Eagle Heriage Series #1

What do you do when a Scout’s name is longer than the database field? Fortunately, when Johan Van de Meule-Broecke was in the troop we were not using computer to keep the records. Johan , listed in the unofficial records as "VMB", transferred from a Vienna troop in the early 1980’s. After rising to the rank of Star, his patrol elected him their leader. He was a good and popular leader, quick to adopt ideas to help his patrol and the troop. Once, when we were camped at the town park in Brunswick, Md. by the C&O Canal, his patrol was busy scrubbing the pots and pans after the evening meal. I was just finishing my meal and as they watched, I wadded up the foil I had used for cooking and placed it in the trash. They all glared at me, but the next campout, they were doing foil cooking also.

Johan’s family had a farm on a river in West Virginia and we adopted one of the fields as troop camping site for several years. It made a nice rafting base and we took advantage of it many times. His Clifton house also had a large flat side yard and the sheds had plenty of storage space, making him a natural candidate for Quartermaster. He also served well as ASPL and later SPL of the troop. He had learned his leadership skills well and the troop prospered under his hand. He also was elected to the Order of the Arrow and holds the Brotherhood honor.

He made one mistake when he transferred to our troop which haunted him throughout his Scouting career. He had passed First Aid Merit Badge in the Vienna troop but lost his blue card as well as the merit badge card. He also didn’t obtain a formal transfer sheet from the Vienna troop. During the preparation for his Eagle Board of Review, the District Eagle Representative couldn’t find any proof that he had earned that badge, even though it was required for First Class rank in those days. That created quite a stir but was finally resolved successfully.

So remember to put those blue cards in a safe place and make sure all your advancement is documented to save time and trouble when you apply for Eagle and the lower ranks and if you move, make sure you get a signed transfer application from Troop Advancement Committee Chairperson before you leave.