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Flock of Eagles

Featured Photo from Flock of Eagles

Meet five brand-new Eagle Scouts – all from the same Winter Springs troop – and learn about the community service projects that helped them earn their Eagle’s wings.

Earning the rank of Eagle Scout is no easy task. In fact, less than five percent of Boy Scouts nationwide rise to the rank of Eagle. So any time a local scout achieves Eagle status, it’s a cause for community celebration. When five scouts from the same Winter Springs troop do it all at the same time, that’s remarkable.

Eagle Scout candidates must advance through the many ranks of scouting. Then there are the merit badges that have to be earned, 21 in all, including 13 that are specific to Eagle Scouting. Countless meetings must be attended, campouts completed, and several hikes conquered (including a 20-mile hike). And then there’s the peer pressure. After all, scouts looking to achieve the Eagle rank are teenage boys who also think about dating, sports, and hanging out with friends – activities that can distract from their goal.

The most significant task an Eagle Scout candidate must complete is a major community service project, known as an Eagle project, that the scout must conceive, plan, and execute.

“This is quite an accomplishment to have five members earn their Eagles from one troop at the same time,” says Bill Wales, the lead assistant scout master for Winter Springs Troop 787, Spartan Patrol. “We are very proud of them. It takes a lot of work to do what they have done.”

Troop 787 Scoutmaster Duane Fogg is not surprised at the group’s achievement. In fact, he expected it.
“These five scouts have been together for about 11 years now, and about 60 percent of our scouts rise to Eagle rank,” says Duane.

Calvin Burns

For his Eagle project, Calvin raised $800 in donations from Oviedo businesses to paint the bicycle track behind a church’s preschool in Lake Mary, where he was once a student.

“We had to paint it twice, because it rained after the first time it was painted,” Calvin says. He concentrated on raising money from locally-owned businesses and enhanced his chances of securing donations by including cookies in the solicitation letters.
“It was a good deal for them, I guess,” Calvin jokes.

Calvin is a diver on his school’s swimming team and plays lacrosse. He plans to attend the Florida Institute of Technology.

Connor Loftis

Connor joined Troop 787 in 2010 and built compost containers for the Seminole County Environmental Center for his Eagle project. The containers are clean, neat, unobtrusive, pest-resistant, and odor-free and can be used in urban and suburban areas where laws or restrictive covenants may prohibit open compost piles. Connor has been a member of the Winter Springs High School football, wrestling, weightlifting, and golf teams, and he will graduate as a Merit Scholar with distinction. Connor plans to attend Florida State University.

Joseph Wales

Joseph started as a Wolf Cub in Pack 608 where he earned the Parvuli Dei religious emblem and Arrow of Light. He joined Troop 787 in 2010. For his Eagle project, Joseph built four benches for the shower areas at Pathways to Care in Casselberry, a nonprofit facility that helps homeless men and women recover from surgery or serious illness. The project was funded with money raised from family, friends, and area businesses. Joseph plays club soccer, participates in community service with his church, and previously worked as an intern for a construction company. Joseph attends Oviedo High School, is a National Merit Semi-Finalist, and plans to major in electrical engineering.

Fernando De Aguiar

Fernando joined Cub Scout Pack 608 where he met Joseph Wales and Ben Schutt and formed the Coral Snakes Patrol. They all joined Troop 787 and began their roads to Eagle Scout with Spartan Patrol. Fernando also chose to help Pathways to Home with his Eagle project where he built sturdy shelving units to replace crumbling bookshelves. The estimated cost of the project was $800, which came mostly from money Fernando received for his birthday. He attends Oviedo High School and plans to study architecture at Valencia State College and UCF before earning a master’s degree at the University of Florida.

Ben Schutt

Ben crossed over into Boy Scouts with most of his Cub Scout den in 2010 and has been a part of Troop 787 ever since. He has volunteered for the past five years at a Cub Scout day camp. Ben has been on the lacrosse team and in the drama club at Oviedo High. His love for dogs inspired Ben’s Eagle project. He made six pet beds from recycled pallets and built special risers for feeding bowls at Central Florida Pug Rescue in Lake Mary. Pugs often suffer neck injuries, and the raised bowls allow them better access to their food. Ben plans to study chemistry at Seminole State College and then UCF.

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