Heddleston and Milam: Scouting’s Eagle award

Newly minted Eagle Scouts Dustin Milam, left, and Bret Heddleston celebrate their success. Photo by Jonathan Heddleston.

From contributed reports
Together since Cub Scout days, Bret Heddleston and Dustin Milam capped their careers by receiving the Eagle Scout award at a joint Court of Honor on Oct. 16.

Scout leaders, family members, friends and fellow Boy Scouts from Troop 36 attended the program at Reynolds Memorial Baptist Church Fellowship Hall in Sperryville. The program included a slide show about each boy’s journey through scouting, including ski trips, camping, fishing on the Chesapeake Bay, and many award ceremonies. A “light box” presentation explained the meaning of the Eagle Scout emblem, which includes colors representing the obligations of an Eagle Scout. Those attributes are loyalty, courage, cheerfulness, service and an honorable life.

Roger Pierson, Troop 36 Scoutmaster, was the master of ceremonies while Senior Patrol Leader Tristan Palme led the presentation of the colors. Joy Heddleston, accompanied by the Mullany family, provided special music with the selection, “In Christ Alone.” Both of Bret’s brothers took part in the ceremony with Eagle Scout Chad Heddleston providing the “Eagle Charge.” Part of Chad’s speech included his words from a blog he wrote for Shenandoah Mountain Guides. Written on the Boy Scouts of America’s 100th anniversary, Chad said, “It’s been a decade since I received my Eagle but the Scout Oath, Law, and Motto are still as fresh as the memories of those great trips. So congrats to the BSA, now 100 years strong!

Kirk Milam and Jon Heddleston each took part in the ceremony and Sheila Milam and April Heddleston were proud to receive their “Eagle Mother’s pin.” Bret and Dustin each spoke to the audience, thanking their leaders and families. Bret shared an essay he had written that discussed the way he has learned leadership through the Scout program. He currently serves as the student government president at Wakefield Country Day School where he and Dustin are both seniors.

The boys each completed service projects for their community. Dustin built a walkway between Wakefield Country Day School and its home for international students, Trinity Manor. Bret reconstructed a playground, which had been taken apart for Reynolds Memorial Baptist Church’s expansion and added a dome climber for the children.

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