By Sarah Gross
On Saturday, June 9, at 12 p.m., three young men were awarded the rank of “Eagle Scout” at the St. Cyril of Alexandria church.
Most Eagle Scouts hold the official ceremony alone, but Jermaine “JJ” Younger Jr, 18, Malcolm Bowman, 18, and Derek Johnstone, 18, chose to receive the honor together.
“This is the first time in history that three Eagle Scouts have been awarded at the same time.” said Scoutmaster Bill Kunz. “This moment is priceless and deserves all the respect it is due.”
“Eagle Scout” is the highest rank a Boy Scout can achieve. According to Kunz, only four percent of Scouts make this rank. This is due to the long-term dedication that goes into it. Most Scouts join young, since candidacy for the Eagle Scout award ends at age 18. For a Scout to make the Eagle Scout rank, requirements include: earning all 21 merit badges, completing a project to better the community, undergoing an interview process, and successfully completing the board of review. The board of review is a trial of the council advancement committee, who all vote on the Scout’s candidacy. If approved, a Scout officially graduates to an Eagle Scout.
While earning the Eagle Scout award is an enormous honor in itself, this particular ceremony is one-of-a-kind. It is sacred and held the attention of everyone in the room. The young men received neckerchiefs for their new rank and awards for their supportive parents. Each mother stood in front of their son and read a poem they had written about them and their journey.
“It’s a really special event because three of us are getting the Eagle Scout,” said Younger of the event. “Usually it’s just one, but we decided to all do it together,” This is due to the incredibly close bond between Bowman and Johnstone, and the decision all three made to have Younger join the ceremony.
When asked what made them stay with the Scouts, Johnstone said, “I just like camping.”