Record-setting Hunter Clement earns Eagle

Published 11:45 pm Tuesday, July 1, 2014

By Monique Roth

LAPLACE — A 56-year strong parish Boy Scout record was broken by a LaPlace student, and he was recently honored for his years of hard work and dedication to scouting.

Hunter Alexander Clement of Boy Scout Troop 312 was lauded at an Eagle Court of Honor June 22 for his scouting accomplishment of Eagle rank, which he earned in 2013.

He said he delayed his Court of Honor because of the chance one of his friends would also achieve the rank and they could hold their court together. However, with other friends getting ready to leave for college soon he decided it was time for the ceremony so his friends, who have supported him throughout his scouting years, could help celebrate the accomplishment.

Clement broke Bertram Madere’s Scout record in St. John the Baptist Parish for the number of merit badges held.

Bertram, who achieved Eagle rank in 1957, earned 76 badges and held the record in the parish until Clement broke it last year, earning 86 badges throughout his scouting years.

Bertram, the institutional representative for Troop 312, presented Clement with the Eagle Badge at the Court of Honor and said he was happy to award the prestigious badge to such an outstanding Scout.

“Scouting gives boys their first taste of what’s out there in the world and what they may want to pursue,” Bertram said.

Clement joined the Scouts 12 years ago as a Tiger Cub when he was in first grade. He advanced through the ranks of Cub Scouts and Boy Scouts to finally achieve the rank of Eagle Scout in 2013.

During his scouting years with Troop 312, and a little less than two years with Troop 406, Clement served in various positions including scribe, photographer, assistant patrol leader, assistant senior patrol leader and troop representative for Order of the Arrow.

He said scouting has opened his eyes to things he may have never learned about otherwise, and that he’s enjoyed the friendships and all of the trips and adventures he’s been a part of.

“Scouting is great because you get to do stuff you wouldn’t do everyday,” Clement said. “And it was rewarding to see it all come together and earn Eagle.”

Clement’s unique travel opportunities include a 2012 visit to Philmont Scout Ranch’s High-Adventure camp in Cimarron, N.M., where he hiked over 77 miles in the Sangre de Cristo Mountains.

He also participated in Summit Bechtel Reserve’s high-adventure camp in southern West Virginia in 2013 in the position of senior patrol leader for the SELA contingency.

He said scouting has built a lot of leadership qualities into his life, and that he will continue to participate in the activities of his troop.

He was able to utilize some of those leadership skills in his Eagle service project, where he participated in and led family and friend volunteers in work at St. John Memorial Gardens, which included clearing a large tree from obstructing the view of the American Flag, cleaning the flag pole base and building a memorial garden around the pole.

Clement is a current helper-in-training of the SELA C.O.P.E. and Climbing Program at Salmen Scout Reservation, as well as an adult leader for Troop 312. He graduated from St. Charles Catholic High School in May and said scouting activities and one leader in particular helped him decide what to pursue beyond high school.

After talking to Bertram about his undecided major and telling him he really wanted to help people within his future occupation, Clement said Bertram talked to him about becoming an emergency medical technician. It is the field Clement will now pursue as a career following his studies at Baton Rouge Community College starting this fall.

Clement said he’s grateful to everyone who helped him along the way, including his Scoutmaster Tom Boesen, family, friends, adult troop leaders and former scoutmasters Steven Roy, Pete McGraw and Todd Penn.

“My parents supplied me with all the opportunities to become an Eagle,” Clement said with a smile. “I feel like everything I’ve done has finally come together.”