AMARILLO, Texas (KAMR/KCIT) — Six Texas Panhandle teens have worked through challenges brought on by the pandemic and achieved the highest rank in the Boy Scouts of America. The teens are now considered Eagle Scouts, “a prestigious achievement attained by some of the country’s most noteworthy figures,” the organization explained.
On average, Boy Scouts said only about 6% of scouts earn the Eagle rank. In order to do so, they must take on leadership roles in the community; have at least 21 merit badges on topics that include first aid, safety, civics, business, and the environment; and conduct research, organize, and execute a large community service project.
“Earning the rank of Eagle Scout takes hard work and perseverance, and we are honored to recognize each Eagle Scout for this significant accomplishment,” said Brian Tobler, Golden Spread Council CEO. “Along the journey to Eagle Scout, young people gain new skills, learn to overcome obstacles and demonstrate leadership among their peers and in their communities. These benefits are invaluable for everyone, and we are thrilled that they are now available to even more youth. We have started a new initiative here at the Golden Spread Council to show how hard these youth have been working.”
These are the 2021 Eagles from the Texas Panhandle:
- Jack Emmons – Troop 87 – Amarillo – Emmons conducted his project in Palo Duro Canyon, inspired by a park ranger he met at a dog park. His project consisted of replacing an old shade cover from the Lighthouse Trail with a new larger one located at about half mile from the parking lot. Emmons had the help from Troop 87 scouts, his parents, sister, and Grandparents to complete the project that resulted in 229 volunteer hours and costed $800.
- Creed Huff – Troop 507 – Borger – Huff was responsible for building six raised garden beds for Connect Community Services (CCS), inspired by the need of bringing more quality food to those who are economically disavantaged. According to Boy Scouts of America, 50% of students from the Sanford-Fritch Independent School District face economic struggles. Huff explained these struggles lead to scarcity of food in general, but specially of fresh food. Hence, financial hardship results in a poor diet. “CCS has wanted to have gardening classes to help their clients learn how to raise their own fresh food and they shared their desire to have six raised garden beds,” Huff said. “Besides learning how to garden, the clients will also be able to grow food at CCS for their families. This seemed what would impact the community the most.” In two workdays, Huff and his helpers were able to build deep boxes (3 feet tall and 14 inches) for the Sanford-Fritch community.
- Jakob Presley – Troop 413 – Pampa – Presley dedicated his work to trimming trees and re-painting the Pampa Harvest House. The project took 3 weekends to be completed, and resulted in $184 that will be donated to Harvest House to help with future paint and repairs. “This project proved to be more difficult than expected, however, it was a great learning experience for me,” Presley said.
- Brady Mosteller – Troop 501 – Panhandle – Mosteller’s project consisted in benefiting the local Girl Scouts. He did that by turning in 132.5 man hours to trim trees over the camp’s roads and sidewalks. “The effects of this Eagle project can still be seen today,” Mosteller said.
- Hayden Parson – Troop 735 – Hereford – Parson’s worked to benefit the Herefors Independent School District. To do thjat, he made Buddy Benches for all Hereford elementary school campuses.
- Grant Denny – Troop 94 – Amarillo – Denny’s project consisted of building a skunk enclosure with the help of the Wild West Wildfire Rehabilitation Center. He was also responsible for raising the necessary funds for the project. Denny explained the project was designed to expose skunks to the outdoors, allow them to practice climbing, and teach them what they need before being releasesed back into the wild. “The idea really sprung from an idea a lot like a chicken coop and then allowing some of the features to make it, so that they can easily get in and out, clean out and you know, if they go in there and they’re working on something they can kind of close the little doors to latch in the skunks, so that they’re not in the way,” said Denny.
- Judd Roberson – Troop 10 – Amarillo – Roberson’s project was dedicated to the Eveline Rivers Sushine Cottages, a group of homes located in downtown Amarillo where single parent families can live while they conclude their education. Roberson worked to landscape each cottage where local nurseries made donations that allowed the project to be provided to Eveline Rivers Sunshine Cottages at no cost.
Additionally, those who receive the Eagle Scout rank can reference it for academic, vocational, and military recognition.