BEMUS POINT - Of the 33 young men that graduated in the senior class from Maple Grove High School, 24 percent were Eagle Scouts.
Trevor Graham, Gregory Nelson, Zach Hammond, Ryan Braund and Ryan Boughton, from Bemus Point Boy Scout Troop 137, and Nick Swanson, Joshua Lamper and Mitchell Lamper, from Fluvanna Boy Scout Troop 169, all walked across the stage as Eagle Scouts on Friday, June 27.
Ted Toy, scoutmaster of Troop 137, said that the fact that all eight graduated together was "fantastic."
Pictured are recent Maple Grove High School graduates, who are all Eagle Scouts. From left, Trevor Graham, Nick Swanson, Gregory Nelson, Mitchell Lamper, Zach Hammond, Joshua Lamper, Ryan Braund and Ryan Boughton.
P-J photo by Daniel Swanson
"The key thing is leadership - 10 years down the line, you'll see these guys are leaders (in whatever they're doing)," Toy said.
Chuck Begert, former scoutmaster of Troop 137, said that he has been a scoutmaster since 1978 and led the young men who recently graduated until Toy took over the troop.
"The thing that keeps our Scouts interested is our good outdoors program," Begert said.
Begert also said that Bruce Cobb, scoutmaster of Troop 169, played a large role in the lives of the Scouts.
The Scouts from both troops have been involved with a variety of trips and camping adventures throughout their Scouting careers - including a 29-day bus trip across the country - for which they raised their own funds.
According to Joshua Lamper, the process of becoming an Eagle Scout has been beneficial for learning skills that are required to succeed in college and the working world.
Braund said that being a Scout helped him with knot tying, a skill he uses often as a volunteer fireman, and also tightened his communication and interpersonal skills with others.
Graham added that his love for the outdoors, especially fishing, drew him into Scouting.
Boughton noted that he liked having a group of friends to spend time with and sharpening his commitment and drive to complete goals.
As the "keystone" project for becoming an Eagle Scout, the young men were required to complete a community service project.
Among the eight projects, Hammond constructed a prayer garden for the St. Mary of Lourdes Roman Catholic Church, Joshua Lamper constructed a quiet area/garden in the Ellery Town Sark, Swanson built a sign for the park, Mitchell Lamper led a clothing drive for the Union Gospel Mission and Nelson landscaped and built a magazine rack for the Bemus Point Library.
The eight graduates have various plans for attending college in the fall.