Fourteen students who picked up diplomas from Fort Worth Country Day School earlier this month had something else to be proud of — they’ve all earned the rank of Eagle Scout.
That’s nearly a third of the young men in the 99-member class of 2013, which included 50 boys, who earned the highest rank in Scouting.
Most of these Eagle Scouts have been together in Scouting since they were in second grade. Thirteen of the Country Day grads are members of Boy Scout Troop 720, which meets twice a month at the school’s community arts building and goes on monthly camping trips. Another Country Day graduate is from Troop 499.
“This just happened to be a grade that was very active in Scouting,” said John Penn, Troop 720’s former scoutmaster, who retired in January. “They would have started back lower school together and come all the way through. It’s always better to do things with your friends and the more friends you have in an activity, the more you stick with it.”
Eagle Scout Jonny Clum, 18, agreed, noting that the Scouts worked to support each other.
“It was a lot easier because we were passionate about it,” said Clum, who plans to attend Texas A&M University in the fall. “I was pretty adamant the whole way through that I wanted to become an Eagle Scout. My father was an Eagle Scout and several of my friends’ dads eagled. We all kind of wanted to live up to our fathers’ accomplishments.”
Troop 720, charted by Country Day in 1997, has had 42 Eagle Scouts since its inception, said Maribeth Reeb, advancement chairperson for Troop 720. Country Day’s 2011 senior class included nine Eagle Scouts.
The Eagle Scouts, who earn a badge and a medal for their accomplishment, achieved the rank at various times starting in 2011, Penn said.
To become an Eagle Scout, Scouts must lead a community service project that includes creating a plan, recruiting volunteers, securing funding and submitting a written report. The process can take anywhere from three to six months, Penn said.
The student projects varied, Penn said. One student created a mural, another refurbished bleachers for a Little League park and another made improvements at a community center.
Clum’s project was at a challenge course at Camp Thurman in Pantego. He built an enclosed ladder for a power pole to prevent children from climbing it without first being harnessed in, he said.
“It took a lot of planning, composing it and putting it together,” Clum said. “But it was also a lot of fun.”