BSA Troop 502 Eagles thank Rotary Club
Published 5:49 pm Tuesday, December 2, 2014
Four Eagle Scouts, members of Troop 502, came to Rotary this week, along with their leader, Jamey Whitaker. Following introductory and background comments from Billy Walker, a long-time associate with the Boy Scout troop, and himself father to two Eagle Scouts, each of the young men had opportunity to speak about their experiences with scouting.
Walker said there are currently 18 Scouts actively pursuing their Eagle designation, with help from their leader and six to eight other adults who volunteer.
The troop is sponsored by the Bainbridge Rotary Club, which provides a monthly meeting place, equipment needed for campouts and providing scholarship financial support to help remove barriers for youth who want to participate in the camps, but cannot afford it.
Each year the Scouts attend a winter camp and a summer camp where they do primitive camping, cook their own meals on fires they have built, and wash their own dishes.
Paul Whaley said he began scouting in first grade and it has changed his life. He began by saying, “The memories from #502 are some of the happiest, scariest and most exciting of my life,” He was on a trip to the Grand Canyon and said he and his friends still talk about the fun they had there. Best of all for him is that his dad was heavily involved with the Cub Scout program, which Paul said was a great opportunity to hang out with his dad. He credits his father with his successfully completing his requirements to make Eagle Scout.
Nathaniel Lambert said it was the longest period of his life getting to the Eagle rank. He said the summer camps were “awesome,” though always very hot. There he learned many survival skills, including first aid and how to create a shelter and sleep in it, in spite of the high temperatures and bugs. He added, “Without Rotary support we wouldn’t have these skills and memories.”
Taylor Colon echoed the statement of thanks to the Rotary club saying without them he wouldn’t have been able to experience scouting. His memories include attendimg a high adventure camp in Canada, where he canoed and camped for a few days, carrying a 45 lb. backpack he claimed was about half his weight at the time. He also commented on the Canadian gnats, which he said have a fierce bite. That trip included having to cut through the brush on a path that hadn’t been used for years.
Bennett Enfinger said he began scouting in first grade and he too has learned many skills, including those of leadership as he was the senior patrol leader. He also recalled going to the market to buy the supplies needed for cooking, and how that teaches money management.
His favorite camping trip was the one to the Grand Canyon.
Most of all, each Eagle Scout mentioned the great friendships they formed through scouting and how they reminisce about the mostly good memories and a few mishaps they’ve had on trips.