Seymour Scout overcomes pandemic to become an Eagle


The requirements to obtain the rank of Eagle Scout include earning 21 merit badges, serving in a position of leadership and most importantly developing a community service project.

And you have to do it all and more before reaching the age of 18.

One Seymour Scout, who has nearly completed the process, also had to overcome an obstacle few others have ever had to tackle while trying to obtain the Boy Scouts of America’s highest rank — a pandemic.

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The COVID-19 pandemic coupled with a couple of other factors brought Braedon E. Reynolds’ project to a standstill.

“It has taken way too long,” the 18-year-old said. “I installed it in October, and it just procrastinated.”

His project involved placing a flag retirement box in front of American Legion Post 89 at 402 W. Second St. in Seymour. It’s the only box of its kind in the city, Reynolds said.

The purpose of the box is to allow people to properly retire their flags instead of just throwing them away.

Once a flag is placed in the box and the door swings shut, it drops into a lower compartment that can only be opened by someone with a key. That would be the Legion or Reynolds. The flags are later burned by a Legion member once a year.

“There are only certain people who can retire flags,” Reynolds said, noting they are Scouts, active military personnel and veterans organizations such as the Legion.

He said he decided on the flag retirement box after learning another Scout had installed it somewhere else.

“I liked the idea,” he said.

After it was installed, the plan was to dedicate the flag retirement box March 15, which is the designated birthday of the American Legion, Reynolds’ father, Michael Reynolds, said.

“… and then unfortunately, the COVID hit, and he finally had to get an extension from the (Boy Scouts) council,” Michael said.

A leadership change at the post also slowed down the process.

The extension helped Braedon clear up a requirement that an Eagle Scout project has to be completed before the Scout’s 18th birthday.

Braedon’s original idea for dedicating the flag retirement box to Post 89 involved a ceremony, including members of the post and his fellow Scouts in Troop 529.

“But that couldn’t happen because of COVID,” he said.

After dedicating the box to Post 89 during a recent meeting with Commander Gary Anderson, Braedon is just a few weeks away — and some more paperwork — from becoming an Eagle.

Anderson said Braedon did a great job with the project.

Braedon was able to obtain business sponsors from the Seymour area to pay for the materials: High Value Metal, The Awning Guy, Lloyd’s Body Shop and Priority Press.

“The only thing I have to pay for was the concrete,” he said.

Reynolds said the plan for the maintenance of the box is for future Scouts to adopt it.

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When to retire a flag: A flag ready for retirement may have rips or tears, holes, fading, discoloration or frayed edges.

How to retire a flag: If the flag is large enough to fold, it should be folded and then placed on a flame so it burns quickly with none of the flag remaining afterwards.

Source: The United States Flag Code, Title 4, Section 8k


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