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Once an Eagle Scout, always an Eagle Scout
Generations of scouts band together for project
W tugging
Troop 342 Scoutmaster Lovett Bennett Jr., front, recruits scouts Brayan Escudero, 16, Durden Gagel, 18, and David Olson, 18, left, to play tug-of-war with some vines while clearing growth from around the old Wilson Cemetery off of Old Register Way. All three scouts are at different stages, with Olson having just become an Eagle Scout, Gagel having completed all of the requirements and waiting for his board of review, and Escudero participating when he has time between work and school.

    The service project is one of the key — and last — steps to earning the ultimate achievement in the Boy Scouts of America program: the rank of Eagle Scout.

When Cross Womack, 16, started planning his project, it signified not only the end of the Eagle Scout process for him, but the end of a legacy and a partnership. 

Because Statesboro Primitive Baptist Church decided to withdraw as the troop’s sponsoring organization due to differences between the church and the Boy Scouts of America national organization, the charter for Troop 342 will end Dec. 31, and Womack is likely to become the troop’s last Eagle Scout. 

That didn’t dampen the prospects for Womack and his project — to clean up and refurbish the old Wilson Cemetery off Old Register Way Dec. 2. With some direction from Rodney Harville of the Bulloch County Historical Society, Womack planned for the project and recruited volunteers. 

He didn’t have to look far for volunteers — once an Eagle Scout, always an Eagle Scout. The work crew included Troop 342 scouts who recently earned their Eagle status, as well multiple generations of Eagle Scouts, including father/son teams. They brought trucks, rakes, machetes and chain saws.

The overgrowth surrounding the cemetery didn’t stand a chance against the group of Eagle Scouts, and Cross’ mother, Valerie Powell. They made quick work of it, finishing before lunch.

One of the father/son teams on hand was Noe Klumpp and son Michael, 19. 

“We saw it as returning a favor for when Cross helped Michael,” said the elder Klumpp.

Troop 342 has often been referred to as an “Eagle Scout factory.” Now that he can cross this project off his list, Womack appears to be the last one rolling off its assembly line. 

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