Members of Gonzales-based Boy Scout Troop 65 had lots to celebrate in February as eight new Eagle Scouts gathered for the first time as a group.
The eight Scouts all earned the rank of Eagle Scout in the last six months of 2015, a rare feat for one group, troop leaders said in a news release.
The Scouts met Feb. 21 for a court of honor where Jeffrey Kelley earned his rank.
Troop leaders said it is rare for one group to have eight Eagle Scouts complete the vigorous requirements in one six-month period.
Despite the challenges of balancing school work, extracurricular activities and Eagle Scout requirements, between June 12 and Dec. 10 troop members Matthew Amedee Savoie, Luke Clement Savoie, Erik Tyler Viator, Charles Anthony Houpy III, Christopher Paul Delatte, Mason Joseph Ruiz, Kelley and Joseph Daniel Stassi defied the odds and attained Scouting’s highest rank, the release said.
In addition to completing the leadership and rank requirements to attain honor, the Scouts also completed a comprehensive series of Merit Badges involving Citizenship in the Community, Nation and World, Communications, Cooking, Sustainability, First Aid, Emergency Preparedness, Physical Fitness, Personal Management and much more.
The final task on the path to an Eagle Scout is to complete a community service project. Scouts must research, plan, organize and execute the project with the support of their fellow Scouts and present a detailed project report.
Matthew Savoie, who graduated from Ascension Prep in May, pressure-washed and cleaned the parking lot at Holy Rosary Catholic Church for his project.
Matthew’s brother, St. Amant High School senior Luke Savoie, followed up on his brother’s project by painting parking lot stripes at Holy Rosary Catholic Church.
Viator, a sophomore at Dutchtown High, earned his rank in July. His project was the development of a Family Items Bank at St. Mark’s Church. Families in need can obtain household cleaning, hygiene and baby items at the church thanks to donations from school clubs and community organizations. His project was dedicated to the memory of Patricia Faught for her dedication to Scouting.
Houpy, a 2015 graduate of St. Amant High School, worked to collect donations for food panties. He hosted drives at local food stores, collecting 2,500 pounds of groceries for Holy Rosary’s food pantry and St. Theresa’s community service center food pantry.
Delatte, a senior at St. Amant High School, cleaned and repainted the parking lot at Council 6389 Knights of Columbus Hall.
Ruiz, a St. Amant High School senior, researched and installed a new flagpole in front of St. Theresa School.
Kelley, a senior at Catholic High School, poured four concrete slabs at the St. Mark’s Way of the Cross courtyard and installed concrete benches for parishioners to rest while praying the stations of the cross.
Stassi, a Catholic High School senior, cleaned and pressure-washed the stations and pathway of the Way of the Cross at St. Mark’s Church and worked on the landscaping near the pathway.