Nine Boy Scouts in Troop 544 of People’s Congregational UCC of the NCAC Council in Washington D.C., an almost 100 year old historic Black troop, achieved the highest level of scouting with an Eagle Scout ranking. (Courtesy of Troop 544 of Peoples Congregational UCC of the NCAC Council)

By Jonathan Simpson
Special to the AFRO

Nine Boy Scouts belonging to Troop 544 of Peoples Congregational UCC of the NCAC Council, in Washington D.C., received the rank of Eagle Scout, the highest level in scouting on July 31. This event took place at Northeastern Presbyterian Church, and it was truly wonderful as each Scout gave speeches about their journey in scouting, and were given awards in the presence of parents, family and friends. 

Troop 544 is a historically African-American troop that was started 90 years ago. Despite  the underrepresentation of African-American males who have achieved the rank of Eagle  Scout in the U.S., Troop 544 has the distinction of having 58 Boy Scouts who have earned the Eagle Scout designation. What is even more remarkable is that this class of nine Scouts achieved the rank of Eagle Scout during the pandemic. 

(Courtesy of Troop 544 of Peoples Congregational UCC of the NCAC Council)

The nine Scouts that achieved this rank were Brandon Hall, Xavier Scott, Joshua Simpson, Jamir  Grier, James Marcus Hall, Charles Brown II, Benjamin Evans, Spencer Fridie and Greyson Thrower. Under the direction of Scoutmaster Robert Simpson and other Parent Leaders, these young men have worked hard, over many years, to learn life skills and mature as young adults as they progressed through the ranks of Scouting. The following is a list of the projects that each Eagle Scout completed: 

Brandon Hall – Buddy Weekend:

Went to senior citizen nursing homes to play games with and provided lunches and prizes to them on multiple weekends.  

Xavier Scott – Helping Hands:

Assembled volunteers to do yard cleanup and various household chores for seniors in his neighborhood. 

Jamir Grier – Technology for Seniors:

Held two weekends of sessions that provided technology training (i.e. cellphones, tablets, etc. )to seniors at different churches.

Marcus Hall – Dog Poop Stations:

Constructed a “Dog Poop Station” in front of his church. 

Charles Brown III – Beautification Project for South Manor in DC:

Led a group of volunteers to install various plantings in a neighborhood area in need of cleaning.

Joshua Simpson – Supplies for Seniors:

Created activity bags for residents of senior nursing homes which included a variety of items to keep them entertained during the pandemic which limited their visitors. 

Benjamin Evans – Washington Yu Ying Rain Garden:

Eco friendly project that had him plant plants to stop erosion at the hill of his former elementary school.

Spencer Fridie – SEGL Sick Room:

Built a wellness and recovery center at his high school which included installing cabinetry, bed, etc..

Greyson Thrower – Little Libraries:

Built little libraries at various multi family housing developments. 

If you have any further questions, please contact either Jonathan Simpson, who wrote the  article at or contact me, the Scoutmaster of the Troop 544, at

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