Chris Evans’ Captain America was inspired by an Eagle Scout

captain-america-posterCaptain America and Eagle Scouts: Both wear uniforms, and of course they’re both patriotic and brave.

But recently I learned the shield-toting Avenger has even more in common with young men who earn Scouting’s highest award than you might think.

Chris Evans, the actor who plays the titular superhero in Marvel’s Captain America: The Winter Soldier (opening Friday), says “Cap” was modeled after an Eagle Scout he knew from growing up in Sudbury, Mass.

In an interview with the awesome Geek Dad blog, the actor says his friend, an Eagle Scout with the Knox Trail Council, inspired how Evans approaches the role.

Q: Do you find that a character like Captain America plays like a role model?

Chris Evans: Oh, completely. There’s a kid that I grew up with named Charlie Morris. He’s the best kid I know. He was an Eagle Scout. And being an Eagle Scout is not easy — you’ve got to really do it for a long time. But he’s just such a good man, and he genuinely, genuinely puts himself last. He lives by a code. And so when I took the role, I told Charlie, “Listen. I’m modeling this after you.” And it’s such a great character to aspire to be.

What a great quote. Read the full interview here.

I interpret it as proof that if Captain America existed in the real universe — instead of just the Marvel Universe — he’d surely have been a Boy Scout and more than likely an Eagle Scout.

The only question: Could Captain America count “saving the world” as his Eagle Scout project, or would he need to do something else?

Thanks to Scouter Jim Sottosanto of Plainfield, Il., Troop 83 for the tip!

23 thoughts on “Chris Evans’ Captain America was inspired by an Eagle Scout

  1. Cap would have had to show leadership skills and not do it on his own for it to qualify as an Eagle project. 🙂

    • If I were on his Eagle Board of Review team, I would also expect lots of documentation and pictures of the project. References would help, as would a written summary of what he learned about himself while executing the project.

    • Didn’t you see the Avengers? He organized the final fight and to the comment about documentation.. There’s a movie, how much more documentation/pictures do we need? =)

  2. Elaine is right. Cleaning up New York after the Chitauri invasion in The Avengers? That’s an Eagle Project. Or several. 🙂

  3. I am an eagle scout and when I saw Captain America and Avengers I kept saying to myself there had to be a scouter involved somewhere to get this character like an Eagle Scout. Awesome!!!

  4. Like Scott, my first thought was what documentation he would need. Oh, and it has to be approved in advance.

    Then there is the issue of his references… Fury, Barton, Romanoff, Banner, and Thor, you can’t reach these guys to confirm the reference! Now Stark…we need to add him to the FOS mailing list.

    • Anthony Stark IS on the BSA’s Friends of Scouting list, Steve (or he should be…) If you recall from “Iron Man 2”, he donated his entire art collection worth millions of dollars to the Boy Scouts of America, over the objections of Pepper Potts. He just did it.

      What I would LOVE to see is Tony accepting a Silver Buffalo Award…after talking about the importance of STEM education and how Scouting can assist this. Then, he would stand around taking some photos with a couple or so Scouts before his watch/phone goes off with the “Iron Man” ringtone… having to excuse himself and take off to perform his Iron Man duties…*heheheehhee* THAT would be a poster to place in the rooms of MANY Scouts!!

  5. Um…are we applying the *current Eagle requirements* to the Captain; or are we assuming that he earned the merit badges and the leadership experience back BEFORE the Eagle Scout service/leadership project was added (in the 60s)?

    I’m thinking that Mr. Rogers got a lot of positive influence as he earned Eagle back in the late 30s/early 40s, before his first attempt to follow his brother and enlist in the Army. Back then, the Eagle service project did not exist; and the standard was to earn those 21 merit badges including Swimming, First Aid and Civics along with other merit badges. This explains so much as to Steven Rogers’ development into Captain America — he had a great foundation as an Eagle Scout and a better foundation in his days in the Army before “little shrimpy man” was “plucked out” for a special research project which converted him into the Ultimate Soldier.

