Troop 1657 would like to congratulate Joshua Johnson for achieving the rank of Eagle Scout. Josh becomes the 73rd addition to the Eagle's nest of Troop 1657.
Josh joined the scouting program as a Tiger Cub with Troop 1657. He now realized that this was the beginning of a series of firsts in his life. He fondly recalls many camping experiences ranging from the outdoor family campout at a military base (with spiders and bugs that made him nervous) to spending the night at the Baltimore Aquarium for their shark event where he was able to sleep next to the shark tank and touch stingrays and jellyfish. After becoming a Boy scout, the new experiences continued. He learned to shoot a rifle and participated in an indoor sky diving weekend which he unabashed states that this was the best time ever. Besides the fun activities, he also had many opportunities to learn leadership principles. He was able to lead younger scouts and teach them how to tie knots using the EDGE method. As a patrol leader, he was able to help plan many events and meetings. And, with more experience and practice, he quickly became a proficient and effective leader both in scouting and in other areas of his life.
Josh has a passion and a burning desire to play baseball. He started playing the game when he was 10 years old. At first, he was not the best player on the field; however, once his dad helped him to understand the value of practice, his skills quickly improved until he reached the point where he was invited to be on his Little League’s All-Star team and recognized as one of the best players in the league. God has blessed him by allowing him to play on several teams above his age level and even allowed him to play on his high school junior varsity team which is considered to be one of the best teams in Northern Virginia. Through baseball, he believes that God has helped him to learn how helpful Boy Scouts has been his life e.g., baseball and school. He has learned to be a leader when times are good but also when circumstances are less than optimal. In doing so, he has been able to gain the respect of his peers, teammates and fellow scouts. Josh goes on to state that:
“Boy Scouts has taught me many lessons about how to be an effective leader. Boy Scouts provided me with the skills needed to handle many activities in my life. I remember on one occasion, my baseball coach allowed me to plan practice for the team. At first, I was not sure how to instruct the team on how to do the drills, but then I remembered learning the E.D.G.E method and used it to explain to the team the various drills we would do during practice. I was able to help my team strive by having a successful practice. I was also able to apply my Boy Scouts training to my school life as well. During a school project this year, I had to collect a group of strangers and make them work well together. I had to use my communication skills to make friendship from a group of strangers. I acted courteous, friendly, and kind to the scouts to convince them to work together. The life lessons I have learned through Boy Scouts are precious, and I wouldn’t trade them for anything.”
For his Eagle project, Josh chose to partner with Burke Lake Park. Josh recalled visiting the park many times prior and always having a wonderful time. After speaking with the Park Ranger, he decided that he wanted to build horseshoe pits for the park. By building the pits, he felt as if he was going to be able to give back to the community by providing something that was wanted and that visitors to the park would be able to enjoy. While working on his project, Josh learned many skills such as time management, cost estimating, negotiating, and resource allocation. Overall, this community improvement project proved to be highly successful, both in flawless execution and its long-lasting benefit to the community. In addition to his scouting, Josh is a very active young man. He has volunteered with the Salvation Army, Harvest Fest, Earth Day in both Fairfax and Bladensburg, and supported Operation Christmas Child. Most recently, he has been a member of the Lake Braddock JV High School and the Metro Senators Travel Baseball teams.
As stated by W. Corey Wright, Josh’s World History teacher, “Josh is a positive, polite and diligent student…his excellence in the classroom is not just confined to academics, he displayed leadership in group assignments… Josh is a natural magnet for others… he is a big cheerleader for others as a good teammate.”
One of Josh’s Assistant Scoutmasters can be quoted as stating that “Joshua has shown a love and dedication to scouting through all the changes and challenges that come with growing up in today’s society. His eagerness to engage in scouting activities and make sure things are done right has made him a joy to have in our patrol and on camping trips. In short Joshua, Johnson is the type of scout that will reflect well on his family, his church, his school and the Boy Scouts of America...”
