Ten local scouts earn highest award

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From left to right: Daniel Anderson, Matthew Murray, Ethan Elmer, Talmage Hall, Justin Kochenower, Shad Nelson, John Mangelson, Dain Brinkerhoff, Nathan Draper, Will Elggren. (Photo by Clairissa Cooper)

The Flower Mound Eagle’s Nest grew by 10 this week.

Ten local Boy Scouts were recognized for earning their Eagle Scout Award, the highest achievement rank in the Boy Scouts of America (BSA). Families, leaders, volunteers, and project beneficiaries honored the boys’ efforts at a Court of Honor ceremony held Monday at The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in Flower Mound.

According to the BSA website, more than 2 million Boy Scouts have earned the Eagle Scout rank – a long-held tradition since 1912 that recognizes leadership, character, and duty to God, others and self. In 2018, just over 6% of Scouts achieved this rank.

While speaking at the ceremony, former Scoutmaster Mike Solosko spoke of the three S’s and three C’s that exemplify an Eagle Scout: character, courage, cheerfulness, selflessness, sacrifice, and service.

“Being an Eagle Scout is more than wearing the badge and neckerchief. More is expected of you, a higher standard,” said Solosko.

An Eagle Scout lives with the mantra that they will serve,” said Solosko. “They stand up for what’s right, even when it’s difficult. They choose to do the hard things.”

All Eagle projects benefited Flower Mound and the surrounding area, including five of the 10 directly benefiting local schools. The Scouts represent BSA Longhorn Council Troop 284, chartered by The Church of Jesus Christ.

Meet the Eagle’s Nest:

Daniel Anderson, 16, sophomore, Flower Mound High School

Project:

Repainted 26 concrete bollards for a Flower Mound beautification project. They are the bright red pillars scattered all around Flower Mound strategically placed to prevent people from illegally driving on and damaging sidewalks.

Lesson Learned:

“Scouting has taught me my potential, what I’m able to accomplish, and and what I’m able to do with my own two hands.”

Dade Brinkerhoff, 14, 8th grade, McKamy Middle School

Project:

Built, installed, and stocked a Little Free Library – a book-sharing box that provides access to books 24/7 at Wellington Elementary for both students and parents.

Lesson Learned:

“Bringing more than what is required in whatever capacity that may be. Being prepared. I learned that lesson the hard way many times, but bringing more to the table than you are asked to is important.”

Nathan Draper, 14, 8th grade, Downing Middle School

Project:

Built, installed, and stocked a Little Free Library at Bridlewood Elementary for parents or students to take a book or leave a book.

Lesson Learned:

“I learned the value of hard work because it gives me a sense of accomplishment and it’s a family tradition. Both grandpas, my dad, older brothers and, now, myself have all earned the rank of Eagle Scout.”

Will Elggren, 16, sophomore, Flower Mound High School

Project:

Built a loafing shed for Unbridled Horse Therapy, a non-profit organization that provides equine therapy to kids and adults with various special needs and disabilities. The shed will allow the organization to safely house more horses with protection from the weather.

Lesson Learned:

“I learned the importance of following through.”

Scouts recite the Eagle Scout pledge. (Photo by Clairissa Cooper)

Ethan Elmer, 14, 8th grade, McKamy Middle School

Project:

Built a retaining wall at Unbridled Horse Therapy. The retaining wall will help to limit the erosion of their circle drive and allow the asphalt to last a longer.

Lesson Learned:

“I did this project because I love to help people.”

Talmage Hall, 14, freshman, Flower Mound High School

Project:

Built a shed to store winterizing tools and materials that assist the steep driveway entrance of McKamy middle school when ice forms on the road.

Lesson Learned:

“Doing merit badges at home taught me how to actually do the work and be responsible.”

Justin Kochenower, 16, junior, Flower Mound High School

Project:

Built a Gaga Ball Pit at Liberty Elementary.

Lesson Learned:

“Everything has its trials and it’s not always easy, but if you keep pushing, you can complete your goals.”

John Mangelson, 13, 7th grade, McKamy Middle School

Project:

Built two mobile carts for after school STEM Lego Love program at Wellington Elementary. “Both of my brothers were in the program, so our family has benefited from the club. It’s nice to give back to a club that my brothers really loved.”

Lesson Learned:

“Scouting has taught me that I can do hard things. I’ve done hard things and if I can do this, I can do anything.”

Matthew Murray, 15, sophomore, Flower Mound High School

Project:

Rebuilt 22 numbered campsite signs at Lake Grapevine’s Murrell Park. The area was damaged from flooding and required sign posts to be dug and cemented in.

Lesson Learned:

“Scouting has taught me that in order to earn something, it requires focus. Hard work pays off.”

Shad Nelson, 14, freshman, Marcus High School

Project:

Power washed and re-striped a parking lot for a transitional youth home in Lewisville.

Lesson Learned:

“In the moment, be prepared. If you’re always prepared, you can take on anything.”

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