The Mysterious Island by Jules Verne: An Unofficial Handbook for Eagle Scouts

In The Mysterious Island, five improbably intrepid American men with no flaws whatsoever are marooned on an uncharted island for three years during the Civil War. They do an exhaustively thorough exploration of the island and start civilization from the natural resources at hand.

The relentless onslaught of tool-making in this book makes me want to stay inside with a VR headset and some astronaut food. Here is an incomplete sampling of the processes you learn about: blacksmithing, refining, fulling, milling, farming, ship-building, kiln-building; also, making a rope ladder and a battery.

Say you're a new Eagle Scout. You've built chicken fences. You have the word "bugler" on your CV. You're in the Dental Club. You've supervised the rebuilding of an "interrogation/crafts cabin" for a local Anti-Horse Thief Association. You have 40 merit awards, and are salivating over those new Robotics and GPS badges. Well, do you have your "extracting sulfuric acid to make nitroglycerine" badge? How about your "smelting" badge? Can you make your own damn matches or build a functional glassworks in your garage?

Yeah, didn't think so.  Read The Mysterious Island and step up your game.