Teen becomes fifth member of family to earn Eagle Scout badge

COVINGTON - The Scroggs family continued a tradition Saturday as the fifth member of the family earned his Eagle Scout ranking.

Family and friends gathered at the Bert Adams Boy Scout Camp in Covington on Saturday afternoon to celebrate the accomplishment and watch Bobby Scroggs, 18, receive his official badge.

"It's a sense of pride," said Bobby's grandfather, John Scroggs, who is father to two Eagle Scouts and now grandfather to three Eagle Scouts. "We look back and look around at what we've done with the lives of our kids compared to other kids ... and we are so proud of them for everything."

Bobby, a senior at Luella High School in Locust Grove and former Heritage High School student, earned Eagle Scout after completing a picnic area near the concession stands at Heritage and Rockdale County high schools. He also had to earn 21 special merit badges - including citizenship, health, safety and responsibility, among others - before receiving the honor from Venture Crew 410 at St. Pius Catholic Church in Conyers.

He follows a long line of Eagle Scouts in his family - his two brothers, Chris, 24, and Michael, 21, earned their Eagle Scout honors in 2001 and 2004, respectively, and his dad, Ross, earned his in 1966; Bobby's uncle, Chip, earned one in 1988.

Most of them started in Boy Scouts around the age of 7 or 8 and continued until their late teens or early 20s. During their time in the Boy Scouts, they led service projects and earned a variety of badges; Ross' three sons even worked at the Bert Adams Camp during the summers. Now the former scouts are all either in college or enjoying profession careers.

It all started with encouragement from Grandfather John, who never earned Eagle Scout status but was a scout master in the late 1960s and urged his sons and grandsons to continue the family tradition.

"It instilled into the boys a sense of accomplishment, achievement and community service," he said about being in the Boy Scouts. "I always told the kids to remember who they are and what they are - that was their motto through life; someone's always watching, and they have to prove themselves."

Ross said Chris wouldn't have his job in the Air Force if it wasn't for his involvement in the Boy Scouts.

"It keeps them more responsible and makes them follow through and not leaving anything unfinished," Ross said. "I'm hoping they've learned a true sense of responsibility."

The family hopes to keep the tradition going with Chip's 2-year-old son, Tommy, and any future grandchildren and great-grandchildren.

"You never know what kids are going to do, and we don't want to pressure them, but we want to instill the importance of earning rank and contributing to society," Ross said.

Michelle Floyd can be reached at michelle.floyd@newtoncitizen.com.