The Student News Site of Fluvanna County High School

The Fluco Beat

The Student News Site of Fluvanna County High School

The Fluco Beat

The Student News Site of Fluvanna County High School

The Fluco Beat

Tammy Kimble
Members of Troop 154’s Goat Patrol: Matthew Gresham, Ryan Scopelliti, Hayden Bridge, Zack Harris, Tyler Nelson, Justin Frashure, Jack Oliphant, and Trey Housekenecht at Harris’ Eagle Ceremony. Photo courtesy of Tammy Kimble.

Local Scouts Are the GOAT

The term “goat” means plenty of things. For some, it means “The Greatest of All Time.” For others, it’s a simple animal. However, for Boy Scouts of America Troop 154, it’s the name of what some call the greatest patrol in the troop’s history.

A patrol is one of the most basic units in the Scouts. The overall troop is divided into groups of people–or patrols– of a similar age. At the beginning of Scouts, when the members are about 11-years-old, the patrol selects a name. In 2017, Troop 154’s newest patrol became composed of current FCHS seniors Justin Frashure, Matthew Gresham, Zack Harris, Tyler Nelson, Jack Oliphant, and Ryan Scopelliti, along with Trey Housekenecht.

“The name originated from our first patrol meeting. I was looking around the room and saw a poster with a cow on it and at a quick glance, it looked like a goat, so I blurted it out. The name won with a unanimous decision and has stuck for the full term of our patrol,” said Harris. From these humble beginnings, the Goat Patrol was born.

Six of the members of the Goat Patrol (Bridge, Frashure, Gresham, Harris, Nelson, and Oliphant), were together in Cub Scout Pack 138. The group gained Scopelliti and Housekenecht when the group moved from Cub Scouts to 154. Bridge later rejoined the Goats after starting his tenure in Boy Scout Troop 138, the parent troop of Pack 138.

While the years together have produced many memories for the scouts, one moment stands out, their trip to Philmont in 2021 where they hiked 40 miles in seven days.

What made this patrol work so well together that seven of the eight have achieved Eagle Scout, the highest rank in scouting? Oliphant attributes it to “having each other to boost one another, because no one wanted to be left behind in the ranks.”

To get Eagle, a scout must complete 21 merit badges, including 10 special Eagle Scout-required merit badges. A scout must also actively have a position of leadership, such as leading the troop as a Senior Patrol Leader, or leading their patrol as a Patrol Leader, in their troop for six months. The biggest, and most important and challenging requirement is the Eagle Scout Project. The Goat Patrol’s Eagle projects have supported Fluvanna County Public Schools, Effort Baptist Church, Lake Christian Church, and Fluvanna Parks and Recreation. Projects have included repairing the courtyard at Fluvanna Middle School, creating a prayer garden at Effort, building a fire pit at Lake Christian, and constructing a stage and fencing at Pleasant Grove. Most projects had some hurdles that the scouts had to overcome.

“My project went way off the plan due to my torn meniscus, and the project was pushed back about three months,” said Harris. “The weather was also not cooperative, as there were storms every other day throughout the month of March. While the process was much slower than anticipated, the stage [at Pleasant Grove] still turned out great,” he added.

For all of the scouts, gaining the rank of Eagle was a memorable experience and one they will carry with them for the rest of their lives.

“I think that everyone in this patrol had a lot of enthusiasm to finish,” said Harris. “We all knew each other since we were in kindergarten and that relationship really helped to bond us together. We motivated each other and pushed each other to complete all the merit badges and tasks. That’s why I think the Goat Patrol was so effective, the shared enthusiasm and motivation,” he said.

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