On Sunday, July 13, St. Richard Boy Scout Troop 254 welcomed two new Eagle Scouts in Ben Cook and Charley McCaw.
Ben is the son of Bill and Sheila Cook and his Eagle Scout service project was planting a chestnut tree grove and building an educational kiosk at the Maumee State Forest. Charley is the son of Steve and Dawn McCaw and his Eagle Scout service project was installing identifying markers for the trees in Rotary Park next to the Swanton Public Library.
Nationally, only 4 percent of all boys who enter Scouting will ever achieve the highest rank of Eagle Scout. Both of these young men have joined an exclusive and highly recognized and respected group - Eagle Scout.
During the Court of Honor, each of these young men reaffirmed their commitment by stating the Boy Scout Oath: “On my honor I will do my best to do my duty to God and my country and to obey the Scout Law. To help others at all times, to keep myself physically strong, mentally awake and morally straight.”
Both Ben and Charley joined the scouts as Cub Scouts with the Tiger rank when they were seven to eight years of age. They were buddies in kindergarten. Throughout it all, they were focused on achieving the highest rank in Boy Scouts. Ben had some additional motivation as his older brother, Tom Cook had also made the rank of Eagle Scout.
When it came time to work on the service project, the scouts sought out and received some excellent mentoring from Walt Lange. Lange was extremely helpful for both Charley and Ben.
Through Lange’s knowledge and passion for trees planted for the future, he was able to provide the guidance which led to the excellence in their service projects. Charley also had praise for the Swanton Tree Commission for their support and contributions, as well as friends and teachers who made his project possible.
Plus each scout was able to provide support for one another. Charley with his technical skills was able to support Ben’s efforts in the tree markers and how to place the information on each species. In both projects, Ben and Charley were instrumental in enlisting help from their fellow scouts to bring about their service projects.
Once the pair were enter high school, their paths did separate. Ben attended St. Francis de Sales High School in Toledo. He graduated magma cum laude this past spring. He has been accepted into the honors program, majoring in architecture at Bowling Green State University.
Charley is a 2014 graduate of Swanton High School, with two years through Penta Career Center. He is currently enrolled at Lincoln College of Technology in Indianapolis, pursuing an associates degree in Computerized Numerical Control Machining and Manufacturing.
There is a minimum in the marking of their projects, no real lasting notation of their efforts for the planning and toil they performed for their community projects which should last many lifetimes. However, that is the scouting way. When the scouts hit the trail and camp out, they always leave their areas in better shape than when they arrived, with little trace of them ever being there.