Boy Scout Troop 991 in Cherokee County has a lot to be proud of — nine of their members officially received the prestigious Eagle rank on Saturday for community service projects at local schools and nonprofits. And, seven of the new Eagle Scouts are still in middle school.
The scouts are students at Creekland Middle School, Creekview High School, Dean Rusk Middle School, Mill Creek Middle School and Sequoyah High School.
Carter Hansen, 13, dedicated his project to Bethany Place, a women’s shelter near Canton, when he learned that there was nowhere for mothers to sit at the playground, and they were on the ground watching their children. Hansen oversaw and helped with the construction of three benches for the playground. His twin, Mason Hansen, built a playhouse for the children at the shelter to replace one that had been destroyed in a storm.
Thatcher Alley, 14, created a memorial bench at the campus of Indian Knoll Elementary School in memory of a former teacher’s child.
“It was such a great experience to be able to give back a little something to someone special to me,” Alley said.
Fernando Zapata, now a student at Sequoyah High School, went back to Holly Springs Elementary School where he had been a student. The 14-year-old organized volunteers to build three large gardening boxes for the school’s garden club to grow bigger plants, as well as a picnic table and a workbench for tools.
Thirteen-year-old Benjamin Owens raised money from friends, family and neighbors and assembled 500 dental hygiene kits for the Good Samaritan Clinic in Atlanta. Owens, who wants to be a dentist someday, also delivered the kits to the clinic where they would help people in need.
Lake Rowley, 14, led a team that built a wide bridge for the trails behind Creekland, which are used by the middle and high school cross country teams, so that multiple runners can race on the trail.
Creekland student Tyson Hurdle, 14, also worked on improvements for the trail at his school. His team cleaned up and added gravel to help with drainage and usability. His older brother, Wilson Hurdle, 15, re-painted paw prints in the parking lot at Macedonia Elementary School
Owen Trent, 14, gave Macedonia’s outdoor area a facelift with three re-painted benches. He also replaced the school’s standing mascot with a sturdier wooden one, painted it and added wheels for easier movement.
“It feels good to serve in my community and see the impact of my actions,” Trent said.
“The Eagle Scout rank requires dedication and lots of hard work. It had been an honor to watch these young men grow in knowledge, leadership, and skills as they have progressed towards and reached their goal to become an Eagle Scout!” said Jonathan Owens, the troop’s scoutmaster. “This accomplishment alone has and will prepare each one of them to be able to accomplish many great things in their future.”