The Shield Online

Six Boy Scouts share Eagle Court of Honor ceremony

Seniors describe lessons learned during their time in Highland Park's Troop 410

Trinity+University+freshman+Nikhil+Joyce+%28Mac+Class+of+2017%29+receives+his+Eagle+pin+at+the+Eagle+Scout+Court+of+Honor+he+shared+with+five+other+longtime+Troop+410+scout+mates.+Photo+courtesy+of+Marc+Vandament.
Trinity University freshman Nikhil Joyce (Mac Class of 2017) receives his Eagle pin at the Eagle Scout Court of Honor he shared with five other longtime Troop 410 scout mates. Photo courtesy of Marc Vandament.

Trinity University freshman Nikhil Joyce (Mac Class of 2017) receives his Eagle pin at the Eagle Scout Court of Honor he shared with five other longtime Troop 410 scout mates. Photo courtesy of Marc Vandament.

Trinity University freshman Nikhil Joyce (Mac Class of 2017) receives his Eagle pin at the Eagle Scout Court of Honor he shared with five other longtime Troop 410 scout mates. Photo courtesy of Marc Vandament.

Steven Tibbetts

Hang on for a minute...we're trying to find some more stories you might like.


Email This Story






For the past seven years, McCallum seniors Koehler Vandament, Chad Hemphill and Ethan Shackelford have worked together towards one goal: to be inducted into the most prestigious group of the Boy Scouts of America Program— Eagle Scouts.

To finally be presented with their Eagle Scout Badge on March 24 gave all three Eagle Scouts a sense of accomplishment.

“I was incredibly happy to achieve the award,” Vandament said. “Happy that I got it done and happy to have all my friends there with me.”

The journey towards becoming an Eagle Scout began when Vandament, Hemphill, and Shackelford and others joined the same Boy Scout Troop back in sixth grade: Troop 410.

For Vandament and Hemphill, participating in Boy Scouts was a family tradition.

“I started Boy Scouts when I was 11 because my cousins were in Boy Scouts and my uncle is an Eagle Scout and my grandpa was an Eagle Scout, so that’s really why I joined,” Vandament said.

The seven-year journey through the ranks of Boy Scouts allowed the three to develop new friendships and gave them a chance to participate in a variety of different activities.

“It has been a lot of fun,” Vandament said. “I’ve met a lot of great friends through Scouts and I’ve gotten to go to cool places. I’ve been scuba diving in Florida, and I’ve been hiking in New Mexico and Switzerland, so it has been a lot of fun.”

The three Scouts thank the Boy Scout Program for the unusual opportunities it allowed them to have throughout their journey.

The six Eagle Scouts have been together throughout their childhood including this moment when Nikhil Joyce (’17) was a sophomore and when Ethan Shackelford (’18), Chad Hemphill (’18), Koehler Vandament (’18) and their LASA troop mates Cassidy Dreyfus (’18) and Holden Hunter (’18) were ninth-graders. Photo courtesy of Marc Vandament.

“Boy Scouts gives you a lot of opportunities to do things that you wouldn’t otherwise have been able to do,” Shackelford said. “I’ve gone to multiple camps, I’ve gone backpacking, I’ve gone canoeing in the boundary waters, I’ve ridden ATVs, I actually got an ATV certification at a Boy Scout camp, archery, rifle, you name it.”

It was through those opportunities that the members of Troop 410 were able to create and grow their friendships.

“All the struggles that we’ve been through and all the campouts that we did brought us closer together,” Hemphill said.

After seven years together, Troop 410 created a tight bond.

“The experiences of camping with them every month is something I really enjoy and I feel like we’re part of a family,” Vandament said.

Through all the challenges and opportunities that comes with being a Boy Scout, all three seniors learned different lessons that they will carry away with them from the program.

“I think it’s given me confidence that I didn’t have before,” Shackelford said.

Shackelford showed off the lessons Boy Scouts has taught him by organizing a team of people to work with on his Eagle Scout Project, a project all Scouts must complete in order to earn their Eagle Scout Badge.

“I installed a rainwater collection system at the Mobile Loaves and Fishes Community First Village just outside of Austin and I organized a group to install that system and actually paint a mural,” Shackelford said. “I had a few artists paint a mural on the rain barrel. I also did some minor landscaping around the area, there were some problems with erosion so I put some flower beds and put some plants in the soil, things like that.”

