Boy Scout helps a garden grow

Fellow scouts from Troop 51 help spread mulch at the Cook’s Community Garden for Eric Thompson’s Eagle Scout project.

Eric Nicholas Thompson, a member of Troop No. 51, earned the Boy Scout’s highest honor, the rank of Eagle, while helping Mountain Islanders to enjoy their own vegetable garden.

In order to earn the Eagle designation, the scout must conceive, plan and implement a Leadership Service Project of his own. Eric’s project was to plan and build the Cook’s Community Garden at Cook’s Memorial Presbyterian Church on Mt. Holly-Huntersville Road, with fellow scout Mack Ruttkamp.

The garden has allowed 16 families in the Mountain Island to plant, grow and harvest their own vegetables. They planned for corn, potatoes, carrots and some non-traditional seeds like bok choy, an Asian cabbage.

A look at the finished project that was enjoyed by 16 families this summer in the Mountain Island area.

An expansion of the garden is planned for next year to grow food for a local food bank.

Eric will be honored at a Jan. 21 Eagle Court of Honor at Cook’s Memorial Presbyterian Church.

Eric began the path to Eagle Scout as a first grader when he joined Tiger Cubs with Cub Scout Pack 51, also sponsored by Cook’s Memorial.  A group of five boys graduated from Cub Scouts to Boy Scouts seven years ago and all five are now working for Eagle Scout status.  Since being with Troop 51, Eric has had many leadership positions including chaplain, troop guide, instructor and historian.

During his tenure as a Boy Scout, Eric earned approximately 40 merit badges, the God and Country award and has taken part in many outdoor experiences, ranging from camping all over North and South Carolina to exploring caves in Virginia, to sailing in Florida and spending 10 days last summer at the National Boy Scout Jamboree at Fort AP Hill outside of Washington DC.

Eric, a freshman at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte, is the son of Michael and Ginger Thompson.

Since its introduction in 1911, the Eagle Scout rank has been earned by more than 2 million young men.

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