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Honors, surprises at Londonderry Township’s Boy Scout Troop 97’s event

Posted 1/3/18

Londonderry Township’s Boy Scout Troop 97’s December Court of Honor possessed many surprises that provided some extra holiday cheer.

Life Scout Bryce Mills served as the master …

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Honors, surprises at Londonderry Township’s Boy Scout Troop 97’s event


Londonderry Township’s Boy Scout Troop 97’s December Court of Honor possessed many surprises that provided some extra holiday cheer.

Life Scout Bryce Mills served as the master of ceremonies. He presented a very unsuspecting Scout master with the Volunteer of Honor Award, which goes to an adult volunteer who goes above and beyond in helping the troop.

Assistant Scout Master Bill Lee serves as a camping chaperone, a quartermaster lead, a merit badge counselor, a cooking guru and as a Scout master. He designed and organized the troop’s gear and taught Scouts how to maintain and inventory both the cooking and camping equipment. He has been instrumental in updating equipment and gear.

Scout Master Kevin Little continued the surprises when he presented George Heberlig with a Gratitude Award. Heberlig has served in numerous capacities for the Boy Scouts of America for more than 45 years. He began his volunteer work with Londonderry Township’s Pack 97 and then quickly became involved as a committee member on the pack and troop levels, as a committee chairman and Scout master for Troop 97, and as a charter representative for Londonderry Fire Company, which is the pack and the troop’s sponsor. George remains active as a committee representative for the Londonderry Scouting Complex.

Little surprised Cameron Lyons for First Aid Skill, and Assistant Scout Master Matthew Pauley recognized 20 Scouts for their participation in the annual Scouting for Food community service project.

Eagle Scout Jake O'Donnell was sworn in as a junior assistant Scout master in an unexpected and elaborate ceremony. When Jake turns 18, he has committed to becoming an assistant Scout master so that he can encourage younger Scouts the way his predecessors encouraged him.

Advancement Chairwoman Julie Myers and Committee Chairman Ted Pauley presented more than 50 merit badges. Citizenship merit badges were very popular, including Citizenship of the World, Citizenship in the Community and Citizenship of the Nation.

The favorite hands-on merit badges included cooking, plumbing and rifle shooting. Backpacking and hiking were the favored outdoor merit badges this quarter. Quite a few Eagle Scout-required merit badges were awarded including family life, personal management, personal fitness and communications.

Assistant Scout Master Chris Hoyt swore in Mason Barrick as a second class Scout. Mason is mastering the skills to become an avid outdoorsman. He has repeatedly camped in a tent that he pitched on a site he selected. Many of those times he planned his own menu and cooked his own food. He can tie the knots and lashings needed to build his camp.

Leo Nissley and Luke Spangenberg were awarded the rank of first class Scout by Bill Lee. As first class Scouts, the two have become more comfortable with nature. They can identify local animals and plants, including poisonous plants and snakes. They have begun to learn about citizenship and know what it means to be part of a family, a community and a nation. They have discussed their rights and responsibilities as a citizen with their leaders. They know first aid.

The Star Scout oath was administered to Brayden Harris by Matthew Pauley. To attain Star Scout rank, Brayden completed additional merit badges, completed numerous community service hours and helped guide younger Scouts to advance in their own ranks.

Brothers Bryce Mills and Ian Mills advanced to Life Scout when they were sworn in by Assistant Scout Master Ed Barrick. They are in the process of completing their merit badges and then will both search for ideas for their Eagle Scout community service projects.

Jake O'Donnell and Colby Stiffler were recognized for earning their Eagle Scout ranks. They represent two of four Eagle Scouts for Troop 97 in 2017. Jake's Eagle Scout project benefited the Middletown Hunters and Anglers. He built rifle tables and made significant improvements to their rifle ranges. Colby cleared large areas of land to accommodate boat racks that he built for the Middletown Reservoir. These Eagle Scouts will announce details of their Court of Honors in the very near future where they will officially receive their “wings.”

Finally, Eagle Scout Garrett Little was recognized by Assistant Scout Master Joe Jilka for earning his second Silver Palm. Eagle Scout ranks are rare, and palms are even rarer. It recognizes the fact that Garrett has earned an additional 30 merit badges above and beyond the requirements of Eagle Scout. He also demonstrated living up to the expectations of the Scout Oath and Law and was active in the troop. Garrett serves as a junior assistant Scout master and will be promoted to assistant scout master when he turns 18 in the spring.

Bryce Mills asked Troop Treasurer Ralph O’Donnell to entertain the Scouts with a gift exchange game of “Left, Right Night Before Christmas.” The evening concluded with holiday refreshments while watching a video that recapped recent Scouting adventures.

Upcoming events include Klondike at Hidden Valley Scout Reservation, Loysville; first aid/CPR training; and camping at the Londonderry Scouting Complex and Army Heritage Center/Sky Zone Camp-out. Readers may contact Kevin LIttle at 717-944-1957 or Ted Pauley at 717-944-2766 for more information.

Troop 97 is sponsored by the Londonderry Fire Company.