By Desiree Williams
At the Court of Honor ceremony Aug. 13, Mark Badger was honored with the rank of Eagle Scout, the highest advancement given by the Boy Scouts of America. He is the youngest of four brothers, all of whom are Eagle Scouts. It was the first time in Troop 358’s history that four brothers achieved the rank.
“It was awesome,” Mark said. “I can’t believe how cool it was to be with my brothers, standing in front of my parents, grandparents, neighbors and friends. It made me so proud to have joined my brothers in this honor.”
Mark had to achieve six ranks, earn 21 merit badges and organize and complete a service project before he turned 18 to reach Eagle Scout status.
For his service project, Mark built room partitions with storage space for the Life Skills classroom at Zionsville Community High School. The classroom provides students with disabilities a place to receive extra help from peer volunteers. It is one large classroom, so the partitions define specific learning spaces and provide storage for each student’s materials.
“I wanted to give back to a class that helped me during middle school,” Mark said.
For reaching Eagle Scout rank, all four brothers received a sword of their choosing to represent their personality.
“I was looking for any kind of bribe to keep them motivated,” said Jim Badger, Mark’s father. “We used the symbolism of the sword of the spirit.”
Jim was an Eagle Scout and wanted his children to have that same experience, so all four boys joined at a young age.
“My dad was in the military, so we traveled around a lot and (Boy Scouts) was the one consistent thing I had,” Jim said.
Jim and his wife were advancements co-chairs of Troop 358 for more than a decade. They have retired now that their kids have completed the program.