For more information on the Chattahoochee District of the Northeast Georgia Council of the Boys Scouts of America, visit www.nega-bsa.net/chatt.
Charlie Adams had nine days to accomplish a goal he had been working for most of his life to achieve.
Ever since he was a kid, he has been a part of the Boy Scout program. Now, a decade or so later, the 18-year-old set out to become an Eagle Scout. But not without a few hiccups.
“I took off a few years,” said Adams, a member of Boy Scout Troop 16 in Gainesville. “I worked a lot on it a lot when I was younger. So, I wanted to finish what I had started.”
The Lakeview Academy student finally did before his August deadline.
Troop 16’s Scoutmaster Robert Bruner explained most Scouts reach Eagle status by age 15 or 16, so Adams fell a little behind on schedule.
To become an Eagle Scout, Adams and other Boy Scout have to complete a few tasks.
For one, they have to acquire 21 merit badges. Of those, each Scout has to earn the same 13 preselected required badges, said Bruner, who has been scoutmaster for the troop since 1986. Then each Boy Scout has to earn eight elective badges.
“(The badges) can be anything from aviation to leather work,” Bruner said. “It shows mastery of a given subject.”
After completing his badge requirements, Adams set out to finish the remaining two requirements. Every Scout has to complete a project benefitting the community in which he lives. And he has to show his leadership skills.
“Scouting is a really good opportunity for them to develop their leadership skills,” Bruner said.
Luckily, Adams knocked out both with one task in nine days.
With the help of his friends, the Gainesville teenager built an outdoor classroom at his school. Officials at Lakeview Academy in Gainesville were more than happy to help and be the recipient of his project.
“It’s just a lot of logistics and paperwork,” Adams said.
Adams and company built the outdoor classroom behind the soccer field and constructed the benches themselves.
Completing the large-scale project checked off his requisite of benefitting his community. By leading the project, being on site at all times during the work and contacting Jackson EMC to supply the mulch, Adams reached his leadership requirement.
While Adams’ project took a matter of days, Eagle Scout Chris Lewis labored over his project for three months.
He created a worship area at Antioch campground in Gainesville. Lewis enlisted the help of an army of 20 friends and family. The worship area will be used for the Gainesville Aid Project primarily.
“Churches from around the area gather and spend the week helping people in the community with things they are not able to do themselves,” Lewis said.
The project would have taken less time, but the 17-year-old mismeasured his original plan.
“I experienced a few technical difficulties,” Lewis said.
Earning your Eagle Scout distinction can be difficult, but benefits come with the process.
“It really helped me with my time-management skills,” Adams said.
It’s a skill Adams hopes will come in handy as he works on his finance or business degree at the University of Georgia in Athens.
Lewis plans to become a pediatric surgeon and major in engineering and medicine in college.
“Surgeons are known to control the room, and be very cool in high stress situations, which Scouts has all provided me with,” Lewis said.
Meeting and being exposed to people from different walks of life also is an experience Adams hopes will help him in the future.
Adams and Lewis joined the six other Eagle Scouts in his troop at an induction ceremony in August at the Gainesville First United Methodist Church on Thompson Bridge Road.
“It’s a pretty usual number,” Bruner said.
The troop usually has about seven graduates every year, with their highest number being 19 in one year.
Being an Eagle Scout means more than just completing a few tasks and getting a title.
“It’s really an honor to have it,” Adams said.