According to Turlington, he started as a Cub Scout in first grade. Pursuing his goal to achieve his Eagle badge, he began moving up the scouting ranks at a rate that, he said, was moderate.
After Turlington reached fifth grade, he started in the ranking process, which began with Tenderfoot and progressed upward to Second Class; First Class; Star; Life; and the final and most prestigious, that of an Eagle Scout.
The ranks, Turlington said, are targeted for Boy Scouts from fifth grade to senior levels.
Although he’s only a sophomore, Turlington was able to receive his Eagle Scout by “working hard.”
“Most people get the Eagle badge in high school, but some who are very ambitious get it in the eighth grade,” Turlington explained.
The Eagle badge, along with other badges of achievement, were first introduced in 1908 by Robert S. S. Baden-Powell.
Initially, according to history, the highest available rank in scouting in the United States was the Wolf Badge, based on the Silver Wolf badge in Great Britain; however, because scouting officials believed the award should symbolize the prestigious American Eagle, they decided the rank of Eagle Scout should be considered the highest and the most prestigous.
However, in order for Turlington to receive the Eagle Scout, which only roughly 4 percent of all Scouts do achieve, he said several requirements had to be met.
The first of those was to be active in a troop for a period of six months after receiving the rank of Life Scout.
According to Turlington’s record, he went above and beyond six months as he served as a Life Scout for roughly two years in Troop 80, the troop in which he is still currently involved.
The next step required Turlington to demonstrate that he truly lives by the Scout Oath and Law; meaning, recommendations were warranted.
The third must in becoming an Eagle Scout is to earn a total of 21 merit badges including, camping; citizenship in the community; citizenship in the nation; citizenship in the world; communications; emergency preparedness; environmental science; and first aid, to name a handful.
“Some of them taught you about swimming and life saving,” Turlington expounded.
Turlington was also required to work for a period of six months in a position of responsibility for the fourth requirement; therefore, he turned to the Clinton Parks and Recreation.
For the fifth requirement, Turlington had to construct, plan, support and lead a group in a service project.
According to Turlington, for this portion of the requirements, he decided to rejuvenate not only the sign to the soccer concession stand, but the area surrounding.
“I built a sign for the soccer concession stand, did the landscape and built benches,” he shared, adding that he had help from fellow Scouts, but he planed the entire thing out.
“He designed the bench so water could run through it,” Turlington’s mother Margaret Turlington described.
“I worked on the project for a year or about 70 hours,” Turlington furthered.
“He wanted to give back to soccer because he has been in it all of his life,” she concluded.
After completing the prior requirements, Turlington’s final obligation was to send a statement of ambitions.
“You try to stay in your troop and help others in the group,” Turlington spoke of his future goals now that he has obtained the highest honor.
He further stated that he will pursue gaining Eagle Palms and potentially becoming a troop leader.
Although his journey to becoming an Eagle Scout took many years, the pin he received outweighs the years because it belonged to his great-grandfather.
“His great-grandfather earned it in New York,” his mother noted, adding that prior to Turlington his uncle, Michael Peffers, received the pin as well.
“I’m glad that I finally finished up and it is over,” Turlington said with a sigh of relief, adding, “I’m glad to have been a part of the family tradition though.”
He continued, “You carry the Eagle Scout name for life and you wear the badge for your whole life.”
Even though Turlington has the title for the rest of his life, he said he chose to take the pin off of his uniform because of its vintage, fragile state.
Turlington is the son of Margaret and Tom Turlington of Clinton.
Jessica Wagner can be contacted at 910-592-8137 ext.122 or reached by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org