Van Straten earns Eagle Scout

Published 9:26 pm Saturday, June 10, 2017

Jack Van Straten was awarded his Eagle Scout Rank on May 21 at his Eagle Scout Court of Honor, held at Ebenezer United Methodist Church in Eclipse.

Jack is a member of Troop 25, chartered by the Chuckatuck Ruritan Club. Troop 25 has been a chartered Boy Scout Troop since 1937.

Jack is the 59th Scout to earn has Eagle from Troop 25. He has been involved with Boy Scouts since joining Pack 25 in 2010.

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The guest speaker at the ceremony was Coach Steve Shepard, Jack’s running coach for the past six years and now Jack’s cross country and track coach at King’s Fork High School.

Shepard spoke of the power of repetitive training, which develops fitness, as well as strong character. Repetitive training allows an athlete to get stronger and a Scout to apply the Scout Law and Oath in his daily life.

In Boy Scouts, Jack has earned 34 merit badges and served in leadership roles within his troop, including Quartermaster, Patrol Leader and Senior Patrol Leader. His fellow troop mates elected him to the Order of the Arrow, Scouting’s honor society.

With Troop 25, he has been able to spend 47 nights camping, backpacking and hiking in the Virginia mountains, camping on the North Carolina Outer Banks, and sightseeing at Civil War battlefields and in the nation’s capital.

For his Eagle Scout Project, Jack coordinated construction of a living shoreline at Suffolk’s new kayak launch and pier at Sleepy Hole Park in the spring of 2016.

To prepare for the project, he learned about a variety of aquatic plants and their salinity tolerances, spoke with a landscape architect and studied tide variations at the site. He sourced plants from nurseries to secure the correct types of plants.

In the end, Jack led a crew of 21 volunteers, who cleared the site of debris and invasive aquatic grasses. He then directed the planting of 1,033 plants.

His volunteers amassed 172 hours of work to complete this beneficial project. The project was completed in six months.