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Six Sons, Six Eagles: Local Boy Scout joins his five brothers in earning Scouting's highest rank

Local Boy Scout Nathan Iacopelli joins his five brothers in earning Scouting's highest rank.
Augustine Iacopelli's License Plate

Augustine Iacopelli's License Plate /Jay Schemmel

Underwriting support from:
Nathan Iacopelli (4th from left), parents, and brothers

Nathan Iacopelli (4th from left), parents, and brothers /Jay Schemmel

Cake celebrating six Iacobelli Eagle Scouts

Cake celebrating six Iacobelli Eagle Scouts /Jay Schemmel

For some time, Augustine Iacopelli had been wondering how he could match the license plate of  his wife, Diane, which reads, "6 SONS." But when their youngest son, Nathan, became the sixth Iacopelli son to earn the rank of Eagle Scout, Mr. Iacopelli knew exactly what belonged on his new plate: "6EAGLES."

Boy Scouts of America Troop 200 conferred the Eagle Scout rank upon Nathan Iacopelli, 18, Saturday, August 18, at an Eagle Court of Honor held at Immaculate Heart of Mary Catholic Parish. In earning his Eagle badge, Nathan, a recent graduate of Catholic Central High School,  followed the path travelled by his five brothers: Augustine J., who attained Eagle rank in 1995; Matthew, 2000; David, 2001; Phillip, 2006; and Mark, 2008.  All six brothers were present at the Court.

Like his brothers and the more than two million other young men who have earned the Eagle rank since 1912, Nathan earned the requisite 21 merit badges, including 12 specific badges required for Eagle; he regularly exemplified the ideals of the Scout Oath and Scout Law; he demonstrated leadership in his troop; and he completed an extensive Eagle Scout Service Project

Nathan's project was to design and build three wooden shelving units for the Grand Rapids Civic Theatre, where Nathan has volunteered for years and where his mother, Diane, works as the props director.

During the Court, Scout leader Ernie Quiroz stated that only four percent of Boy Scouts attain the rank of Eagle.  In light of that statistic, the probability of six brothers all earning their Eagle badges is .0000004096 percent. But Nathan and his brothers had family advantages--and expectations--that defied simple mathematics.

In his acceptance speech, Nathan thanked Augustine and Diane for encouraging him to persevere when he lacked motivation to complete the rigorous requirements for Eagle. 

"I received a lot of loving motivation from my parents, which at the time seemed like nagging," he told an amused audience. 

After the ceremony, Diane Iacopelli noted with a smile one of Nathan's challenges as a Scout: "He didn't always like camping." She also said that Nathan knew better than to let such challenges prevent him from completing his Eagle requirements; had he fallen short, he "risked his brothers' displeasure."

Nathan's oldest brother, Augustine J. Iacopelli, Assistant Director at Wichita State University West Campus, spoke of Nathan's accomplishment within the broader family context. 

"I couldn't be prouder for all my younger brothers," he said. "It's a real honor to them to follow the trail of the Eagle."

"I'm extremely proud of my parents," he continued. "It speaks of well of their character." He remembered fondly the many times his parents "nagged" him and his brothers "to do the right thing."

For the elder Augustine, a controller at Best Metal Products, living out "the right thing" is the essence of Scouting—for all Scouts, not just his sons. He emphasized that the Scout Oath and Scout Law are what Scouts "are becoming."

“As long as you are breathing, you are breathing the Scout Oath and Scout Law," he said.

Augustine, the former Troop 200 Scoutmaster who himself was never a Scout, reflected on Nathan's achievement as the final chapter of his family's more than quarter-century journey with the Boy Scouts. 

"I'm going to miss Scouting," he said. "It's kind of sad in some regards—my six boys are done." 

Done with their journeys to Eagle Scout, yes. But not done living out the Scouting principles their father so values. And, perhaps remembering the Scout Law's point that a Scout is helpful, Nathan and his brothers, following the Court's reception, helped to load the Court's materials into the car that displayed Augustine's 6EAGLES license plate.       


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