Five Seymour Boy Scouts earn Eagle Scout rank


At 8 years old, Logan Bryant joined Cub Scouts Troop 529 in Seymour because it sounded like an adventure.

What young boy doesn’t want to go camping, hiking and learn cool skills like how to shoot a gun, save a life and survive alone in the wilderness?

Bryant was able to do all of that and more earning a total of 27 merit badges for his accomplishments along the way.

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But as he got older, being in Scouts became more work, requiring more of the teenager’s time and commitment. He thought about quitting.

His dad asked him for one good reason to quit, but Bryant wasn’t able to come up with one, so he kept on going.

“Earlier on, I wanted to quit,” said Bryant, a junior at Seymour High School. “If I had, I wouldn’t have had the chance to go to all these campouts, hang out with the other boys and have fun along the way. Even if the paperwork was boring, all the other parts of Scouts was really fun.”

Now, he’s glad he didn’t give up.

On Sunday, Bryant joined fellow Troop 529 Scouts Owen Chandler, Chase Rogers and Daniel Kirby in becoming Eagle Scouts. Also participating was SHS senior Luke Hauersperger, whose Eagle ceremony was conducted late last year.

Eagle is the highest level of scouting a boy can earn, and candidates must demonstrate top levels of leadership, citizenship and service. It also requires a Scout to earn at least 21 merit badges and organize, plan and execute a community project.

For his Eagle project, Bryant built a sandbox for the children at Zion Lutheran Preschool.

About 2.25 million or 4% of Boy Scouts have earned the Eagle rank since 1912, according to the Boy Scouts of America website. Last year, around 52,000 or 6.5% were awarded the honor, and the average age of a recipient was 17.

It typically takes four to five years to advance through the ranks of scouting to Life Scout and then an additional two and a half to three years to earn Eagle.

“So if you did everything perfect, you’re still in this for several years before you can get to that rank,” Scoutmaster John Kirby said. “So that speaks to these boys and what they’ve accomplished.”

A special Court of Honor ceremony was conducted at First United Methodist Church in Seymour, where John Kirby, Daniel’s father, presented the honors.

“One of the stated missions of Boy Scouts of America is to prepare young people to make better goals and choices over their lifetimes by instilling in them values of the Scout oath and law,” he said. “We use the camping and the hiking and the other activities we do to teach them those values and to teach them leadership.”

Daniel, a senior at SHS, earned 24 merit badges throughout his scouting career. For his senior project, he helped reorganize the Freeman Army Airfield Museum.

One of his favorite memories from Scouts is braving a tropical storm while at Sea Base.

He advises younger Scouts to set high goals and work to achieve them.

“Shoot for Eagle. It’s worth the paperwork,” he said.

John Kirby said the leadership and experience gained from Boy Scouts is not necessarily achieved in school or by being in sports. In Scouts, boys are organized into patrols and learn how to lead each other.

The Scouts, not the adults, plan the camping trips, meals and other activities, including the Court of Honor ceremonies.

It has been 47 years since Troop 529 has had five boys in one year become Eagle Scouts. The last time was 1972 when David Wintin, Thomas Gallagher, Carl Greaves, Jerry Laupus and Marc McFall earned the rank.

In 1964, a total of eight Scouts earned Eagle. They were John Beatty, Danny Brackemyre, Rickey Findley, Michael Hammond, Gary Klakamp, Robert Norrell, David Ruddick and James Ward.

The last Scout to earn the honor was R.J. Beavers in 2017.

The troop now has 84 Eagle Scouts since 1963. Another seven earned the rank from 1929 to 1949 as a part of Troop 3.

Famous American Eagle Scouts include astronaut Neil Armstrong, former President Gerald Ford, Walmart founder Sam Walton, Microsoft founder Bill Gates, former U.S. Sen. Richard Lugar and filmmaker Stephen Spielberg.

Chandler, a senior at SHS, earned a total of 32 merit badges during his decade of being in Scouts. It was the most badges of any of the 2019 Eagle Scouts.

His favorite were those he received for camping and learning how to play chess.

Chandler started Cub Scouts when he was in third grade.

“Some guy came into our school and they were promoting Scouts in general. He rubbed a paper on a leaf and it showed up on the paper, and I was like, ‘I want to do that,’” Chandler said.

Looking back, he said he sees so much personal growth in himself because of Boy Scouts.

Although it was always a goal to earn Eagle rank, Chandler said at times, it seemed out of reach.

For his Eagle project, he constructed three coatracks for a children’s camp at the Unitarian Church in Columbus, where he used to volunteer a lot when he was younger.

“If you would have asked me four years ago if I would have made it here, I probably would have told you no,” he said. “But I stuck with it, and I loved it. For me, it’s definitely about the experience and all the memories. It means a lot in the end.”

Rogers, a freshman at SHS, is the youngest of the new Eagle Scouts.

“I’ve been doing Scouts since I was in second grade,” he said. “I was in Cub Scouts, and I pretty much just got used to it after so long.”

He first joined because all of his friends were in Scouts. Although some boys dropped out later on, Rogers said he stayed in because he had a lot of free time.

“I wasn’t doing sports, so it was something fun to do,” he said. “By eighth grade, I thought I might as well finish it because I’d already come so far.”

He earned a total of 29 merit badges during his scouting career, including his favorite for small boat sailing.

But he never dreamed he’d earn his Eagle ranking so soon.

His Eagle project consisted of building two new picnic tables for the Fraternal Order of Police Donald M. Winn Lodge 108 in Freeman Field Industrial Park.

“The ones they had were really deteriorated,” he said. “When you sat on them, it felt like they were going to break.”

Rogers said being in Scouts has molded him into the young man he wants to be.

“It helped me become a better person,” he said. “It teaches you a lot of skills and how to be a leader, which is useful later on in life.”

He now plans to stay involved by helping and mentoring younger Scouts.

Hauersperger earned 27 merit badges with wilderness survival being his favorite. His fondest memory of Scouts is participating in the Klondike Derby as just a two-man team.

For his Eagle project, he made and installed mile markers for the cross country course at Freeman Field park along with two benches for people to have a place to sit and rest.

“If you truly want to achieve the rank of Eagle Scout, make a plan and stick to it,” he said.

Earning Eagle Scout is not an ending as much as it is a beginning.

“We want them to go forth and use what they’ve learned in life and make the world a better place,” John Kirby said.

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