    • I’m with Mike on this one. The world was very different in Cap’s day. There were Sea Scout Quartermasters getting automatic Navy commissions and 25 years olds getting Eagle. Remember too that in Cap’s day a First Class Scout was a pretty big enchilada! First Class used to be treated more like a gold standard than it is today. this is why the Life, Star and Eagle emblems (as they would have been earned in Cap’s day) all featured the First Class insignia on them. The 50’s and 60’s really changed things and Cap blissfully slept through that part. 😉

  6. Don’t wish to be a downer here, but…. Sorry to say, Cap would not pass his Eagle Board. 😦

    This is why: 1) he tried to unlawfully enlist into the military; 2) when he couldn’t enlist through any normal means he used drugs to gain his powers; 3) he disobeyed a large number of direct orders while in the military; 4) he put countless lives at stake needlessly; and 5) he’s over the age of 18.

    We did a unit on super heroes with my Cubs last year and asked them to look at modern super heroes and see if they could be Eagle Scouts. These five points were brought up by my Webelos. I’m guessing that my Pack holds Eagle Scouts in higher regard than even a super hero can reach. 🙂

    • Hmmm… The only hitch with your theory is that I think it wasn’t until 1953 that the rule about being 18 came into being. Cap would have been a Scout in the ’30’s-’40’s so to that end he’d be covered age wise. Now if the issue of freezy-freezy, timey-wimey came into play he’d need to talk with the fine folks at National about that. They did approve an Eagle App last year for a elderly man who was a Scout who entered in the military and couldn’t complete his board before shipping out. (Bryan blogged about it.) So if Cap could explain that his unexpected suspended animation in a block of arctic ice was extenuating… I’d bet that they’d at least hear him out. (And if they could get him to do one of those song and dance numbers to get more FOS, well…)

      As for the other things… His gaining powers by drugs were prescribed by a physician, so he’d be ok there… We have kids with inhalers all the time that can be Scouts…

      While a Scout is Obedient, he is also Loyal and Brave… I’d bet we’ve had a couple “crossed-palm” youth who might say they didn’t do what they really should because the greater good demanded it… So he may be OK there too…

      As for lying to get into the military, you’ve got a point there, and I can’t refute that part. let’s just hope that members of the draft board aren’t on his Eagle board…

      • As far as lying to get into the military, US History is full of people who lied so that they could join a branch of the armed services and help defend the nation — and did so with a high degree of valor and selfless service. In most cases, they were not caught before they retired and died. Relatives later, after researching, shared that information with all of us. Of course, there was the opposite, in which men lied about their service, their place in it and their supposed heroism; or moved to Canada or Mexico to avoid being fingered for service.

        My personal thinking is that since Steve Rogers lied to get into the Army; and then turned around and did some rather remarkable things (saving Soldiers, helping to end the war in Europe, etc. etc.), that the BSA would give him a “pass” in this particular case.

      • Story my son’s pack learned from a re-enactor many years ago:

        Boys in the 1860’s would write the number ’18’ on paper and slip it in the sole of their shoe. Then when the sergeant asked their age the boy could reply with a stomp of his foot, “I’m over eighteen, sir!”

  7. It’s not Captain America who would be the Eagle Scout; that’s a no-brainer as the guy’s a super hero (etc, etc…) One expects someone like that to be an Eagle Scout! No, the person I would truly believe made Eagle Scout would be the scrawny kid from Brooklyn that never backed down; the one who’s patriotism and self sacrifice, courage and dedication to duty made him noticed by the good doctor for his project! Steve Rogers was the “super” person on the inside where it matters most! He was the “nobody” that wouldn’t give up. I have no doubt that Steve Rogers would have been an Eagle Scout and once the war was over, he would have eventually found his own calling as Chief Scout Exectutive!

  8. I’d pass on the lie about his age as well. My great grandfather lied about his age to enlist in the Union cavalry when he was 13 years old. His unit engaged in a number of scrimmages and battles. He was captured when he was 14 and held as a POW until the end of the civil war, emerging from his prison with a permanent disability at the age of 15. I’d call that honorable service by any definition, just like Cap’s service in WW2.

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