What is a Boy Scout?

Ask any member of Boy Scout Troop 776 and they will recite the 12 points of the Scout Law.

“A Scout is trustworthy, loyal, helpful, friendly, courteous, kind, obedient, cheerful, thrifty, brave, clean, and reverent,” said Hank Botters, 16, junior assistant scoutmaster, Boy Scout Troop 776.

The troop teaches its members to truly live out the values of the Scout Law, according to scoutmaster Rob Schleich.

Established in 1953, the troop is sponsored by Special Forces Association Chapter 100 and meets at Fort Bragg each week. All boys aged 11 to 17 are eligible to join the troop.

“Boy scouting is for every boy, regardless of race, color, creed, orientation, whatever,” said Schleich. “We are here for every boy.”

Schleich said the most important skill boys learn from scouting is self-confidence. He and other leaders push the members to the edge of their envelope and beyond to demonstrate what the boys are really capable of accomplishing.

Botters said he has learned invaluable leadership skills since joining Troop 776. He began his scouting journey in Hawaii as a Cub Scout before aging into the Boy Scout group.

After two permanent changes of station to Arizona and Pennsylvania, Botters arrived in Fort Bragg and hit the ground running.

“I was a den chief for the first six months that I was here, and after that I became the troop guide for three months until ... I became the senior patrol leader,” he said. “As the senior patrol leader, you are kind of in charge of all the younger scouts and you’re kind of making the executive decisions for the younger scouts.”

The culmination of a scout’s career is his Eagle Scout Service Project, where the Boy Scout leads others in a project to better his community. Botters said he looked all over Fort Bragg for the perfect project, but it was right it front of his eyes.

“Right down the street from my house, I noticed that the eternal flame and flagpole area over by Normandy were looking a little not taken care of,” he said.

So for his project, Botters will remove all weeds in the area, place an anti-weed tarp, lay mulch and perform general beautification of the area.

Jack Sprunger, 12, said he looks forward to the day he is eligible to be an Eagle Scout. As a member of the troop for one year, he said he has had a good experience so far. His favorite aspect of the troop was easy to name.

“I like that its boy-led and it’s a boy’s perspective of something,” he said. “Instead of having an adult running everything, you have a kid that you know you can trust and have as your friend. It’s a boy your age or around your age.”

In addition to service projects, scouts from Troop 776 also participate in campouts, historic site visits and more. They meet every Tuesday from 7 to 8:30 p.m.

For more information on joining the troop, contact Schleich at 964-9813 or scoutmaster@braggscouting776.net. Visit https://beascout.scouting.org for more information on Cub Scouts and Boy Scouts.