When Nick Shepherd, 15, achieved his Eagle Scout ranking earlier this year, it was a great accomplishment but hardly a surprise.
Shepherd, whose brothers Justin and Daniel also made Eagle Scout, became the 100th Eagle Scout from Boy Scout Troop 396 in Arlington. The 54-year-old troop is sponsored by the Elks Lodge No. 2114.
“Nick was actually born into the troop,” said his father, James, currently assistant scoutmaster. “I was scoutmaster when he was born, and I was at Philmont [scout camp] with Justin when we found out he was expected.”
Justin Shepherd, now 32, was the troop’s Eagle Scout No. 57. He now serves in the Air Force and is the father of two. Middle son Daniel, 29, was Eagle Scout No. 59 and works locally in the aircraft industry. The boys’ mother, Amy, has served as a den mother for all three.
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“It’s hard to describe the pride of being the father of three Eagle Scouts, let alone one,” said James Shepherd, who never had the opportunity to attain the rank himself.
Nick Shepherd joined the troop at age 11 and has earned 23 merit badges to date.
“I can continue earning merit badges until I’m 18,” he said. Next on his list are badges in nuclear science, radio electronics and kayaking. The International Leadership of Texas high school student plans to become a pediatrician.
Nick’s Eagle Scout service project was painting the Elks Lodge poolhouse in shades of sandstone and forest green.
Nick’s favorite Boy Scout activities: “I enjoy the camping, going to summer camp, going to Philmont. There isn’t anything I don’t like.”
More than 2.25 million Boy Scouts have earned the rank since 1912, say official sources. Yet, only 2 to 4 percent of Boy Scouts attain the rank.
To earn the Eagle Scout rank, a Boy Scout must fulfill requirements in the areas of leadership, service and outdoor skills. He must have earned 21 merit badges, including 13 required for the rank. A total of 134 merit badges are available.
Notable Eagle Scouts have included astronauts Neil Armstrong, first man on the moon, and James A. Lovell Jr.; Mike Rowe, host of the Discovery Channel’s Dirty Jobs; and Steven Spielberg, Academy Award-winning film director.
“Lodge 2114 and Scouting have been joined at the hip from the very first of our combined history,” said Lee Smith, a 60-year Scout who is still active with the troop. Lodge leadership and members maintain a close relationship with the 60-member troop and help out in many ways.
Shirley Jinkins, 817-390-7657