Driver troop welcomes Suffolk’s newest Eagle Scout

Published 12:00 am Monday, May 17, 2004

Staff Report

Overlooking the Nansemond River, with a stiff breeze at their backs, Suffolk’s Boy Scout Troop 95 (Diver), led by Scoutmaster Scott Wilkinson, welcomed their newest Eagle Scout – Benjamin Parmenter, to scouting’s highest ranks.

He was presented his award by his parents Jed and Denise Parmenter.


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The ceremony started with a color guard bringing the national ensign and state flag up from Nansemond River’s shore. Leading the color guard was Josh Parmenter, Craig Hornbaker, Jeff Iiams, Joe DiRenzo and Charles Persons.

Following a welcoming from Assistant Scoutmaster John Dawson, who is also an Eagle Scout, an invocation was provided by Lyle Hornbaker.

One of the highlights of the event was the reading of the &uot;Voice of The Eagle&uot; by Steve Woolf. During this portion a different member of Troop 95 represented the climb to Eagle Scout. The Tenderfoot rank was represented by Alexander Bischoff, Second Class: Edward Sisco, First Class: Daniel Evans, Star Scout: Joshua Merrell, and Life Scout: Josh Parmenter.

According to the National Scout Office less than 4 percent of the young men that begin the scouting program complete the requirements for Eagle Scout, which not only includes all the advancements indicated above, but also the completion of 21 Merit Badges, 12 badges of which are required, including First Aid, Citizenship in the Community, Citizenship in the Nation, Citizenship in the World, Personal Fitness, Communications, Environmental Science, Personal Management, Camping, and Family Life. In addition, a Scout has a choice between Life Saving and Emergency Preparedness and a choice among Swimming Cycling, or Hiking.&uot;

The ceremony concluded with the &uot;Eagle Charge,&uot; the playing of &uot;Assembly&uot; by Joshua Iiams, and a Benediction from Michael Kane.

Parmenter, who is a junior at Nansemond-Suffolk Academy, had a unique Eagle project – one of the critical requirements to reach this rank. He invested more than 360 hours building and leading a group of up to 15 scouts at a time, constructing &uot;play block&uot; kits which can be sent for Humanitarian Disaster Assistance to the children of an effected area. The &uot;play kits&uot; each contain 20 individually made shapes such as triangles, rectangles and squares which are painted primary colors. Each shape was individually created and painted.

&uot;This is just a beginning,&uot; said Parmenter, &uot;I want to use the skills that I have learned on the road to Eagle for the rest of my life, with other Scouts, when I have family, and when I go on a mission for my church.&uot;

According to the origin of the Eagle Rank can trace its’ roots to the founder of the Scouting movement – Lord Robert S. S. Baden-Powell who, in his 1908 book Scouting For Boys, introduced badges for achievement. It is said that Baden-Powell got the idea of awards from the American naturalist Ernest Thompson Seton. Initially, according to Baden-Powell, the highest available rank in scouting in the U.S. was going to be the Wolf Badge, based on the Silver Wolf badge in Great Britain.

However, no Wolf rank was ever awarded. Several leaders who reviewed the proof version of the Handbook for Boys of 1911 thought that the highest award should recognize the American Eagle. So by the time the handbook was published, the highest rank in Scouting in the United States was given its current name – Eagle.