Two scouts soar to eagle rank
Donald Hammock and Justin Derrick, high school seniors and members of Molalla's Scout Troop 257, were honored last month for earning their Eagle rank.
"It felt quite good—satisfying, I suppose, would be the word," Hammock said.
According to Scoutmaster Gary Dumolt, only 4 percent of youth who join Boy Scouts ever achieve Eagle rank. In Troop 257, that percentage is much higher, approximately 25-30 percent, Dumolt estimates.
This year's ceremony was held at Smyrna United Church of Christ on Saturday, May 11, where they celebrated Hammock and Derrick as the troop's 30th and 31st Eagle earners.
"I am extremely proud of these two young men," Dumolt said. "They came into the troop as boys that did not really have great social skills. They hit it off and became best of friends and made many other friends along the way."
Both Hammock and Derrick completed Eagle projects that benefited local churches.
For his project, Hammock worked for a couple months to remap and make accurate Smyrna's cemetery. He also cleaned headstones, mounted a permanent map-holder and installed lighting for the church's front sign.
"It all looks much prettier now," Hammock said. He also noted the church members were grateful.
Derrick worked on his project at Molalla United Methodist Church, where the troop holds its meetings. A truck had crashed and took out a power line at the church, almost hitting the gas meter. So, Derrick installed four bollards in front of the gas meter and five along the highway to prevent any damage in the future. He also removed several dying cherry trees and a thorny shrub and replaced them with seven new pear blossom trees. Finally, aided by scoutmaster and electrician Gerald Tyler, Derrick installed a motion-lighting system at the church.
"They both picked wonderful projects to perform as their Eagle projects that were of great benefit to the community," Dumolt said. "They both have shown great humility and are true leaders even when they are not in charge. They know how to lead and also how to be great followers."
While Hammock will move on to attend school at Oregon Institute of Technology and Derrick will go into the Marines, both said scouting will be a part of their future in some way or another.
Later on in life, Derrick said he may return to helping out with the Scouts.
"It was a really good experience and I definitely wouldn't be the same person I am today without it," Derrick said.
Hammock is certain he will return at some point to help lead Troop 257.
Dumolt said that he attributes the troop's Eagle rank success rate to the system that past scoutmasters Seth Finney and Tim Benjamin put into place and that Dumolt has kept going. He said Tyler has also been essential in getting young men to the rank.
But the troop isn't only for young men anymore. A new co-troop of girls started up several months ago. So far, there are five young women in troop 5257, per Dumolt.
"My granddaughter will be starting in Cub Scouts this fall," Dumolt said. "She is so excited to be doing so."
To find out more about the scouts or to contact them, visit the council website at cpcbsa.com.