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O’Donnell reaches highest rank of Eagle Scout

Posted 1/9/19

After 12 years of dedication to scouting, Jacob O’Donnell of Troop 97 in Londonderry Township has been recognized for earning the rank of Eagle Scout by the Boy Scouts of …

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O’Donnell reaches highest rank of Eagle Scout

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After 12 years of dedication to scouting, Jacob O’Donnell of Troop 97 in Londonderry Township has been recognized for earning the rank of Eagle Scout by the Boy Scouts of America.

Jake’s Court of Honor recently was held at the Londonderry Scouting Complex in Londonderry Township.

Eagle Scout is the highest rank that the Boy Scouts of America has to offer. Only 6 percent of all Boy Scouts are able to reach the rank of Eagle.

Jake began his scouting career as a Cub Scout with Pack 97 when he was in first grade. He then went on to join Troop 97 for Boy Scouts where he was a member of the Panda Patrol. While in Troop 97, he was inducted into the Boy Scouts of America Order of the Arrow, which is Scouting’s National Honor Society.

Committee Chairman Ted Pauley of Troop 97 bestowed the rank of Eagle Scout to Jake on behalf of the National Boy Scout Council.

Community service is an important part of reaching the rank of Eagle Scout. Jake has completed almost 250 community service hours to date including volunteer work for the Epilepsy Foundation, the Autism Society, Adopt-A-Highway, Fountain of Life Food Bank, Londonderry Township flood relief projects, disaster drill “victim” for area hospital, Sunset Park trail clearing, Middletown Home, Geyers United Methodist Church, Middletown National Night Out, Toys For Tots, Londonderry Elementary School May Fair and numerous projects for the Londonderry Fire Company.

In addition, Jake has served in color guards for Helping A Hero, multiple Londonderry Township Fourth of July celebrations and at the Highspire Fire Company’s State Firemen’s Conference.

A community project that demonstrates leadership skills is required as part of the Eagle Scout rank. The Middletown Anglers and Hunters has been extremely supportive of Jake and Troop 97 over the years. Consequently, Jake wanted to give back to the organization that supported him, his fellow Scouts and the community as a whole. Jake organized a team to work on numerous projects at their facility in Londonderry Township. Among those projects, Jake repaired and painted the target range and built shooting tables for the rifle range.

Jake demonstrated his leadership qualities by holding the positions of troop quartermaster and patrol leader within Troop 97. Jake has become an assistant Scout master with Troop 97 so that he can share his love of Scouting by encouraging younger Scouts. He said he plans to help them develop their camping and outdoor skills.

Jake was a member of the Ender Dragon Patrol during the Boy Scouts of America National Jamboree in Bechtel, West Virginia, with Troop C203, which he attended with 50,000 Boy Scouts from around the world in 2013. Jake said he particularly enjoyed Scouting’s high adventure camps. He sailed at Sea Base High Adventure Camp in the Florida Keys in 2016 and canoed in the backwaters of Atikokan, Ontario, Canada at the Northern Tier High Adventure Camp in 2018.

Jake has logged in 108 nights of tent camping, 60 miles in trail hiking and more than 75 paddling miles to date with Troop 97. In addition, he earned 28 merit badges during his Scouting career.

Jake is the son of Tammy and Ralph O’Donnell of Londonderry Township. Tammy also has been an active volunteer and has done fundraising so that troop members can experience Scouting programs. Ralph has served Pack 97 and Troop 97 for more than 13 years as the troop treasurer and as a committee member.

Boy Scout Troop 97 is sponsored by Londonderry Fire Company in Londonderry Township.