Lieutenant Colonel Donna K. Melendez USAF (Ret), reflects on her interaction with Josh by stating the following:
“Joshua has not only demonstrated “balance” as reflected in his exemplary academic record, but he has displayed the necessary leadership characteristics and teamwork that make him a proven leader now and in the future. His standout traits include an infectious blend of humor, professionalism, integrity, and tenacity; vital qualities required to excel in today’s environment. Joshua’s dedication in the Boy scouts, sports, church, and the community continue to reflect his dedication to serve, to achieve, and support others toward a much higher goal.”
The one thread that holds true and runs deep within Josh is the personification of the principles stated within the Scout Oath and Law. Making a difference in the lives of others is one of the truest forms of leadership and Josh inherently strives to help others and change their lives positively. He is a disciplined and hard-working young man with a bright future that is full of possibilities. He will truly be an ambassador that represents the tradition of excellence that embodies that prestigious rank of Eagle Scout.
So, once again, congratulations to Eagle Scout Josh Johnson and family.
Troop 1657 would like to congratulate Justice Mayes for achieving the rank of Eagle Scout. Justice becomes the 72nd addition to the Eagle's nest of Troop 1657.
Justice began his scouting journey as a Tiger Cub with Pack 1959 and then transferred to Pack 1657 as a Bear Cub. From the very beginning, Justice has been focused on achieving his goals, whether they were Cub Scout belt loops or earning the Arrow of Light award. Upon officially joining the Boy Scouts, he set his focus on earning the rank of Eagle. Settling for Eagle was not sufficient, he planned to remain active in the Scouting program and earn several Eagle Palm awards. Justice credits his family and especially his cousins, Eagle Scouts Joshua and Jacob Simms, with blazing the path for him to follow and providing constant encouragement and mentorship. His mother uses the phrase “Reluctant Leader” to describe her son; that is, she believes that scouting has helped Justice to believe in himself and provide an environment where he could learn and thrive. On his path to Eagle, he has served as Den Chief, Scribe, Assistant Patrol Leader, and Assistant Senior Patrol Leader. Justice states that:
“My purpose in life is to be a leader and influence others to become a better version of themselves… I seek to use my wisdom and knowledge to others grow though teaching and encouraging while making a difference in their lives and the lives around them.”
Justice chose to partner with the Clearwater Nature Center and make a series of renovations to the birds of prey birdhouse. The renovations involved installing a drop ceiling made of mesh netting and cabinet doors under the counter. The purpose of the project was to prevent the birds from becoming trapped in potentially unsafe areas and possibly sustaining an injury as a result. Justice reflects on some of the skills that he learned during the planning and execution of his project. Specifically, he believes that it has helped him to enhance his communication skills, analyze situations from multiple perspectives, and increased his attention to detail and facilitation skills.
Justice plans to attend college after graduating from Bishop McNamara High School. After college, he intends to join the Air Force. Justice has been involved in a variety of activities outside of scouting to include:
- Animal Care Aide – Clearwater Nature Center
- Flight Instructor / Intern – Destiny Aviation Services
- Office Assistant – Hyattsville Police Department
- Counselor – Camp Twin Creeks
- Tutoring – 1st – 5th grade
- Feed the Hungry – Shabach Ministries
- Camp Fire Teens in Action
Justice believes that scouting has introduced him to many experiences that he would not have normally been unable to partake. Experiences such as zip-lining, camping, rock climbing, and white-water rafting. He is proud of the many merit badges and the associated skills that he has earned; to include becoming CPR and First Aid certified. He believes that scouting has taught him teamwork and the importance of serving and encouraging others. Justice says that:
“I see Boy Scouts as a door of opportunities waiting to be opened. Scouting isn’t just an organization but is also a lifestyle and a way of living. Scouting is a way to unleash your full potential and expand your horizons. I have met many people along this Journey at all different levels of scouting. By living the scout law, oath, motto, and slogan anyone can have the spirit of a scout and could help shape the world, our nation, and community to be a much better place.”
