UNION — Twin brothers Joseph and David Beavans have spent their entire lives doing things together. In first grade, they joined Cub Scouts together, moving up through the various ranks — tiger, bobcat, wolf, bear and webelos. In fifth grade, the Beavans brothers crossed over into Boy Scouts. Now, after years of hard work and dedication, the twin brothers have achieved the rank of Eagle Scout, the highest rank attainable in Boy Scouts of America since 1911.
Prior to becoming an Eagle Scout, one must complete a project, which also includes submitting a project summary explaining how the project will benefit others and listing materials and expected cost. The projects are meant to show scouts’ leadership skills and to encourage their involvement in the community.
David and Joseph have attended Grace United Methodist Church their entire lives, and they both selected projects which would benefit the church and its congregation. They both received help from each other as well as family members and friends.
For David’s project, he decided to transform an upstairs storage room at Grace UMC.
“It was notorious for being cluttered,” David said, explaining that the room was packed with decorations for every holiday, supplies for Vacation Bible School and Grace United Methodist Child Enrichment Program (GUMCEP), craft supplies for MYF and more.
“It was well known throughout the church that only two people used the room because they were the only two who knew where anything was. It was difficult to maneuver in there.”
David completely emptied the room into the hallway, installed shelves on the walls and also brought in portable shelving. He used the shelves as well as plastic bins and labels to categorize and organize the storage items.
“People seemed to be amazed with the room when we finished,” David said.
The project was technically completed in January 2012.
For Joseph’s project, he decided to add on to the projects of two other Eagle Scouts. In 1993, Mark Lynn cleared an area near the church to create a picnic area. In 2010, Jon Nick Gault got rid of an old picnic table, poured a 12x16-foot concrete slab, added two picnic tables and planted pencil hollies around it.
Joseph said he thought the area would attract more use with a shelter covering it.
“We had to do lots of fund raising and figuring out when people could help,” Joseph said. “We have had lots of support from our church and the community.”
In order to raise money, the Beavanses hosted a car wash, which they said was very successful.
“We had a lot of cars, but it was successful because of the generous donations,” David said.
They also sold Christmas trees as a fundraiser.
“The troop does it every year, but they said this time if we organized it and did the work, then we could use the profit for our projects,” Joseph said.
Joseph also said the planning stages were as difficult as building the shelter. He explained that he had to get a building permit from the building inspector, look at old surveys and plats and follow certain codes. Joseph said he was required to use lots of hurricane straps and the posts had to be cemented into the ground at a particular depth.
“Once we started working, it went fairly quickly,” Joseph said.
The work included digging holes and pouring concrete for the poles, which were donated by Steve Hudson of United Wood Treating. Joseph said the installation of the trusses and roof alone took an entire eight-hour day. The project was technically completed in February 2012.
Joseph said his AP Biology teacher at the time, Leslie Thompson, said her son, Hayden, who participated in the GUMCEP came home and told her he got to eat Popsicles under the picnic shelter.
“That made me feel good about myself,” Joseph said.
Eagle Scouts are required to have 21 merit badges — 12 of which are specifically required and the other nine are electives. Joseph and David each have 33 badges. Their collections of badges are identical except for one. David earned a badge in wildlife management while Joseph earned one in wood carving.
A joint Eagle Scout ceremony was conducted for David and Joseph at Grace UMC last Sunday. They said their parents — Clark and Gwen Beavans — organized the activities. The brothers said their parents wanted the ceremony more than they did at first, but it was enjoyed by everyone including family members who traveled from Michigan and North Carolina.
Aside from scouting, the Beavans brothers are also involved in National Honor Society, Interact and Fellowship of Christian Athletes. David also participates in Future Farmers of America.
Both David and Joseph are also members of the Union County High School soccer team, and they are looking forward to the upcoming season since there are 17 seniors on the team, which they said is unheard of. Their first scrimmage is on Feb. 14.
David and Joseph said they were pleased to learn that their soccer coach Jeffrey Bell is also an Eagle Scout.
“We didn’t know that before,” David said. “We found out afterward when he said, ‘Congratulations, welcome to the club.’”
Both Joseph and David already have plans for higher education. Joseph, who is this year’s UCHS valedictorian, plans to attend Clemson University and major in material science/engineering.
“I always thought it would be cool to work in the research and development department of a company,” Joseph said.
David plans to attend the University of South Carolina and major in international business. He said he likes travel and seeing other places. He does not have a particular job in mind; he plans to figure that out after beginning his studies at USC.
Although Joseph and David are attending rival schools, neither is a fan of Clemson or USC. They both grew up as fans of the University of North Carolina, which is their father’s alma mater. Their mother went to NC State.
“I do think it’s weird that Mom and Dad went to rival colleges and now we are too,” David said.
Their college experiences will be the first time the twins have really been apart.
“Sometimes we finish each other’s sentences or say stuff at the same time,” Joseph said. “I’m not sure if it’s because we are twins or just because we’re around each other all the time. Our friends at school make a big deal about it, though.”
Staff Writer Derik Vanderford can be reached at 864-427-1234, ext. 29, or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.