Troop 304 never disappoints. Yet again, the Lovett School Boy Scout Troop 304 has had a class of over 12 or more Scouts who earned their Eagle awards. The Eagle Award is the highest award in Scouting, and only 4% of all Boy Scouts earn the award which requires 21 Merit Badges, completion of all prior rank requirements and completion of a service project which incorporates leadership and delivers value to a non profit.
Kevin Link, who along with Mr. Gary Page served as Eagle Advisor for over 23 years, helping countless Lovett Scouts become Eagles, having turned over the reigns this year to Dr. Eric Ferrara and Wright Mitchell, said as the troop has grown, its younger Scouts have been influenced by the older ones’ success. “Both Lovett supports it and the students themselves support it and look at it positively as a good thing to do, (so) then more kids take part in it and stick with it,” he said. “The retention of Scouts is higher than normal, and that’s why you see so many Eagle Scouts. You see at other troops some Boy Scouts getting out (of Scouting) in high school or earlier.
“Historically only 4% make it to Eagle.”
Scoutmaster Keith Lamberson emphasized the importance of hard work and consistency in the path to success in Boy Scouts. So many distractions come into play the older the Scout gets. It is interesting that in this group of Eagle Scouts, there were multiple grades represented. Especially for the badges such as camping, the earlier the Scout can knock out the requirements, the better. Once varsity sports come into play, it becomes much more difficult to find the time for a campout. That said, some of the fondest memories from Scouting, as stated by many in their Eagle speeches, came from camping with the troop and their dads.
In the Eagle Scout ceremony, Trey Googe, Scoutmaster Emeritus, imparted to the Eagle Scout Rank recipients that “Once an Eagle Scout, always an Eagle Scout”. It is the one award that is always stated in the present. He said that “no matter how old you are, you will say ‘I am an Eagle Scout, not I was an Eagle Scout’.” He also told the group that they will be held to a higher standard now and charged them to continue their servant leadership that they honed in Scouting. He said that “Becoming an Eagle Scout is just the beginning."
Each Boy Scout had to complete and lead a service project and complete 21 Merit Badges to receive their rank of Eagle Scout. Holt Degenkolb, son of Dianne and Paul, constructed and donated ten kitchen/coffee tables and two dressers for the Furniture Bank of Metro Atlanta. Michel Doller, son of Jennifer and Mark constructed cabinets and cubbies for the Center for Safe and Healthy Children to store donated items. Judd Ebert, son of Elizabeth and Cole, repurposed the outdoor storage area behind the physical plant of Lovett to be used as a multi-purpose classroom and break space for students and employees. Topher Ferrara, son of Nancy and Eric, constructed four duck houses for the Rivermeade Homes Association Rivermeade Lake, providing homes for many ducks around the lake. Juke Graham, son of Emily and Robert Graham developed a prayer garden for North Clarendon Baptist Church by constructing three raised flower beds, a bench, and adding a bird feeder and bird bath. Brooks Hooper, son of Christy and Tim Hooper, constructed a gravel lined picnic area and added a new picnic table at the New Hope Church to provide a permanent outdoor landscaped location for fellowship and parish events. Gunner Jones, son of Jessica and Justin, constructed 32 dog beds and 60 treat dispensers for the Atlanta Humane Society, allowing the dogs to sleep off of the concrete floor. Cooper Pope, son of Catharine and Cooper, constructed a granite and fieldstone outdoor patio for the Log Cabin Community Church and repurposed a birdbath. Brady Rackley, son of Blair and Tripp Rackley, constructed and installed two Wood Duck nesting boxes for the Blue Heron Nature Preserve, a 30 acres natural wilderness in heart of Buckhead. The boxes are important breeding habitat and will help the species continue to grow. Garrett Roesel, son of Sunny and Stuart, constructed a hammock village at Murphy-Harpst Children’s Center. These hammocks entertain and distract the children from the hard lives they came from. Henry Stimmel, son of Claudia and Carl Stimmel, built a compost and permanent pathway at Collins Memorial Methodist Church to help improve plant growth and health for the community vegetable garden. William Stimmel, son of Claudia and Carl Stimmel, built a community garden at the Collins Memorial Methodist Church. The garden consisted of 12 raised garden beds which will help grow fruit and vegetables for the food pantry of the church. Salder Stukes, son of Mary Mac and Salder Stukes II, constructed four wooden benches for the courtyard at the Log Cabin Church in Vinings to provide an outdoor space for the community to gather.