LAURINBURG — Boy Scout Troop 420 promoted the 157th Eagle Scout in the troop’s history on Sunday when Charles Augustus “Gus” Purcell, II reached the highest rank in scouting.
The son of Gus and Angela Purcell, Purcell was officially presented with his Eagle pin in a ceremony at Laurinburg Presbyterian Church. Fewer than four percent of Boy Scouts ever attain Eagle rank.
Before promotion to Eagle, scouts must earn a minimum of 21 merit badges serve six months in an active troop leadership position after achieving the rank of Life Scout, and conduct a community service project.
Purcell carried out several small projects at Monroe Camp and Retreat Center in Laurel Hill, leading a group of scouts in replacing the basketball goal backboards, building horse mounting blocks for small children, and painting four square courts.
Purcell began scouting as a Tiger Cub in 2005. His group of Webelos completed the two-year program in one year, becoming fully-fledged Boy Scouts as fourth graders.
As a reward, Purcell chipped two front teeth in a hollering contest mishap his first summer at Camp Bowers in White Oak.
Though he wrestled with the inclination to quit scouting, Purcell could think of no alternative that would impart the leadership and self-sufficiency skills he was learning as a Boy Scout. Subsequent adventures took place at Camp Raven Knob, in the Uwharrie Mountains, and on the Lumber River.
During his tenure in Troop 420, Purcell has served as a patrol leader, quartermaster, Senior Patrol Leader and leadership core.
Assistant scoutmasters Page Pratt and Bill Purcell presented the newly-minted Eagle Scout with a certificate and the traditional Eagle charge to be loyal, to be courageous, and to give service.