The seven members of Troop 117 honored Sunday included Bradford Lepik, Charles Odle, Michael Mauldin, Andrew Harris, Joseph Harris, Dalton Williams and Zach Humphries. Scoutmaster Dr. John Odle said the seven young men started scouting together in 2001 as Tiger Cubs.
“We started with 14 members, and these seven have continued this far,” Odle said. “I’m proud of each of them. They have built a close bond during those 11 years. They have made friendships that will last a lifetime.”
Odle said the seven young men have each become Eagle Scouts within the last year and a half, but they wanted to celebrate as a group.
“This is pretty significant to have this many guys from one troop become Eagle Scouts,” Odle added. “Statistics show that only two out of 100 scouts achieve the rank of Eagle. We’re increasing those stats today.”
The scouts and each of their Eagle Service Projects were:
•Charles Robert Odle was asked by the Walker County Humane Society to take an old storage room in their animal’s shelter and convert it into a cat show and play area to increase the adoptability of the rescue animals brought to the shelter. Prior to his project work the only way for a potential adopter to interact with the cats were in their cages or in the adopter’s lap, leading to low numbers of cat adoptions. The vat room now is a fun area for cats to play and to interact in a more appropriate way with prospective families.
• Dalton Able Williams was struck by the plight of the homeless in Walker County. Williams got an idea to put together emergency backpacks for the homeless to ease their suffering and to give them sanitation, shelter, food and a bible while the social service agents can resolve the circumstance that lead to their homelessness. The backpacks were assembled with donated goods and provided to the Walker County Coalition for the Homeless and the Salvation Army of Walker County.
• Zachary Arik Humphries approached the Walker Area Community Foundation when he learned that they were doing an exhibition on the Jewish Families and their History in Walker County. Humphries offered to make a traditional wedding arch called a “Chuppah,” to help with the installation of the exhibition and to create a more appropriate container for the long-term storage of the collected Jewish artifacts. It was a help to the WACF and enabled Humphries to celebrate in his own way his own Jewish heritage.
• Bradford David Lepik, II & Andrew Kenneth Harris have run together for years. They are both formidable track stars at Walker High School, winning the Class 5A state title in the 4x400 relay. Their training often had them running on the streets and sidewalks of Jasper. They approached their scout leadership with a plan to jointly develop a cross-county 3K and 5K trail on underused property adjacent to T.R. Simmons School as a way to train better and to get the runners out of harm’s way. With help from Superintendent Robert Sparkman, they resurrected old nature trails that cover the 114 acres, owned by the Jasper City School System. As the tract was heavily wooded, they carved out a rigorous path that is in use today as a safe running area for middle and high school students.
• Clark Joseph Harris wanted to help beautify the Jasper City School’s technology headquarters in an old frame house near Maddox Middle School. His project cleared out dead shrubbery, replanted more appropriate vegetation, and generally made a building that appeared nearly abandoned in its out of control landscape, o once again be an attractive part of the school system’s property plant and equipment
• Michael Austin Mauldin decided to help Walker High band boosters with his project. For years the band boosters have struggled with antiquated equipment to grill concession food for athletic events. These concessions provide vital funding for the Walker High School Band. Mauldin chose to design and construct a set of plate metal smokers/grills complete with a raised letter Viking logo as his service project. The grills are highly prized by the volunteer cookers and will be in service for decades to come.