Three Panhandle teens worked hard to overcome pandemic hurdles in 2021 to achieve the highest rank in the Boy Scouts of America – the Eagle Scout rank – a prestigious achievement achieved by some of the nation’s most notable personalities.
Eagle Scout is the highest rank in the program, which only about 6% of Scouts achieve on average. To earn it, an individual must take on leadership roles within their troop and community; earn a minimum of 21 merit badges that cover a wide range of topics including first aid and safety, civic education, business and the environment; and they must research, organize and carry out a great project of community service.
“Earning the rank of Eagle Scout takes hard work and persistence, and we are honored to reward every Eagle Scout for this important achievement,” said Brian Tobler, CEO of the Golden Spread Council. “Throughout their journey to Eagle Scout, young people learn new skills, learn to overcome obstacles and demonstrate leadership among their peers and in their communities. These benefits are invaluable to everyone, and we are delighted that they are now available to even more young people. We’ve launched a new initiative here at the Golden Spread Council to show how hard these young people have worked.
Meet the last Eagles of the 2021 class:
• Alex Cowan – Troop 62 – Amarillo – Alex loves animals and when he finishes high school he wants to go to vet school. He saw information on Facebook for projects regarding the Wild West Wildlife Rehabilitation Center and decided to visit it to see what their needs were. They had another Eagle project which consisted of wooden branches that the birds could perch on and decided it should be closed.
Alex, his family and friends went to work for a total of 256 hours. His grandfather worked for a construction company who donated the leftover materials from other projects, his father had corrugated iron scraps, so they built a fence with wire mesh and buried the corrugated metal right underground so that the outdoor animals cannot enter the enclosure. They then poured concrete for the posts and put finishing pieces in the middle to make two sides of the enclosure for better songbird rehabilitation.
• Seth Smith – Troop 413 – Pampa – Seth’s Eagle project was born out of the pandemic. Her hairdresser closed her shop when the state closed, so she began delivering for meals on wheels. Over the summer, when she was able to reopen, she spoke of the problems she had encountered finding some of the homes as there were no address markers on them.
Seth obtained a list of homes receiving meals, then visited the residents to explain what he wanted to do. Once he got permission and donations from neighbors and family for the painting, he bought lumber and supplies and began painting the addresses on the borders in front of these houses. For those borderless homes, he built a sign to put in the yard or on the fence with the address on it and even put reflective stickers on the mailboxes so that the address was easier to see.
• Zane Burgardt – Troop 199 – Dumas – Zane’s younger brother gave him the inspiration for his Eagle project. Watching his little brother playing in a gaga ball pool, he realized how much fun he was having and wanted to offer the same fun activity at one of the primary schools in Dumas. So he got to work asking for donations from Bartlett’s in Dumas and they donated most of the lumber and some of the material needed to build the fence. A local landscaping company participated and donated their labor and wood stain.
Six of the 199 boys in the troop helped Zane and his father build the pit. Fortunately, they have a scout hut in Dumas that allows you to work on projects inside. The ball pool was built and then transferred to the primary school to be installed for the young people of the school to enjoy for years to come!
In addition to learning skills that last a lifetime, individuals who achieve the esteemed rank of Eagle Scout can reference it for academic, professional and military recognition, including scholarships and an advanced enlistment rank.
The Golden Spread Council is a local Boy Scouts of America council, serving more than 2,700 Boy Scouts in the handles of Texas and Oklahoma. Its service areas include 23 Texas counties and three Oklahoma counties. The Golden Spread Council also owns and operates two camp properties, Camp Don Harrington in Canyon and Camp MK Brown in Mobeetie.
The Boy Scouts of America offers the nation’s premier youth character development and values-based leadership program that helps young people be “prepared.” For Life.® ”The Scout organization is made up of more than 2.1 million young members aged 5 to 21 and approximately 800,000 volunteers in local councils across the United States and its territories. For more information on the Boy Scouts of America, please visit www.Scouting.org.
Young women have been a part of scouting since 1969 through joint programs offered by the Boy Scouts of America (BSA), including Sea Scouts, Venturing, Exploring, and STEM Scouts. The BSA has extended this legacy in recent years by welcoming girls into Cub Scouts and then BSA Scouts in February 2019.
Scouts BSA is the program for youth ages 11 to 17, formerly known as Boy Scouts. Since then, tens of thousands of young women across the Texas and Oklahoma Panhandles and across the country have joined the organization’s most iconic program, many of whom have strived to achieve the rank of Eagle Scout. . Join Scouting today by registering on beascout.org and start the adventure of a lifetime.