Many male students at the Academy signed up for Cub Scouts in elementary school in order to compete in the annual Cub Scout Derbies, raft on the Nantahala River or just relax with friends. For a variety of reasons, many of these students quit scouting after fifth grade. However, for four Pace juniors, their commitment to scouting has continued well into high school. “I had gotten really far and to quit…would not be worth not getting Eagle. It looks good on resumés and builds character, so I kept with it,” said Ted Hobbs.
After five years of hard work, Richie Everett, Patrick Moore and Jack Spencer, along with Ted, recently earned the esteemed rank of Eagle Scout. Earning the Eagle rank takes years of hard work, time and money. The process begins with earning the ranks of Scout, Tenderfoot, Second Class, First Class, Star, Life, and then Eagle. There’s a six-month waiting period between Star and Life, and between Life and Eagle. “For me, I got my Star ranking but already had all of the requirements done for Life and most of them done for Eagle before three months of Star was finished. So, I had to wait around for a while,” said Patrick. While progressing through these ranks, a scout has to earn 21 merit badges, 11 of which are required to be an Eagle Scout. Then, while in that six-month waiting period between Life and Eagle, the scout has to hold a leadership position within his troop. The scout also has to complete his Eagle Scout project and undergo an Eagle Scout board of review. In the board of review, the scout sits across a table from three scout masters who decide whether or not he has earned his Eagle Scout ranking. “The whole process is very nerve-racking,” said Jack.
The four boys agreed that the largest piece of their Eagle Scout requirement is the service project. Jack designed and built an 80-picket privacy fence, complete with three DOGIPOT stations for his church that covered a gas line and an electrical box. Ted built four benches for Hammonds House, an African-American art museum in central Atlanta where his father serves on the board. After talking with Pace headmaster Fred Assaf and Director of Facilities Dave Fortier, Patrick decided to build an outdoor classroom on one of Pace’s off-campus properties. Richie modeled his wrap-around bench project at Vining’s historic Pace House after senior Nathan England’s project last year and was recognized in the Northside Neighbor for his work.
All of these projects took lots of time and money. “The project took about 288 hours to complete and I had about 70 hours alone on the project, said Jack, “From the beginning of my planning to the finished product, [it] took about two years. The project cost $1,210.35, but luckily my church paid for it all.” The other three weren’t so lucky in terms of securing funding for their projects. Ted spent eight months and $500 on his, Patrick’s cost around $2,000 out of his own pocket and Richie’s cost at least $800, but upwards of $1,000, over 437 hours.
Despite the huge commitment, these four boys agree that earning their Eagle Scout ranking was worth it. “It’s been fun, said Richie, “I’ve gained a lot of tools for the outdoors, but a lot of people don’t realize that Boy Scouts teaches values that you don’t really learn anywhere else. It teaches you how to be a leader for others and motivate a range of age groups to accomplish a goal.” Although Eagle is considered the ultimate goal, these boys will continue scouting. “I have a personal goal to try to beat my dad,” said Patrick, “He got Eagle at [age] 13. I got it at 16, but he only got two palms, a bronze and a gold, and so I’m trying to get all three to say I got one more than he did.”