Four Troop 58 Boy Scouts earn Eagle designation
Nov 21, 2019 11:00AM
By Alan Hodge
It’s a special day when a Boy Scout earns his Eagle designation, but when four are recognized at once, it’s even better.
That was the scene recently at the Reflection Pointe development clubhouse when a quartet of Troop 58 members became Eagles. The event was attended by a group of well-wishers as well as Belmont mayor Charles Martin and Congressional member Rep. Patrick McHenry.
The scouts included Joshua Millspaw, Lewis Pontz, Christian Pinto, and Nathan Brown.
Millspaw is an 18-year-old senior at South Point High. He’s been in the Boy Scouts for 12 years. He became interested in scouting at an early age.
“I was six years old when I started,” he said.
What sparked his interest?
“They told me I could shoot a BB gun, learn to start a fire, and go to a NASCAR race,” he said.
To earn his Eagle badge, Millspaw took to the woods with helpers, rakes, and shovels.
“It’s a walking trail for the South Point cross country running team,” he said. “It’s behind Page Primary School on 30-acres of unused woods.”
Millspaw explained why he feels it’s vital for folks his age to help others.
“Belmont is a great place,” he said. “We have great young people and it’s important that they get involved in the community.”
Pontz is 17-years-old and also a South Point senior. He’s been a Boy Scout for 11 years.
“I joined because I thought it would be a fun, cool thing to do,” he said. “My favorite part is camping outdoors.”
For his project, Pontz did some remodeling at the adult day care facility called The Center.
“I took a spare room and turned it into a ‘man cave’ for the male clients,” he said. “It’s a place they can hang out.”
Pontz described what he did.
“I installed a TV, made a table, made book shelves, and hung some signed sports pictures,” he said.
So, what prompted Pontz to do a project benefiting senior citizens?
“It’s just the way I was made,” he said. “I like to help people and this project was a good way.”
Pinto is 17-years-old and also a South Point senior. He’s been involved in Scouting for eight years.
“My parents took me to a scout meeting and I felt like it would be a good place for building friendships,” he said.
Pinto’s project saw him put in some hard work at Holy Angels.
“I repaired the roof of the oxygen storage building,” he said. “I also redid some shelves in another shed and did some landscaping outside.”
Pinto again pointed to his parents as inspiration for his project.
“I always believed in volunteering,” he said. “Everyone should do a good thing daily.”
Last, but not least in the Troop 58 Eagle Scout lineup is Brown, a 17-year-old South Point senior who has been a Boy Scout for ten years.
“I heard about scouting in second grade when a member of Troop 56 came to Belmont Central Elementary and talked about it,” he said. “It sounded pretty neat.”
For his Eagle project, Brown also made Holy Angels his place of choice.
“I did some sanding and painting of handrails,” he said. “I also dug up some dead shrubs.”
Brown sees activities like his project as a jumping-off point for later life.
“I think it’s a stepping stone,” he said. “It’s hard to make changes in the world if you don’t start in your own community.”
Besides being special due to the fact that four Boy Scouts were named Eagle, the ceremony was also bittersweet because for Troop 58, based at Park St. UMC in Belmont, this could be the last Eagle ceremony it will hold- for the foreseeable future. To recognize that fact, a large display of Troop 58 memorabilia going back decades was on display at the event. Items that attendees perused included Troop 58 flags, newspaper clippings, and plenty of photos.
Park St. UMC scout representative Ken Taylor explained what the deal is with Troop 58.
“Troop 58 has existed for 70 years,” He said. “But kids these days have so many other options for activities and for many being a Boy Scout is not the first one.”
Cub Scout groups, called “Packs”,have traditionally been the “feeder” organizations for the Boy Scouts, but that well has dried up for Troop 58.
“We haven’t had any Cub Scout Pack 58 boys in a couple of years,” said Taylor.
Come February, 2020, Troop 58’s charter will expire. After that its future is in limbo.
“We won’t have an active group unless there’s a renewal in interest,” said Taylor. “It’s somewhat melancholy.”