As a corollary, Justice’s mother comments that:
“The accomplishment of earning the Eagle Scout rank, the dedication and discipline to achieve it and this tremendous experience has trained Justice to serve as well as to lead. I am proud of the Godly man that he is becoming. Justice has left a positive impression on the adults, community members, and peers and has been impacted by each of them along this journey. My deepest gratitude to the Boy Scouts of America for the programs, policies, and procedures that propel our sons to leadership and legacy.”
Justice has had a very long journey on his path towards his goal Although there were some obstacles along the path, he showed perseverance and persistence and did so with a very positive attitude. Justice is a responsible, well-mannered, intelligent, and respectful young man. His temperament is very easy-going but he works hard in all that he does and continues to be consistent in his involvement with many activities. In summary, I believe that he will represent the tradition of excellence that embodies that prestigious rank.
So, once again, congratulations to Eagle Scout Justice Mayes and family.
Troop 1657 would like to congratulate Stephon Parham for achieving the rank of Eagle Scout. Stephon becomes the 71st addition to the Eagle's nest of
Stephon has been in the scouting program since he became a Bear cub. Although he has always passionately enjoyed playing football, he realized, at a
very young age, that scouting, in his words, was “pretty cool”. He has had many wonderful experiences and learned many new things especially
self-reliance and how to thrive outside of his parents’ protective circle during campouts and other events. Even though he has a deathly fear of spiders,
he was able to overcome this fear and enjoy his scouting experiences.
Stephon was a shy child; however, he credits the scouting program with helping him to overcome this challenge. When he became a Boy scout,
he was more focused on the social aspects of the program rather than working on advancement requirements. However, with some gentle nudging
from his Assistant Scoutmasters, his parents, fellow scouts and an unfortunate football injury, he was able to regain his focus, set his goals and
advance several ranks, complete merit badges and perform as a leader within the Troop in a short period
Stephon is the youngest of 5 children and he credits his family for shaping and molding him to be the person that he has become today.
However, he goes a step further to focus specifically on a special bond that he has with his parents. He often says that his mother has high
expectations for him and motivates him to work hard and always put forth his best effort while he can always count on his dad’s encouragement.
Stephon plans to attend Prince George’s Community College and then transfer to the Robert Smith Business School at the University of Maryland
where he wants to major in Business Marketing with a minor in Finance. Upon graduation from college, he would like to start his own clothing
business focusing on street wear (e.g. ripped jeans, oversized shirts, leather jackets, etc.). Once he has established a foothold in the industry,
he would like to expand his business into sportswear and a line of formal wear. To add diversity to his business portfolio, Stephon also plans to invest
in real estate ventures and own rental properties.
Stephon says that “one of the things that I’ve learned from scouting and my parents is that we should always try to help other people.” He goes on to
quote the scout law i.e., a scout is helpful and commits to, regardless of his level of success, giving a portion of his earnings to help others less fortunate
Stephon’s project included the planning and building of a compost bin at the Clearwater Nature Center. The compost bin at the Nature Center was
essentially nonfunctional due to its state of disrepair. He has stated that the most important principle that he learned during his Eagle project is his
penchant for procrastination. And, most importantly, he has learned time management and delegation skills to help him to overcome this life challenge.
In addition, he goes on to say that:
“The one thing that I learned the most from scouting is being a leader. I have learned to have a ‘go get it mentality’ and to prevail under
negative circumstances. Nothing will be handed to you so you will have to go get it. I will say scouting helps to improve your character.
I’ve made lifelong friends from scouting. Scouting gives you the opportunity to meet different people and different personalities.”
Stephon is a young man with a tremendous amount of potential. He is creative and charismatic with a winning personality. His character, composure
and focus has earned him the stellar achievement of Eagle. I do not doubt that he will continue to make valuable contributions to his community as he
exhibits the principles inherent in the Scout Oath and Law.
So, once again, congratulations to Eagle Scout Stephon Parham and family.