PHILLIPS — Jacob Butterfield recently attained the rank of Eagle in the Boy Scouts of America program.

He is the son of Robert “Zeke” and Sheila Butterfield. His older brother, Benjamin, attained Eagle Scout rank in November 2018.

Jacob Butterfield joined scouting as a Wolf Cub Scout while in the second grade. He now is a member of Troop 500, based in Strong, with the charter sponsored by Strong Methodist Church. His scoutmaster is Russell Dyer of Strong.

Butterfield’s Eagle Service Project was to clean up waterways and watersheds around his area.

“I’ve always liked swimming, fishing in area lakes and streams,” he said during a recent phone interview. “I’d see a lot of trash, especially in public places. People think it washes away, but it gathers on the banks.

“I wanted to clean it up.”

Butterfield’s crew spent two weekends last summer at the end of school. They gathered about 15 yards of trash. A broken pedal boat, lots of plastic and three car batteries were among the trash collected.

“We picked up in Strong near the baseball field and at Mt. Blue pond. In Phillips, we cleaned up along the Sandy River in the downtown area by where the Charles’s live,” Butterfield said.

Donations from area businesses and individuals as well as over 100 man-hours made the project a success. The United States Fish and Wildlife Service was the project beneficiary.

Butterfield completed many merit badges throughout his scouting career.

“21 badges are needed for Eagle. 13 silver must be earned plus eight others from a variety of programs,” he said.

He earned 15 badges above the number required for Eagle, thus attaining Eagle Palms of bronze, gold and silver. According to http://usscouts.org/, the Bronze Palm represents five merit badges, the Gold Palm 10, and the Silver Palm 15.

Butterfield enjoyed earning the wilderness survival merit badge the most.

“It involved a bunch of summer camps, camouflage. I got to know more about the land, bird calls and what some of them meant,” he said. “I learned orienteering, finding my way back.

“I got to be outdoors. It was interesting.”

Butterfield found nuclear science to be the most difficult and fingerprinting the easiest.

“I was younger, in middle school, when I did nuclear science. It was one of the earlier ones I earned,” he said. “It was hard to grasp, all of the science-y stuff was hard. I got the gist of it.”

Butterfield said he enjoyed the swimming badge he did a couple of years ago too.

“I stayed in the shallows before. I learned to dive, swim further. It felt good getting it done,” he said.

Butterfield has participated in several sports during high school, playing soccer, basketball, cross country and track.

“This is the first year our school had a cross country running team. I was ninth at States, that was pretty good. I like track, too,” he said.

Butterfield is one of the Top 10 students graduating this year from Mt. Abram High School. He will be attending the University of Maine at Orono in the fall to study chemical engineering.

Jacob’s Eagle celebration will be held sometime this summer, but the date has yet to be determined.

Butterfield turned 18 on March 29 and is aging out of scouts.

“Once I come back from college, I’ll look into leadership roles with the troop,” he said.


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