Shamrock Eagle Scouts Soar


photo by Patrick Schmitt

Some of Trinity’s Eagle Scouts: Nick Campbell, Jared Cox, Phillip Sandman, Brandon Ryan, John Clere, Brent White and Jacob Luken

Zac Brumback, Staff Reporter

The journey to attaining the Eagle Scout rank requires more than a little perseverance.  Currently 14 Trinity students have made that journey.

Class of 2016 Eagle Scouts are Brent White, Jacob Luken, Jack Kitchin, Michael Sandell, Phillip Sandman, Matthew Gregory, John Clere, Brandon Ryan, Mason Daly and Isaiah DeLeon.

Underclassmen Eagle Scouts are junior Jared Cox and sophomores David Gregory, Nick Campbell and Ben Peel.

Kitchin, Clere and Ryan spoke about what it took to reach that major Scouting goal.   

My grandfather’s selflessness has always inspired me because being an Eagle Scout isn’t something you earn; it’s something you become through dedication, service to others and virtue.

— Trinity senior John Clere

Trinity senior John Clere
file photo
Trinity senior John Clere

Kitchin, a member of Troop 315, said,  “One becomes an Eagle Scout by completing rank advancement requirements through each rank in Boy Scouts — one doesn’t have to start in Cub Scouts. As you progress, the requirements become more and more difficult. This, combined with the added responsibilities of high school, make becoming an Eagle Scout even more difficult.

“Among other things, an Eagle Scout must serve in a troop leadership position, earn at least 21 merit badges, including 18 which are required for the rank, organize a service project, and complete a board of review with the Scouting district.”

Kitchin organized and completed his Eagle Scout service project at 120 West Broadway Wayside Christian Mission. He and his volunteers renovated the dining hall, making it a more inviting café by stripping the wallpaper, patching holes in the walls, painting the walls, installing new flooring, and providing a new seating arrangement.

When asked why he chose to assist Wayside Christian Mission, Kitchin said, “I have volunteered with Wayside (Christian Mission) ever since freshman year, and I have built a great relationship with the organization. There was no better choice.”

Trinity senior Jack Kitchin
file photo
Trinity senior Jack Kitchin

According to Kitchin, his project “benefits the clients there by giving them a place to truly enjoy their meals.”

Clere, a member of Troop 4036 in Indiana, has been in Scouts for as long as he can recall. Inspired by his grandfather, Clere pointed out the commitment Scouting requires: “My grandfather’s selflessness has always inspired me because being an Eagle Scout isn’t something you earn; it’s something you become through dedication, service to others and virtue.”

Uncertain where he would complete his Eagle Scout project, Clere decided to ask his county Parks and Recreation Department. With the department’s assistance, he decided to organize and complete his project at Sam Peden Community Park in New Albany, Ind.

He said, “When they pointed me toward the idea of building a fence around Potter’s Field, I did some research and found some things that really hooked me on the idea of doing the project there.

“I found that most of the people interred in the field there were homeless, sick, disabled, or abandoned by their families. Furthermore, local hospitals used to dump severed limbs from amputations and accidents next to people buried in the field. The people buried there lived their lives, died and were buried — and all without respect.”

After seeing the old rotted fence surrounding Potter’s Field for the first time, “I knew that it had to be replaced with the best fence I and the project’s volunteers could build,” Clere said. “It wasn’t even so much an issue for me of making the park look better, although that was important. The idea that anyone could be so disrespected in death was appalling, so for me the project was about righting a wrong that had happened long ago — and ensuring that those interred at Potter’s Field rest, finding at least a little more peace than they did before.”

Trinity senior Brandon Ryan
file photo
Trinity senior Brandon Ryan

Troop 8 member Ryan completed his Eagle Scout project at Cresey Mahan Nature Preserve, located in Goshen, Ky. Ryan said, “The bridge that was there was becoming old and rotted, and a replacement was needed.”

Why choose this location? Ryan said, “The staff at Cresey Mahan have an Eagle project support team, which aids in the Eagle Scout process, making the project easier than it would be at other places.”

Kitchin said achieving his goal is not the end of his connection to the Scouts.

Kitchin said, “Being an Eagle Scout means being someone who rose to the challenge. It means having a lifelong dedication to Scouting and supporting Scouting for the rest of my life.”

Clere said becoming an Eagle Scout provides benefits that go beyond gaining scholarship opportunities.

He said, “Of course there are benefits to being an Eagle Scout  — respect from others, job and scholarship opportunities, and a better understanding of the world and how it works — but that’s not what it’s about. Any benefit from being an Eagle Scout comes from the journey to becoming one. That’s where I learned so many incredible skills and tools that will help me later in life and hopefully built character that I wouldn’t otherwise have.

“Of course I’ll never be able to judge my own character, but if I had to guess, I’d say as an Eagle Scout I’m a more virtuous person than I might otherwise be, so in that regard the program has most certainly benefited me.”