Fly like an eagle: Dartmouth twins achieve highest scouting rank
For more than a decade, Boy Scouts Troop 74 Dartmouth had not seen one of its own achieve the rank of Eagle Scout.
But this past November, 18-year-old twins Daniel and Mathew Mumma ended that drought as the two were officially granted the highest rank in scouting.
“It’s great to get the recognition,” Matthew said. “This is such a good organization with a reputation for trying to help out others.”
Mother Deborah Mumma said she “could not be prouder” of her two boys for reaching this achievement.
“When they first joined the scouts, I never thought they’d stay for seven years,” she added. “But they just loved scouting.”
Due to the pandemic, any sizable celebrations had to be put on pause. But with new cases lowering and vaccinations on the rise, the twins’ accomplishment was recognized with a socially distanced luncheon on April 24.
During the celebration, the twins were given their Eagle award and pins, along with some remarks from troop leadership.
“I’ve known [the Mummas] for a very long time — this is very close to my heart,” Troop leader Douglas D'Atri said. “This was such a neat experience.”
The troop leader added that the twins “exemplify the key things” about scout life like helpfulness and being respectful.
“They really take those principles to heart and demonstrate them very well,” D’Atri said.
To become an Eagle Scout, scouts must earn at least 21 merit badges, demonstrate Scout Spirit, and an ideal attitude based upon the Scout Oath and Law, service, and leadership within their unit.
“It’s a lot of hard work,” Deborah said.
One of the final requirements to gain the title is a community service project.
For their project, the brothers helped to put some finishing touches on the Dartmouth Resources Natural Trust’s newest reserve at Dike Creek this past summer— helping to build a boardwalk, kiosk, and bench.
Matthew said the reason he chose to help the DNRT was because he wanted to find a way to help the community and “have a lasting impact.” He added that he and his brother did not mind constructing the additions during the summer heat.
“My dad definitely helped a lot,” Daniel laughed, noting that pandemic rules made it so he and his brother could not use support from fellow scouts like in previous years. “We couldn’t even use machinery like a drill — we had to use hammers.”
According to Troop Advancement Chair Corey Ferreira, only 4 to 6% of all scouts will become an Eagle.
While it's been some time since the troop saw its last Eagle, Ferreira noted that more will be on the way within the coming years as some scouts finalize their paperwork or start their projects.
“We’re really going to have one after another,” he said. “These kids are amazing.”