Gardner Kern earns Eagle Scout rank

Troop 57 has another member earn Eagle Scout

The highest achievable rank in the Boy Scouts of America is Eagle Scout. Research has shown only 4 percent of Scouts will earn the rank.

Gardner Kern of Troop 57 attained the rank of Eagle Scout on June 3. A lot of work went into earning this rank. Kern joined Scouts when he was in first grade with the goal of learning a lot from the experience.

A Scout who wants to earn Eagle Scout needs to obtain 21 merit badges, and some badges are mandatory. The necessary badges are: First Aid, Citizenship in the Community, Citizenship in the Nation, Citizenship in the World, Communication, Cooking, Personal Fitness, Emergency Preparedness or Lifesaving, Environmental Science or Sustainability, Personal Management, Swimming or Hiking or Cycling, Camping and Family Life.

Of the 21 badges, Kern said earning the Small-Boat Sailing badge was the most fun. To earn the Small-Boat Sailing badge a Scout must be able to swim 100 yards with no rest, explain the potential hazards involved in small-boat activities, identify wind direction and wind indicators, properly sail a small boat with the help of a buddy, demonstrate capsize procedures, dock the boat and tie the following knots: square (reef) knot, clove hitch, two half hitches, bowline, cleat hitch and figure-eight.

Kern’s Eagle Scout project was extending the wall at Veterans Memorial Park that displays memorial plaques of fallen soldiers. His goal was to expand the wall to add more plaques.

“I want the community to remember the fallen soldiers,” Kern said.

At the end of the project Kern, alongside his friends and family, added 490 bricks, 18 bags of cement, 19 cinder blocks and contributed more than 300 hours of their time over three days.

The project was well received by the community. Chair of the Veterans Advisory Board Robert Abbott was very grateful for Kern’s project.

“We were in need of an expansion,” Abbott said. “Gardner took it on and completed it by Memorial Day. He did an exceptional job.”

Abbott estimates they will be able to fit an additional 42 plaques, which should get them through the next 10 years.

Kern will attend Ursinus College in the fall, and while he hasn’t declared a major yet, all of the lessons he learned during his tenure as a Boy Scout will set him up for success in the future.