Unto the fourth generation... Becoming an Eagle Scout is a tradition for one family
MONROETON - Only a very small percentage of the population becomes an Eagles Scout, according to state Rep. Tina Pickett.
But for one Bradford County family, attaining the highest rank in Scouting has become a kind of family tradition.
At a ceremony on Sunday, at which Jared Harris of Potterville received his Eagle Scout award, Pickett noted that Harris is a fourth-generation Eagle Scout.
"That is really something for a family to be able to say that," Pickett said.
Harris' father, Northeast Bradford School District teacher Donald Harris is an Eagle Scout.
Donald Harris' father, Leo Harris of Monroeton, was an Eagle Scout, as was Leo Harris' father, Dode Harris, who had worked at the Sylvania plant in Towanda.
In addition, Jared Harris' two older brothers, 23-year-old twins Josh and Jon, are Eagle Scouts, as is Donald Harris' brother, Towanda School District teacher Leo Harris II, according to Donald Harris.
Becoming an Eagle Scout is "a very, very big accomplishment," Pickett said.
At the ceremony, which was held in the Monroeton United Methodist Church, Pickett presented a citation to Jared Harris which states that "the House of Representatives applauds you" for attaining the rank of Eagle Scout.
Eagle Scouts have learned "how to handle themselves in many, many ways at a young age," Pickett said.
As part of the requirements for becoming an Eagle Scout, a Boy Scout must conduct an Eagle Scout project.
Would-be Eagle Scouts find that they "can't do it (the Eagle Scout project) alone," she said.
The would-be Eagle Scout must get a team together to help him accomplish the project, she said.
"You have to make it (the project happen)," she said. "It's a real learning experience."
Typically an Eagle Scout project ends up being something that wouldn't have been achieved unless an Eagle Scout came along, she said. "That's why they are so appreciated by the community," she said.
For his Eagle Scout project, Jared Harris painted and stained picnic tables and benches in a nature area and nearby pavilion, both of which are located on the Northeast Bradford School District's campus, according to Donald Harris.
As part of the project, Jared Harris also replaced a foot bridge in the nature area that had been washed out by Tropical Storm Lee, Donald Harris said. The new bridge is eight feet wide and 30 feet long, he said.
The project also involved widening a trail through the nature area, so that it can accommodate a tractor that will be able to mow certain areas of the nature area. Having those areas mowed makes the nature area much nicer, Donald Harris said.
While a Boy Scout must attain 21 merit badges to become an Eagle Scout, Jared Harris went above and beyond that minimum requirement.
He received 48 merit badges, according to the Harris family.
Pickett said she was very impressed with the number of badges that Jared Harris had earned.
"I don't know if I've seen that number of badges on any other Eagle Scout," Pickett said at the ceremony. "I don't know how you accomplished that."
Donald Harris said he told his boys that they must become Eagle Scouts before they graduate high school, because it will build their character and provide them with leadership skills.
He said he and his brother got the same message from their parents.
James Loewenstein can be reached at (570) 265-1633; or email: firstname.lastname@example.org