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TOWNSEND — A Townsend family has twice as many reasons to be proud with two sons having their Eagle Scout Court of Honor held in May.

Jacob and Jared Whitcraft have joined the elite rank of Eagle Scouts. Jacob actually earned his rank in March 2005, but wanted to wait until his younger brother Jared reached the goal, and hold a dual Court of Honor.

“Jared achieved his Eagle badge in January of this year so they went together,” said dad George Whitcraft.

For Jacob’s project, he renovated the walkway of Veteran’s Park in Lunenburg. Jared chose to install a flag pole and create a flower garden at the Messiah Preschool in Fitchburg.

“Jacob’s project took 210 man-hours,” George said. “He also installed two flagpoles, one for the merchant marine and the other for a prisoner of war flag.”

“Jared realized there was no flag pole at the Messiah Preschool, and he felt every school should have a flag,” he added.
”He installed the pole, then created a beautiful garden around it.”

The rank of Eagle Scout has always carried with it a special significance, not only in Scouting but also in higher education, business and industry. Only about four percent of all Boy Scouts earn the rank of Eagle Scout. This number represents more than one million scouts who have earned the highest rank since the founding of Scouting in 1911.

To earn the Eagle Scout rank, the Scout must fulfill requirements in areas of leadership, service and outdoor skills. Merit badges are earned as the Scout progresses, and of the 120 possible merit badges available, the Scout must earn a minimum of 21 to qualify for Eagle Scout.

“Jacob has earned 56 merit badges and Jacob has 47,” George said.

Both boys are members of Troop 1728 out of Lunenburg. Jacob graduated from Nashoba Technical School in 2004, and Jared is entering his senior year at North Middlesex Regional High School.

Both are also members of the exclusive Brotherhood rank of Grand Monadnock Lodge 309.

“We are so proud of both of the boys,” George said. “Scouting helps so many youngsters learn and to help people. It is a wonderful organization and both of our sons took it to the limit.”

Both Jacob and Jared now share something in common with some very famous men. According to the Boy Scout Web site, others who have attained the rank of Eagle scout include pro basketball player Bill Bradley, Challenger astronaut Ellison Onizuka, Steven Spielberg, Walter Cronkite, Neil Armstrong and 38th President Gerald Ford.

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