NORMAN — A Noble High School teen will become an Eagle Scout this evening during a Court of Honor ceremony to be held at Enterprise Baptist Church, 2425 84th Ave., SE in Norman.
Kristopher Vance, 18, will earn the distinction from Troop 219 after having earned the required 21 badges and completing his service project.
Earlier this year, Kristopher finished his service project at Enterprise Baptist, where he constructed a concrete retaining wall and ramp, performed yard work, painted benches and created a walking trail. Vance said the project took him four days to complete.
Kristopher’s father, Rick Vance, expressed pride in his son.
“I think it’s great. It’s rather nice to see your sons do something really good,” Rick said. “It’s nice to see them get involved in something besides sports. They learn things in the Boy Scouts they can take with them the rest of their lives.”
Fred Queen, who has known Kristopher through scouting and as his band teacher since sixth grade, echoed Rick’s sentiment about how helpful having the distinction of Eagle Scout can be in life. Queen said he achieved the rank of Eagle Scout in 1973.
“It certainly is a great honor, a great award. I have to credit having my Eagle Scout to getting three jobs in my lifetime. It’s a very tight-knit fraternity,” Queen said, adding that Kristopher Vance’s earning the distinction is “well deserved. He’s worked hard for it.”
Kristopher explained what a Boy Scout must do to achieve the rank. Not only must he successfully complete all the ranks in scouting, he must demonstrate proficiency in areas such as knot tying and first aid. As the scout proceeds toward Eagle rank, he must serve six months in a leadership position. In Kristopher’s case, he served as a senior patrol leader. The scout also must complete a service project and earn 21 badges, some of which are required and others optional. Kristopher has earned the required badges of citizenship in the community, nation and world, camping, emergency preparedness and communication, to name a few. Some of his optional badges include music, bugling, metal work and welding. In addition to being an active member of the troop, a scout must demonstrate that he lives by the Scout Oath and Law in his daily life.
In addition to setting all of the other requirements in motion, Kristopher has worked at Slippery Falls Scout Ranch in Tishomingo for four years and intends to do so again this summer.
“I think it’s awesome,” said Kim Vance, Kristopher’s mother. “I’m pretty proud. Eight years of hard work and its like he’s all grown up. He’s accomplished this task. This is what happens when you work really hard. It’s something to be proud of.”
During the ceremony, Kristopher will be award three pins, one to each of his parents for their support and one to a mentor “to show appreciation to someone other than parents who have helped you along the way through your scouting career,” Kristopher explained. Queen will be that recipient.
“Overall, scouting has been a positive experience,” Kristopher said. “I encourage people to join.”
In 1912, Arthur R. Eldred, 17, who was a member of Troop 1 in Oceanside, Long Island, N.Y., was the first to earn his Eagle badge. Eldred was 17 years old and the Boy Scouts of America hadn’t yet celebrated its second anniversary as an institution, scoutingmagazine.org reports. To date, more than two million scouts have earned the rank.
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