March 22, 2018

Seven Great Falls Troop 55 Scouts Earn Eagle Scout Rank

By Tommy K., Boy Scout Troop 55 Lead Historian


Nationwide, only four percent of Boy Scouts achieve the Rank of Eagle Scout. This year, seven Troop 55 Scouts earned the rank. The Eagle Rank is the most difficult as Scouts must demonstrate service, leadership, and training that positively impact their communities and the world over an extensive period of time. In addition, Eagle Rank recipients must earn a minimum of 21 merit badges, each reflecting a level of expertise in a variety of disciplines.


Andrew Dudzik’s Eagle Project built a metal roof over the utility yard behind St. Francis Episcopal Church. The roof helps protect tools and outdoor equipment. It took three months and 252 hours of volunteer work to complete. It was a challenging project, but it helped teach younger scouts construction skills such as pouring concrete and using power tools. Dudzik remarked, “I think the most important thing I learned in scouting was how to be a follower. Being a leader is great, and I learned a lot as Senior Patrol Leader, but following orders is a skill that develops over time. It shows a level of respect for your leaders and helps the Troop function as a team.”


Dunie Eagle ProjectNick Dunie’s Eagle Project built a footbridge over a stream and cleared the trail around the new crossing. Dunie remarked, “Leadership skills are what I gained most from scouting. I have been able to apply the skills I learned in Scouting to many other areas of my life.”

 Caption:  Troop 55 Scouts pose on completed footbridge.

Corey Hodge’s Eagle Project was a community-wide effort collecting children’s books for an underprivileged elementary school in Ohio. The school district is one of the poorest in the Country. HoHodge Eagle Projectdge’s project resulted in 2200 children’s books that were collected and sorted by scouts and donated to the school. Hodge remarked, “The most important skills I learned from Scouts are leadership and public speaking. Both of these are incredibly important skills and I credit Scouts for helping me with both.”

 (from L to R) Nat Raudenbush, Nick Hodge and Nathan Hauda box children’s books while Taylor Ray and others use computers to sort books by reading level.

Joseph Kee’s Eagle Project built two cook-top shelves for Restore in Chantilly. Kee remarked, “The most important thing I’ve learned from scouting is how to cook. Cooking healthy meals over a gas stove or fire is required on campouts, and I was able to become a proficient cook. I’ll use these skills when I go to college this Fall.”


Mitchell Pan’s Project built a plexiglass easel, balance beam and storage bin for St. Francis Creche Preschool. The project was designed to give the preschoolers fun activities to Troop 55 Eagle Recognitionenhance their skills in the outdoors. Pan remarked, “The most important thing I learned in scouting was leadership skills. These skills have transferred to my approach in class assignments, and extracurricular activities that I do outside of scouting. I have been challenged many times as a leader and I find the right outcome faster after going through the scouting program.”

 Troop 55 Eagle Recognition:
Troop 55 Scouts attend Eagle Recognition at the Capitol
From Left to Right:  Senator Mark Warner, Eagle Scout Derek Raschid, Eagle Scout Timmy Feng, Eagle Scout Paul Youssef, Senator Timothy Kaine, Parent Ash Youssef

Charles Eagle Project 4Charles Sampson worked with the Potomac Appalachian Trail Club for his Eagle Project to build a parkland trail connecting to Wolf Trap National Park. Charles led Scouts and other volunteers to build a 154-foot section of boardwalk involving prepping the trail site, leveling and anchoring T-Joists and fastening deck planks. Sampson remarked, “The most important thing I learned in scouting is challenging myself. I’ve had experiences that I never would have thought possible because of my time in scouting.”

 (from L to R) Mike Moran-Potomac Appalachian Trail Club (PATC), Troop 55 Scout Charles Sampson, Tom Burnside-CCHA Parkland/Maintenance Committee Chairperson pose on completed boardwalk. 

Yousef ProjectPaul Yousef’s project constructed a staircase in the parking lot at St. Thomas a Becket Catholic church in Reston. The stairs allow parishioners to avoid climbing a muddy hill when entering and leaving the church. After four months of research, planning and execution, Yousef learned invaluable lessons about leadership, and reaching to others for advice along the way. Yousef remarked, “The most important thing I learned from Scouting is discovering who I am. Scouting taught me that I am part of something bigger, and what it means to give back to others in every aspect of life. Scouting has provided a template for success and opportunities that no school, occupation, organization or amount of money could ever have offered me.”

 From L to R:  Troop 55 Scouts pose on completed steps at St. Thomas a Becket Catholic Church in Reston.  Thomas Windus, Paul Yousef, Wesley Pan

Troop 55 is chartered by St. Francis Episcopal Church in Great Falls Virginia.