Morgan students earn Eagle Scout badge

Published 10:29 pm Saturday, February 14, 2015

Peyton Mathiews and Ben Jones, members of Boy Scout Troop 46 from Cornerstone Presbyterian Church, recently earned their Eagle Scout badges.

Peyton Mathiews and Ben Jones, members of Boy Scout Troop 46 from Cornerstone Presbyterian Church, recently earned their Eagle Scout badges.

By Blake Deshazo

The Selma Times-Journal

Boy Scout Troop 46 from Cornerstone Presbyterian Church has a long history of seeing its scouts get promoted to Eagle Scout.

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In January, the troop awarded two more Eagle Scout badges, making Ben Jones and Peyton Mathiews the troop’s 101st and 102nd Eagle Scouts.

“Both of them joined our troop when they were about 10 years old, so we’ve been working with them since that time,” said Troop 46 Scoutmaster Fred McCormick. “I’m extremely proud of them. It is a major accomplishment.”

Jones and Mathiews, who are both seniors at Morgan Academy, have known each other since they were in sixth grade.

“We’ve been at it since [we] were little kids, and it kind of goes along with our graduation,” Jones said.

“Graduating as an Eagle Scout is like combining Boy Scouts with your high school career and showing at the peak of things that you’ve accomplished what there was to accomplish.”

While Troop 46 has seen its fair share of Eagle Scouts, not every troop is as successful as Cornerstone Presbyterian’s.

“Less than four percent of scouts entering scouting become an Eagle Scout,” Mathiews said.

While a lot of time, effort and dedication are put into Boy Scouts, the two seniors found plenty of motivated to get their badge.

“You hear the stories of the people that didn’t make it all the way, and maybe they chose not to or they just ran out of time, but they’ll push you,” Jones said. “That is what really pushed me.”

Other Eagle Scouts that came before Jones and Mathiews also set a positive example for the Troop 46 members.

“It was really worth it seeing a bunch of older Eagle Scouts that told me it would be worth it,” Mathiews said.

“It is really an honor once you get to see the badge and you get your card that says you’re an Eagle Scout,” Mathiews said. “It really shows that all your hard work and all of your effort and all the extra time you spent really paid off.”

To get their Eagle Scout badge, the two scouts had to earn 21 different merit badges and complete an Eagle Scout project.

“My project was renovating a counselor cabin at the local YMCA Camp Grist,” Mathiews said. “Some local guys are trying to get the camp back open because of a tornado that went through and closed it down.”

Mathiews and other volunteers replaced the roof, painted the cabin and replaced the windows, doors and screen porch. Around 215 volunteer hours were put into the project.

Jones’ project focused on fixing up a local playground.

“My project was to redo and revitalize the playground at the Leika’s Preschool Program at Church Street Methodist,” Jones said. “I chose that because I’m a member of the church, and I saw it needed some work. We talked with some of the officials there, and we just got to work on what needed to be done for the kids there.”

The project included painting and sanding the current equipment to make it safer for children as well as adding new toys to the playground.

Both scouts hope to serve as motivation for the other members of their troop to achieve Eagle Scout status.

“For them to be able to see us, it should definitely push them to get theirs and strive for the best,” Jones said. “That is the way we felt when we saw [other scouts] going to their ceremonies growing up, and it definitely pushed us to know that this is the final step.”