Jefferson, Georgia
SPECIAL FEATURE
January 6, 1999


Earning Their Wings


Five Jefferson boys among two percent
of Scouts nationwide to earn Eagle Scout Award
By Jana Adams
Only two percent of Boy Scouts in the nation earn their Eagle Scout Award, but five members of Jefferson's Troop 158 headed by Scoutmaster Guy Wilson are adding their names to the short list.
Nathan Johnson, Jason Carter, Jeremiah Wilson and Nathaniel Wilson have been fully approved for the Eagle Scout title, while Will Wilbanks is awaiting the final OK on his portfolio from Scouts headquarters in Texas. Two other members of the troop, Ross Rainey and Bubba Fowler, are working on projects which, once completed, will make them eligible for consideration for the award.
 
"We're a small troop, with only 19 members," G. Wilson said.
 
He has been a Scoutmaster for the troop for the past three to four years and has been working with all of the Scouts who have earned the award since they joined the program, except for Carter.
If a Scout is part of a busy troop and works his way straight through the various levels of Boy Scouting, he may be able to earn his Eagle Scout Award in two years at the very least, G. Wilson said.
 
"They all came up together from Cub Scouts," G. Wilson said, of the boys in his troop who have earned the award. "They start out as a New Scout and then move to Tenderfoot, 2nd Class, 1st Class, Star, Life and Eagle. To get to Tenderfoot, they learn the compass and first aid and are active in their troop. (Approval for) the upper ranks is based on leadership abilities and merit badges."
 
A Scout's portfolio is a major determinant in his acceptance for Eagle Scout status by the Texas headquarters. The portfolio includes not only the Scout's badges and various certificates and awards, but also a summary of his Eagle Scout community service project, including a record of donations received, volunteer help, tools used and a work schedule.
 
The local Scouts who have earned or are earning the Eagle Scout badge completed the following projects: Johnson, clean-up and improvements at Arcade City Park and Arcade City Hall; Carter, clean-up and improvements at the Jackson County Senior Citizens Center; Wilbanks, restoration of the historic Gainesville Midland train engine in Jefferson; J. Wilson, volleyball court and landscaping at Galilee Christian Church; and N. Wilson, improvements at Jefferson Middle School.
 
Rainey is currently working on improvements at the Jefferson First United Methodist Church parsonage and Fowler is renovating the Jefferson City Park playground to earn their Eagle Scout status.
 
For more information about Jefferson's Boy Scout Troop 158, contact G. Wilson at 654-4668.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Restoring old train

Will Wilbanks, son of Cindy and Willis Wilbanks, is shown at the front of the old Gainesville Midland engine he has since helped to restore as part of his Eagle Scout project. Wilbanks, 14, is awaiting approval from the national Boy Scout headquarters for the project. Besides raising money and donations to fund the project, Wilbanks also organized volunteer and city help to get the engine painted and a shelter established.


 
 
 

Aiding JMS students

Nathaniel Wilson, son of guy and Laura Wilson, earned his Eagle Scout Award when he was 14 by installing a water fountain at the Jefferson Middle School gym, building benches for students to use while waiting for their parents to pick them up and landscaping around the benches. He is shown at work sanding one of the benches. Wilson spent five months working on the project, including raising funds and getting donations for the materials.


 
 
 

Improving Arcade

Nathan Johnson, son of Betty Johnson, is shown here with one of the bird houses he built and established for Arcade City Hall and Arcade City Park as part of his Eagle Scout project. Johnson, who was 12 when he earned the award, also painted the restroom at the park, graveled the park entrance, added a gutter to the restroom, replaced seat benches at the park and added bird houses and feeders at both Arcade locations. To complete the project, Johnson was responsible for organizing volunteer help and generating monetary and material donations.


 
 

Work at the church

Jeremiah Wilson, who was 14 at the time he earned his Eagle Scout Award, is shown above spreading lime to build soil for the volleyball court he established at Galilee Christian Church, Jefferson. The son of Guy and Laura Wilson, he spent five months completing the project, which included digging the court, sodding it, bordering the court, gathering donated materials and raising money for the volleyball net. Wilson also built two 8-foot benches for spectators and planted shrubs around the benches. Jeremiah completed the project by September.


 

Recognized as eagle scout

Jason Carter, who was named an Eagle Scout when he was 15, is shown here accepting congratulations from fellow Scouts at Court of Honor night held in his name. The son of Cary and Melissa Carter, he organized an improvement project at the Jackson County Senior Citizens Center to earn his award. He restored flower beds and set up picnic tables, birdbaths and birdhouses. He was the 11th to earn Eagle Scout status in the Jefferson Troop, the first since 1994.