Four Itawamba Boy Scouts will soon be honored for achieving Eagle, the highest rank that can be attained in the program.
Owen Bennett, Quinn Bennett, Ethan Hester and Anderson Martin will be awarded this prestigious honor at a ceremony at Itawamba Christian Church on Sunday, Feb. 28.
Troop 32 Scoutmaster Robert Blake said he is proud that four more Itawamba boys have stayed with scouting and persevered.
“It takes a lot of time and dedication,” Blake said. “These boys have been with the program since first grade. They have gone on camp outs, summer camps, merit badge training and much more. They really learn a lot and work hard.”
Scouts need a minimum of 21 merit badges to earn the rank of Eagle. Scouts also have to plan, organize and participate in a service project. Owen, Quinn and Ethan cleaned up the Beans cemetery in Peaceful Valley, repaired and cleaned headstones and replaced a fence. Anderson’s service project was building a raised flower bed and vegetable garden for the residents of Dogwood Assisted Living in Fulton.
“The service project has to be approved by the scoutmaster, committee members and a scout executive,” Blake explained.
Even after the Scouts have earned merit badges and completed their service project, their task is not done.
“They then have an Eagle Board of Review,” Blake said. This involves appearing before a panel of scout leaders and undergoing a series of questions about scouting and their Eagle projects. They also have to write an essay of their accomplishments and future career plans. In the review, the boys share how scouting has affected their lives and how they plan on giving back to their community.
For more than 12 years, Blake has been teaching scouts weekly at the First United Methodist Church.
“Many of these scouts started around the same time that I became scoutmaster, “ Blake said. “For many years I did not have an Eagle but now these four boys will make nine.”
Blake said several more Scouts are making their way up the ranks and should earn their Eagle ranking later this year.
“These boys have done a wonderful job and have represented scouting in Itawamba County very well,” Blake said.