Aaron Purser and Ayden Coggins invited friends and family to participate in the ceremony, along with other members of Troop 238.
“Scouting has really changed me,” said Purser, a Roanoke Rapids High School student, who built 17 birdhouses and placed them on the Canal Trail for his project. “The way it changed me is that it turned me into a leader, a trustworthy person. Since our troop was very young when I joined I became a leader very early and progressed in the scouting ranks very quickly.”
Purser shared several anecdotes recounting his scouting experience and thanked his parents and step-parents along with scout leaders and fellow scouts, telling troop leader Malcolm Perry, “Thanks for being a great troop leader and helping me get more involved in scouting.”
Purser presented his Mentor Pin to his uncle, Marty, who, like his uncle Lee and father, Allen, are also Eagle Scouts.
“My uncle Marty has helped me so much in scouts, took me to summer camps, took me camping, took me on my first backpacking trip.”
Said Purser: “I borrowed a lot of gear from him. He is definitely the biggest influence of scouting in my life and he’s helped me with my Eagle program and helped me advance through scouting ranks.”
His father, Allen, said, “I’m very proud of my son and Ayden. I’m proud of what scouting does for young people and it instills values that help them become better citizens.”
Allen said that his brother received the Mentor Pin was fitting. “Marty’s had health issues but has been kind and generous with Aaron.”
Both scouts were also recognized by the Halifax Resolves Chapter of the Sons of the American Revolution for their achievements.
Coggins, who for his project built picnic tables for Ledgerwood Field, presented his Mentor Pin to his parents — Stacey and Angela. “I do not have one individual I want to award this pin to — I have two people who are deserving of this pin — my parents.”He pinned his father, but said, “This is in recognition of you and mom for your endless love and support of me, your belief in me and my future and your dedication to Troop 238.”
Coggins also recognized Perry and his wife, Beth. “Your guidance and leadership has fueled my drive in scouting and pushed to attain the rank of Eagle.”
And he also thanked Purser’s father. “Thank you for being a very influential role model as an Eagle Scout with an endless supply of scouting knowledge.”