June 25—It’s been a long time since I put on a Boy Scout uniform.
But I was there last weekend, a sweltering June morning, and my mind flashed back to those preteen days. I had been invited to an Eagle Scout Court of Honor ceremony for two young men who had worked hard and achieved this high rank.
Truth be told, I was a lousy scout. Like most boys at the time, I signed up through my church and soon made it into troop 110. I have vague memories of winning a medal at a competition where we were supposed to use our scout skills to make a square.
My family has had a lot of fun (and mileage) over the years over some of my mishaps. There have been a few times where I had to be picked up in the middle of the night after camping trips because I wasn’t feeling well (read: homesick). I managed to spend a week at Camp Linwood Hayne, on the outskirts of Augusta, but only because of my kind and caring Scoutmaster, Mr. Benton. And a mid-week visit from my parents, including cupcakes from mom.
But enough about me. Saturday’s ceremony was in honor of Joseph Deskevich III and Andrew T. Singer of Boy Scout Troop 115, which is sponsored by St. Mary Help of Christians Catholic Church. I don’t know Joseph, but I have been friends with the Singer family for many years and my wife and I were honored to be invited to Andrew’s big day.
We learned a lot about the Boy Scouts. First, only 5% reach the rank of Eagle Scout. Among the requirements, according to my internet research, you must climb seven ranks, earn 21 merit badges, and complete a service project.
According to the invitation, more than 2 million Boy Scouts have achieved this status since 1912. Eagle Scouts “exemplify the virtues of service, leadership and duty to God, using their training and influence to better their communities and the world.” “.
One of the coolest parts of the ceremony was Jack Morris’ eagle voice. He is an integral part of the local scouting scene and he also performed the “feather touch” on the two scouts with an eagle feather.
Bishop Robert Guglielmone, who recently retired as Bishop of the Diocese of Charleston, was a special guest. He was heavily involved in Boy Scout programs during his tenure, and he gave each Eagle Scout a gift of patches and memorabilia he had collected over the years at jamborees and other events.
A trio of chosen ones also spoke, and each praised Joseph and Andrew.
Despite all the negativity and noise, “Our country is in good hands and the future is bright,” Rep. Bart Blackwell told the audience, mentioning the new Eagle Scouts.
On a similar theme, Aiken Mayor Rick Osbon said, “Our world needs leaders now more than ever.
And Aiken County Council Chairman Gary Bunker applauded the two for their hard work.
“(Eagle Scout) is still the benchmark for personal achievement,” he said.
Andrew will be heading to Columbia and the University of South Carolina in the fall. Joseph is still in high school. Both are now part of an exclusive club, which should open doors and provide exciting opportunities in the future.
Perhaps the entry in the ceremony brochure best puts the Eagle Scout’s accomplishment into perspective:
“Put eagle wings on my son’s chest,
He’s one of America’s best
He is prepared there is no doubt,
Now that he’s an Eagle Scout.”
Thanks for reading.