A young man that earns the rank of Eagle Scout has reached the highest honor a Boy Scout can achieve, and it’s not a one-time thing.
Once a scout has earned the Eagle Scout honor, they are always an Eagle. A young man from the Otway/McDermott area, Ethan Beckett, did just that this Fall.
The Eagle Scout Promise states, “you do your best each day to make your training and example, your rank and your influence count strongly for better Scouting and for better citizenship in your troop, in your community, and in your contacts with other people, to this you pledge your sacred honor.”
To earn the rank of Eagle, a Boy Scout must fulfill requirements in the areas of leadership, service and outdoor skills. Several specific skills are required to advance through the ranks—Scout rank, Tenderfoot, Second Class, First Class, Star, Life and Eagle. To advance, a Boy Scout must pass specific tests that are organized by requirements and merit badges.
There are more than 130 merit badges a scout can earn. 21 must be earned to qualify for the Eagle Scout ranking. Of this group, 13 badges are required, including First Aid, Citizenship in the Community, Citizenship in the Nation, Citizenship in the World, Communications, Cooking, Environmental Science, Personal Fitness, Personal Management, Camping and Family Life. Also, a Scout has a choice between Emergency Preparedness and Lifesaving and a choice among Cycling, Hiking and Swimming. These projects must be completed before the Scout’s 18th birthday, or they age out of the program and miss their chance at the Eagle rank.
Part of becoming an Eagle Scout is completing an Eagle Scout Service Project. The project provides an opportunity for the Scout to demonstrate leadership of others while performing a project for the benefit of his community. This is the culmination of the Scout’s leadership training, and it requires a significant effort on his part. The project must benefit an organization other than the Boy Scouts, but it cannot be performed for an individual or a business or be commercial in nature.
For Beckett’s Eagle Project, he undertook the job of cleaning up and painting the Otway Post Office. The project took place on Saturday and Sunday Oct.5 & 6, 2019. The project included scraping three sides of the cinder block post office. After the scrapping, the block and prep work was completed, and two coats of paint were applied. The handrails at the Post Office front entrance were scraped and painted as well. Landscaping was completed to the right and left of the handrails in front of the post office. This included reclaiming two existing beds, planting mums and spreading mulch. In the back-parking lot, 8 tons of gravel was spread to fill potholes as a means of ground maintenance. This was all done, making the project more than 93 man-hours. Troop 12 Scouts, leaders, parents and members of the local community came out to help complete the project. Several returning Troop 12 Eagle Scouts returned to support the project as well.
Boy Scouts seek out a project of interest that will benefit their community and are required to have the project approved. All aspects of the project are the Scout’s responsibility from start to finish. This includes fundraising, securing sponsors, projecting supplies needed, budgeting, purchasing supplies, organizing workdays and providing the leadership to carry out the project to completion.
The project has been well-received by the Otway community. Beckett chose the project to give back to the Village of Otway. Beckett is from the Otway/McDermott area and attends church at Our Lady of Lourdes Catholic Church. The project completion has received great reviews.
“So far, I’ve got a lot of positive feedback from the community,” The Mayor of Otway, Denise Pennington Rose said.
Rose was supportive and helped Beckett come up with the project. Postal workers were complimentary to Beckett for a job well done when they returned to work Monday to see the completed project and to see community members giving back.
Pennington Rose commented on Facebook: “I am going to take the time to brag on our little town of Otway. I hope everyone has been noticing some of the things that are being done in our little part of the world. This past weekend, Ethen Beckett, BSA Troop 12, picked our own Post office here to do his Eagle Scout project. I am so proud of the work he and some fellow workers did to make our little town look better. They did an amazing job of painting, cleaning up, redoing the flower bed, adding mums to the flower bed and putting down gravel in the back parking lot. We are so thankful!”
Beckett received help from his Project sponsors and volunteers including, Dan Cassidy of Berndt & Murfin Insurance, Portsmouth Block, Portsmouth Monument, the Village of Otway, and BSA Troop 12.
*Some information was with the assistance of Marian Beckett.
Reach Kimberly Jenkins (740) 353-3101 ext. 1928
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