TYLER, Texas (KETK) – Growing up, we all remember our childhood friends. The ones we did everything with, and while sometimes we get older and drift apart, a group of East Texas boys are determined to accomplish their goals together.
A basketball player, musician, and a baseball player. Three friends would bond together forever after one decision.
“I went to my mother with the little paper that we got in gym class and was like hey try this and that’s really how it started,” explains Austin Hanes, one of the three boys honored Sunday afternoon.
The celebration was held at Lanes Chapel United Methodist Church in Flint. During the celebration, each Scout stood and thanked family and friends for their dedication and help through the entire process.
“All of my friends were joining, and I thought it could be something cool I could be apart of,” said Ethan Roark, another one of the boys who earned the Eagle Scout award.
This has been an 11-year journey, starting back in the first grade with Tiger Scouts.
In order to qualify for the Eagle Scout award, each person has to have been a Scout for at least 6 months, earn 21 merit badges, and plan a service project. The project must help any religious institution, school, or community.
“I feel very proud, and just looking next to me seeing the people beside m, remembering the days when we were in cub scouts. You know, making pine wood derby cars this tall, it’s just a really proud moment,” said Roark.
“It feels great. I would feel that this is one of my biggest accomplishments I’ve ever had and the fact that I get to share it with them,” said Gabriel Socia, the third Eagle Scout honored.
Through multiple projects and fun memories, obtaining the Eagle Scout is a huge accomplishment. Especially since historically only 4 out of 100 Boy Scouts get it.
“Starting something and finishing it is one of the things that make a man. It’s one of the important qualities for these young men to learn. Seeing them actually do that, finishing their Eagle Scout project, and actually finish it that’s a really neat thing to see,” says Geoff Roark, the boys Scout leader for the majority of their Scout experience.
Geoff Roark is Ethan’s father but became someone that made a difference in all the boy’s lives.
“He’s been there with us for every step of the way, and I feel like his support is another reason why I stayed in scouting,” explains Socia.
Each boy honored Mr. Roark with a “mentorship” pin. Letting him know how much of a difference he made.
“It’s nice, he was always there for me, to lean on if I needed help, or if I needed some assistance or if I need some extra help,” says his son Ethan.
“We’re all one big family, and that’s how we look at it. Mr. Geoff has just been another father figure,” says Hanes.
Mr. Geoff says it’s amazing to see how these three boys have become men.
Each scout was given a letter of congrats from Representative Louie Gohmert. and a flag that was flown over the State Capitol.
Inside the church, each of the Scouts had a table of personal memories, pictures, and honors they have acquired during their time in scouts. Family and friends had the opportunity to walk around and look at all the memories.
Parents say this celebration was just the beginning of their futures because being in Scouts has helped them to become the men they are today.