Black Creek District installs 43 new Eagle Scouts

This year’s class includes first two girls in region

By Don Coble don@opcfla.com
Posted 2/10/21

FLEMING ISLAND – The Black Creek District surpassed two important milestones Saturday, Feb. 6, with its induction of 43 to the ranks of Eagle Scout.

The organization now has installed 1,101 …

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Black Creek District installs 43 new Eagle Scouts

This year’s class includes first two girls in region

Posted

FLEMING ISLAND – The Black Creek District surpassed two important milestones Saturday, Feb. 6, with its induction of 43 to the ranks of Eagle Scout.

The organization now has installed 1,101 Scouts to its highest rank. Secondly, Black Creek also promoted its first two girls.

Unlike the previous 38 annual celebrations, this year’s event was subdued by the COVID-19 pandemic. Instead of a dinner with Scouts, family and guests, attendance was limited to a Scout and their parents. Seats were positioned at least six feet apart, and after receiving the honorary neckerchief, acknowledgments and plaque from Clay County Commission Chairman and Eagle Scout Mike Cella, Scouts were asked to leave Sullivan Hall at Sacred Heart Catholic Church to comply with safety protocols.

This year’s Eagle Scout class contributed more than 8,000 service hours on projects to improve the community. To earn the rank of Eagle, Scouts were required to earn at least 21 merit badges.

Included in the group were Olivia Pottenburgh and Courtney Laird. They are two of five girls in Troup 9892 who signed up on the first day girls were eligible to join Scouts BSA.

The two also are part of just eight girls in North Florida to achieve the rank of Eagle Scout this year.

“All of my older brothers were in the Scouts, so I’ve been part of it for a long time,” Pottenburgh said. “I’ve been to a couple of these dinners before because all three of my brothers are Eagles.”

Pottenburgh renovated a 20-foot-by-80-foot area outside the Jacksonville Humane Society to give prospective pet owners an opportunity to visit with available animals. Pet owners are restricted from the Humane Society by COVID-19, so Pottenburgh built a shaded area with new sod. She also collected dog food.

Her father, Matt Pottenburgh, was the Scout Master at 9892 when his daughter was joined by four other girls in the troop.

“All of the girls have worked very hard,” he said. “The other three will probably will be Eagles next year.”

The Boy Scouts changed its name – and admission policies – a year ago. The organization now is known as Scouts BSA.

Pottenburgh and Laird achieved their Eagle status in one year.

Laird also is a member of the Girl Scouts.

She built shelves and stock them with books and games to create an adult library at the Quigley House for her project. Quigley House is Clay County’s only dual certified domestic violence and sexual assault center.

Other Eagles made significant contributions as well. Timothy Denney pressure-washed 1,000 feet of concrete at his Orange Park High; Mitchell Harlamor built an outside classroom with seven benches, three flowerbeds, four shade trees and tree stump seating at Fleming Island Elementary; Wyatt Johnson built a mounting rack and block with a set of stairs and a bench to assist disabled veterans mount horses at Hope Therapy; Justin Cooler repaired fencing of the pens at the Safe Animal Shelter; and, William Hughes built two accessibility ramps, two picnic tables and landscaped around the house at Building Abilities for Special Children and Adults.

In addition to the white neckerchief, each Eagle also received a five-year membership to the National Eagle Scout Association, A NESA certificate, lapel pen, letters of certificate from Florida Sen. Jennifer Bradley, Florida Rep. Sam Garrison, U.S. Rep. Kat Cammack, Cella, Clay County Sheriff Michelle Cook and letters from various civic groups.

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