Dartmouth scouts welcome two new Eagles
They're flying high at Dartmouth Boy Scout Troop 74.
The Troop saw two of its scouts promoted to the rank of Eagle on Sunday, May 22 at a ceremony held at Rachel’s Lakeside in Dartmouth.
The new Eagle Scouts, Zach Amaral and Tyler Ferreira, each completed the requirements necessary to rise to the Boy Scouts’ highest rank by their 15th birthdays, much earlier than average.
According to a 2019 report, the average age for a scout to become an Eagle was 17.3 years old.
“These boys are pretty special,” said Corey Ferreira, Tyler’s father and a member of the Troop Advancement Committee.
Ferreira added that despite their graduation to the highest rank of the program, the Eagles’ service to the scouts and the community was not over.
“This is not the end of their scouting careers, it’s just the beginning,” he said, citing mentorship of younger scouts as a major way the young Eagles can continue to contribute.
The younger Ferreira said that becoming an Eagle Scout was important to him not because it recognized his achievements but because of what it meant for his future.
“It’s a representation of what scouting has brought me to so far and where it’s going to take me later in life,” he said. “It’s not so much what I have done but what I’m capable of doing.”
Amaral echoed Ferreira’s thoughts, discussing not only the doors scouting has opened for him and the experiences it has brought him, but also what it means for his work in the community.
“It’s a lot less of what scouting has done for me and more about what it’s allowed me to do for others,” he said.
To become an Eagle scout, a scout has to complete a long list of tasks including skill and merit badges, hour requirements, and, finally, an Eagle scout service project that benefits the community.
Corey Ferreira said the projects typically take 200-300 hours to organize, put into action, and complete, in addition to the countless hours the scouts spend on the other requirements.
For Amaral’s project, he replaced several aging garden planters at Potter School, which he had enjoyed using when he was a student there.
“He gave back directly to the school where he was once using the same beds,” said Corey Ferreira.
Amaral said he raised more than $1,000 to replace the old beds, then led the younger scouts in assembling and installing them, and finally filling them with new soil.
“We left them perfect for use,” said Amaral. “So future kids can have the same fun I did with them.”
Amaral said that when he checked on the beds a few weeks later, they were already being used.
For Ferreira’s project, he installed a flag retirement box at Dartmouth Town Hall where residents can drop off tattered or worn American flags to be retired respectfully according to official guidelines.
“Once an American flag is posted for a while it gets worn and it shouldn’t be posted anymore — it should be retired,” he said.
Ferreira explained that it is disrespectful to simply throw an old flag in the garbage. He said that to dispose of one properly requires burning it in a purpose-built fire.
Both of the Eagles’ projects required them to meet with town officials for approval.
Amaral said that though reaching Eagle was a difficult task, moving through the ranks of the boy scouts took him from a mindset of personal development to community development.
“It’s definitely been a struggle,” he said. “[Over the years], the ranks change from ‘tie a knot’ to ‘become a member of your community.”