For Hemphill, the lesson learned through Boy Scouts was productivity and thoughtfulness.

“[Boy Scouts] has definitely made me more productive, definitely more thoughtful of the things I do,” Hemphill said.

Hemphill’s thoughtfulness and productivity led him to build a rainwater collection system for his Eagle Scout Project as well.

“I built a rain water catching system on a low income house in a previous homeless community,” Hemphill said.

Pullquote Photo

My cousins were in Boy Scouts and my uncle is an Eagle Scout, and my grandpa was an Eagle Scout, so that’s really why I joined.”

— Koehler Vandament

For Vandament, Boy Scouts taught him the importance of perseverance.

“[Boy Scouts] has definitely made me more responsible and I have better time management and understand that if you start something you should always finish no matter what,” said Vandament.
Vandament used his perseverance by completing a variety of different tasks at Northwest Little League Field for his Eagle Scout Project.

“I played baseball at Northwest Pony, and they didn’t have an announcer system, so I put in an announcer system,” Vandament said. “I redid the cages because there was a bunch of ivy on them, and then I re-stained the bleachers and painted the railings. I bought them a new grill so that they can cook burgers and hot dogs to sell for income.”

Senior Chad Hemphill, Trinity University freshman Nikhil Joyce, senior Ethan Shackleford, LASA senior Cassidy Dreyfus, senior Koehler Vandament and LASA senior Holden Hunter at their Eagle Scout Court of Honor on March 24 at the Highland Park Baptist Church. Photo courtesy of Marc Vandament.

Along with these important lessons, Boy Scouts taught the three several important life skills.

“It has been challenging,” Hemphill said. “The older I’ve gotten, the more I’ve had to lead, the more I have to teach others the ways of Boy Scouts.”

Shackelford agrees that leadership is one of the most valuable lessons Boy Scouts has helped him learn.

Pullquote Photo

“[Boy Scouts] has definitely made me more productive, definitely more thoughtful of the things I do.””

— Chap Hemphill

“Boy Scouts has really taught me what the qualities of a leader are, becoming a leader and what that means, and becoming a leader has also helped me become a better follower,” Shackelford said. “Throughout scouting I had always been the loner in the troop, but as I became a more experienced scouter, that gave me more confidence and I actually joined the leadership in Scouts. I became a Senior Patrol Leader in the spring of 2016, and I actually ran for a second term and became Senior Patrol Leader in 2017, so from being the loner to being one of two Scouts to ever have served two terms as SPL was cool.”

From all of the incredible experiences to the many friendships forged during their time in Boy Scouts, all three agreed that it was a life changing experience. Joining the the Mac seniors were Class of 2017 Mac graduate Nikhil Joyce, currently a freshman at Trinity University in San Antonio, and LASA seniors Cassidy Dreyfus and Holden Hunter.

Leave a Comment

If you want a picture to show with your comment, go get a gravatar.




Navigate Right
Navigate Left
  • Six Boy Scouts share Eagle Court of Honor ceremony

    Features

    Sixteen Quinces

  • Six Boy Scouts share Eagle Court of Honor ceremony

    Features

    Page of the Month: April

  • Six Boy Scouts share Eagle Court of Honor ceremony

    Features

    Proust Questionnaire: Dana Olson

  • Six Boy Scouts share Eagle Court of Honor ceremony

    Features

    #MacSpringBreak18

  • Six Boy Scouts share Eagle Court of Honor ceremony

    Features

    Identical twins but different interests

  • Six Boy Scouts share Eagle Court of Honor ceremony

    Features

    Page of the month: February

  • Six Boy Scouts share Eagle Court of Honor ceremony

    Features

    Documentary crew explores Texas-Mexico border, considers how Trump’s wall would impact Rio Grande

  • Six Boy Scouts share Eagle Court of Honor ceremony

    Entertainment

    Artistically speaking: Anna McGuire

  • Six Boy Scouts share Eagle Court of Honor ceremony

    Features

    Proust Questionnaire: Clifford Stanchos

  • Six Boy Scouts share Eagle Court of Honor ceremony

    Features

    A picture speaks a thousand words

The Student News Site of McCallum High School
Six Boy Scouts share Eagle Court of Honor ceremony