Does Boy Scout Troop 79 have an assembly line for producing Eagle Scouts? Virtually. Last month saw two new Eagle Scouts have their Courts of Honor, Brendan Ventura and Tyler Petrell. They bring the troop’s scorecard to 69 Eagles since it was founded in 1950.
Ventura, a Crozet resident who is a student in Albemarle High School’s Math, Engineering and Science Academy, was awarded Eagle rank April 30. He’s the son of Bob and Karen Ventura.
A former Gator Swim Club member and the holder of a black belt in Karate, he earned 34 merit badges. He said his toughest was Emergency Preparedness because it required lots of organization. His favorite was Wilderness Survival, which teaches how to make fire and a shelter. His Eagle project was the reconstruction of a trail bridge near Albemarle High School that spans 20 feet and is four feet wide. The trail is used by the cross country team and the former bridge had been badly designed and subsequently collapsed into a small creek. He had to get county permission to do the job, but after officials looked at the old one, they agreed a new one was necessary.
Ventura said it took four months in the summer of 2015 to plan and organize the job, but the new bridge was built in one day with help from the cross country runners and other Boy Scouts.
“I learned a lot about organization,” said Ventura, “to be very specific about where to drop materials, and about following up with people and getting a firm ‘yes.’
“It’s doing its job. It’s very sturdy. People say it’s a major improvement. Principal Jay Thomas thanked me for it.”
Ventura thanked assistant scoutmasters Keith Cheely and Amy Effland and gave Cheely a mentor’s pin. Crozet Masons Goldie Tomlin and Dr. Jeffrey Hodges were on hand for the ceremony with a certificate for Brendan.
Ventura is headed for Virginia Tech to be an aerospace engineering major. “My dream job would be to work on a Mars space mission,” he said.
Tyler Petrell’s Court of Honor was held May 2. He joined Troop 79 in 2010 and ascended in rank and served as senior patrol leader.
The ceremony stresses scout virtues—“a boy without honor is nothing” as well as a scout’s duty to God and country, to helping others and to keeping himself “physically strong, mentally awake and morally straight”—and it also traced the positive symbolism of the eagle since ancient civilizations. The first man to walk on the moon, Neil Armstrong, was an Eagle Scout.
Assistant scoutmaster Mark Adams teasingly said Petrell “has been a role model as a first aid victim” and also gave him credit for “keeping the largest first aid kit known to man” as well as a portable box of spices for cooking in camp. Adams called him and “expert latrine builder” and noted his “habit of standing up in canoes.”
Petrell’s dad Vince put his new blue Eagle Scout handkerchief on him and in turn Petrell put small Eagle Scout pins on his parent’s lapels.
He thanked assistant scoutmaster Eddie Hoffman for helping him achieve the rank, and also Crozet Volunteer Fire Department Chief Preston Gentry and Innisfree Village leaders Carolyn Ohle and Jeanmarie Badar for their help with his project.
Petrell’s project involved building fitness stations on a trail at Innisfree Village, a rural residential facility for assisting the intellectually disabled north of Crozet, and for address signs marking its buildings so as to help emergency vehicles that must come to the location.
Petrell said First Aid was his favorite merit badge—he intends to go into medicine—and his least liked was personal management, which focuses on personal finance and budgeting.