It wouldn’t be inaccurate to call four young men COVID Eagles after they raised their right hands Sunday to recite a pledge after achieving the Boy Scouts of America’s highest level of achievement.
Had 2020 and 2021 been pandemic free, the four scouts from Troop 248 would have recited their Eagle pledges in indoor ceremonies at St. Simons United Methodist Church, their troop home. Usually, the courts of honor are held soon after scouts’ Eagle projects are reviewed and approved.
The review board approved Will Bristol’s July 2, Calan MacKinnon’s Sept. 23, Joseph Waites’ Oct. 24 and Michael Sullins’ Jan. 7.
Bob Cherne, an assistant scoutmaster, said the church could allow only very small indoor gatherings throughout last year so the troop delayed the court of honor until Sunday’s outdoor ceremony, which was open to everyone.
“We wanted to be sure their families could attend,” Cherne said.
And so with a large group watching from lawn chairs, Scoutmaster Steve Bristol administered the pledge to all four scouts in a 5 p.m. ceremony outside the church fellowship building.
Bristol was clearly proud of all four, but he had trouble keeping his composure with his son, William Kempton Bristol, reciting the pledge. He choked up during the ceremony as he shook his son’s hand and when he left the lectern to another leader, Bristol said, “Thank God. Back to you.”
The four new Eagles bring to 134 the number who have achieved the Boy Scout’s highest accomplishment in Troop 248’s four decades.
The new Eagles also received certificates from the Marshes of Glynn chapter of the Sons of the American Revolution and American Legion Post 9. Emmitt Nolan gave each American flags on behalf of U.S. Rep. Buddy Carter, R-1, and retired U.S. Marine Col. Franklin “Nick” Hart Jr. gave each a cast eagle on behalf of Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 4092.
Hart also provided certificates and other mementos after saying, “These young men and their friends are going to do the heavy work,’’ for the country.