By Alex Welch
Becoming an Eagle Scout
isn’t an easy jump to make. Scouts go through years of work and
training, ultimately finishing with one last project to earn the
final rank. One McDonough student was recently honored for his
efforts in this process.
Jamie Edwards shows the
letter of commendation he received from Gov. Nathan Deal.
Photo by Alex Welch
James Edwards V, 18,
first became a Boy Scout when he joined Troop 712 of Shiloh
Baptist Church in McDonough in 2010. Three years later, Edwards
has now attained the rank of Eagle Scout after completing his
final project at Noah’s Ark Animal Sanctuary.
Scouts are required to
complete a service project to officially earn the Eagle rank.
Edwards chose to assist Noah’s Ark by performing several duties
to help with the upkeep of the different animal habitats.
“I knew that I had to do
a project for a nonprofit, and that was the one that stood out
the most to me. It [Noah’s Ark] has over 1,500 animals that are
orphaned, abused or in rehabilitation. I wanted to give back to
not only help them, but to help the community,” Edwards said. “I
cleaned out the lion, tiger and bear pen, and I just cleaned
them out, cut down the grass, put in new mulch and dirt for
Edwards, his brother
Jalen, and two other scouts from Troop 712 helped to spruce up
the habitat for Noah’s Ark’s famous lion, tiger and bear trio.
The boys also helped clean up a few other areas of the sanctuary
and did some re-fencing of the tiger section.
Edwards’ mother, Shawn,
said the employees at the sanctuary “really embrace Eagle Scout
projects,” and they were delighted to have the help. She was
proud of her son’s accomplishment and the work he did for Noah’s
“My husband and I are so
proud of the accomplishments that Jamie has made. Education
wise, he’s always been an A-B honor roll student, he’s excelled
in sports. In our opinion, Eagle Scout is the highest honor, and
it’s just the icing on the cake,” Shawn said.
While becoming an Eagle
Scout isn’t a common feat, Edwards stands out even more, as he
is the first member of Troop 712 to reach this rank. He was
honored at Shiloh Baptist Church on Aug. 18. The McDonough City
Council also invited Edwards to lead the opening Pledge of
Allegiance at their Aug. 19 meeting.
Gov. Nathan Deal honored
Edwards’ special occasion by sending a letter of commendation.
To make the letter even more unique, Deal signed it on Aug. 1,
which was the day Edwards turned 18.
He knew becoming an Eagle
Scout was a major milestone, but Edwards said he didn’t realize
the kind of attention he would receive afterward.
“Honestly, I’m going
along with the flow. I didn’t anticipate this much recognition.
Every day people show me more and more how much it means,”
After graduating from
Luella High School, Edwards plans to attend Georgia Military
College on scholarship. He will enter the U.S. Army after two
years as a second lieutenant, and Edwards said he plans to make
a career of his military tenure. Ultimately, Edwards said he
hopes to work with the CIA or FBI after retiring from the
“I feel like everything is falling together
like I wanted it to. I just have to stay focused and keep being
that way,” Edwards said.