Morgan Academy trio earn Eagle Scout rank

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, February 22, 2005

On Sunday Richard Keith Lang, Clyde Everett “Rett” Rivers, III, and Chris Jackson “C.J.” Searcy Jr. became part of a small, yet privileged group.

While family and friends looked on, the young men received the Eagle Scout Award, the highest rank in Boy Scouting.

“They all came up in Cub Scout Pack 26, which is sponsored by Church Street United Methodist Church,” said Tom Lang, Assistant Scoutmaster for Troop 26. “They bridged up into Boy Scouts at the end of their 5th grade school year. They have been active Boy Scouts since then and have just recently completed the requirements for Eagle rank.”

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Lang, the son of Tom and Leigh Lang, is a junior at Morgan Academy.

He is on the Morgan Academy baseball team, and is in the Agribusiness Club, Drama Club, Science Club, and Spanish Club.

He is an active member of the Church Street United Methodist Church youth group and sings in the adult choir.

After high school, he plans to attend Auburn University and major in Engineering.

“It (becoming an Eagle Scout) will help me a lot in the future,” said Lang. “It is not easy to do. You have to earn 21 merit badges to become an Eagle Scout. I got involved because of my brother who is also an Eagle Scout.”

Rivers is the son of Scoop and Betty Rivers. He is a junior at Morgan Academy and has played on the basketball and golf teams since he was in the 7th grade.

He is a member of the Beta Club, Science Club, French Club, and Interact Club. He is a member of Church Street United Methodist Church where he is active in the youth group and serves as an acolyte.

“I feel that this (becoming an Eagle Scout) will help me a lot in life,” said Rivers.

“My dad is an Eagle Scout, so that is how I got involved in scouting.”

Searcy is the son of Chris and Manera Searcy.

He is a junior at Morgan Academy and plays varsity football. Searcy is a member of St. Paul’s Episcopal Church, is active in his youth group, and serves as an acolyte. Although he has not yet decided on a particular college, he would like to study Architecture.

“I think it is special because so few people ever earn it (the Eagle rank),” said Searcy. “My dad is an Eagle Scout and I have been involved in scouting since the first grade.”

Reaching this level is not an easy task. Only about 4% of boys who join a Boy Scout troop earn the Eagle Scout rank. To earn the Eagle Scout rank, a Boy Scout must fulfill requirements in the areas of leadership, service, and outdoor skills.

Of the 21 merit badges that a young man must earn to become an Eagle Scout, 12 required badges include: First Aid, Citizenship in the Community, Citizenship in the Nation, Citizenship in the World, Communications, Environmental Science, Personal Fitness, Personal Management, Camping, and Family Life. In addition, they may choose between Emergency Preparedness and Lifesaving and choose among Cycling, Hiking, and Swimming.

“They have been to summer camps, on camp-outs, and on canoe trips,” said Lang. “One big thing that they had to do to qualify for the Eagle rank was a service project.”

The young men were required to decide upon their own projects, secure the funding for their projects, and find people to help them with the projects.

Lang’s project involved carrying out the first phase of installing an arboretum behind Meadowview Public Elementary School.

He planted 26 mixed species of potted trees and installed an outdoor sign next to each one that identified the trees by their common and scientific names.

In addition, he planted and mulched 75 crepe myrtles along the school’s playground border.

The arboretum will be used in the school’s environmental science curriculum. The project took 130 man hours to complete and Lang received assistance from several scouts and adults.

Rett landscaped the main entrance of Morgan Academy’s new gymnasium for his project.

The purpose of his project was to improve the appearance of the entrance and to also decrease erosion.

Because the school had planted new Tifton turf grass on one side of the entrance, Rett focused on saving the existing Tifton turf, tilling and fertilizing the soil, planting new Boxwood shrubs, and replanting the grass. Since the project was completed in the summer of 2004, Rett has maintained and will continue to maintain the entrance area through his senior year in high school.

The project took 28 hours to complete and Rett has spent an additional 25 hours in the continued maintenance of the project. He was assisted by scouts and Assistant Scoutmasters.

Searcy’s project involved organizing and supervising work crews to help complete a house in Faith Park, Selma’s Habitat for Humanity community.

He installed vinyl siding, painted, did yard work, cleaned inside and outside of the home, and maintained an inventory of materials.

The project took 59 man hours to complete. He was assisted by nearly all the members of Boy Scout Troop 26.

“They have all had the dedication to stay in Boy Scouts and reach all goals that we challenged them with,” said Lang.

“Each of them is active in school and has a busy schedule, but they remain focused on the task.”

Incorporated in 1910 and chartered by Congress in 1916, Boy Scouts of America provides an educational program for boys and young adults to build character, to train in the responsibilities of participating citizenship, and to develop personal fitness. Since its induction 95 years ago, Boy Scouts of America has had over 110 million members.