Boy Scouts Troop 224 is an ‘Eagle making machine’


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Zachary Elmer, Commissioner Curt Smith, Mitchell Shafer, Kevin Fee, Brennan Wooden, Scoutmaster Kevin Howald and Eagle mentor Gray Echols. Not shown Eagle scout Mitchell Albright and Jonathan Hall.

photo by Don Walker

New Eagle Scouts from Boy Scouts Troop 224, based at Suntree United Methodist Church, were recognized at the Brevard County Commission meeting July 12. Sixty-three have achieved the Eagle Scout rank since the troop’s inception in 1995, and each new crop, up to eight at a time, are commended by the District 4 commissioner in the summer and in the spring.

"I am extremely proud of all of the Eagle Scouts produced here in the Suntree/Viera area. It speaks to the quality of life we have here in Brevard,” Commissioner Curt Smith said.

The Troop has a reputation with its Central Florida Challenger District as an Eagle-making machine, charter church representative Jeff Sweet said. 

"Scouting is a learning-dong journey for scouts, not just focused on making Eagle," Sweet said. The honor benefits a scout for life, he added.

“We have great support, an actual Eagle mentor, Gray Echols, an excellent, committed scoutmaster, Kevin Howald, and a very active troop committee chair, Lia Page, who also is the children’s ministry director at the church, so it works out great,” Sweet said. “The parents are very active leaders and volunteers as well. And the boys themselves all volunteer and help each other as their projects come to fruition.”

The troop currently has 40 boys ages 11 to 17. Eagle Scouts recognized include:

  • Zachary Elmer, who organized a school supplies drive for underprivileged children in his local community of Avalon Park and across Orange County, collecting more than $600 in supplies. The former Suntree resident, who chose to remain with his troop through Eagle, was commended for his efforts by the Orange County Sheriff Jerry Demmings. He received help from several of his fellow scouts and also members of the Orange County Sheriff’s Department, who helped distribute the supplies. 
  • Mitchell Shafer, a Viera High School graduate who designed and replacing a triple-side information kiosk at the Ritch Grissom Viera Wetlands. For a full feature article and photos on the project, go to VieraVoice.com.
  • Kevin Fee, the Holy Trinity Episcopal Academy graduate achieving Eagle Scout rank by designing, building and installing two boat lifts for racing sculls to be stored in the Space Coast Crew boat house. 
  • Brennan Wooden, the VHS grad achieving Eagle by organizing a landscape and beautification project for the northern courtyard of the SUMC host church.
  • Mitchell Albright, who achieved his rank by removing old, overgrown vegetation and replanting new life that gave new meaning to the Prayer Wall area at SUMC, near the memorial garden where the ashes of the VHS grad’s grandmother were laid to rest.
  • Jonathan Hall, The Kingswood Academy homeschool grad who achieved his Eagle by providing SUMC’s preschool and kindergarten with an outdoor Children’s Science Learning Center, which includes wooden planters, a music corner, an interactive boat experience, a root system and a hop scotch area.