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Scouts young and old attend ceremony of honor

| Saturday, Dec. 8, 2012, 12:02 a.m.
Approximately 30 Eagle Scouts from Mt. Pleasant area troops and their families attended the dinner, celebrating the anniversary of the ranking. Marilyn Forbes | for the Daily Courier nov 2012

Chances are good that somewhere in your community, there is a project that was completed by a Boy Scout as part of his climb to the top ranking of Eagle Scout.

Celebrating the 100th anniversary of the highest achievement in Boy Scouting, about 30 Eagle Scouts attended a special dinner and presentation event that was hosted recently for all Scouts from Mt. Pleasant area troops.

Eagle Scout and committee member Mark Kelley of Mt. Pleasant organized the event.

“We have Scouts here that span seven different decades,” committee member Doug Sestock said. “We have father and son pairs and four brothers who were all Eagles Scouts.”

One of the four brothers was Phillip Klocek who traveled from Mt. Holly Springs to be a part of the evening that was filled with much reminiscing.

“My Eagle Scout project was over at Transfiguration Cemetery,” Klocek said. “I cleaned up the front area and then did work in the cemetery.”

A Scout is required to fulfill numerous steps while also earning badges up to the top ranking of Eagle Scout. Although a community project is now part of the process, it was not a requirement prior to 1961.

“I didn't have to do a community project,” Eagle Scout Lee Briercheck said. Had earned his ranking in 1950. “I did all the requirements but a lot of what you need is now changed.”

Modern technology has changed some of the requirements but it only adds to the overall learning experience.

“There is a lot that they have to do and some of that has changed as the times change,” Kelley said.

Kelley's son, Christopher Kelley, 16, is also an Eagle Scout and finds that his Scouting experience has taught him useful information and skills.

“I've been involved in Scouting for years,” Christopher Kelley said. “I've learned a lot about first aid and it's things that I could use to save someone's life.”

Ross Michael, 16, did his Eagle Scout project at the Verna Montessori School, which he once attended.

“I rebuilt a shed there,” Michael said. “They did so much for me while I was growing up and going there to school that I wanted to do something in return for them.”

Most of the Eagle community projects are completed through donations and contributions.

“A lot of these boys look for ways to fund their projects so they won't cost anything to the people that they are doing them for,” Mark Kelley said.

With the numbers down in active Scouting, Mark Kelley hopes the celebration of the ranking will bring needed attention to the world of Scouting.

“I think that Scouting can be an important part of any boy's life,” Kelley said. “It not only teaches these boys skills, it teaches them responsibility and respect.”

Marilyn Forbes is a freelance writer.

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