Eagle Scout excellence
• built a pergola at the Georgia Wildlife Federation center out of heavy timber; a pergola is an archway in a garden or park consisting of a framework covered with climbing or trailing plants
• reworked a trail at Charlie Elliot, including clearing the trail and putting logs on the side, as well as repairing and completely rebuilding completely two bridges
• cleared and cleaned a small family cemetery off Ga. Highway 213
• built a trail for Georgia Wildlife Federation at its east end project
• created a garden at Merryvale Assisted Living, including building a pergola; the garden has an area for people to sit and read and an area for people to plant
• reworked and landscaped the sign at Cousins Middle School
Sam Hay IV
• built a 20-foot long, ornate bridge at Chimney Park
John Michael Hancock
• reworked a playground and reworked a trail at the Presbyterian Church of the Resurrection in Conyers
• reworked the greenhouse at Eastside High School, including building benches and cleaning it up
The local Boy Scouts Troop 222 had a bumper crop of Eagle Scouts this past year, as nine young men completed the capstone projects necessary to gain the Boy Scouts' top honor.
"For the most part, all of them undertook very heavy duty projects, not some lightweight stuff," Scoutmaster Jerry Aldridge said. "Some people do just what they have to do to get awards, but when you take the projects Kevin Thompson, Sam Hay IV, Parker Green and Skyler Crawford did, the heavy duty projects they did were outstanding."
Aldridge has been the Troop 222 Scoutmaster since 1989 and has been involved with scouts since 1964.
"The reason we were so successful is the parental help that we have. So many of our parents were involved in the program itself," Aldridge said. "In fact, we had a canoeing trip last weekend, and the ratio was one-to-one, with as many adults as kids. The least we ever have is three-to-one, kids to adults."
In order to become an Eagle Scout, scouts must meet several criteria and then complete a capstone service project and pass a board of review. The board of review was manned by Don Floyd, who served as chairman, Bill Loeble, Sam Ramsey and Shannon Sneed.
"Every one of the young men were very well qualified to be awarded the high distinction of Eagle Scout," Floyd said. "Their projects were well done, well led by the young men and they were very well prepared to present themselves to the board of review."
Floyd was a Boy Scout growing up, but he became particularly involved when his son Thomas joined the scouts and earned the Eagle Scout distinction. Floyd served as Troop 222 committee chairman for around 25 years and has seen many talented scouts, whereas, Sneed is a relative newcomer to the process.
"The boys who I have seen on the boards of review that I have had the privilege to sit on exemplify the very best of the youth of our community," Sneed said. "The projects they do are without a doubt projects that benefit many different organizations and individuals in the community. They are conceived and executed in a manner that would rival anything any adult or organization could do."
Sneed said the scouts have to follow strict rules, and they typically involve other scouts, including younger scouts, in their projects, thereby helping to pass on knowledge and training.
The Covington Kiwanis club has sponsored the local Troop 222 for 75 years.