Marist seniors Benjamin Jackson and Kevin Rook recently completed Eagle Scout projects and participated in the Eagle Scout Court of Honor Ceremony on Saturday, April 21 at Morgan Park Baptist Church where their rank became official.
Jackson, who has been a part of scouting for 16 years and is a member of Troop 609 out of Morgan Park Baptist Church (MPBC), collected toiletry items for residents at the Mercy Home for Boys and Girls campus for boys in Chicago’s West Loop. Jackson set up collection sites at Marist, MPBC, Quinn Chapel A.M.E. Church, and Chicago Police Department headquarters, along with collecting from friends and neighbors. He gathered more than 1,200 items for the boys and young men who live in the Mercy Home residence. Jackson said he wanted to help children who are less fortunate than him. “These are necessities everyone should have,” Jackson said of the items. “At least they can start their day with the things they need.” Jackson dropped off the items to thankful staff members who he had contacted prior to starting his collection.
Rook, pictured with Br. Hank Hammer, oversaw the construction of two custom-made wood benches engraved with Marist High School on the front. When trying to decide what his project should be, a former Marist administrator pointed out that there is often a line at the school nurse’s office without enough seating for students. Rook set out to design the benches. With some knowledge learned at his part-time job at Ace Hardware and the help of his troop members, it took about ten hours to build. The two benches now sit in the school’s main hall by the nurse’s office. Rook, who is a member of Troop 596 from Mt. Zion Church in Oak Lawn, said he has been active in scouting all of his life.
Eagle Scout is the highest rank in the Boy Scout program. Requirements include the achievement of many merit badges, an attitude that reflects the Boy Scout oath, service, and leadership. Eagle Scouts must also complete a service project that benefits a community, school or religious organization.