Monday, March 26, 2012

Soaring with the Eagles

(The Eagle Scout Rank is the highest rank attainable in the Boy Scout program of the Boy Scouts of America. It was begun in 1911. A few of the notables who were once Eagle Scouts are Ronald Reagan, Dwight Eisenhower, John F. Kennedy and Gerald Ford.)

By Obie Oakley

    Last month, Al Selby and I participated in an Eagle Scout Recognition Banquet.  Al is a longtime Boy Scout volunteer here in the Hornets Nest Council and is on the steering committee that sets up this event each year.  In 2011 there were 237 Scouts who earned their Eagle award in Mecklenburg County.  Becoming an Eagle this day and time is a significant achievement with all the distractions and activities that are around that makes it hard for them to stay focused and accomplish all the requirements to qualify for this honor.  It certainly requires encouragement from parents, peers and adults within the community so it is not something done without this team effort.

The Recognition Banquet brought together the Scouts and their parents.  In addition, leaders within the community were also asked to be on hand as sponsors for the Eagles.  Al asked me if I would be one of the sponsors and sit with a scout during the evening.  He also asked, and I agreed, to be an Event Sponsor to help underwrite the overall event.

  I must report that it was an evening that renewed your faith in the youth of the community.  What a fine group of young men recognized that evening.  Most were either high school juniors or seniors.  Their involvement in their schools, communities and churches was inspirational. 

  I am attaching a couple of photos taken that evening of Al and myself with two scouts we sponsored.  I think you will agree, the scouts far out shined those two 75 year olds in the photos.

  I think the Central High School Class of 1954 only had three classmates to earn their Eagle.  In addition to Al and myself, there was John Talbutt.  (Billy Housholder who would have graduated with us earned his rank while still a student at Central).

  Bonson Hobson and Jake Barnhart got as far as earning their Life Scout badge which is just below  
Eagle.     -OO

(Note from the editor:
Personally. I have been in awe of Eagle Scouts ever since I was 9 years old. I spent a couple of weeks at some camp or other in the North Carolina mountains where our counselors were all Eagle Scouts. One night we kids were throwing rocks up at an apple tree trying to knock the apples down and eat them.  No apples came down, but one of the rocks did...right on my head...causing me to bleed like never before.  

One of the Scouts stopped the bleeding almost immediately and saw that I was driven down the mountain and to a doctor. He stayed with me the whole way.

Eagle scouts were known for things like that:

-Ed )