Five promoted to Eagle Scout during court of honor
The scouting ministry of Florence First Presbyterian Church promoted five young men to the rank of Eagle Scout, scouting's highest award, during a court of honor on May 20. Recognized as Eagle Scouts were Jack Banner, Taylor Stokes, RJ Mack, Ethan McCown and Mac Malambri.
Scoutmaster Mike Morgan charged the scouts to always live by the scout oath and law. Scout Executive Michael Hesbach offered congratulations from the national scout office. American flags that had been flown over the state capital were presented as congratulations from Rep. Jay Jordan.
Jack Banner, Jr.
Jack Banner, 16 is the son of Meredith and David Banner. He has two younger sisters, Morgan and Ellison. He is the grandson of Carol and Dave Banner and Pam and Mike Morgan, all of Florence. Jack will be a rising junior at Trinity-Byrnes Collegiate School in the fall. He is the third member of his family to earn Scouting’s highest honor. Jack’s grandfather, Dave Banner, earned his Eagle in 1955 and his uncle, Michael Morgan, earned his in 1991.
He is a member of the varsity cross-country, basketball and track & field teams at Trinity-Byrnes.
Banner’s favorite Scouting experiences have been the backpacking and rock scrambling trips. He has backpacked the Appalachian Trail, Joyce Kilmer National Forest, Grayson Highlands National Forest and stood atop Mount Rogers.
Banner was also elected into the Order of the Arrow and completed his ordeal in 2018.
For his Eagle project, Banner recognized the opportunity to partner with Trinity-Byrnes to enhance school safety. He organized and obtained supplies through donations from local businesses to create Lockdown Kits for each classroom.
Taylor Stokes, 16, is the son of Brantley and Stephanie Stokes. He is a sophomore at South Florence High School, where he served as this year's captain of the swim team.
Stokes began scouting at the age of three, attending meetings and participating in Cub Scout activities with his older brother. He was able to officially join Pack 477 in the first grade, where he completed the Tiger and Wolf ranks. He transferred to Pack 476 to complete the Bear and Webelos ranks.
Stokes joined Troop 477 in the 6th grade. He has held several leadership positions. He was elected into the Order of the Arrow.
For his Eagle Scout Project, Stokes, with the help of a great crew of volunteers, refinished the floor of his church's youth building. This required removing two previous layers of flooring, resurfacing, staining, and sealing the original concrete floor. His project totaled more than 385 service hours.
Ethan McCown, 14, is the son of Doctors Sam and Heather McCown. He is the brother of Samuel, Sarah, and Aidan McCown. McCown joins his uncle Chad McCown (1977), his father Sam McCown (1982), and his brother Samuel McCown (2015) as Eagle Scouts from troop 477.
McCown is a freshman at West Florence High School where he plans to graduate, move on to a four-year college and major in Pre-Med. He is in the Beta Club and plays junior varsity soccer.
McCown is very active in his church and family life. He participates in a variety of projects with Central United Methodist Church. He joined Troop 477 and became an active scout. While scouting, he has been fortunate enough to travel to various destinations. He has skied in North Carolina, hiked at Shoshone National Forest in Wyoming, hiked in the Appalachian Mountains, and camped at Camp Coker. He will also be attending the trip to the National Boy Scout Ranch in Philmont, New Mexico with troop 477 this summer. While scouting, McCown has been the senior patrol leader, the assistant senior patrol leader, a member of the Order of the Arrow, and has earned many merit badges.
For his Eagle Scout project, McCown re-landscaped the front of the Florence County Humane Society.
William “Mac” Malambri
William McIntyre “Mac” Malambri , 14, is the son of Sally and Will Malambri and the older brother to Annagray. His devoted dog is Duke. He is an eighth-grader at Williams Middle School, learning in the International Baccalaureate Middle Years Programme.
His scouting career began in first grade with Cub Scout Pack 28 at St. James UMC, Spartanburg. He then moved to Pack 475 at Central Methodist Church, Florence in the second grade, ultimately being awarded the Arrow of Light in that pack. He has thrived in Scouting with BSA Troop 477, enjoying the troop’s camaraderie. He has appreciated the encouragement to achieve rank advancement and particularly enjoyed the camping trips and weeks at Camp Coker.
Malambri was elected into the Order of the Arrow in 2018. On his way toward the rank of Eagle Scout, he accumulated 34 merit badges and took in deeply the virtues that scouting aims to impart.
For his Eagle Project, Malambri designed, led, and brought to completion an outdoor classroom as part of the Farm-to-School program at Briggs Elementary School. This classroom includes eight benches and three sunshades.
Robert James “R.J.” Mack
R.J. Mack, 16, is the son of Rogers Mack and Kinda McInnis. He is currently a sophomore at South Florence High School where he is a member of the National Honor Society, the Beta Club, and the varsity soccer team. He is also a member of New Spring Church.
Mack joined the Cub Scouts as a nine-year old with Pack 476 at St. Paul Methodist Church and later joined Troop 477 at First Presbyterian Church.
One particular honor that Mack holds in high regard is the Wreath’s Service Project each December. It was during this project that he got the opportunity to place a wreath on the grave of his great uncle at the National Cemetery. In January of 2015, Mack received the BSA Lifesaving Action Award at the council annual recognition dinner for his quick action and calmness in saving a life. In November of 2014, he was playing at recess when one of his classmates started to choke on some candy. All of the teachers were on the other side of the playground, so Mack dislodged the candy by giving back thrusts, something that he had learned how to do at boy scouts.
For his Eagle Scout Project, Mack painted the doors of the new wing at Theodore Lester Elementary School. The doors were never painted to match the other doors in the building. He stripped, sanded, and painted twelve doors, so that they would match.