Five Troop 202 Scouts celebrate Eagle rank

Troop 202 has a keen eye on 2024, thanks in part to the five Scouts that held ceremonies in 2023 to honor their Eagle Rank — the highest honor in scouting.

William Broom, Tyler Chen, Gabe Purkey, John Thompson and Sam Watson all received their Eagle neckerchiefs at Locust Presbyterian Church.

To earn the rank of Eagle, each Scout must earn 21 merit badges and demonstrate leadership by successfully planning and completing a community service project. Only 2% of all Scouts attain the rank of Eagle Scout, according to BSA Scouting.

William Broom

Broom earned 37 merit badges and his Eagle Project was painting some of the fire hydrants in Oakboro different colors based on their water-flow capacity.

“I really appreciate everyone for helping me out on this journey, especially Travis Lowder and Mark Thompson,” William said of his patrol advisors. “I could not have done this without them.”

Tyler Chen

Chen earned 35 merit badges and his Eagle Project was the creation of a natural area at Community Baptist Church in Locust. He led other Troop 202 Scouts who helped him set up a bench for people visiting their loved ones at the cemetery. They also enhanced the appearance of the church by spreading mulch and planting shrubs.

“Scouting has been a wonderful journey and it’s brought me a lot of amazing experiences,” Chen said. “When you get to go out West to places like California and the Philmont Scout Ranch, and see the Grand Canyon, that stays with you.”

Gabe Purkey

Purkey earned 30 merit badges and his Eagle Project was setting up new steps outside Stanfield Elementary School.

“It’s been a great experience overall,” Purkey said. “I’d like to thank my Dad for making me stick with it. If not for him, I would have been out years ago. But the longer I stayed with it the more I enjoyed it.”

John Thompson

Thompson earned 37 merit badges and his Eagle Project was painting metal stairs, laying stepping stones, painting parking lines and general landscaping at Locust Elementary School.

“Scouting was a wonderful experience,” Thompson said of his time with Troop 202. “It allowed me to see different parts of the country and spend time with my friends.”

Sam Watson

Watson earned 37 merit badges and installed campsites in the woods near the north end of the Jeff Shelton Park in Locust. The city held a dedication ceremony for the campsites that was hosted by Mayor Steve Huber.

“I would like to thank the leaders and the scouts,” Watson said. “I appreciate all of you very much.”

Troop 202 Assistant Scoutmaster Travis Lowder started with Watson and Broom in Cub Scouts when the boys were in the first grade.

He is proud of them and the others for earning their Eagle Rank.

“I’ve been blessed with the Scouts I’ve had over the years,” he said. “Congratulations!”

Troop 202 has been active in the community through The Big Serve, picking up trash along Running Creek Road through the Adopt-A-Highway program and volunteering at West Stanly Christian Ministries.

The troop meets at 7 p.m. Tuesdays and charter out of Locust Presbyterian Church.