BANDON - Skyler Hammons and Timothy Merriam, both members of Bandon’s Boy Scout Troop No. 313, will receive the rank of Eagle Scout, Scouting’s highest rank, at a special ceremony at 7 p.m., Saturday, June 2, at the South Coast Assembly of God church, 101 13th St. SW at U.S. Highway 101 and 13th.
The Eagle Scout Court of Honor is open to the public. To reach the Eagle rank, a Scout needs to complete six lower ranks and earn 21 or more merit badges. A Scout must also lead a significant community service project. The rank also represents lots of hours of hiking, camping and swimming and lots of community service.
Bandon’s Boy Scout troop is chartered to the Bandon Lions Club. Chris Butler is the Scoutmaster.
Both Skyler and Timothy are seniors at Bandon High School.
Skyler entered Boy Scouts in the fifth grade in 2013. He had not gone through the Cub Scouting program as most of the members of his troop did. Over the next five years Skyler earned a total of 23 merit badges and held a number of leadership ranks within the troop, the last one being a Junior Assistant Scoutmaster. On April 25, Skyler earned his Eagle Scout Award.
Skyler is the grandson of Byrl Hammons. He recently won the javelin title at the district track meet and was a member of teams that won state titles in both cross country and boys’ track. He participated in the culinary arts program at Bandon High. He attends the Langlois Community Church. Skyler plans to attend Southwestern Community College. Though he hasn’t settled on a career choice, he hopes coaching will be in his future.
His Eagle Scout project was to convert a room within the Ocean Crest Elementary School into a storage room for clothing and other supplies for the school children. He and nine assistants painted the school room and installed shelving for supplies and materials. They cut and sold firewood to cover the cost of the project. It took Skyler 49 hours of his own time and an additional 120 hours of time for his assistants to complete the project.
Timothy is the son of Robert and Maria Merriam. He joined Boy Scout Troop 313 in 2013 after completing the Cub Scouting program while in the fifth grade. Tim earned his Eagle Scout award on April 25. As a Boy Scout, Tim earned a total of 36 merit badges including the 21 required to earn the rank of Eagle Scout. He also held a number of leadership positions within the Troop, with the last one being a Junior Assistant Scoutmaster.
In addition to his involvement in Scouting, Tim has also been active in the Bandon community participating in numerous carnivals and theater productions, both on stage and backstage. He recently appeared as Captain Hook in the MarLo Dance Company’s production of "Peter Pan." He has also participated in beach cleaning projects and the Naval Sea Corps.
On graduating from Bandon High School this spring, Tim plans on becoming a journeyman electrician, a process which may require up to four years of training and experience to complete.
For his Eagle Scout project, Tim led a group in the restoration of 16 solid oak pews for the South Coast Assembly of God church, which he attends with his family. Completing the project required 54 hours of his time and the assistance of 20 people working another 130 hours.
The following short story is how Timothy responded to the question “What does Scouting mean to you?"
"My name is Timothy J. Merriam. I am a senior at Bandon High School. I have been a part of Boy Scout Troop 313 since I was in fifth grade. Scouting has played a significant role in my life. What enticed me to Scouting was the camping since my family didn't camp. Overtime scouting became more of something I was in because of the friendships I developed there. Today I am in Scouts for a couple reasons; I enjoy the challenge of learning; I set a goal of becoming an Eagle Scout, and I simply enjoy the camaraderie of my fellow scouts and leaders.
"Scouting has benefited me in so many ways over the years. For starters they have taught me how to set up a camp site, build a fire, how to prepare for injuries that might occur and how to treat them. In my patrol, we've explored what it means to be a citizen in our community, nation and world. We've also had opportunities to pursue merit badges of personal interest. For me, that was drama, snow sports, and drafting. Throughout Scouts before we can rank-up, we each have to go through something known as a Board of Review. The board consists of three adults asking a variety of different questions based on what we have recently learned and our life goals. These reviews have been very beneficial to me because it has prepared me for job interviews. What I have learned can be summed up in the values of the BSA law, 'A Scout is Trustworthy, Loyal, Helpful, Friendly, Courteous, Kind, Obedient, Cheerful, Thrifty, Brave, Clean, and Reverent.'
"When I first started thinking about what I wanted to do for my Eagle Scout project I instantly knew I wanted to do something for my church, South Coast Assembly of God. The pastor of the church told me about a project that had been waitlisted for 15 years; the restoration of 16 solid oak framed old pews. Straight away, I began working on my project proposal and once I got all my signatures and my project approved I got to work. I disassembled the first five pews and organized the first work day. I got a team of people consisting of men in the congregation and scouts from my troop, Troop 313. The first work day consisted of stripping the wood pieces of old stain and grime. The next work day, consisted of sanding staining, The final phase was the reassembly of the pews. We repeated these two more times with the next two sets of pews. This project took two months to complete. In the end the pews looked amazing and they will last the church at least another 40 years. Having the opportunity to be entrusted with the project and being allowed to lead has inspired me with a sense of confidence I wouldn't otherwise have at this juncture of my life. I am very grateful to my parents, Bob and Maria Merriam, Troup 313 Scoutmaster Chris Butler, assistant Scoutmaster Jim Proehl, and committee chairman Jennifer Schulz."
The following short story is how Skyler answered the question, “what does Scouting mean to you?”
“When I first joined Scouts I was in the fifth grade. I was asked by grandmother's friend. I was a little unsure but later came to the conclusion. I joined Scouts knowing a lot about what would be expected. I had read online how much fun it would be but little did I know there was going to be more work than I thought.
"The first few years were fun because I thought that the stuff we were doing was just fun. Through the years I got higher ranks and did more merit badges. When school started getting harder for me, I began feeling sad and tired. Scouting and stuff began to apply more when I was having hard times. It taught me to respect the Scout Oath and Law. Scouting cheered me up whenever I felt nervous and confused.
"Scouting in high school really helped me when I became emotional and school got harder. I tried to focus on being positive and helping my friends and myself being positive more often. Being a Scout made me a more active person. I knew all the other Scouts very well. Some of the other Scouts stopped going but I was determined to be a better person and take on the challenge of doing even the boring and time-consuming scout badges. I started learning things that a lot of people need to learn for everyday things. Everything I learned in Scouting has directed my life in a very good manner. I had more responsibilities that I could count. I didn’t let anything stop me from getting through even the toughest projects.
"After I recieved my officially last Scout rank I felt proud. I was very thankful of all the people who helped me work up to this achievement.
"Scouting doesn’t just mean something that I got through. It is a part of my life that will stay until I’m old. Scouting means the world to me. I’m at a loss of words for how thankful I am that Scouting was a light that always followed me. I reflects who I was and what I’m capable of.”