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Tuesday, May 31, 2016

Eagle Scout's project is the purr-fect gift

Sunday, June 24, 2012

Brothers Matthew, A.J. and John Parker are each active in Boy Scouts and helped deliver John's Eagle Scout service project to Shelbyville & Bedford County Humane Association last week.
(T-G Photo by Tracy Simmons) [Order this photo]
It only took a few moments for the feline residents of the Bedford County Humane Society to express their gratitude for their newest toy.

John Parker, a 15-year old Life Scout, along with his brothers Matthew and A. J., delivered two hand-crafted cat trees to the shelter, and soon the cats had curled up on the platform, purring their enjoyment.

John has only four more merit badges to earn along the way of completing his Eagle Scout Project. The project demonstrates culmination of his leadership training, while performing a project for the benefit of his community.

Within moments of placing the pair of cat trees, feline residents of the shelter happily took up residence.
(T-G Photo by Tracy Simmons)
"We needed this project," said Sarah Pagul, a 25-year volunteer at the shelter. "Donations overall are down, and the cats need different kinds of activity to keep them occupied."

Special badge

It's the 100th anniversary of the award, and when he meets all the requirements, John will receive a special badge that was commissioned to recognize the 100th year of Eagle Scouts.

After identifying the need for donations to the shelter a few months ago, John got busy with design. "We went through about four or five different designs before we found the right one," he said. From there he collected scrap lumber and carpeting and solicited donations and discounts from local businesses.

"We truly appreciate this great thing they have done for us," said Pagul.

This badge commemorates the 100th year of Eagle Scouts.
He's been in scouting for four and a half years now, accompanied by his brothers. The nature of the required service project is a major step in the completion of the Eagle rank.

Great honor

Eagle Scout is the highest rank attainable in the Boy Scouting program of the Boy Scouts of America. Since its introduction in 1911, the Eagle Scout rank has been earned by more than 2 million young men. The title of Eagle Scout is held for life, thus giving rise to the phrase "Once an Eagle, always an Eagle."

The BSA's highest award was originally conceived of as the Wolf Scout, as shown in the June 1911 Official Handbook for Boys. The August 1911 version of the handbook changed this to Eagle Scout. The first Eagle Scout medal was awarded in 1912 to Arthur Rose Eldred, a 17-year-old member of Troop 1 of Rockville Centre, Long Island, New York.

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