By Sue Moore
Boy Scout Troop 253 rolled out the colors for an Eagle Scout ceremony to honor four boys in their troop who have recently attained the rank of Eagle Scout. The troop, sponsored by Lakeland Reformed Church, honored Brandon and Jason Thomas, Tyler Sands and Connor Seifert on April 21.
The Thomas brothers and Sands finished their requirements earlier but waited for Seifert to catch up with them before scheduling the ceremony. “These guys have been patient with me. What we started together 12 years ago, we wanted to finish together,” Seifert said. “It lets the younger scouts see what they can be doing and try to achieve when they see us become Eagle Scouts.”
All four honorees are seniors at Vicksburg High School and active in school events. Brandon and Jason Thomas are in the band, playing trumpet and alto sax, respectively. They are on the Clay Shooting team along with Sands and more than 60 other participants. Seifert has played basketball, lacrosse and tennis while finishing in the top 10 percent of his graduating class.
Jason Thomas chose the parking lot at Pavilion Township hall needing improvement for his Eagle Scout project. He worked with Supervisor Patrick White to bring in new gravel, all of which was donated. Clay Rhodes and his dad helped level the gravel with their Bobcat, thus beautifying the site and making it more accessible for township residents. Thomas intends to go into environmental sustainability at Kalamazoo Valley Community College (KVCC).
Brandon Thomas planted 1,200 seedlings at the Gourdneck State Game area in Portage. The planting included blue spruce, white pine and ferns. He worked with his dad, Todd Thomas, whom he credits with being his mentor. He was also a leader as cubmaster in the early years of scouting for the Thomas twins. Brandon’s plans are to enroll in general education courses at KVCC until he decides what his future might be.
Tyler Sands built rabbit shelters at the Gourdneck State Game area. He was assisted by Mark Mills and Sarah Topp with marking trees to be cut down. Then Sands brought in 50 volunteers to stack the brush in various spots for the rabbit shelters. That also helps to maintain the grass lands in the game area and allows new trees to grow, Sands said. He took a Education for Employment course in wildlife management through Kalamazoo RESA while in high school.
Connor Seifert scripted and made two autism videos for his Eagle Scout project. His plans are to attend Western Michigan University in the fall and study engineering or aviation.