Powhatan County has benefited from the Eagle Scout projects and countless volunteer services hours of 11 Eagle Scouts who graduated from the Powhatan High School Class of 2019.
The following Powhatan graduates earned the Boy Scout of America’s highest rank of Eagle Scout: Pierce Bailey, Cole Burton, Noah Chandler, Evan Dodd, Christian Hardie, Trevor Leonard, Connor Lindhjem, Josh Long, Josh McLevain, Corey Palmore and Colton Vosburg. These young men were continually hard at work for the last nine years to complete their Eagle Scout requirements before their 18th birthdays.
All these gentlemen started their scouting career as Cub Scouts at the age of 6 or 7; most of them began under the leadership of Allen and Susanna Dodd and Scott McLevain out of Pack 1832. These boys then crossed over to Boy Scouts in Troop 832, which is sponsored by St. John Neumann Catholic Church in Powhatan. They started their Eagle journey there in the spring of their fifth grade school year around the age of 10.
They succeeded in this achievement with the support of their parents; the leadership of their Scoutmaster Jeff Morris, and guidance of many assistant scout masters (ASM), such as Richard Helms, Cindy Morris, Brian Long, John Bailey, Michael Solzbach and Tony Hackenberg to name but a few. These men and women dedicated countless volunteer hours to these and many more boys through the scouting program. This troop alone has guided 68 Eagles into flight since 1995. Out of 100 boys worldwide who join scouting only four of those 100 boys will earn the highest rank of Eagle Scout. Powhatan’s Class of 2019 has 11 Eagle Scouts in one graduating class!
Scouting focuses on enriching the lives of youth through education, service, adventure and leadership. To earn the rank of Eagle Scout, 13 mandatory eagle merit badges and a minimal of eight elective merit badges must be completed. They must also complete yearly volunteer services hours in their community; leadership in their troop; embark on hikes, camping, boating, skiing, and climbing trips, as well as participating in hands-on enrichment tasks and activities, all while learning skills to move up through the seven ranks.
In order to complete the merit badges the scouts read, comprehend, demonstrate and put into practice the requirements of that badge before sitting with their merit badge counselor to show that they understand the skill. These skills include emergency preparedness, first aid, survival, cooking, archery, electronics, swimming, personal fitness, automobile maintenance to personal management, communication, disability awareness, family life, sustainability, citizenship in the community, nation, and the world, to name a few from the 144 possible merit badges. The future Eagle Scout must also solely develop, fundraise and present to the board a project that will benefit a nonprofit organization or person(s) in need. They become the project manager, supervisor and worker on the job until completion.
These Eagle Scouts not only completed all of these learned skills and rank accomplishments in the last 10-11 years of scouting, they were also studying for their honors and AP classes in school; participating in extracurricular activities such as sports or band at Powhatan High School; as well as being involved citizens in their community, churches, places of employment, and spending time with their family and friends.
The following 11 PHS Class of 2019 graduates distinguished themselves by becoming Eagle Scouts:
* Pierce Bailey: Son of John and Preston Bailey. Bailey started scouting as a Tiger Scout in first grade in Pack 1832 out of St. John Neumann Catholic Church. He built a ball pit for the youth at Passion Community Church in Powhatan. He played the trombone for six years in the PHS band, attended summer mission trips, and helped lead the youth group at his church while working at Acres of Fun Kennel. Bailey earned an associate’s degree in science from J. Sergeant Reynolds Community College while attending PHS and is attending Liberty University majoring in exercise science in hopes of becoming a physical therapist.
* Cole M. Burton: Son of David and Andrea Burton. Burton joined scouting as a Webelo I at the age of 11. His Eagle Scout project was the design and fabrication of an outdoor work station located outside of Mike Walter Sport Facility and the Black Hawk Gym to benefit the wrestling club and the community that supports and collaborates with the Powhatan High School wrestling program. Burton wrestled on the PHS wrestling team and played lacrosse for four years. He started at Warriors Way Martial Arts when he was 4 years old, earned his 4th degree black belt and continued to work there for the last five years. Burton was honored with the Governor and Board of Education seal with honors and advanced studies diploma at Powhatan High School, graduating 10th in his class. He was in the math and science honor societies and graduated with an associate’s degree in science from J. Sergeant Reynolds Community College in May 2019. Burton is attending Virginia Tech majoring in aerospace engineering.
