Only a small percentage of scouts achieve the Eagle Scout rank, the highest rank in boy scouting.
Perhaps rarer still would be a trio of scouts who made the journey together since elementary school.
Allen Johnson and Nick Short, both of Cornelius, and Andy Wilson of Mooresville were honored at a ceremony recognizing them as Eagle Scouts in June. The 18-year-olds have been in scouts together, in Troop 10, since they were Cub Scouts at Cornelius Elementary. And although they each attended a different middle and high school, one thing remained the same. They all decided to support each other in becoming Eagle Scouts.
"I felt I really earned it," said Short when talking about the ceremony.
"It was so exciting to see them share the stage together on Sunday for the culmination of their scouting experience," said Debbie Johnson, Allen's mother. The Scouts decided together to hold the event in Mount Zion United Methodist Church's outdoor chapel, created as an Eagle Scout project a few years ago. The three helped out with that project.
Johnson, Wilson and Short all enjoyed their time together as Scouts in Troop 10, which meets at the church in Cornelius. Whether whitewater rafting, hiking, fishing or camping, they enjoyed the activities together. One of their favorite events was the weeklong summer trip to Raven Knob Scout Reservation, operated by the Old Hickory Council, Boy Scouts of America. They often tried for the same merit badges like swimming, archery or survival skills. But mostly they enjoyed the camaraderie. "One summer they all came home with a buzz cut, much to the joy of their mothers," said Debbie Johnson.
Troop 10's annual Golden Skillet cook-off was another favorite activity. When they worked together, they were almost always victorious.
When they decided to become Eagle Scouts, they supported and helped one another on their projects. Each Scout needs to develop, plan and implement a community service project. It is intense and takes leadership skills and dedication.
Johnson, who graduated from North Mecklenburg High, created two picnic areas along the stream at Fisher Farm Park in Davidson. He cleared space in the woods and built tables without disturbing the natural setting.
Wilson, who graduated from Lake Norman High, repaired water damage and refurbished the hand bell choir room at Mount Zion. He removed mildew, peeled paint, and put up drywall and ceiling and floor tiles. After repainting the room, he built a cabinet for the children's choir robes.
Short, who graduated from Hopewell High, cleared land and built three benches for an amphitheater at Latta Plantation in Huntersville. It is used for shows at the Carolina Raptor Center.
This fall brings many changes for the three young men. Johnson will attend Columbia University studying English. Wilson will attend Mitchell Community College as a general business major. He plans to transfer after two years and major in mechanical engineering and applied sciences. Short plans to go to UNC Charlotte and major in engineering.