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Eagles nest - Family holds 4 generations of dedicated Eagle Scouts
With candles signifying the twelve scouting laws burning bright, third-generation Eagle Scout and and present Troop 332 Scoutmaster Bryan Burke leads a recent meeting at the First United Methodist Church. - photo by SCOTT BRYANT/staff
    There’s a family of eagles living in Bulloch County. Eagle Scouts that is.
    The Burke family has four generations of Eagle Scouts, the newest being Taylor Burke, who received his award alongside three others —John Manack, Taylor Morgan and Blake Thompson — in December.
    The tradition of scouting began with Taylor’s great-grandpa, Buc Price, who earned his Eagle Scout in 1926. When he passed away in December 2005, he was one of the oldest living Eagle Scouts in the country. After obtaining the Eagle Scout rank, Price continued with scouting in his adult years.
    He was Scoutmaster of Troop 4 in Brunswick for a number of years and served on the troop committee for more than 50 years. For his service, he received the Silver Beaver Award, the highest award for an adult in scouting.
    Price had four sons and one daughter, Janet. His oldest son, Jim Price, earned his Eagle Scout in the 1950s. He is living in Greencove Springs, Fla., and works as an insurance agent.
    Buc Price used used to drag all his children on camping trips, which Janet loved. She carried that love of camping with her, eventually taking her own kids on numerous two-week camping vactions in North Georgia.
    Albert “Al” Burke married Janet Price 47 years ago. He worked in banking, including several years with Sea Island Bank, and now runs a financial consulting business in Statesboro.
    As a teenager, he moved around a lot and was never anywhere were scouting was available. However, he did make sure his sons followed in the footsteps of their grandfather into scouting. Bryan, Al’s eldest, joined Brunswick Boy Scout Troop 204 in 1973.
    After about a year in scouting, Bryan had not made any real progress. Al noticed this and had a talk with his son.
    “When I talked with Bryan he said, ‘Well Dad, you’re not really interested, so it must not be that important,’” said Al. “So we sat down that afternoon and went through the merit badge book.” He signed up the very next week to be Assistant Scoutmaster of Bryan’s troop.
    That single conversation with Bryan was the first step towards 34 years of participation and service in scouting for Al Burke.
    He served on local, district, regional and national scouting committees and received the Silver Beaver Award like his father.
    He continues to use the lesson he learned that afternoon to encourage other parents to participate in scouting.
    “My son pointed out the fallacy of my thinking — ‘Do as I say, not as I do,’” said Al. “So I tell folks that I made a mistake and that I learned from my son. I ask them not to make the same mistake.”
    Bryan Burke said the summer after their talk, his dad got involved in taking scouts to camp, growing the troop and getting more dads involved. At the same time, Al’s second son Blake decided to join scouts.
    Bryan earned his Eagle Scout in 1976 with the troop in Brunswick. When the family moved to Statesboro in 1980, Al got the boys involved with Troop 332, which still meets at First United Methodist Church. Before long, he was the Scoutmaster and, in 1981, Blake had earned his Eagle Scout rank. Al’s other sons, Brent and Blair, also joined Troop 332 and ultimately became Eagle Scouts as well.
    Blair said there was never any question that he was going to join the Boy Scouts and work towards his Eagle. He said there was always a positive pressure to do his scouting work, in many ways fostered by the constant interest of his grandfather, Buc.
    “Our grandad always impressed upon us the need to be prepared. He was always quizzing us on scouting knowledge and other information,” said Blair. “I guess the scouts are in our blood.”
    Fast-forward to 2003 when Bryan became an Assistant Scoutmaster to Troop 332. His son Taylor and several other boys joined the troop. Taylor and three of his best friends became Eagle Scouts last year.
    Bryan said, without a doubt, that if his dad was not involved with scouting, he would not have been an Eagle Scout. He thinks that would be true for his brothers as well.
    “I have so many fond memories of scouting and it is directly because my grandfather and father were involved. There are so many things I can draw from my scouting experience on a day-to-day basis,” said Bryan. “I even do the majority of the cooking in our household, and I learned how to cook in scouts.” 

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