2012-01-27 / Neighbors
Badge of honor
Seven Scouts from the same troop earn the prestigious title together
Nationwide, 2 percent of all Boy Scouts achieve the rank of Eagle, but the seven Eagle Scouts from Camarillo made up 14 percent of their troop, which had about 50 members.
The seven-member team grew up together, graduated from Cub Scouts to Boy Scouts together and helped each other achieve the rank of Eagle Scout.
Never did a fellow Scout from troop 225 fall behind.
The seven Scouts are Evan Crook, Jacob Eneberg, Mark Gonzalez, David Harada, Alex Kahng, Nathaniel Kory and Steven Sherrick. The boys are all 18 years old.
“It’s a prestigious honor, and we’re all part of a brotherhood now,” said Gonzalez. “We set our minds to something, did it and all came out on the other side together. It’s a great feeling.”
It’s unusual for all members of the same Cub Scout troop to achieve the Eagle Scout rank, said George Sherrick, the troop’s former Cubmaster and father of Eagle Scout Steven.
“As Cub Scout leaders, we strive to provide the best Scouting experience for the boys, hoping the Scouts and their families will recognize the opportunity and continue through the entire Boy Scout program,” George said. “It is beyond expectations that the entire group of Scouts would beat the odds and achieve the rank of Eagle.”
To become an Eagle Scout, Boy Scouts must earn a minimum of 21 merit badges, successfully complete all lesser ranks, plan and manage a community service project and then sit for a board review before turning 18 years old.
“I’m really proud of us,” said Steven. “It’s very satisfying to be part of this high-achieving group.”
In 2004, the seven boys graduated from Cub Scout Pack 3841 to Boy Scout Troop 225. Founded in 1953, it’s the oldest troop in Camarillo and is chartered by the Camarillo United Methodist Church.
The seven boys completed their Eagle Scout ranking by last summer and are now in their first semester of college.
“We really grew up together and were able to see this transformation from playing in the sandbox to driving to going to college,” Eneberg said. “We’ll always have this good group of friends to come back to no matter what happens.”
Kevin Schooler and Bryce Pumphrey were in Cub Scout Pack 3841 with the other seven boys. Although they went into a different Boy Scout troop, Schooler and Pumphrey also achieved the rank of Eagle.
“Being an Eagle Scout shows a lot about a person,” Gonzalez said. “It’s saying ‘I started something, I finished it and I didn’t expect any personal gain out of it.’”
During Boy Scouts, the seven youths were competitive for merit badges, said Gordon Harada, former Scout leader and father of David. But as they rose in rank, he said, they also matured and began helping one another and bonding during trips and activities.
“Earlier on it appeared to be a competition between Scouts to see who could advance in rank the quickest,” said Gordon. “A troop does not function by one person alone. Over the years the Scouts realized that the troop extends beyond Boy Scouts. It has become a family.”
The seven friends were close throughout their more than 12 years of Scouting and still get together during holiday breaks.
“In a sense, we’re a band of brothers,” Eneberg said. “We’re all in this together, all working towards a goal and part of something bigger than ourselves.”