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Thomas Wisbey and Samuel Holeyfield, both of Sedona, grew up together in the Boy Scouts.

They were honored last weekend at an Eagle Court of Honor when they joined the rare cadre of men who become Eagle Scouts.

The rank is considered permanent, conveying responsibility that is lifelong and recognized in every sphere: corporate, military and community; hence the motto, “Once an Eagle, always an Eagle.”

eagle-scout-ceremony-8-12Nowhere is that more apparent than in the Verde Valley where older Eagles work hard at mentoring and supporting the Scouts whose goals are to become Eagles.

Ross Cowgill earned his ranking as an Eagle Scout years ago in the same troop as Wisbey and Holeyfield under Scoutmaster Charlie Crick and was instrumental in helping both of them complete their community project, considered the most difficult hurdle to surmount.

“Looking back, I received a lot of help myself from my dad who was very involved and took time away from work, from Ron Williams and Charlie Crick,” Cowgill said. “Today, a lot of kids come from single-parent families with no male influence. Without scouting, they have fewer chances to camp, fish and canoe. From that perspective, it’s important to me to give them those opportunities.”

Now that he has 4-year-old twin sons, Cowgill plans to continue his support of the scouting community for the foreseeable future.

“It develops kids into successful young men; it isn’t the only thing, but it combines with other things like sports to shape them,” Cowgill said. “It’s a valuable asset that they can always look back on with pride.”

Locally, Chief of Police Joe Vernier is another of the community’s most visible Eagles.

He earned his rank in 1966 as a scout in Troop 63 in Aldingen, Germany.

“The most important thing I learned while pursuing the Eagle Scout rank was that one could accomplish anything as long as you set your mind to it and were willing to do the work that was required to achieve your goal,” Vernier said. “One of the attributes I’ve seen in other Eagle Scouts is that they continue to serve others instead of themselves, becoming leaders in their chosen professions or volunteer service. They also tend to see obstacles as opportunities rather than obstacles — as challenges that need to be met to move on to something better.”

Nationally, even a short list of Eagles reads like a Who’s Who of accomplishment, including home run king Hank Aaron, astronaut Neil Armstrong, Olympian Willie Banks, Mayor Michael Bloomberg, Supreme Court Justice Stephen Breyer, World Bank President Barber Conable, adventurer Steve Fossett, filmmaker Steven Spielberg, Pulitzer prizewinner Wallace Stegner, Naval Adm. Elmo Zumwalt and Wal-Mart founder Sam Walton.

Achievement is the program’s foundation, requiring each applicant to earn a minimum of 21 merit badges and to complete a service project.

In addition to being active in a troop, demonstrating Scout spirit by living the Scout oath and Scout law, prospective Scouts must have first earned the level of Life Scout and earn a total of 21 merit badges, including one in each of the following:

First Aid

Citizenship in the Community

Citizenship in the Nation

Citizenship in the World

Communications

Personal Fitness

Emergency Preparedness or Lifesaving

Environmental Science

Personal Management

Swimming or Hiking or Cycling

Camping

Family Life

The final step is completing a substantial community service project before turning 18.

Designed to benefit only nonprofit organizations, schools or communities, the project has to be planned, directed and completed after going through multiple approval levels within the scouting organization.

 

Susan Johnson can be reached at 282-7795, ext. 129, or e-mail sjohnson@larsonnnewspapers.com

Thomas Wisbey and Samuel Holeyfield, both of Sedona, grew up together in the Boy Scouts.

They were honored last weekend at an Eagle Court of Honor when they joined the rare cadre of men who become Eagle Scouts.

The rank is considered permanent, conveying responsibility that is lifelong and recognized in every sphere: corporate, military and community; hence the motto, “Once an Eagle, always an Eagle.”

eagle-scout-ceremony-8-12Nowhere is that more apparent than in the Verde Valley where older Eagles work hard at mentoring and supporting the Scouts whose goals are to become Eagles.

Ross Cowgill earned his ranking as an Eagle Scout years ago in the same troop as Wisbey and Holeyfield under Scoutmaster Charlie Crick and was instrumental in helping both of them complete their community project, considered the most difficult hurdle to surmount.

“Looking back, I received a lot of help myself from my dad who was very involved and took time away from work, from Ron Williams and Charlie Crick,” Cowgill said. “Today, a lot of kids come from single-parent families with no male influence. Without scouting, they have fewer chances to camp, fish and canoe. From that perspective, it’s important to me to give them those opportunities.”

Now that he has 4-year-old twin sons, Cowgill plans to continue his support of the scouting community for the foreseeable future.

“It develops kids into successful young men; it isn’t the only thing, but it combines with other things like sports to shape them,” Cowgill said. “It’s a valuable asset that they can always look back on with pride.”

Locally, Chief of Police Joe Vernier is another of the community’s most visible Eagles.

He earned his rank in 1966 as a scout in Troop 63 in Aldingen, Germany.

“The most important thing I learned while pursuing the Eagle Scout rank was that one could accomplish anything as long as you set your mind to it and were willing to do the work that was required to achieve your goal,” Vernier said. “One of the attributes I’ve seen in other Eagle Scouts is that they continue to serve others instead of themselves, becoming leaders in their chosen professions or volunteer service. They also tend to see obstacles as opportunities rather than obstacles — as challenges that need to be met to move on to something better.”

Nationally, even a short list of Eagles reads like a Who’s Who of accomplishment, including home run king Hank Aaron, astronaut Neil Armstrong, Olympian Willie Banks, Mayor Michael Bloomberg, Supreme Court Justice Stephen Breyer, World Bank President Barber Conable, adventurer Steve Fossett, filmmaker Steven Spielberg, Pulitzer prizewinner Wallace Stegner, Naval Adm. Elmo Zumwalt and Wal-Mart founder Sam Walton.

Achievement is the program’s foundation, requiring each applicant to earn a minimum of 21 merit badges and to complete a service project.

In addition to being active in a troop, demonstrating Scout spirit by living the Scout oath and Scout law, prospective Scouts must have first earned the level of Life Scout and earn a total of 21 merit badges, including one in each of the following:

First Aid

Citizenship in the Community

Citizenship in the Nation

Citizenship in the World

Communications

Personal Fitness

Emergency Preparedness or Lifesaving

Environmental Science

Personal Management

Swimming or Hiking or Cycling

Camping

Family Life

The final step is completing a substantial community service project before turning 18.

Designed to benefit only nonprofit organizations, schools or communities, the project has to be planned, directed and completed after going through multiple approval levels within the scouting organization.

 

Susan Johnson can be reached at 282-7795, ext. 129, or e-mail This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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