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Eagle Scouts Celebrate Cycling Trip on Campus

| August 18, 2014

Dr. Eric Patterson (center) stands with Eagle Scouts of Boy Scout Troop 165. Incoming Regent freshman Benjamin Prevost stands second from left.

On the day other Regent University freshmen were moving into residence halls last week, incoming student Benjamin Prevost was cycling from South Boston to Lawrenceville, Va., with members of Boy Scout Troop 165.

On Friday, Aug. 15, Prevost and his troop mates rolled onto the Regent campus for a ceremony marking the final day of a 3,800 mile odyssey that took them from the surf at Stinson Beach, Calif., to the King Neptune statue at the Virginia Beach boardwalk.

Recalling the natural diversity the Scouts encountered on their journey—from the Pacific Ocean to the Rocky Mountains, to the Great Plains, to Appalachia—Prevost shared with several dozen family and friends who came to Virginia Beach to welcome the boys home.

"There is no doubt in my mind that God is the author and creator of this great land. He actively provided for us, calmed every worry and gave us the strength to make it through each day," he said. "There was no possibility of avoiding risk on this trip. God's providence is the reason we all stand here on the final day."

Eagle Scouts Cycling Across America 2014, as the journey was identified, was two years in the making for this Fredericksburg, Va., troop with a long history of cycling trips, including a 2,000-mile excursion to celebrate the Boy Scout centennial in 2010.

About a dozen Eagle Scouts made the cross-country trek this summer to live out their mission statement: "to demonstrate how motivated young men, committed to the values of exercise and healthy living, practice the twelve points of the Boy Scout Law while challenging themselves to reach new heights."

Their trip began in early June, and during 63 days on the road, the Scouts, their Scoutmaster and support team traveled through eight states, riding in honor of other Scouts, making new friends, enduring hardships and learning valuable lessons.

"You've learned one of life's most important lessons: making a commitment and following through and doing the work. This will stay with you throughout your life," said Dr. Eric Patterson, dean of the Robertson School of Government, who spoke at the ceremony.

Patterson also noted the core values of the Boy Scout oath, which they recited at the start of the ceremony, are the same values that the Regent community holds dear.

The ceremony on the steps of Regent's Performing Arts Center also included representatives from the cities of Chesapeake and Virginia Beach. Chesapeake School Board member Sam Boone read a mayoral proclamation and awarded certificates of accomplishment to the young men. Boone is a Virginia State Police officer who also escorted the cyclists on the ride to campus.

Dr. Robert Dyer, assistant professor in the Robertson School of Government and a member of Virginia Beach City Council, gave an invocation at the ceremony. Dyer was instrumental in helping the Scouts secure an oceanfront venue for a final event and also connected them with Virginia Beach Police to assist with the cycling route through the busy resort city.

Virginia Beach City Councilman John Moss, dressed in his Boy Scout uniform, read a City Council resolution.

"You are the first group where I've been able to wear my Scout uniform and combine my love of Scouting with my council duties," Moss remarked.

Prevost, who is enrolled in Regent's College of Arts & Sciences, also thanked his family, his Scoutmaster and his teammates for their support during the trip.

"We cannot express the bond that we all now share. It can never be explained in words, but every mile is a memory."


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