Scout honors a predecessor

Published 11:10 am Wednesday, April 4, 2012

At left, Jake Ramey, William Deluca, Steve Ramey, Ben Ramey and Dave Sackett raise the flagpole at the Hunterdale ball fields. The pole and a flag is Jake's Eagle Scout project. He is a member of Troop 17. This will be dedicated at 5 p.m. Friday in memory of the late Luke Drewry.| Steve Ramey/Submitted

By Stephen H. Cowles/Contributing Writer

FRANKLIN—A ceremony Friday will mark not only the completion of a Boy Scout’s Eagle project but, more poignantly, remember a fellow Scout tragically killed in an accident several years ago.

At 5 p.m. April 6, Troop 17’s Jake Ramey will be joined by fellow Scouts and his parents, Steve and Regina, and siblings, Ben and Beth. Then a flagpole and flag will be dedicated in memory of the late Luke Drewry.

The ceremony will be at the Hunterdale Ruritan ball fields, located behind the James L. Camp Jr. YMCA, 300 Crescent Drive.

On Nov. 5, 2006, Drewry, then 12 years old, was with Jackson Fox, 13, Carter Stephenson, 14, and Assistant Scoutmaster John Oliver, 43, when they were returning from a retreat in Blackstone. All were killed in an automobile crash on Route 35 in Sebrell.

“I was involved with the troop before and became familiar with them and knew his family,” said Ramey of his connection to Luke. “He was killed in my fifth-grade year before I joined the troop.”

A major rite of passage for many Scouts is to plan, organize and realize a community-minded project. This enables young men to earn their Eagle award, which is the top honor in the program.

In Ramey’s search for a worthy deed last September, he learned through Hunterdale Ruritan Club member Murray Turner, who’s in charge of the baseball program, that a flagpole was wanted in the vicinity of the fields on Crescent Drive. Drewry once played for the Hunterdale team, said Jake’s father, Steve. YMCA Executive Director Kathy Roberts also approved of the idea.

The senior Ramey said his son developed a proposal and “kind of funded the project.”

“We had to find a flagpole, which we got through a friend who told us of a public auction site, and got it used from the school system in Greensville County,” added Steve Ramey.

Jake, 16, a sophomore at Southampton Academy, enlisted fellow Scouts to grind out the rust, paint the pole and set it up.

The troop is sponsored by High Street United Methodist Church.

The flag was obtained within a couple of weeks of contacting U.S. Rep. Randy Forbes, R-Va., through his website. Jake and his dad followed the procedure for getting a flag flown above the U.S. Capitol in Luke’s memory.

After paperwork is completed, Jake said, he will receive his Eagle award this summer during another service.