The Bucks County Council of the Boy Scouts of America held their 24th Annual Eagle Scout Recognition Breakfast on December 17th. The event, which was hosted and underwritten by Lockheed Martin in Newtown, honored the 2013 Col. Howard “Chip” Eissler Eagle Scout Class.
It is said that for every 100 boys who enter Scouting, only two will earn the rank of Eagle Scout. According to Magne Gundersen, Scout Executive/Chief Executive Officer of the Bucks County Council, Scouts in the council achieve the rank of Eagle at about five percent. At 156 members, the 2013 class was almost 25% larger than the previous year.
The trail to Eagle is not an easy one; each of the young men who completed the trail were required to demonstrate leadership, earn a minimum of 21 merit badges and complete a leadership service project. As is always the case, each project reflects the interests and personality of the Scout who leads it.
David Heller of Troop 187 assembled a 60-person team who made 100 Disaster Relief buckets for those impacted by Hurricane Sandy. Timothy Rihl of Troop 240 collected care packages for Marines in Afghanistan.
Troop 5’s Christopher Babenko oversaw trail clearing, sign work and painting at Tamanend Park. John Rymer of Troop 30 created a fire pit for Yardley United Methodist Church’s Youth Group.
U.S. Representative Mike Fitzpatrick, who became an Eagle Scout with Troop 124 in Levittown and who served two terms as president of the Bucks County Council, was the keynote speaker. He spoke to the class and their families about the need for more Scouts, especially Eagle Scouts, to take up leadership roles in America.
Col. Eissler is Commander, 111th Fighter Wing, Pennsylvania Air National Guard, located at Willow Grove Air Reserve Station in Horsham. He spoke to the group about how becoming an Eagle Scout gave him the skills to succeed at the United States Air Force Academy and in his career.
“As an Eagle Scout,” Eissler said, “doors will be open for you and you will be prepared to walk through them.”