With luck, the name of every Greene County Boy Scout who achieved the rank of Eagle Scout will soon be listed on the sides of Troop 534’s new utility trailer. “It’s going to take some research,” says Assistant Scoutmaster Kurt Krieger (pictured), an Eagle Scout himself.

Flying high

Boy Scout Troop 534 looking for names of all local Eagle Scouts through history


Robert Beers and Elton Jensen were the trailblazers, according to a 1930 issue of The Jefferson Herald, as the first Greene County boys to achieve the prestigious rank of Eagle Scout.

Who else followed the Rippey boys’ climb to the pinnacle of Scouting is something present-day Boy Scouts want to rediscover.

Jefferson’s Boy Scout Troop 534 wants to line the sides of its new utility trailer with the names of local Scouts who became Eagle Scouts — an honor reserved for only about 3 percent of all Scouts, according to troop leader Scott Johnson, who’s also principal at Greene County Elementary.

“Right now,” Johnson said, “I know of maybe 10 or 12, but that’s all in recent history.”

Troop 534 is seeking the public’s help with the names of all local Eagle Scouts, from Beers and Jensen in 1930 to Johnson’s own son, Caleb, in 2007 and beyond.

Assistant Scoutmaster Kurt Krieger, of Krieger Greenhouses, a local Eagle Scout himself from the mid-’70s, wants all of Greene County represented on the trailer. At one time, every community in the county had its own troop.

“A lot of troops do it,” Krieger said of listing the names of Eagle Scouts on a troop’s utility trailer. “I think it’s neater than heck. Some troops have five names. Some troops have 50 names. It’s a pretty good honor.”

The local Boy Scout troop was able to purchase a new trailer this past spring using an initial grant from the Jefferson Rotary Club.

Once a month, with exception to December, the troop goes camping, with the trailer hauling supplies. The troop is looking at a trip next summer to the Rocky Mountains in Colorado.

“What kid doesn’t like to play with sharp objects and fire?” Johnson asked.

“In a safe way,” he quickly added.

Troop 534 — which evolved from Troop 34 — currently has 11 members, Johnson said.

Two of them are working toward the rank of Eagle Scout, he said.

He predicts overall participation to rise given the resurgence locally of Cub Scouts, for kids in grades 1-5.

“If the boys don’t start in Cub Scouts, they usually don’t join Boy Scouts,” he said.

Part of the difficulty of finding local Eagle Scouts is that Jefferson at one point changed Boy Scout councils, to the Mid Iowa Council, according to Johnson.

“When you make wholesale changes like that, it’s hard to find all of the records,” he said. “And especially when records way back when were paper.”

Nationally, the ranks of Eagle Scouts between 1912 and 2013 include the likes of Neil Armstrong, President Gerald Ford and Apollo 13 commander James Lovell.

Locally, Rick Morain, retired editor-publisher of the Bee & Herald, and ag-businessman Jim Andrew are known to be Eagle Scouts.

“You have to have that internal drive to complete it,” Johnson said.

If you know of a Greene County Eagle Scout, contact Johnson at johnsons@greenecountycsd.net or call 515-386-3878.

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