Six More Hazelwood Students Earn Boy Scouts’ Highest Honor

Ben Standley, Tim Rice, Dan Berndt, Brad Taylor and Richard Shivley from Hazelwood West High School, above, all recently received the rank of Eagle Scout.

Six more Hazelwood School District students earned the Boy Scouts of Greater St. Louis’ highest honor, Eagle Scout, since April 2011. They are Dan Berndt, Tim Rice, Greg Shelton, Richard Shivley, Ben Standley, and Brad Taylor.

Adam Von Hall, a student at Hazelwood Northwest Middle School, also earned the honor and was profiled in a previous issue of The Independent News.

Shelton, a junior at Hazelwood Central High School from Troop 921, and Shivley, a senior at Hazelwood West High School from Troop 705, constructed turtle ponds in courtyards at two elementary schools – Shelton at Brown and Shivley at Lusher.

“Dr. Melton, the principal at Lusher, came to our troop and asked for the pond to be done,” Shivley explained. It took about two months to complete. “I feel accomplished. It took forever but I am glad it’s done.” Shivley had another tie to the project; he attended Lusher.

Greg Shelton, from Hazelwood Central High School, left, also achieved the Eagle Scout rank.

Rice, a freshman at Hazelwood West High School from Troop 740, added workout stations – push-up, sit-up, balance beam – in Howdershell Park in the City of Hazelwood.

“I got the idea from one of my friends who did this somewhere else,” he said. “I’m relieved because it’s done.”

Standley, a senior at Hazelwood West High School from Troop 740, renovated a slope at Lutheran Church of the Good Shepherd, which is adjacent to Russell Elementary School.

“I trimmed or removed bushes and vines, removed poison ivy, tilled the ground, put in new ground cover and sanded, primed and painted a railing,” he said. Installing at least one concrete bench was also part of the project, which is visible from Howdershell Road.

“The project taught me good leadership skills, some responsibility and project management skills,” he said.

Berndt, a senior at Hazelwood West High School from Troop 740, said he revamped some of the horseshoe pits at Queen Ann and Truman parks in the City of Hazelwood.

“I found the idea after driving around parks to see what needed to be done,” he said. “I replaced backboards, weeded the pits and replaced the sand in them.” He said it took two weeks to complete.

Taylor, a sophomore at Hazelwood West High School from Troop 551, built an object that drivers on Shackelford Road can view every time they pass it – the cross-shaped flower bed in front of Blessed Savior Lutheran Church.

“I came up with the idea and presented it to the church,” said Taylor, who worships there as well. “I feel like it makes the church stand out in the community; I’m proud of it.”

Most of the Scouts said planning Eagle Scout projects and getting approval for them take much more time than actually building them. Most of the Scouts said they have been in Boy Scouts since elementary school.

The Boy Scouts of America website notes statistics about those who earn the rank of Eagle Scout. In 2010, 56,176 Scouts earned the rank, approximately five percent; the average age of boys earning the honor was 17. From 1912 to 2010, more than two million Boy Scouts became Eagle Scouts.

To become an Eagle Scout, boys must progress through ranks in a specific order, earn 21 merit badges, serve six months in a troop leadership position, plan, develop and give leadership to a service project for any religious organization or any school or community,  take part in a Scoutmaster conference, and successfully complete an Eagle Scout board of review.

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