They’re now Eagle Scouts, fulfilling a promise they made to each other as Tigers

All seven members of Troop 25’s Bull Patrol, who promised each other as Cub Scouts that they’d become Eagle Scouts some day, have done just that. Five of the seven were honored at the same court of honor this month. They are, from left: Cleveland Stockman, Alex Pearce, Robert Humphrey, Sam Cooper and Carter Stockman. Above that photo is the same five boys at their crossover ceremony in fifth grade. (Photos courtesy of Janice Stockman)

One sentence is all it took.

Soon after becoming Cub Scouts, seven boys listened as their Cubmaster told them this: “Only about 4% to 6% of Scouts earn the Eagle Scout Award.”

While earning the highest rank in Scouts BSA is hardly the only sign of a successful Scouting experience, that sentence stuck with these seven new Tigers in Pack 25 of Prattville, Ala., part of the Tukabatchee Area Council.

“All throughout our career in Scouting, we were always told that same statistic,” says Alex Pearce, one of the seven. “I know that we all wanted to break the trend and all make it to Eagle Scout.”

As Cub Scouts, these seven promised each other they’d become Eagle Scouts together. As Scouts, they enjoyed unforgettable experiences as members of Troop 25’s Bull Patrol. And now, after 12 years together, they’ve made good on their promise.

As of this month, all seven young men, now recent high school graduates, have become Eagle Scouts. The stupendous seven are part of Troop 25, led by Scoutmaster Stuart Bear and chartered to the Prattville First United Methodist Church.

“At the beginning, I think we all said we would achieve it because it was the highest award in Scouting and we all wanted to prove we could do it,” says Robert Humphrey, another member of the seven. “But as we got older and began to take it more seriously, we began to realize we could actually do this and that it would be really cool to finish together.”

A little help from friends and family

Earning Eagle, like climbing a sky-high mountain, is a fundamentally solo endeavor. Nobody can carry you to the top. But that doesn’t mean you have to take that trail alone.

“I don’t know if we would have all made it without the group pushing us forward and motivating us,” Robert says. “We all showed up and helped each other with our Eagle projects and encouraged each other to keep going if we saw the other get stuck on a merit badge or two.”

Robert’s mom, Jennifer Humphrey, has watched her son form friendships whose depth and value were strengthened during every pack meeting, troop meeting, campout and trek.

“The same group of young men have been by Robert’s side as he grew and matured,” Jennifer says. “There is a lot to be said for forming that kind of bond in today’s world, where your status and value are often determined by how many likes you get on social media. These kids have all achieved remarkable things individually, but collectively they are even more amazing.”

Let’s meet those seven Eagle Scouts: Connor Boyle, Sam Cooper, Robert Humphrey, Jake Johnson, Alex Pearce, Carter Stockman and Cleveland Stockman.

Connor Boyle

Eagle board of review: May 11, 2021

Favorite Scouting memory: Playing games and cards with his troop in the evening at summer camp.

Eagle project: Led an effort to beautify the drive-up to a historic church. “It taught me the reward and fulfillment of planning, organizing and successfully executing a project all on your own,” Connor says.

After high school: Connor plans to take a gap year to work and help his troop by becoming an adult leader. After that, he’d like to go to college to pursue a degree in computer science and information technology.

Why our country needs Scouting: “I believe that Scouting can teach many things to our country’s youth, especially leadership, responsibility and a sense of community. It has helped to build my character, and its impact will stay with me for life.”

The parents’ perspective: Brian and Kimmy Boyle say that Scouting helped Connor transform “from a shy little boy into a confident leader. The required leadership positions within Scouting have been invaluable to building his confidence and attention to detail.”

Sam Cooper

Eagle board of review: Jan. 7, 2021

Favorite Scouting memories:

  • Spending the night on the USS Alabama as a Cub Scout. “Our den got to run around a real battleship, explore and play games,” Sam says. “We had the run of pretty much the whole ship.”
  • Sharing a tent with Robert and Carter during a heavy rainstorm. “We stayed up way too late, and when we woke up, all of our stuff was wet,” Sam says. “But we really didn’t care because we were having so much fun.”

Eagle project: Led an effort to remove overgrown bushes in front of his school and replace them with crepe myrtles. “I learned that you make a lot of friends in Scouting, and most of them will show up when you need them,” Sam says.

After high school: Plans to attend college and major in wildlife biology.

Why our country needs Scouting: “Because it teaches young men how to be the best form of themselves.”

The parents’ perspective: John Cooper says he’s noticed his son, and all the Scouts featured here, become more interested in serving others in their troop and community as they’ve gotten older. “As younger Scouts, they tended to ‘stay in their lanes’ and worry more about their individual needs,” John says. “Somewhere around the time they were in junior high, they begin to understand the importance of working to meet the goals of the troop.” Karen Ballard Cooper, Sam’s mom, agrees. “Scouting definitely gave Sam confidence, leadership skills, compassion for others and a love for his community,” she says.

