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 William 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? William: Growing up with three brothers was definitely easier than growing up with three sisters in my mind. A joke when people meet us is that we already have our own basketball team, which is what happened when we were little. Bored? Go outside and play two-on-two! That continued when we played in the Howard county Rec soccer leagues and made up a third of the team. Matt: How did your parents keep you guys all in line? William: They were always on the lookout for a bad word, my mom especially. I probably spent two-thirds of my middle school career in my room thanks to my smart mouth, haha. Definitely helped shape me into who I am today, though. Matt: Did each of you want to do it or was there a holdout? William: We all wanted to do it. It was something fun to do every Friday night and the weekends. Matt: How much work goes into being a Scout and when did it become a goal to become an Eagle Scout? William: A lot of work goes into being a scout. I can imagine it has gotten a little easier than when scouting was started, but it is still a great deal of work, especially when you decide to go for Eagle Scout. I can’t think of a time when I didn’t want to be an Eagle Scout, so I would say that it was the plan from the beginning. Matt: Did you ever think about walking away? What kept you in it? William: I can’t think of a time when I seriously considered walking away, but there were definitely times where I had something else I wanted to do that got interrupted by scouting. I stayed in scouting because it had become such a large part of my life and made me who I was, which I didn’t really realize until I was finishing up my work for my Eagle Project.
Matt: Did scouting strengthen your faith? How? William: Scouting definitely strengthened my faith. I got multiple religious medals and each one taught me more about my catholic faith. It was a great way to learn more about living as a catholic scout and I wish more scouts would take advantage of the programs. Matt: How did Scouts help you discover your personal strengths and what would you say are your strengths? William: Scouting helped me discover that I was a better leader than I thought, that I’m a very sociable person and am able to talk to adults and just about anyone with ease. Most of these I discovered when I was the Senior Patrol Leader (SPL) of the Troop. Being SPL also forced me to improve on my public speaking, or speaking in front of a group of people. Matt: What were your biggest challenges to becoming Eagle Scouts and how did you overcome them? William: The biggest challenge that I had to overcome to achieve Eagle Scout was my problem with procrastination. I’m the kind of person that would wait to write the English paper until the night before. My eagle project forced me to do things in a timely fashion because I needed to rely on many people, not just myself, and needed to respect them giving up their time to help with the project. Matt: What did you each pick for your Eagle Scout project and how did you go about doing it? William: I chose to help the Therapeutic and Recreational Riding Center by building two sand and water tables. After the looking at the area that the tables were going to be placed I decided to also pour a concrete slab that they would sit on. The tables are, put simply, sandboxes on legs that could hold either water or sand. I custom built them to a certain height so that children in wheelchairs can use them in conjunction with children who are not in wheelchairs. Dr. Tuel, who runs the center with her husband, was extremely enthusiastic and helpful and was a great person to work with on the project. I would suggest any scouts in the area who want to do an Eagle Project go and visit the Center and find a project to complete there! Matt: What did it feel like to accomplish it? William: At first, I didn’t feel much of a difference, but standing up in front of everyone and reciting the Eagle Pledge I felt thought back on all of my memories of scouting and just seeing how far I have come and the opportunites I have had and the friends that I have made and really felt humbled to have been given the chance to have such a great journey. Matt: What was it like to stand together at the ceremony as Eagle Scouts? William: It was really cool, because usually you only see one person up there but it was me and my brothers which I think was really special. Matt: Why did you guys choose to go to Madrid for World Youth Day? William: Well I was looking forward to going ever since my first BYCC. Then, after I went to NCYC, I was even more excited to go. Then my mom went back to work just so that we could go, so it is really all thanks to her hard work that we were able to go. She REALLY wanted to go haha. Matt: What were some of your highlights of the trip and why? William: I think the most amazing part of the trip was the overnight Vigil. It was amazing and looked like there were about a million people all packed into one tiny airport for it. I remember walking from one side to the other, and it took half an hour! I took pictures but they do not do it justice. It was just amazing to be a part of something so gigantic and so amazing. Another highlight was completely unexpected. Three years ago we went to Camp Guggenheim, a camp in NY that is a catholic run camp. We made a bunch of friends there and over the past few years I have somehow found a connection to them in a bunch of places, especially while at NCYC. One day in Madrid we went to a session called “Theology on Tap”. Halfway through the talk a brother tapped me on the shoulder and pointed out what we immediately realized was a counselor from the camp. After the talk we went up to him and it turns out it was a whole group of the counselors from Guggenheim. I don’t think that could have been a coincidence. Crazy things happen! Matt: What did you learn about the Catholic Church while you were there? William: I think the most important thing I learned while there was that the Church has a very young and active group of people and a very bright future. I feel like a lot of people have maybe lost faith in the younger generation of the Church, but if they had been in Madrid with us they would have seen that we are alive and flourishing! Matt:If you were to describe World Youth Day to someone, how would you? William: I have described it to my friends as a “giant week long party with a bunch of other catholic people” as a simple response, because it is hard to explain. It is fun, serious, enlightening, awe-inspiring, and so many other things that make it hard to actually put into words. Matt: Now that you’re all at college, what’s it like being away from one another during the day? William: I have to admit it is kind of strange, but at the same time kind of nice. I’m not just a Goodspeed here, I’m William, who just so happens to have a few brothers. I also can’t just pick up a football and start a game, so the freshman fifteen may be closer than I want, haha. Matt: How do you keep in contact now? William: We can text each other when we need to, and Facebook is always a good way.
Matt: GoodGooWhat’s next in scouting for you? William: Well college has definitely thrown me for a loop. I would like to be more involved again with my Troop , 737 out of Clarksville. I plan to stay involved and give time to Scouting because I know that the reason I was able to get to Eagle and have such a great scouting adventure was the efforts that adults put in behind the scenes that got me there. I can only hope I can do as good of a job for the next generation of scouts that the generation before me did.