They've soared to new heights. On Sunday, June 12, Carl Jenkins and Chase Wilson earned the rank of Eagle Scout. This performance-based rank is the highest in scouting, achieved by only four percent of scouts nationwide.
Chase is recipient number 103, and Carl is recipient number 104 of the Eagle Scout for Troop 125, which has been at First United Methodist for 55 years.
"It's something they can carry with them for the rest of their lives," said Donnie Reese, Scoutmaster. "It's something to be proud of, especially today when kids are pulled in all different directions. It says a lot about their character that they stuck with the program for so long."
Chase, 16, is the son of Epp and Sharon Wilson. His maternal grandparents are Dr. Charles Lahser and the late July Lahser of Gastonia, NC. Paternal grandparents are Ruth Wilson and the late James Wilson of Thomson. Chase has one sister, Wendi.
"(Scouting) has been fun, I've made lots of friends," Chase said. "Mostly it's helped teach me to get along with people."
For his Eagle Scout service project, Chase planned, designed, and managed the construction of a bridge accessing the baseball field at Briarwood Academy. Chase said the most difficult aspect of the project was the paperwork detailing each step of the project.
Chase said campouts were his favorite scouting activity. Each year, he was the top popcorn seller in his troop, as well as the district. Chase is a rising junior at Briarwood Academy, who plans to attend the University of Georgia.
Carl is the son of David and Wanda Jenkins. His maternal grandparents are Eva Mae Barton and the late Warrant Barton of Monroe, Ga. Paternal grandparents are the late Carl Banks Jenkins and Lily Lucille Jenkins of Thomson. Carl has one brother, Preston, a Life Scout in Troop 125.
For his service project, Carl developed, planned, and managed the renovation of the outdoor experience classroom at Washington-Wilkes Elementary School. Carl said the center had not been used because it was run down.
Carl's favorite scouting activity was a 100-mile hike in New Mexico, which he said "helped me realize how much strength I have, that I can do the same as everyone else even though I'm not as experienced."
At 18, Carl said he is "glad to finally get through it. I've spent a little more time than others."
Mr. Reese agrees. "Scoutmaster Reese says it's been 10 long years to get Carl where he is today."
Scouts must earn 21 merit badges to receive the Eagle award. Eleven merits are required, and 10 are chosen according to personal preferences and hobbies.
In addition to their Eagle award, Carl and Chase earned awards for God and Me, God and Family, God and Church, and God and Life religious program. Earning all four awards is an accomplishment few scouts achieve, and has only been accomplished by six or seven scouts at Troop 125, according to Mr. Reese.