son, Levi.”
Greg wasn’t even a year old when he started going to scout meetings with his brother, Steve, and father, Tom. He literally toddled after his brother Steve at events.
Although their father was not able to be involved as a kid, he was an active leader in scouts with his sons and later became the district training chairman for 12 years and earned the Silver Beaver and District Award of Merit.
Greg and Steve, both current Troop leaders, and Levi have all earned the prestigious Vigil Honor award when they were younger. Fewer than one in 50 ever receive this award.
Clearly, Levi has had many positive scouting influences on his life, and he feels this leadership and scouting have made him who he is today.
“Scouting has shaped me into the person I am today,” he says, “and I feel I have become a better leader because of it.”
He adds that he is more outgoing and tries to live by the Scout Law at all times. Through his scouting work, he has made many lifelong friends.
“It’s taught me very valuable life lessons.”
Mills says that being a leader and summer camp staffer has given him the chance to help teach and impact the lives of young Scouts. He has also developed strong morals, patriotism, and more because of his work in scouts.
“It’s one of the greatest things,” he said, “to know you’re making such an impact on other people’s lives.”
Now years later, Levi and Greg work together as scout leaders.
“My dad has always been a role model for me,” said Mills. He said his dad is the one who got him so involved in scouting. His dad used to drive him to meetings all the time, and now he is running the meetings he attends.
Don’t miss Pam’s People Profile next weekend on Farmington’s Jordan Stone.