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Johnny Carl Receives Eagle Scout Rank

Innumerable campouts, 21 merit badges, service projects, and fundraisers marked Johnny Carl's path to the Eagle Scout Rank of the Boy Scouts of America. While camping and outdoor skills are a big part of scouting, the purpose is to help young men learn about their community and nation and discover ways to make them better places. The scout motto is "Do a Good Turn Daily.

At the end of October each year, the scouts in the Nashua area distribute bags to collect canned goods for the local food banks. Johnny, of Troop 654, was impressed with the response of the neighborhood he was assigned. As he was collecting the bags, a man ran halfway down the street with his donation because he had forgotten to leave it on the porch earlier. Others left bags overflowing with packaged and canned food.

After earning the 12 required merit badges and 9 electives, an Eagle Scout candidate must perform a major service project that demonstrates leadership and provides service to a worthy institution other than the Boy Scouts. With an assignment given to him by Bob Beaucher of Nashua's Park and Recreation Department, Johnny had the challenge of organizing about 20 volunteers to paint the overpass in Mine Falls Park and to paint ballards, poles and bike racks along Main Street. 

The graffiti on the overpass was offensive and City Hall had received several complaints in the spring of 2001, but spring came late last year and the Parks and Recreation department was flat out getting the baseball and soccer fields ready for the season. The job needed to be done quickly, and so Johnny did not let pouring rain stop him. "It was raining," he said, "and people called to see if the project was cancelled. I told them we were still doing it because we would be under the highway, and we would be sheltered enough to do the painting."

Beaucher appreciated Johnny getting the job done and in a letter said, "The boys did a fantastic job and it shows by the quality of the work that was accomplished that they all took great pride in their work. ... Please feel free to contact our department for any future projects."

The work on Main Street was fun. There was a walk-a-thon and various evangelical groups were having activities. Members of the Grace Fellowship Church gave the scouts ice cream and praised them for their service. Several of the pedestrians stopped to chat. A couple of scouts snickered when two elderly ladies walked by and commented that the juvenile delinquents must be performing their community service.

Johnny's project was completed June 9, 2001 but he waited until March 15, 2002 for his Court of Honor. Johnny wanted his cousin, Joseph Carl, to be at the Court of Honor and had to wait until he returned from Russia where he was serving a two-year mission for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. During the program, Johnny reaffirmed his commitment to be trustworthy, loyal, helpful, friendly, courteous, kind, obedient, cheerful, thrifty, brave, clean, and reverent, which is the Scout Law, and by re-taking the Scout Oath.

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