Donovan Sterling Mefford, 18, promised to set an example for younger Boy Scouts as he became Hannibal's newest Eagle Scout in ceremonies Sunday, March 24, at Park United Methodist Church, where his Troop 106 meets.
Mefford was advised, “You will be a guide to other Scouts, and people will depend on you.”
Mefford’s built two bridges on a new trail in Steyermark Woods Conservation Area for his Eagle Scout project. It is located just north of Hannibal-LaGrange University, where students hike and run.
He chose this project after learning the Missouri Department of Conservation was adding a new trail that needed bridges. He was assisted by all the troop members, along with “friends and family, and a couple of people from the Missouri Department of Conservation,” he said.
Mefford is a freshman at the Missouri Science and Technology University in Rolla, where he studies history and plans to continue to earn a law degree with the goal of someday becoming a judge. He is involved in a college Eagle Scout organization in Rolla.
The son of Bob Mefford and Dr. Aphrodite Henderson, Mefford has been involved in Scouting since becoming a Cub Scout as a first grade student.
Mefford said his dad, himself an Eagle Scout, “inspired and helped me” through his years of Scouting. One top Scouting memory is, “canoeing in the boundary waters in Minnesota and Canada.”
Among his favorite merit badges is one for life saving, for which he learned “CPR and rescue techniques for drowning people.”
Mefford said that after college, he plans to “still be involved in Scouts,” which he recommended to young people: “You should really try Scouts. It offers a lot of experiences you can use throughout your life, and it's a lot of fun.”
Several Scouts participated in Mefford's Court of Honor, including describing what is taught in each division, starting with Tenderfoot, then Second Class, First Class, Star and Life Scout.
Among those doing the honors were local Scout officials including Mefford's dad.
Also leading the ceremonies was Mefford's uncle, Alex Henderson, who was introduced as an Eagle Scout Class of 1985.
Mefford's brother, Chris Mefford, also spoke, offering details about some of Mefford's achievements not involving Scouting, including leading an academic team at Hannibal High School, playing first chair clarinet in the All-State Band and playing on the HHS varsity tennis team.