As Sally Robertson was sorting through family heirlooms, she came across some papers that had great personal value. She discovered information relating to her father’s Eagle Scout ranking in 1942. Although her dad, Bob Barnes, a resident of the King-Bruwaert retirement community in Burr Ridge, doesn’t remember much about his Eagle Scout ceremony, he does recall the meaningful activities and honor codes that helped develop his childhood as an active member of the Boy Scouts of America.
Throughout his life, Barnes exemplified the “honor of Scouting,” and so impressed his family members that both his son and grandson continued in his footsteps - advancing through the ranks to become Eagle Scouts themselves. Eagle Scouts must plan, develop and lead a service project that benefits an organization other than the Boy Scouts of America. The project must receive advance approval with specific requirements. Once the project is completed, the Eagle Scout candidate is required to give a presentation before his 18th birthday to a Scouting review committee. The Eagle Scout ranking is bestowed on the candidates that fulfill all the requirements and promise to continue a leadership and service-oriented path for the rest of their lives.
Jerome Barnes, son of Bob, became an Eagle Scout in 1969. For his project, Jerome made lifesaving equipment for the Clarendon Hills, Illinois Park District to use for a community pond that was frozen in winter. All those years of camping and preparedness in the great outdoors paid off with a service project that would potentially save lives.
In 2009, Jason Robertson, Bob’s grandson, approached his 18th birthday and became a third generation Eagle Scout after receiving encouragement and support from his Mom, Dad and grandfather. Jason planned a project to build and design an interpretive ¼-mile nature trail for Long Hunter State Park, a short distance from Mt. Juliet, Tennessee. He created 10 descriptive stations along the trail with photos depicting the wildflowers, trees and land formations located along the route. Trail information also included a map that identified nature in the park. Jason received a grant from the National Environmental Education Foundation to underwrite supplies.
The interest in Scouting runs deep in the Barnes-Robertson families. For three generations, they have made a commitment to lead exemplary lives and serve others – while continuing a bond that will forever keep them close and connected.