Severna Park United Methodist Church was the site of Troop 993’s recent Court of Honor ceremony where Benjamin Van Brunt, Michael Drabo and Bendan Huebner earned Scouting’s highest honor as Eagle Scouts.
Benjamin Van Brunt joined Scouting as a Tiger in 2009 in Pack 25, Prattville, Alabama, and continued his journey in Cub Scouting with Oak Hill Elementary School’s Pack 918. He continued to stay in Scouting as his Navy father was assigned around the world, including Copenhagen, Denmark, and Krakow, Poland.
In Poland, Van Brunt participated in Intercamp 2015, where Scouts from all European nations participate. In 2016, his family was transferred back to Maryland, where he joined Troop 993. In 2019, Van Brunt represented Troop 993 as a member of the regional troop at the World Scout Jamboree (which is held only every four years), hosted in West Virginia. He held numerous leadership roles during his Scouting career, including patrol leader and assistant senior patrol leader, though his favorite position was as den chief in Denmark, where he mentored Cub Scouts.
For his Eagle Scout project, the Severna Park High School junior planned, organized and led the construction of benches and signs for a revitalized youth playground area at his church, Severna Park Baptist. The project required planning, obtaining materials, cutting and fitting benches and signs, sanding, staining, cement work and obtaining all required clearances to proceed safely.
After his international Scouting experiences, Van Brunt feels that in the United States, the Eagle Rank is seen as more prestigious and an honor that holds respect for a lifetime.
“Boy Scouts of America is a great organization. If you are considering joining Scouts, it’s an awesome choice,” said Van Brunt.
With his family’s moves, he certainly could have quit Scouting, but he didn’t.
“If you’re in Scouting, don’t drop it. The journey to Eagle will be well worth it because you’ll meet new people, try new things and have many experiences, and you’ll be an Eagle Scout for life.”
Van Brunt hopes to one day work with NASA and is exploring college programs with aerospace engineering majors.
Michael Drabo has been Scouting since second grade after receiving a friendship-bracelet invitation from a classmate in 2008. He has gone on to hold numerous leadership positions, including assistant patrol leader, patrol leader, troop guide, scribe, assistant senior patrol leader and senior patrol leader.
Drabo is an avid camper, hiker and a member of the Order of the Arrow. He went to Northern Tier, Philmont, and Summit, earning the Triple Crown Award for high adventure camps. At Philmont, his crew hiked Itinerary 24, which included trail building, service work at Indian Writings, and helping to assemble railroad tracks at Metcalf Station, where he and his fellow Scouts drove a railroad pump-cart. At Summit, he participated in activities such as whitewater rafting, zip-lines, rifle and shotgun shooting, archery, mountain biking and more.
Not surprisingly, Drabo focused on environmental conservation and preservation for his Eagle Scout project, leading the building and installation of bat boxes in the wooded area of a community greenspace to promote healthy communities of bats for mosquito and flying insect control.
“Environmental issues are very important to me because there is no real ‘Planet B,’” Drabo said. “The best course of action is to try and take care and help restore our planet with conservation efforts and methods in any way we can.”
He chose to focus on bats because bat houses are important to local ecosystems, as they are a native species to Maryland and are losing their native environment.
“Bat houses provide a safe alternative location for bats to nest in, without having to worry about being displaced,” Drabo added. “Bats also are one of nature’s pest control animals. At night they fly around and eat plenty of insects. In the summer months, these bats can help to keep mosquito populations under control.”
Drabo started college this fall and is studying environmental science to pursue a career where he can continue to work outdoors and enjoy nature.
Brendan Huebner joined the Cub Scouts in 2007 at Oak Hill Elementary. As a member of Troop 993, he attended all Boy Scout summer camps and high adventure trips offered, as well as Summit, Northern Tier, Philmont, and Sea Base. He served in numerous leadership roles such as den chief, and was a supervisor helping with the Cub Scout Day Camp program. Huebner was inducted into the Order of the Arrow in 2014 at the end of his second year with Troop 993.
Huebner is a competitive bowler and recently participated in the U.S. Bowling Congress Youth Bowling League program and the Professional/Amateur Bowling Tournament in Middletown, Delaware, placing first in his division in 2018.
For his Eagle Scout project, Huebner cleared a section of wooded area from brush and undergrowth to make room for a bench at the Shipley’s Choice swimming pool. He also mulched the area, and stained and waterproofed the bench.
Huebner graduated from Severna Park High School in May 2019. He attended Center for Applied Technology South in his freshman, sophomore and junior years, completing the automotive technology program. He competed in the USA Skills Competition using the skills learned at CAT South, placing third as a junior and second as a senior in the regional competition. In the state competition, he placed fourth in his junior year. He is currently an automotive technician at Koons Ford.