Braves Senior Spotlight
Community High School Class of 2018 Includes Five Eagle Scouts
Eagle Scout is the highest rank a Boy Scout can achieve and Community High School is proud to have five members of the Class of 2018 who have earned this highly respected distinction. Only 5% of Boy Scouts become Eagle Scouts, a rigorous process which includes designing, funding and completing a scout service project prior to their 18th birthday.
(Pictured left to right: James McDaniel, Walter Hinton Barr, Alex Wheeler, Ben Wheeler, and Cooper Kane)
Eagle Scouts are required to earn a minimum of 21 merit badges, with 13 of these being special merit badges required for the rank of Eagle. Scouts advance through seven ranks in Boy Scouts based on the badges they earn, service hours completed, knowledge of the scout Oath and Law, as well as leadership demonstrated. Through the Eagle Scout process, the boys gain insight into the benefits of community service, leadership, mentoring and working with a group.
All five of the Eagle Scouts graduating from Community High School on May 31 have attended CISD since Kindergarten and they started scouting together in Cub Scout Pack 327. Along the way, they joined different Troops and Crews but continued to share a dedication to scouting and a desire to excel within the program. Thanks to the support of their parents and the excellent leaders in the local Scout Troops and Crews, these Community Braves are graduating with the widely recognized mark of distinction, “Eagle Scout”:
Walter Garland Hinton Barr
Eagle Scout Project: Restoration of Bear Creek Cemetery in Nevada, TX
Walter is the son of Rick and Allison Barr. He has attended Community ISD all thirteen years and also participates in band, theatre and the indoor drumline at CHS. He began scouting in the 2nd grade and says his favorite experiences with the Boy Scouts involve camping and learning to sail a ship. Walter says that being part of Boy Scouts and becoming an Eagle Scout have taught him how to plan more effectively and be more comfortable in leadership positions. He plans to continue his academic studies at community college.
Walter’s Eagle project was located at a historic state cemetery that Troop 1814 has cared for since before he joined. Walter’s plan was to address the huge holes created by collapse of some of the grave sites. This had resulted in hazardous maintenance conditions, so Walter’s crew brought in five metric tons of topsoil and planted grass seed to protect the area from future erosion. His Eagle project received Honorable Mention recognition for the East Trinity Trails District 2017 Eagle Project of the Year.
Eagle Scout Project: Flower Beds at Lavon City Hall in Lavon, TX
Cooper is the son of Chris and Pam Kane. He has attended Community ISD since Kindergarten. Cooper is ranked 3rd in his class and was recently named Community High School Student of the Year. He is a member of the Braves Football and Soccer teams where he earned Academic All-State honors. Cooper is a member of the National Honor Society, Science National Honor Society and Student Council. He is also a Field Crew Captain for the Mighty Braves Band, a Boys State Member of the House of Representatives and was named a NASA High School Aerospace Scholar.
Cooper was introduced to scouting before he was even old enough to join Cub Scouts by his dad and older brother Jackson (CHS Class of 2015). He believes that friendly competition and positive peer pressure helped contribute to having a record five Eagle Scouts in his graduating class from Community High School.
Cooper will be attending Texas A&M University where he will be a member of the Corps of Cadets. He plans to graduate with a degree in Aerospace Engineering and become an officer in the Air Force.
James Ian McDaniel
Eagle Scout Project: East Ridge Church of Christ in Rockwall, TX
James has attended Community ISD since kindergarten. He is the son of Mark and Tammy McDaniel, both teachers at Community High School. His brother Matthew attends Edge Middle School. James is an A/B Honor Roll student, serves as president of the CHS Science National Honor Society, has served as an FFA officer for three years and participated for two years in Band.
He began scouting in first grade and says that his favorite experiences with Boy Scouts include Camp Hale and Winter Camp. He is currently president of Crew 2014 and has achieved Vigil with the order of the Arrow after serving as vice chief of Native American Ceremonies, Chapter Chief of the Nwingi Chapter and receiving the Bob Hooks Native American Award. James will be attending Stephen F. Austin University and plans to major in petroleum geology.
Benjamin Michael Wheeler
Eagle Scout Project: Benches at Community HS Baseball Fields in Nevada, TX
Benjamin has attended Community ISD since Kindergarten. His twin brother Alex is also an Eagle Scout and a member of the Community High School class of 2018. He got his start in scouting as a 2nd grader in Community ISD. He reached the rank of Eagle Scout in 2017 after completing his project to build five benches that convert to picnic tables for the Community ISD high school baseball field. Benjamin says his journey to Eagle Scout taught him to overcome obstacles and believe that he can accomplish more than he thought he could. He has also received certification of recognition from the Military Order of the World Wars and the order of the Arrow. Benjamin plans to attend Collin County Community College and UT Dallas to earn a degree in IT Systems with a minor in photography.
Eagle Scout Project: Benches at Eagle Pond in Lavon, TX
Alex has attended Community ISD for 13 years. He and his twin brother Benjamin are both members of the class of 2018 graduating from Community High School. Their parents are Shawn and E.J. Wheeler. Alex began scouting in the 2nd grade and earned his Eagle Scout rank in 2018. For his Eagle Scout project, Alex built two park benches for Eagle Pond, which is located near CISD’s NeSmith Elementary in Lavon. His favorite experience with Boy Scouts was a trip to high adventure camp, or Sea Base in Miami Florida where he and his fellow troop members completed survival training. Alex is also involved in the CHS Robotics program. He plans to attend Collin College next fall.
Interesting Facts about Eagle Scouts:
- In 2017, over 55,000 young men became Eagle Scouts but only 8% of them (4,231) came from the state of Texas.
- The five Eagle Scouts from the Class of 2018 make up about 8% of the male students graduating this year from Community High School.
- The average Eagle Scout logs a total of over 150 hours completing their service project. Based on the value of volunteer time cited by the Boy Scouts of America, the leadership of these five Eagle Scouts has contributed over $18,000 in service to our local community.
- Before becoming eligible to become an Eagle Scout, one must serve a minimum of 16 months in a leadership position and go camping for a bare minimum of 24 nights.
- A study conducted Baylor University, Merit Beyond the Badges, found that Eagle Scouts are more likely than men who have never been in Scouting to be in a leadership position at their place of employment or local community.
Quotes from our Brave Eagle Scouts:
“Even though we haven’t always been in the same pack, the five of us have still helped each other stay on the path and goal of being an Eagle Scout.” - Ben Wheeler
“I will be an Eagle Scout for the rest of my life and people will expect more from me.” - Alex Wheeler
“Becoming an Eagle Scout has made me more comfortable being a leader.” - Walter Barr
“The BSA has given me honor codes to live by and I plan on living by these codes everyday for the rest of my life.” - Cooper Kane
“Boys Scouts has sharpened my instincts. I know how to take care of the work and myself.” - James McDaniel