Jacob O'Donnell of Troop 97 has been recognized by the Boy Scouts of America (BSA) for earning the rank of Eagle Scout. This is the highest rank BSA offers. Jake's Court of Honor was recently held at the Londonderry Scouting Complex in Londonderry Township. Committee chair Ted Pauley of Troop 97 bestowed the rank of Eagle Scout on Jake on behalf of the National Boy Scout Council.
Jake began his Scouting career as a Cub Scout with Pack 97 when he was in first grade. He went on to join Boy Scout Troop 97, where he was a member of the Panda Patrol. While in Troop 97, he was inducted into the BSA Order of the Arrow, BSA's national honor society.
Community service is an important part of reaching the rank of Eagle Scout. By the end of 2018, Jake had completed a total of almost 250 community service hours, including volunteer work for the Epilepsy Foundation, the Autism Society, Adopt-A-Highway, Fountain of Life Food Bank, Middletown Home, Geyers United Methodist Church, Middletown National Night Out, and Toys For Tots. Jake has participated in Londonderry Township flood relief projects, acted as a disaster victim during a disaster drill sponsored by an area hospital, helped to clear trails at Sunset Park, and helped at the Londonderry Elementary May Fair. He has taken part in 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 the Highspire Fire Company's State Firemen's Conference.
A community project that demonstrates leadership skills is required as part of earning the Eagle Scout rank. The Middletown Anglers and Hunters group 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 the Middletown Anglers and Hunters' facility in Londonderry Township. Among those projects, Jake repaired and painted the target range and built shooting tables for the rifle range.
Jake also demonstrated his leadership qualities by holding the positions of troop quartermaster and patrol leader within Troop 97. Jake has become an assistant Scoutmaster with Troop 97 so that he can share his love of Scouting by encouraging younger Scouts. 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, W.Va., with Troop C203. He was among the 50,000 Boy Scouts from around the world who attended the event 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 108 nights of tent camping, 60 miles in trail hiking and more than 75 paddling miles with Troop 97. In addition, he has earned 28 merit badges during his Scouting career.
Jake is the son of Tammy and Ralph O'Donnell of Londonderry Township. Tammy has also been an active volunteer and has especially been involved in fundraising so that troop members can experience Scouting programs. Ralph has been involved with Pack 97 and Troop 97 for more than 13 years, serving as the troop treasurer and as a committee member.
Boy Scout Troop 97 is sponsored by Londonderry Fire Company in Londonderry Township.