Written by Grace Hare Photo Credits Kathi Cossey
On a dry summer day, the boy scout troops gather in forests across the U.S national parks and other reserves, to follow the tradition of building leadership and integrity with the other campers and scouts through their experiences in nature.
With 2.3 million annual members, the Boy Scouts of America is one of the largest and rapidly growing organizations in the nation.
As a part of the Boy Scouts, the boys learn over the course of several years the most important values that are credited to the Scouts. They serve in their communities, camp with their troops, and gather experience in nature and in building relationships with others.
For junior Callum Glover, the relationship between the scouts is a part of the commitment to one another despite the difficulties of the conditions they may have endured.
A boy scout in Troop 642, Glover meets with a wide variety of teenagers, including senior Nathan Siciliano, at Memorial Drive Presbyterian Church for their troop meetings and activities.
“We all have a very strong bond because of what we have been through. We’ve gone on hikes and canoeing trips. We’ve eaten subpar food with very little sleep, but all of us have done that together. It’s like a brotherhood through the shared pain and experiences,” Glover said.
One of the highest honors associated with the Boy Scouts of America is the Eagle Scout award, an honor that recognizes their years of commitment to one another and to the organization.
The Eagle Scout award can only be granted to members of the Boy Scouts who have been active for longer than 6 months, earned a minimum of 21 merit badges, demonstrating Scout Spirit, and exhibited leadership.
“I would like to earn my Eagle Scout award because it is the completion of a long fun journey that’s been going on for a decade,” Glover said.
Most Boy Scouts who earn their Eagle Scout rank are seniors, and during the Covid-19 pandemic, they have had to adjust to the strange new circumstances in order to earn the honor of becoming an Eagle Scout.
“As a troop, Covid-19 has made us become more self-reliant this year. When the summer camps we normally visited closed, we ran our own boy scout summer camp so that new troops wouldn’t fall behind and could still learn what it was like to be a member,” Glover said.
This was only one of the many challenges the most recent class of boy scouts has had to endure as they organized the projects to earn their recognition in their senior year.
In the devastating aftermath of Hurricane Harvey, the process of many in the community was halted as they dealt with damages.
However, the community built around the many boy scout troops taught the boys the importance of perseverance and caring for one’s community, especially during a disaster.
Scoutmaster assistant Mr. Brandon Turet of Troop 642, was featured on local news for his efforts in providing relief for families in the storm and joining the team that helped rescue people from their homes during the floodwaters and damages.
“At that moment, Mr.Turet really became an inspiration for all of us,” Glover said.
The Eagle Scout honor is part of a process. Eligible boy scouts commit their time and effort to a project that is a way to demonstrate their skills they have honed in their time in the boy scout program.
Siciliano, a member of Troop 642, centered his project on working at a local nature park to build benches and reconfigure the area in order to best serve the community.
Scouts frequently use the have the help of parents, other boy scouts, and their scoutmasters as they work and complete their projects in a timely manner. After the completion of their project, there is still a period of time where they evaluate their work and get their act of service approved by the district.
For Glover, he hopes to complete his Eagle Scout project in April. Working at a local women’s center, The Gracewood’s Women Center, Glover has been rebuilding a playground and working on the landscaping around the area.
“My troop has done a lot for this shelter, and it feels like I’m doing my part to make the shelter run more efficiently and make a difference,” Glover said.
After earning their Eagle Scout rank, the scouts submit a “write-up,” a term referencing the reflection the scouts have to present which discusses their experiences with the opportunity and the leadership they exhibited. Once approved by the district, Eagle Scouts are honored in a ceremony.
This year, seniors Luke Lyster, Charlie White, Rhett Cossey, Chase Sirmons, Jeffery Farris, and Hank Saegert, Jackson Cockrum and Zach Albers have earned their Eagle Scouts in different troops.
Cossey’s project took place at the Monarch School. In August, he will attend the ceremony honoring his efforts and his recognition as an Eagle Scout.
Persevering through Hurricane Harvey, a global pandemic, and a winter storm, seniors have worked to achieve their accomplishment of earning their Eagle Scouts.
Now, as they move into the next phase with their Eagle Scouts, they will graduate from high school with the lessons they learned through their experiences in their troops.
Congratulations to all of the Eagle Scouts of classes 2021 and 2022, including seniors Nathan Siciliano, Luke Lyster, Charlie White, Rhett Cossey, Chase Sirmons, Jeffrey Farris, Hank Saegart, Jackson Cockrum, Zach Albers; and juniors Callum Glover, Rawley Burton and all others.