Four local scouts have recently earned the honored title of Eagle Scout through the Boy Scouts of America: Jake Crouse, Joseph Harsey, Jensen Tomberlin and Michael Wagnon. Each of these young men have exemplified community service through their years of involvement with Cheraw’s Troop 655, and in the execution of their Eagle Projects.
The award of Eagle Scout has marked the organization’s highest rank of achievement for the past 100 years. According to Assistant Scoutmaster David Evans, the Eagle badge represents “honor, loyalty, courage and service … service to their country, their community, their fellow citizens and their God.”
Assistant Scoutmaster Jimmy Duffy told family and friends attending the Eagle Court of Honor at First United Methodist Church, “These scouts have camped for a total of 160 nights, have earned over 120 merit badges, have volunteered more than 200 hours of community service, have held positions of leadership and responsibility within the troop, and have devoted more than 500 hours to the completion of their Eagle Projects benefiting the Cheraw community.”
Assistant Scoutmaster Harry Easterling administered the Eagle Oath. Each of the four scouts’ mothers pinned the Eagle badge to their son’s chest “so that all the world may know he is an Eagle Scout,” said Easterling. The four fathers then placed the Eagle neckerchief around their son’s neck “in recognition of his continuing support as his son grows toward manhood.”
Jerry Turner, Troop 655 Committee Chairman, presented each of the four Eagle Scouts with several tokens of memorabilia. Each received a United States flag, flown over the nation’s Capitol; a South Carolina State flag, flown over the State House; a proclamation from Cheraw Mayor Andy Ingram, a Certificate of Achievement from Governor Nikki Haley; and congratulatory letters from State Rep. Ted Vick, Sen. Vincent Sheheen, U.S. Congressman Mick Mulvaney, U.S. Sen. Jim De Mint, U.S. Sen. Lindsey Graham and others.
Not only do these young men have to complete their projects, they have to come up with the idea for the project. The challenge then is not only the contribution of their time and energy, but a testament to how they envision opportunities to give back to society and their community.
Jake Crouse, son of Raymond and Mary Crouse, is a recent graduate of The Governor’s School of Science and Mathematics in Hartsville. He is a rising freshman at Furman University. His Eagle Project replaced the wood chips on the playground at the First Methodist Church Day Care with sand.
Joseph Harsey is a rising senior at Cheraw High and the son of Larry and Vernon Harsey. For his Eagle Project, Harsey cleared overgrown shrubs, vines and small trees from the fence line along the back of Old St. David’s Cemetery.
Jensen Tomberlin spent his first two years of high school at Cheraw High School, but will transfer this year to The Governor’s School. He is the son of Scott and Jennifer Tomberlin. He chose to sand and paint the iron rails surrounding the Confederate Monument, erected July 26, 1867, at Old St. David’s Cemetery for his Eagle Project. He also filled pot holes in the cemetery’s drive ways with gravel.
Michael Wagnon will be a senior at Cheraw High this fall and is the son of John and Nancy Wagnon. Wagnon volunteered with the McArn Food Ministry on Second Street and decided to help that organization by building more shelf space and having some electrical work done “to enable them to use the freezers and refrigerators that had been donated,” he said.
Wagnon raised $1,940 to buy supplies and pay for an electrician. When his work was done he had over budgeted by $600. That money was then donated to the food bank for the purchase of more food.
Troop 655 is fully supported by the United Methodist Men of Cheraw’s First United Methodist Church and has been in existence since 1962. In its 50 years of scouting, the troop has conferred the rank of Eagle upon 58 scouts. Since its inception in 1910, the Boy Scouts have awarded just over two million scouts its highest honor from among the 90 million participants.
— Staff Writer Karen Kissiah can be reached by calling 843-537-5261, or by email at email@example.com.