Robert Humphrey

Eagle board of review: May 11, 2021

Favorite Scouting memories:

  • Spending the night on the USS Alabama as a Cub Scout. “I loved sleeping in the hanging bunks and pretending we were on a working ship,” Robert says.
  • Camporees, especially “the year we won the coveted Blue Pig for best troop,” he says.

Eagle project: Led an effort to create and bury a time capsule at his local junior high. “I learned a lot about my own community that I had not known previously,” Robert says. “I also learned about providing leadership to others in the community outside of my troop and peers.”

After high school: Plans to attend Auburn University and major in aerospace engineering. He also wants to stay active in Scouting by helping his younger brother, who is a Cub Scout in Pack 25.

Why our country needs Scouting: “Because it teaches skills that all young people need. There are not many avenues where you can learn to cook and manage your finances and manage a project for community service in one place.”

The parents’ perspective: Hunter and Jennifer Humphrey say Robert has grown “from a wild little boy to a thoughtful young man. He has learned to lead others quietly and effectively.”

Jake Johnson

Eagle board of review: Nov. 21, 2019

Favorite Scouting memory: Spending the night on the USS Alabama as a Cub Scout. “The ship is really neat, and I like the history of it,” Jake says. “My great-grandfathers fought in World War II, and I liked to think about them being on a ship like that.”

Eagle project: Led an effort to clean up an old cemetery near his town that is the resting place of Clement Billingsley, a Revolutionary War veteran from the area. “I learned a lot about organizing and planning a project like that,” Jake says, “and I learned a lot about how to lead other people to get the job done.”

After high school: Plans to attend Huntingdon College in Montgomery, Ala., to pursue a career in information technology and cybersecurity.

Why our country needs Scouting: “It teaches leadership, perseverance and many other things that help you become a good person.”

The parents’ perspective: Kim and Brian Johnson say Scouting helped Jake grow in confidence and maturity. “When Jake started Cub Scouts, he was very shy and quiet. He enjoyed Scouting, but he never wanted to be a leader,” they say. “As the years passed, we watched him grow and learn until he realized that he was one of the Scouts that the younger boys looked to for leadership and guidance, and he became more comfortable with a leadership role.”

Alex Pearce

Eagle board of review: May 11, 2021

Favorite Scouting memory: Attending summer camp at Camp Sequoyah, where his dad entered a Scoutmaster golf tournament on the last day. Unlike a traditional golf tournament with woods and irons, these clubs had to be fashioned from items found at camp. Alex and some of his fellow Scouts served as caddies, and Alex’s dad “ended up winning that tournament with clubs that he spent the whole week fashioning at the handicraft stations,” Alex says. “It was super fun for me to be able to be part of the final product.”

Eagle project: Led an effort to lay a pad of concrete pavers up to and around the flagpole at his city’s public safety building. “From preparing and executing my project, I learned just how hard it is to manage a project and lead the people involved in it,” Alex says.

After high school: Attending Auburn University, pursuing a double major in music performance and music education.

Why our country needs Scouting: “Even as the interests of kids change, they still should learn the principles set by the Scout Oath and Law. I have learned so many valuable skills throughout my time as a Scout that I will carry through the rest of my life.”

The parents’ perspective: Bob Pearce, Alex’s dad, says he’s seen Alex grow in too many ways to count as he took the journey from Tiger to Eagle. “He took risks and was willing to experience things that were out of his comfort zone. He developed the important trait of leading by example. He developed confidence in himself,” Bob says. “This is just the short list.”

Carter Stockman

Eagle board of review: May 11, 2021

Favorite Scouting memories: Performing in skits with his Cub Scout den and going on campouts with his troop.

Eagle project: Led an effort to 3D print more than 300 face shields at the beginning of the pandemic. “It was an excellent opportunity to put the leadership skills I’ve learned into practice for a more extended period of time,” he says. “I also gained a new respect for great communicators, particularly those who get their message across when face-to-face conversation isn’t an option.”

After high school: Attending Auburn University and majoring in mechanical engineering.

Why our country needs Scouting: “Our country needs good leaders, and Scouting is a place where young people can develop a sound foundation and learn how to lead the right way.”

Cleveland Stockman

Eagle board of review: May 11, 2021

Favorite Scouting memory: Racing his hot dog car in the Pinewood Derby as a Cub Scout. “The whole crowd started cheering, ‘Hot dog! Hot dog!’ It was super fun,” he says.

Eagle project: Led an effort to build a gaga ball pit at a local elementary school. “I learned that to be a leader, you cannot micromanage every single detail,” he says. “You have to let people do the work.”

After high school: Attending the University of Alabama and double-majoring in math and philosophy.

Why our country needs Scouting: “Our country needs leaders who are committed to serve their community, and that’s exactly what Scouts does.”

About Bryan Wendell 3282 Articles
Bryan Wendell, an Eagle Scout, is the founder of Bryan on Scouting and a contributing writer.