Members of the Brandon Boy Scouts Troop 1986 joined by special needs scouts of Troop 331 in Ocala pose for photo following a project the group completed together leaving them with an experience that is said to last a lifetime.

They earned no special badges to pin on their uniforms or a special recognition ceremony, yet for the members of the Brandon Boy Scout Troop 1986, taking part of a recent out-of-town park beautification was and, will likely remain, one of the most memorable and most satisfying undertaking in their scouting history.

After hearing of a special needs Scout requiring some help to complete his Eagle Scout project,  troop 1986 acted at once and, without hesitation, made arrangements to travel to Ocala and lend a hand.

The day began for the troop at 6 a.m., as they traveled to Ocala’s Shriners Club. Upon arrival the boys met up with special needs Eagle Scout candidate Chris Standish, 30, and began to help him complete his project. This consisted of renovating the flag pole, trimming the shrubs, replacing the brick pavers around the pole as well as painting the benches that welcomes the visitors to the facility.

Explaining the project, Brandon Troop 1986 leader Latour “LT” Lafferty expressed his take on the young scouts’ accomplishment, while drawing attention to the real motivation behind the reason to get involved. 

“They are true servant leaders,” Lafferty said. “When they heard about the chance to help out they immediately welcomed it, in harmony with our mantra, ‘Service Is Our Bedrock!’ Thanks for a great time and an experience that will last a lifetime.”

Lafferty emphasized that the boys enjoyed meeting Chris and his fellow special needs Scouts. The work commenced and lasted until mid-afternoon.

“The boys showed that they had genuinely felt good about helping out,” he said.

Hearing about the young scouts’ willingness to help out, Brandon resident Becky Jordan hoped that the boys do get some community recognition for their endeavor.

“This is service to your fellow man if I ever saw it,” Jordan said.

Of course, the project was by no means the last one for the Brandon Boy Scout Troop 1986. With many more planned as well as the upcoming week-long summer camp scheduled for June at Camp Woodruff in northern Georgia, the boys have many more opportunities to learn and grow.

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