Scout Troop 1102 honors six new Eagle Scouts

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[February 06, 2017]   LINCOLN - On Sunday afternoon the Banquet Room at the Lincoln Knights of Columbus was filled to capacity with local boy scouts, family, friends, and other supporters of six young men who were to be honored for achieving Eagle Scout. The Eagle Scout is the highest possible ranking for a scout, and only two percent of all boy scouts ever accomplish this rank.

The six Eagle Scouts to be recognized (listed in the order of presentation) were Garrett Schreiner, Carter Robison, Noah Burton, Zachariah Prather, Taylor Hoinacki and Blake Hermes.

Inside the door of the banquet room long tables were set up with story boards for each of the six scout. The boards contained a collection of memories from each scout reflecting their scouting careers and their accomplishments throughout those years from Tiger Cub to Boy Scout to Eagle Scout.

Around the room, the table decoration reflected the life of a scout, and at the stage area a campsite was set up reflecting the outdoor camping/survival experiences the scouts have throughout their careers.

As guests took in the story boards and visited with others in the room, Emcee Chris Graue called the room to attention and asked that everyone find a seat for the beginning of the award ceremony.

Graue welcomed everyone to the Court of Honor celebrating the achievements of the six young men who would later be presented to the audience as Eagle Scouts.

Graue noted in his welcome that achieving Eagle Scout is a team effort that involves dedication of the scout, and also of his family.

Pastor Mark Thompson was called upon to deliver the opening prayer. He noted before the prayer that his son, now a college student was also an Eagle Scout from Troop 1102. He said that the Eagle Scout rank is a great achievement, and that parents should be quite proud of their sons.

The guest speaker for the day was Chris Slaby, an Eagle Scout, who would address life as an Eagle. Slaby is an adult now with a career in news publication in Indianapolis. Slaby talked about how achieving this rank indicated that these men now know and understand how to react properly when things go wrong, and how to solve problems.

He noted that in his role with the Indianapolis Television station, he is daily called upon to assist and advise new writers/reporters that have been in their careers longer than Slaby has been alive. He said the value of leadership learned as a scout and eagle lead him through those daily decisions.

Slaby also talked about the conscience of a scout, the voice that tells them when something is not right, even when others are doing it. He said an Eagle has a greater understanding of right and wrong, and will use that understanding throughout his lifetime.

He told the six young men to be proud of their accomplishment. He noted that he always notes his Eagle rank in his resume. He recounted that at his first ever job interview, that note opened a conversation between himself and his prospective employer who was also an Eagle. He said that perhaps the designation wouldn’t get a scout a job, but it would show an employer what type of person he was considering.

Slaby quoted Robert Baden-Powell, the founder of the Boy Scouts, “A scout is never taken by surprise. He knows exactly what to do when anything unexpected happens.”

Slaby closed congratulating the six who would be honored later in the ceremony.

After the “presentation of colors,” six scout leaders recited the “Voice of an Eagle.”

Graue: This is the voice of the Eagle, the Eagle whose heights you struggled to reach. We remember well when you first came to the base of the cliff, and how you looked up with ambition and determination.

Look back for a moment, look back over the cliff you have climbed; look back at the experience you have encountered in your ascent. These experiences should not be forgotten, and you should profit by making sure that the adverse ones do not occur again. Experience is a valuable teacher if you heed its teachings.

David Stephenson: We remember when you took your first step upon the trail that leads upward. With your first step, you began living the Scout Oath and Law. While you were on the trail, we watched you study and then we watched you learn by doing. First you were only a candidate, building yourself physically, mentally and morally. Then your brother Scouts called you a Tenderfoot and they were right, you were indeed a Tenderfoot.

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Ray Papach: But not for long, for soon you reached the first ledge where you were greeted by a group of Second Class Scouts.

Some, like yourself, were stopping to catch their breath before continuing along the Eagle trail. You began to study more, you worked harder, and almost before you knew it, you came to another ledge, the ledge where First Class Scouts dwell.

