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Daniels twins become family's third, fourth Eagle Scouts

All four men in the Dave Daniels family have achieved the honor of Eagle Scout, the highest rank attainable in the youth programming of the Boy Scouts of America (BSA). Dave, far right, earned Eagle Scout on May 14, 1964 as a member of Troop 203 in Fort Bliss, Texas, and each of his sons earned Eagle Scout with Boy Scout Troop 223 of the First Baptist Church of Shelbyville. From left: Theodore and Alexander, both 15 years old and freshmen at Shelbyville High School, will formally accept their honor tomorrow in an Eagle Scout Court of Honor ceremony. Jacob, 29, earned Eagle Scout on July 26, 2006.

By LUANN MASON - For The Shelbyville News

For the Daniels family, the soaring Eagle has landed four times and will continue to take flight for a lifetime.

All of the family’s men have achieved the honor of Eagle Scout, the highest rank attainable in the youth programming of the Boy Scouts of America (BSA). Dave earned Eagle on May 14, 1964, as a member of Troop 203 in Fort Bliss, Texas, and each of his sons earned Eagle Scout with Boy Scout Troop 223 of the First Baptist Church of Shelbyville – Jacob on July 26, 2006, and Alexander and Theodore on Dec. 21. They will receive their honors tomorrow during a formal ceremony.

The 15-year-old Daniels twins will join millions of scouts nationwide who soar above all expectations during an 11 a.m. Court of Honor ceremony hosted by their parents, Dave and Holly Daniels, and Troop 223, inside Town and Country Christian Church just west of town on State Road 44.

According to Boy Scouts of America (BSA), more than two million young men have earned the Eagle rank since its introduction in 1912. Current statistics documented by BSA, which is defined as one of the largest youth organizations in the United States, show 51,820 scouts earned the Eagle Scout rank in 2014 alone.

The Crossroads of America Council headquartered in Indianapolis was home to 410 new scouts attaining the rank of Eagle Scout in 2017, according to Karrie Schlegel, Crossroads of America executive assistant. Shelby County Boy Scout Troops are included in that council.

While plans for their adult lives are not in focus yet for these two Shelbyville High School freshmen, Alexander and Theodore each anticipate the life lessons learned on the trail to Eagle are contributors to future successes in life.

Their journey in scouting started in the first grade at Loper Elementary School and when advancing to each grade, the brothers also advanced through all of the Cub Scouting stages, which was key to opening the door to Boy Scouts. As Boy Scouts, Alexander and Theodore refined leadership skills when moving through five ranks of advancement along the trail to Eagle ­– Tenderfoot, Second Class, First Class, Star, Life – each requiring the scout to be proficient in a number of specific skills before moving forward.

Skills are acquired through a step-by-step organized approach that involves merit badge work designed so scouts can explore new interests and learn life skills. The brothers each earned the 21 merit badges required in pursuit of the Eagle Scout rank in addition to six others of their choosing.

As outlined in the Boy Scout Handbook, a Boy Scout must complete requirements in the area of leadership, service, and outdoor skills, and demonstrate proficiency in these areas while on the trail to Eagle Scout.

They must also plan, develop, and give leadership to others in a service project to benefit an organization other than Boy Scouting in the scout’s community. Once completed, the Boy Scouts Crossroads of American Council’s advancement committee reviews the scout’s written report of completion to insure it merits the stamp of approval, which each of theirs did, to receive the rank of Eagle Scout. All of this must be completed before the scout reaches his 18th birthday.

For his service project, Alexander proposed planting trees in staggered rows to form a wind break on the west side of Town and Country church. The church elders, he said, had talked for sometime about creating a way to block the wind, but put the idea on hold since an expansion to the building was being considered.

“It gets really windy and dry there,” said Holly Daniels. Putting in a windbreak with trees became possible when plans for building expansion halted.

Alexander, the project manager, utilized a group of adults and other scouts to complete the project, raised the money needed, and will continue to follow up on the growth progress of the 100 Northern White Cedar saplings that were planted in May. When planted, the saplings were about six inches tall. They are expected to become 10-30 feet tall. Alexander and his family will replace the saplings that fail to survive.

The church also benefited from Theodore’s Eagle Scout project.

“I landscaped the front of the church. We took out bushes, (ornamental) trees, realigned bricks and put down mulch and rock,” he said. He led a group of 10 people to complete the work, and sought funding. After the area was cleared, the group planted knock out rose bushes and Siberian Spruce.

“They were worker bees for each other,” Dave said about his sons.

“We supported each other in the work and did the paperwork individually,” Alexander said. “(Scouting) has given me experience and skills in things I might have to do in the future on a day-to-day basis. It’s given me leadership experience that helps you as an adult.” And, being an Eagle Scout could open doors to getting a job and receiving ranks in the military, Theodore said. “Others consider you as leaders and role models and you gain (their) respect.”

All four Daniels men are Brotherhood members of the Order of the Arrow, the National Honor Society of BSA. The OA promotes scouting ideals especially leadership to help others as lifelong values.

As for Mom Holly, she was the encourager. “I encouraged them and tried to help keep them organized,” she said. “I would work to build their confidence and keep them confident in what they were doing, and you have to make sure you don’t overstep that role.”

“All three of them have done well,” Dave said.

Twenty-nine-year-old Jacob, a 2007 Shelbyville High School graduate, is working toward completing his second college degree, a Bachelor of Computer Science at IUPUI. An Army veteran, Jacob utilized the Post 911 G.I. Bill for college tuition. He already holds a Bachelor of Arts and Sciences from IUPUI.

The Danielses also have two daughters – Thomasina, 38, and Amanda, 23.

Boy Scout Troop 223

Since its formation in 1994, Boy Scout Troop 223 of the First Baptist Church of Shelbyville has had 26 members attain to the rank of Eagle Scout:

Ryan E. Smith, April 9, 1995; Thomas L. Mason, Nov. 18, 1996; Eric J. Meyers, Dec. 4, 1996; Brandon C. Pettit, Dec. 18, 1997; Christopher M. Myers, Dec. 18, 1997; Brian P. Kelly, Jan. 22, 1998; Luke S. Simons, June 18, 1998; Paul B. Chappelow, Oct. 24, 2001; Matthew I. Brentin, Feb. 9, 2002; Michael G. Hobbs, Feb. 16, 2006; Nicholas R. Lochard, April 12, 2006; Jacob R. Daniels, July 26, 2006; Andrew E. Lux, Aug. 1, 2006; Thomas A. Lapinski, Oct. 18, 2006; John F. Werbe III, Sept. 5, 2007; Adam R. Gaudin, Oct. 16, 2007; Jeffrey N. Brentin, May 14, 2008; Mark A. Fuller, Feb. 8, 2010; Trevor W. Pike, May 21, 2015; Brendan R. Stickle, Oct. 15, 2015; Caleb Phillips, May 18, 2016; Darrel T. Current, April 20, 2017; Thomas M. Fuller, May 18, 2017; Alexander M. Daniels, Dec. 21, 2017; Theodore R. Daniels, Dec. 21, 2017; Don D. Current, Jan. 18, 2018.