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Family produces seven Eagle Scouts

November 28, 2016 GMT

Achieving the highest rank attainable in the Boy Scouting program of the Boy Scouts of America (BSA), Nolan Grady recently became the seventh Eagle Scout in his family. The 14-year-old was one of six others honored from First Presbyterian Church Boy Scout Troop #27 on Sunday, Nov. 20. Demonstrating the ideal “Scout Spirit” – an attitude based upon the Scout Oath and Law, service and leadership, Nolan; his father, Ned; uncles Mark and Andrew; cousins, Jesse and Stuart and his 16-year-old brother Grantley are among the over 2 million young men who have gone on to achieve the rank of Eagle Scout since its founding more than 100 years ago. An honor bestowed to only 4 percent of Boy Scouts, each prospective Eagle Scout must earn at least 21 merit badges, complete a final Eagle Scout Service Project and undergo a lengthy review process. Of the 21 merit badges, 13 are required. Mandatory badges include: Camping, Citizenship in the Community, Citizenship in the Nation; Citizenship in the World; Communications; Cooking; Emergency Preparedness or Lifesaving; Environmental Science or Sustainability; Family Life; First Aid; Personal Fitness; Personal Management; and Swimming, Hiking or Cycling. For his Eagle Scout Project, Nolan, a freshman at Corinth High School, chose to aid the CHS band by outfitting the inside of two travel trailers. To do so, he first did an inventory of all required items, took measurements and designed an appropriate layout. The Corinth native also constructed shelves/racks for drums and other musical instruments, as well as figured out storage for other band equipment. He completed the project in only six weeks. Overjoyed by his son’s latest accomplishment, Troop #27 Scout Master Ned Grady expressed pride for all the Eagle Scouts in his troop. “I am so proud of them all,” he said. “It is something that so few can achieve and really shows they can stick with something and see it through to the end.” “I’ve always told my sons as well as my other scouts that attaining the rank of Eagle Scout is something to be tremendously proud of, but it’s also something you don’t fully appreciate until you get older,” he continued. “As an adult, not a job interview has gone by that I wasn’t asked about being an Eagle Scout. It is something that will follow them for the rest of their lives, a designation they will have to live up to.” Applauding the program, Ned also shared his gratitude for the many ways that becoming a Scout has impacted his life. “I’ve had so many experiences through Boy Scouts of America, experiences I never would have had otherwise,” he said. “It is has opened so many doors for me and afforded wonderful opportunities.” Describing the BSA as all-encompassing, Ned who became an Eagle Scout at the age of 17 credited the national organization with building exceptional leaders with a strong Christian and ethics base. Highlighting the variety of experiences available through Boy Scouts of America, Nolan and his fellow scouts have gone on local camping trips; went caving and rafting in N.C., sailing in Key West, Fla.; canoeing in Arkansas and took a day hike on the Appalachian Trail. A Boy Scout since the age of 10-and-a-half, Nolan and many other members of his troop began as Cub Scouts. All the Eagle Scouts in his family, with the exception of his cousin Stuart, who is a member of St. James Episcopal Church Boy Scout Troop #1 in Jackson, are all members of First Presbyterian Church Troop #27 in Corinth. “One thing I learned when my sons Mark and Andrew became Scouts and later served as Scout Masters for their son’s troops is that the numbers are very significant in BSA troops,” said Nolan’s grandmother, Jan Grady. “If you are from Troop #1, it means your troop was the first one formed in the state since they are named in order of when they were established.” A proud mother and grandmother, Jan commended Jack Mcwhirter (Mark and Andrew’s Scout Master) for his marvelous leadership. “He was a wonderful role model and did a lot of innovative things to help keep their interest such as various community service projects and compelling speakers,” she said. “Ned has continued that legacy and is an outstanding leader. Those boys get to do so much more than just tying knots and camping at Pickwick, they have the opportunity to get out and explore while learning invaluable life lessons.” “Being an Eagle Scout has become a family tradition for the men in our family,” she continued. “Once our first three sons attained the rank, it meant a lot to them and they encouraged their sons to reach for it as well. They have all made us extremely proud.”