There were 50 Eagle Scouts in attendance at Saturday's dinner honoring both the 2012 class as well as any in attendance who had earned the highest rank that scouting has to offer.
Welcoming the scouts and their families to the banquet, held at the Warren Elks Lodge, was Leading Knight Jeff Frailey. Saturday marked the 61st time the Elks have held the dinner, provided at no cost to those who earned the rank.
Special guest speaker for the event was US Congressman Glenn 'GT' Thompson, the Republican representative for Pennsylvania's 5th District. Thompson has been involved in Boy Scouts for more than 30 years. He earned the Eagle rank in 1977 and held several positions within the Juniata Council including Council President from 2007-2009.
Times Observer photo by Brian Collins
Fifty Eagle Scouts honored
That number included the two longest tenured Eagle Scouts in the Chief Cornplanter Council, sitting front row on either side of Congressman Glenn Thompson (front center). Dr. John Robertson (left) and Bill Hill (right) both received their Eagle Scout rank in September of 1943 and have since lived up to the ‘Spirit of Scouting.’
As the 2012 recipient of the Distinguished Eagle Scout award, 'GT' spoke to the 2012 class about the importance of the award.
"I have complete confidence in the future of this country because of the impact Boy Scouts has on our youth," praised Thompson. "While most awards signal the terminal end of a journey, the rank of Eagle Scout marks the beginning of a commitment to service. I would like to see every youth in the scouting program."
Thompson continued on, providing the new class of Eagle Scouts with advice on how to succeed.
"Find your passion. Be willing to work hard and take risks to earn the opportunity you have a passion for. Find your passion. Life is too short not to find passion in what you do. Finally, find your purpose. There are many different pathways to success in life. Find yours."
Earning the most prestigious award in scouting during 2012 were Brian Bonner of Crew 82 in Tidioute, Jordan Bullock, Addison Gee, Carson Moore, James Wilson and Michael Tyler of Troop 13 in North Warren, Ian Proctor of Troop 8 in Warren, Dominic McClellan of Troop 22 in Irvine, Mark Curtis, Jr., of Troop 35 in Sheffield, and Robert Brown of Troop 45 in Pleasant Township.
They were guided by Rick Witherell of Crew 32, Dan Wolboldt of Troop 13, John Proctor of Troop 8, Barb Mourer of Troop 22, Tom Dunn of Troop 35, and Al Webster of Troop 45.
As a final display of service to the community, all scouts must complete a community service project that focuses on helping their community.
"This is the kind of help I like," joked Frailey as he described the first time he encountered the full extent to which the projects help the community. "I asked him how many supplies he would need, but he just replied that he would take care of that. I then asked him how many men he would need to finish the project, to which he also replied that he would take care of it."
The dinner also marked the beginning of the 2013 celebration of the 100th birthday of the Chief Cornplanter Council, making it the longest running and active council in the nation. To mark the occasion, Congressman Thompson presented outgoing Council President John Beard with a Congressional Letter of Recognition.
Also specially recognized were the two longest-tenured Eagle Scouts, Bill Hill and Dr. John Robertson who earned their Eagle rank in September of 1943.