* Noah Chandler: Son of Tom and Emily Chandler. Chandler started cub scouts in fifth grade prior to crossing over the following year into Boy Scouts Troop 832 at St. John Neumann. His Eagle Scout project consisted of organizing and assembling eight picnic tables and two ADA wheelchair accessible picnic tables at Powhatan State Park. These tables were placed under the picnic shelters throughout the park. During his years at PHS, Chandler was a member of the National Technical Honor Society and active in the JROTC program; was part of his church’s youth leadership team; was involved in the Youth Conservation Corps, and was a lifeguard. Chandler is attending Liberty University studying criminal justice.
* Evan Dodd: Son of Allen and Susanna Dodd. Dodd started scouting at 6 years old, in first grade as a Tiger in Pack 1832 St. John Neumann. His Eagle Scout project was planning and building a canoe rack for Powhatan State Park. The rack serves as a space for visitors to keep their canoes while visiting and enjoying Powhatan State Park. Dodd graduated with honors; was a member of the National Honor Society; played varsity lacrosse for PHS; served as an usher at St. John Neumann; was a sailing instructor at the Greater Richmond Sailing Association, and was a childcare provider at American Family Fitness. Dodd is a student in the Honors College at Old Dominion University studying ocean and earth science/political science/finance.
* Christian Hardie: Son of Kenneth and Susan Hardie. Hardie was in second grade when he started scouting prior to moving into Troop 832. His Eagle Scout project was completed at Powhatan Elementary School playground, where he constructed and placed benches for the teachers to rest while monitoring students. During high school, Hardie volunteered at Back Packs of Love, worked part time at Kroger, and graduated Magna Cum Laude from J. Sergeant Reynolds Community College through the Advance College Academy. He won the Powhatan Rotary Club Scholarship and Powhatan Leadership Institute Scholarship, which he will apply toward his tuition this fall at William And Mary College, where he will study biology/pre-dentistry.
* Trevor Leonard: Son of Ronald and Katherine Leonard. Leonard started scouting at 8 years old; joined Cub Scout Den 1846, located at the Powhatan Ward of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, and then joined up with Troop 832 for Boy Scouts. His Eagle Scout project was planting 20 young milkweed plants along Powhatan State Park's Pollinator Trail. Milkweeds were requested by the State Park to promote the wellbeing of the local monarch butterflies. Leonard was a member of the National Honors Society, National Technical Honor Society, and English and Science National Honor societies. He was president of HOSA (Future Health Professionals club) and played with PHS Marching Band (band captain), PHS wind ensemble, concert and show choir bands, drumline, the Central Virginia Wind Symphony, All District Honor Band, and Longwood Honor Band. He represented Southside Electric Cooperative at the 2018 Electric Cooperative Youth Tour. Leonard was a youth leader at the Bon Air Ward of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. Throughout high school, he worked for John T. Nichols Inc. helping with interior trim work, as well as being a produce associate at Food Lion. He was the recipient of the Randolph Macon Book Award and won the Honorable Margaret Manning Scholarship Award. He completed the PHS Nurse Aide Course and took the State CNA Board Exam this summer. Leonard is attending Longwood University School of Nursing in their registered nursing program with the intent of going to graduate school for a Nurse Anesthetist (CRNA).
* Connor Lindhjem: Son of C.J. and Shannan Lindhjem. Lindhjem started his scouting journey in second grade at the age of 6 in Pack 1823 out of Powhatan United Methodist Church. For his Eagle Scout project, he built benches and placed them between the tennis courts at Powhatan High School for spectators, student and the community to use while at the courts. While in high school, Lindhjem worked at Independence Golf Course; was on the golf, baseball and tennis teams, and was a member of Powhatan High School’s Future Farmers of America, Future Business Leaders of America and National Honors Society. He graduated PHS with an advanced honors diploma and is attending Mary Baldwin University for criminal justice.
