Scout leader Jeff Robb poses with Darien Jones and Sam Parsons. / David Mark Hall photo
MILLSBORO - There have been other people who have made Eagle Scout in Boy Scouts Troop 89, but none like Darien Jones.
Saturday, Boy Scouts Troop 89 of Millsboro hosts a Court of Honor for Jones, a newly ranked Eagle Scout.
As the highest rank in the Boy Scouts program, Eagle Scouts reach this level through their leadership ability, community service and impact on younger Scouts. Jones received his recognition just like many before him in Troop 89.
However, he is the first African-American to achieve the rank in the troop's 83-year history.
"To be the first African-American to reach Eagle Scout in my troop is an honor," Jones said. "I'm excited to see that my work has paid off and it leaves me with a feeling of great accomplishment."
A total of eight Boy Scouts reached Eagle rank in 2012. Darien's Court of Honor was Troop 89's first of 2013.
His mother, Catina Bright, is ecstatic to see her son accomplish such a feat.
"To have Darien go down in history as the first African-American Eagle in his troop is truly remarkable," she said.
Upon entering the Scouts, Jones' goal was to become an Eagle. It wasn't easy, he said, it required a lot of time and hard work, but he's pleased to have reached his goal.
"Scouting gave Darien a wealth of knowledge that can be used in all aspects of adulthood," said Bright. "He participated in activities, such as basket weaving, that he may not have tried outside of Scouts."
The senior at Sussex Technical High School has taken on much more responsibility since reaching his new rank and plans to take the skills he's learned well into the future.
"One of the main points of the Scouts oath says, 'On my honor I will do my best to do my duty to God and my county,' and as an Eagle Scout, the responsibility that I've taken on would be the duty of my country," he said.
His way of fulfill his oath, Jones has recently enlisted into the U.S. National Guard and plans to attend Morehouse College in Atlanta to major in philosophy.
Along with extensive camping trips, knot tying, white water rafting, biking, boating, fire starting, first aid, outdoor safety and other skills he has developed and experienced throughout his journey, Jones believes the service aspect has helped mold him into the person he's become.
"One of the greatest things I've taken away would be my service to others," he said. "It's been very encouraging and motivating to see all the volunteer work and time that Scout leaders put in to make sure the Scouts are successful."