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Scout receives honors after earning Eagle rank


By Alex Welch
Assistant Editor 

    Becoming an Eagle Scout isn’t an easy jump to make. Scouts go through years of work and training, ultimately finishing with one last project to earn the final rank. One McDonough student was recently honored for his efforts in this process.

Jamie Edwards shows the letter of commendation he received from Gov. Nathan Deal.                            Photo by Alex Welch

  James Edwards V, 18, first became a Boy Scout when he joined Troop 712 of Shiloh Baptist Church in McDonough in 2010. Three years later, Edwards has now attained the rank of Eagle Scout after completing his final project at Noah’s Ark Animal Sanctuary.

  Scouts are required to complete a service project to officially earn the Eagle rank. Edwards chose to assist Noah’s Ark by performing several duties to help with the upkeep of the different animal habitats.

  “I knew that I had to do a project for a nonprofit, and that was the one that stood out the most to me. It [Noah’s Ark] has over 1,500 animals that are orphaned, abused or in rehabilitation. I wanted to give back to not only help them, but to help the community,” Edwards said. “I cleaned out the lion, tiger and bear pen, and I just cleaned them out, cut down the grass, put in new mulch and dirt for them.”

  Edwards, his brother Jalen, and two other scouts from Troop 712 helped to spruce up the habitat for Noah’s Ark’s famous lion, tiger and bear trio. The boys also helped clean up a few other areas of the sanctuary and did some re-fencing of the tiger section.

  Edwards’ mother, Shawn, said the employees at the sanctuary “really embrace Eagle Scout projects,” and they were delighted to have the help. She was proud of her son’s accomplishment and the work he did for Noah’s Ark.

  “My husband and I are so proud of the accomplishments that Jamie has made. Education wise, he’s always been an A-B honor roll student, he’s excelled in sports. In our opinion, Eagle Scout is the highest honor, and it’s just the icing on the cake,” Shawn said.

  While becoming an Eagle Scout isn’t a common feat, Edwards stands out even more, as he is the first member of Troop 712 to reach this rank. He was honored at Shiloh Baptist Church on Aug. 18. The McDonough City Council also invited Edwards to lead the opening Pledge of Allegiance at their Aug. 19 meeting.

  Gov. Nathan Deal honored Edwards’ special occasion by sending a letter of commendation. To make the letter even more unique, Deal signed it on Aug. 1, which was the day Edwards turned 18.

  He knew becoming an Eagle Scout was a major milestone, but Edwards said he didn’t realize the kind of attention he would receive afterward.

  “Honestly, I’m going along with the flow. I didn’t anticipate this much recognition. Every day people show me more and more how much it means,” Edwards said.

  After graduating from Luella High School, Edwards plans to attend Georgia Military College on scholarship. He will enter the U.S. Army after two years as a second lieutenant, and Edwards said he plans to make a career of his military tenure. Ultimately, Edwards said he hopes to work with the CIA or FBI after retiring from the military.

  “I feel like everything is falling together like I wanted it to. I just have to stay focused and keep being that way,” Edwards said.



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