* Josh Long: Son of Brian and Amy Long. Long started his scouting career as a tiger in Pack 1832 at St. John Neumann. His Eagle Scout project was planning and reconstructing a concrete sidewalk and hand rail for a disabled elderly resident in Goochland County. Due to the condition of the paver walk, a concrete sidewalk was installed, which allowed this resident to use her walker when entering her home. Long was in many extra-curricular activities, including band, indoor percussion, and 4-H Shooting. He will be attending John Tyler for two years and then will transfer to either Virginia Tech, UVA or GMU to finish a degree in engineering or science.
* Josh McLevain: Son of Scott and Marguerite McLevain. In third grade, McLevain started his scouting career as a bear in Cub scouts Pack 1832, crossing over to the Boy Scouts Troop 832, where he completed his Eagle rank. McLevain built a trail and garden at Powhatan State Park as his Eagle Scout project. Its purpose is to educate people on the importance of pollinating plants, indigenous species, symbiotic relationships, and the importance of pollinators such as bees and butterflies. His garden trail leads into Trevor Leonard’s Eagle project, connecting the two gardens at the opposite end of the trail. McLevain graduated 16th in his class with a 4.3393 and was in the PHS National Honor Society and Spanish National Honor Society. He received the seal of biliteracy and the Governor’s Certificate of Recognition. McLevain ran track and cross country all four years at PHS, was indoor track captain his senior year, and is a member of the Passion Community Church youth group. He is attending Virginia Tech this fall and is majoring in engineering with an expected focus on mechanical engineering.
* Corey Ellis Palmore: Son of David and Jill Palmore. Palmore started as a Tiger Cub in Cub Scouts; transferred to Pack 1832 as a Webelo, then crossed over to Troop 832. For his Eagle Scout project, Palmore planned and built two wooden blessing boxes installing them at two church locations, Hobson’s Chapel UMC in Powhatan County and Payne Memorial UMC in Cumberland County. A blessing box is an unlocked box filled with non-perishable food, hygiene items, and blankets for transients or those in need in the community. The box is located outside of the churches and easily accessible any time of day or night. The church members refill the box as needed. Palmore graduated PHS in the top 8 percent of his class and was in the National English and Science Honor societies. Extracurricular activities besides Boy Scouts included four years of varsity lacrosse, hunting and fishing. Palmore attends Hobson’s Chapel Church and has volunteered several years at Backpacks of Love by picking up food orders, packing bags and delivering filled bags to area schools. He was also a volunteer with children who have special needs during his middle and junior high school years. He is attending VA Tech and studying engineering.
* Colton P. Vosburg: Son of Patrick and Tammy Vosburg. Vosburg began his scouting adventure as a wolf at the age of 7 with Cub Scout Pack 1832, crossing over to Troop 832 in fifth grade. Vosburg designed and led the construction of an outside educational amphitheater in Powhatan State Park for his Eagle Scout project. This project provides a shaded seating area for the participants and a stage and fire pit area for instructors while they host their outdoor nature and educational programs during the summer to visitors. Through scouting Vosburg has participated in leadership programs such as NAYLE in West Virginia and the Buckskin and Apollo leadership programs here in the Heart of Virginia Council. At PHS he ran on the varsity cross country team for four years and varsity track team for three years. He represented the PHS track team at the state competition level for the last two years; was a member of the National English Honors Society, and graduated from PHS with an advanced studies diploma. Vosburg was an active participant in his church youth group; started as climbing instructor at Peak Experience two years ago, and continues to usher and lector at St. John Neumann. Vosburg is attending JTCC to obtain a two-year degree with the intent of transferring into a bachelor’s program of natural resources and environmental conservation at Virginia Tech.
Honorable mention – Ethan Helms – An honorable mention to Eagle Scout Ethan Helms, son of Richard Helms and Michelle Sutton, who became an Eagle Scout with the above scouts in Troop 832. Helms started scouting with Pack 1832 out of St. John’s in Powhatan. His Eagle Scout project was planning and constructing a kick wall for Powhatan Youth Soccer Association to practice against at the War Memorial Field prior to southwest Virginia. Helms attended Powhatan High School up until the summer of 2018, between his junior and senior year, when he transferred to Gate City High School in Gate City. Helms was a part of the PHS lacrosse team. Once at Gate City High he became a member of the National Honor Society, an AIMS Scholar, VA/TN Scholar and was awarded the Robert A. Belz Scholarship Virginia Tech. Helms is attending Virginia Tech for to study in the field of medicine.