Eagle Heriage Series #2

What is there to do after I get Eagle?" is a question not often asked, nor often under consideration. The answer is simple: keep earning merit badges, especially the "fun" ones, keep on leading the troop and exhibiting good Scout Spirit and every three months and five merit badges, you get to have another Board of Review and get another little badge called an Eagle Palm These extra pins are placed on the ribbon of the Eagle badge.

Two Scouts in the history of the troop have soared far beyond the others in the Eagle Palms. The two are Bruce Watson and Jonathan Strange, (Jamie’s brother). One thing that emerges from both of their stories is their sense of organization., a necessary trait to keep them headed in the right direction without wasting energy. Theirs are but two of many possible paths to the Palms. What will be your path?

That Bruce Watson was going to be a badge earner was apparent early. He joined the troop in June and a month later was heading for camp. At camp he earned five handicraft badges. Two weeks later, he became bored with summer vacation and sat down to read the Scout Handbook. When he got to the merit badge section , he made a list of badges he had partially completed in the troop, at home, church or school. He then made sure he completed those. (That’s the hard part-completing partial merit badges, especially those from camp.) By the end of the summer, Bruce had 18 merit badges. Bruce didn’t miss an opportunity to do merit badge work. At a family reunion, one of his relatives was an executive for a railroad company. Bruce talked to him about his position and what the company did and completed a requirement for Railroading Merit Badge. (Easy, wasn’t it?) By the time he dropped out of the troop at 17 to pursue other activities in church and school, he had almost 90 merit badges and seven Eagle Palms

After Bruce left Scouting and graduated from high school, he attended college at Virginia Tech. He also is credited as an associate author in his father ‘s book on the aftermath of the Gulf War. Unfortunately, both his parent died before he completed college. But in typical Bruce fashion, he took over family leadership and at last contact , was finishing college.

Jonathan Strange got off to a good start and was quite steady in his advancement and ended up with almost as many merit badges as Bruce and he served the troop until he turned 18, his service record and extra badges earning him 8 Eagle Palms.

Again, badge work was only a part of Jonathan’s story. He also spent many years in a recreational bowling league and participated in many science fair projects on viscosity of liquids., earning awards there also. Along the way, he held many troop positions including Patrol Leader, Instructor, ASPL and JASM and had attended many of the leadership training courses then offered by the District and Council including Trek and Apex basic leader training courses and the ultimate, Impeesa. He was also an accomplished backpacker , a veteran of both Lenhoksin Trail and Philmont. He also was elected to the Order of the Arrow by the troop, serving as registrar for many events and was elected to the highest honor, Vigil, by the local Lodge in 1994. But the one thing that stands out most was his willingness to help other people at all times.(wonder why that phrase seems familiar).

After high school, Jonathan attended and graduated from Virginia Tech with a degree in civil engineering. His time in the Corps of Cadets at Virginia Tech prepared him for his current career as he is currently a bomber pilot-in-training in the U.S. Air Force in Florida, using the leadership skills he developed in Scouts.