Ed Robison: There you found a tempting green meadow by a crystal clear stream, bathed by the sun. Here you were tempted to remain. Yes, you could have remained there to live in First Class glory, but your ambition stirred you on. We remember your progress to Star Scout. You found the trail from First Class had been an optical illusion, not as difficult as it has seemed. This spurred you on, and again you climbed higher.

Tim McCraith: Now the trail was steeper, it was less worn. Fewer Scouts seemed to be heading in your direction. You looked back and saw the crowds below you. You looked up and saw the few above you. With the same determination with which you started your climb, you continued on the trail.

Graue: Yes, we have watched your character unfold and become manly. We have watched your leadership ability expand into a valuable asset. We have watched your mind develop and your wisdom increase. We have watched all of these things in you. Now that you are at the threshold of your goal, we welcome you. For you have done your climbing in a true Scout-like-manner.

Eagle Scout Carter McCraith was then asked to escort the six Eagle Scouts to the front of the room. The men would stand before the crowd while one-by-one each of them was introduced by their designated presenter, then awarded their Eagle Scout ribbon and medallion.

After receiving their ribbon, each one took the stage to discuss their accomplishment. The young men spoke about their scouting careers, talked about their Eagle Project, a community service and leadership project they must complete to achieve their rank. All of them offered pins to their parents, and several also pinned their mentors.

The speeches given by the presenters ranged from quite serious to funny as some spoke about the dedication and service of the scout, while others chose to add funny stories about the scout he had watched grow and mature into an Eagle to their introductions.

The scouts also brought laughter to the audience as some of them shared exciting and happy experiences throughout their scouting careers.

During the presentation of the Eagles, Reverend Robert Henderson presented Garrett Schreiner, Pastor Mark Thompson presented Carter Robison, and Michael Meader presented Noah Burton. Meader also presented Zachariah Prather, Tim McCraith presented Taylor Hoinacki, and Ed Robison presented Blake Hermes.

After the presentation of the Eagle Scout medallions to each of the six young men, Graue asked that anyone wishing to share scouting stories come forward.

Giving everyone a moment to think about that, Graue said he wanted to recognize all the Eagle Scouts in the room. He asked that all Eagle Scouts rise, then he asked for their parents, if present, to rise also.

When the topic of scouting stories came back around, Graue spoke about his own experience at Philmont. He noted that he has three children, two sons and a daughter, and he has been blessed to attend Philmont with all three of them. He noted that on each trip, the troop hike included climbing Mount Phillips. Graue said on the last trip with his son Jack, they made it to the top of Mount Phillips, and as they stood there together, it struck Graue that he had stood at that very spot with all three of his kids. He said it was an awesome feeling.

Ed Robison, a proven story teller, came to the front to share another story of the last trip to Philmont. He noted that he and Graue are both coffee drinkers, and they needed that morning Joe to get going. Because of this, they always rose a bit earlier than everyone else to get the fire going and the pot brewing. He recounted that in the wilderness there is a need to hang all the food in bags in the trees to protect it from the bears.

On one particular morning, Graue and Robison were getting their bag of coffee from the tree. They heard a noise. Robison looked into the wooded area and there he saw it, a bear. “I don’t know to this day if I was reaching back to save Chris (Graue) or throw him at the bear!” Robison said for three seconds he really thought they were going to die. The ‘bear’ ended up being a deer. Graue added to the story that later they insisted, “that bear was going down, because he was standing between us and our coffee.”

Pastor Robert Henderson was called on to offer up the closing prayer. Before the prayer he commented that this was a very special day. He said that though much had been said, most of what was said would not be remembered. What would be remembered he noted, was the feelings in the room. The happiness, the pride, the sentiments of the day, like reacting to a photo, everyone who had experienced this day would conjure up certain feelings when they think on it in the future.

After prayer, guests were invited to stay and visit with the scouts, to spend more time at the story boards, and to enjoy refreshments.

[Nila Smith]

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