Three St. George’s students reached the pinnacle of their scouting journey by achieving the rank of Eagle Scout this spring. For Graham Gumbert ’20, Sam Tremaine ’20 and Thomas Miller ’22, reaching the highest level was a years-long effort that not many achieve.
Only four to six percent of all eligible Boy Scouts of America (BSA) go on to become Eagle Scouts, the highest rank or achievement available to participants in the BSA program. In fact, in 2019, only 916 young people in the state of Tennessee gained their Eagle Scout rank.
“Scouts is a brotherhood,” Thomas explained. “It’s my duty and pleasure to help others along the way, meet new people and make new friends.”
One of the final requirements in becoming an Eagle Scout is planning, developing, and leading others in a service project, benefiting a religious institution, school, or community. All three completed projects and left a lasting legacy at St. George’s.
For his project, Graham developed a landscaping plan for the front of the St. George’s Foundation House on the Germantown Campus. According to Graham, he learned the importance of adapting to new circumstances when they arise.
“For example, while evening out the ground before planting the garden, my helpers and I found that there were far more bricks embedded in the ground than we’d originally thought,” Graham said. “We turned this into a positive by reusing the bricks as a border for the garden to go with monkey grass along the border.”
Thomas enhanced the outdoor chapel at the Collierville Campus, laying a gravel trail near the chapel to reduce erosion. He also designed and installed two signs along the riverfront, educating visitors about native snakes, including how to identify venomous and non-venomous species and what to do if you encounter one. For Thomas, the project selection was very personal.
“I was down by the lake, fishing with my father one day when I nearly stepped on a Cottonmouth [snake],” Thomas described. “My father suggested I do something to warn other people against making the same mistake.”
Sam built a sturdy set of stairs for the trail system on the Collierville Campus, going down to the Wolf River beach, where the previous set had washed away. On any given day, students engage in experiential learning opportunities along the river’s edge, so having a safe way to reach the river was important to Sam.
Sam said that scouting has allowed him to have many incredible experiences and learn many skills. His favorite part of the Scouts was the outdoor experience component.
“While my Eagle Scout project represents me no longer being immediately active in Scouts, I will be an Eagle Scout for the rest of my life,” Sam stated.
Both Graham and Thomas agree.
“I am so thankful that I got to finish my Scouting journey at St. George’s, where it all began,” Graham said. “I am grateful to have gotten the chance through my Eagle Scout project to give back to the school that has given me so much.”
St. George’s is so proud of these young men for their dedication and service.