Two complete Eagle Scout projects
Published 3:07 pm Tuesday, January 22, 2019
By EMILY SPARACINO / Staff Writer
COLUMBIANA – Boy Scout Troop 560 members Denison Justice and Elijah Hockman are the latest in a long line of local Scouts to achieve the organization’s highest rank.
After completing separate projects in Columbiana, Justice and Hockman officially received the rank of Eagle Scout this year.
Justice chose the old city cemetery as the site for his Eagle Scout project, following in the footsteps of his two older brothers, who are also Eagle Scouts. He installed a bench and garbage can under the cemetery’s big pavilion, constructed a smaller pavilion on the other side of the road from the existing pavilion, and installed a bench and garbage can under the small pavilion.
Hockman’s Eagle Scout project consisted of placing metal benches at trolley stops around Columbiana.
“It feels like there’s been a weight lifted off my shoulders,” Justice said of achieving Eagle Scout. “It’s been a lot of pressure getting here, but I’m really glad I’ve done it. My goal was to do just as good if not better than both of my brothers, and getting Eagle makes me feel like I’ve accomplished that.”
Justice, 14, raised more than $5,000 for the project, but didn’t have to use all of the funds to complete the improvements. At the Jan. 15 Columbiana City Council meeting, he gave the $650 left over from his project to the city to be put toward future Eagle Scout projects in the cemetery.
Mayor Stancil Handley commended Justice for his work, noting he is possibly the youngest Eagle Scout from Troop 560.
“I’m very proud of that troop and the Eagle Scouts it has turned out,” Handley said. “It’s all about character.”
“Thank you seems so small for what he’s done,” Councilmember Kim King said of Justice.
Justice is the son of Bill and Beverly Justice and is an eighth grader at Columbiana Middle School.
With 48 merit badges already, Justice said his goal now is to earn Eagle Palms, which are pins a Scout can get for every five merit badges earned after becoming an Eagle Scout.
“I’m going to stay in the troop and help the younger boys as they advance and earn as many merit badges as they can,” he said.
His advice for others interested in earning the Eagle Scout rank points to perseverance.
“It’s hard to accomplish, but you need to stick with it until the end,” he said. “The rewards benefit you not just at this age, but throughout your whole life. It’s really worth making it all the way.”
Others in Troop 560 have their sights set on the Eagle Scout rank. Cory Poe is currently raising money for his project to install a sign identifying Columbiana’s recreational building, with an American flag and an Alabama flag on either side of the sign.
To make a donation to a specific project, contact Scout Troop leaders Ernest and Tami Poe at (205) 966-1222. Donations can be sent to: Troop 560, 2470 Highway 49, Columbiana, AL 35051.
For more information, email firstname.lastname@example.org.