You’ll find a story on the Goodspeed brothers in this week’s version of The Catholic Review. Now, get to know them individually. Here are some question and answers I did with David Goodspeed. Each of the quadruplets got the same questions, so it’s interesting to see some differences and similarities.
Matt: What was it like growing up as a group of boys together? David: I’m not really sure how to relate it to anything, because it’s all I’ve ever known. It was definitely an experience, but to me it was just like having four brothers, I was never really conscious about the fact that we were all born at the same time, or even looked similar…they were just my brothers.
Matt: How did your parents keep you guys all in line? David: A lot of hard work. From what my Mom tells me, we were generally pretty good kids, but there’s always the occasional nudge that needs to be used, or a point in the right direction. If that happened, there was a lot of limiting of our social lives, including taking phones or iPods until we got work done. Matt: Is there anything you don’t know about each other? David: I know there’s stuff they don’t know about me, so I wouldn’t be surprised at all to find out there’s stuff that I don’t know about them. Matt: When did you all join Scouts? David: We joined as Tiger Cubs in elementary school, to be honest I don’t know what grade or age we were when we entered. Matt: Did each of you want to do it or was there a holdout? David: I think we were all pretty excited to do it, we knew that a bunch of our friends were doing it as well, so we just saw it as an opportunity to be with them. Matt: How much work goes into being a Scout and when did it become a goal to become an Eagle Scout? David: Looking back, there’s quite a bit of work involved, but I didn’t really feel the load while actually in scouting, except for when working on the Eagle award. To become an Eagle Scout was a goal as soon as we bridged into 737, it was eyes on the prize from day one for me. Matt: Did you ever think about walking away? What kept you in it? David: There were many, MANY times that I considered dropping it and moving on, but the thing that kept me going was knowing how much of an accomplishment it really is, as well as wanting to keep up with my friends and brothers. After all, how lame would it be if I had been the only one not to get Eagle? Matt: Did scouting strengthen your faith? How? David: It did strengthen my faith, my brothers and I, along with other Catholics in our patrol participated in many different medal opportunities that were offered through scouting. If nothing else, those programs made me delve into my faith and think about WHY I was a Catholic, and what it really meant to be a Catholic.
Matt: How did Scouts help you discover your personal strengths and what would you say are your strengths? David: As I said before, a lot of work went into Scouts. The scouting program turns undeveloped, directionless young boys like I was into models of efficiency and leadership through the different requirements and merit badges needed to climb through the ranks. Along the way I discovered a lot of weaknesses that soon grew into strengths, and found things I was already good at became even better. I don’t like talking about my own strengths because I personally don’t compare to many examples of strong people that have been in my life, scoutmasters, volunteers, and even peers that are can truly exemplify the values taught in Scouting. One thing I can say I definitely improved with though is leadership, I’ve always been content sitting in the back with my head down and minding my own business, just getting by. After my Scouting experience, though, I feel entirely comfortable stepping into the role of a leader in different situations, and can project confidence that I find calms and inspires good decisions in both myself and others. Matt: What were your biggest challenges to becoming Eagle Scouts and how did you overcome them? David: My biggest problem was motivation. I climbed through the ranks ridiculously fast…until it came time to work on Eagle. I was a Life Scout for four years before finally pulling myself together and powering through my Eagle Project. A huge reason I made it through was pressure from my parents and friends, even my girlfriend at the time. She would set dates for me to have something done by, and threaten to excommunicate me if I didn’t have it done in time. Let me tell you, there is no better motivation for the teenage boy than a pretty girl dropping threats of the silent treatment. It was fantastic motivation. Matt: What did you each pick for your Eagle Scout project and how did you go about doing it? David: I built and installed five bat boxes around the sediment pond at St. Louis Catholic Church in Clarksville. My project took place over three days. The first day was cutting the wood/constructing the boxes. The second was on the grounds of St. Louis and was for digging the holes the posts would go into and the last day was actually getting the posts/boxes over to St. Louis and cementing them into the ground. Matt: What did it feel like to accomplish it? David: It was absolutely liberating, a huge weight off of my shoulders. I wish I could elaborate, but that’s really the only way I can think of describing it. Matt: What was it like to stand together at the ceremony as Eagle Scouts? David: It felt good, knowing that we had all done something incredible as individuals, but also accomplished something new for scouting by all four of us making it through.
Matt: Why did you guys choose to go to Madrid for World Youth Day? David: It wasn’t really our choice, our Mom wanted us all to go, but I certainly wasn’t against it. I had heard so many good things about it from people that had been to previous ones, and I was really excited to go as well. Matt: What were some of your highlights of the trip and why? David: It was definitely the Vigil at Cuatro Vientos on Saturday night. It was easily the best faith experience I’ve ever had, being surrounded by literally millions of young people from around the globe was as invigorating as it was fascinating. Matt: What did you learn about the Catholic Church while you were there? David: I think I learned the most while we were in Rome/Vatican City, when we were being led around by a seminarian stationed there from our home parish. A lot of it was just small but extremely interesting facts involving the swiss guard, previous popes, and learning that at one point stepping on the red marble at the entrance to St. Peters Basilica was a cause for death because it was so valuable, and the Church placed it at the entrance to show that material objects are not something to be held in such high esteem, and that anyone and everyone is special enough to touch it. Matt: If you were to describe World Youth Day to someone, how would you? David: I’ve been asked about it multiple times since we’ve been back, but I still don’t have a very good way to describe it. My usual answer is along the lines of “Millions of Catholic gathered in one place for the same purpose, absolutely fantastic”. Matt: Now that you’re all at college, what’s it like being away from one another during the day? David: It’s interesting, I actually really like it. For me it’s the first time that I’ve really had the experience of basically being a single child, and I’m enjoying everything about it. Matt: How do you keep in contact now? David: We really don’t. Well, I don’t. I’ll respond to them if they text me, and I’ll interact with some of their posts on facebook, but other than that I only really communicate with them when I visit home.
Matt: What’s next in scouting for you? David: As of now, there’s really not too much that I can do being away at school, but way down the road I look forward to being an active member of my son’s troop when he’s old enough.