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Local scouting district honors Eagles, leaders

The Tukabatchee Area Council Crane District held its annual Eagle Recognition and Awards Banquet at First Presbyterian Church on Friday evening to acknowledge adults and students involved with the Boy Scouts of America in the Selma area.

The Eagle scouts nominated were: from Troop 46, Daniel Johnson Lamar Lee, Joseph Talton Glover, Robert Dale Olinger, Frank Dale Wilbourne, Jr.; from Troop 322, James Allen Stewart; from Troop 26, Parker Bryant DeWitt, Eric Matthew Parr; from Troop 94, Morgan Wilson Harper.

“This was a recognition of all the Eagle Scouts for the whole year,” said Leith Wilson, senior district executive for the Crane district. “The dinner is also to recognize adults because they are the ones who make the program run and they have the direct impact on have boys,” Mr. Wilson said.

One of the several adults honored, Dawn Freij was given the Kiwanis Special award for her volunteering with Troop 26. She has worked for the past two years with the annual popcorn drive, one of the largest fundraising efforts of the Boy Scouts.

“I’ll continue to do what I can while my boys are in the scouts,” Mrs. Freij said.

Her boys are not old enough to be Eagle scouts yet, but she hopes that they will be one day.

Eric Matthew Parr was awarded the ranking of Eagle after completing his project of a Bicycle Fun Day at his church, Elkdale Baptist Church.

“I put it on as a project for the kids as my church,” Mr. Parr said. “It was worth it.”

His father helped to spark the thought of the project. Mr. Parr then created the event for the children of his church. He made chalk-drawn roads, maintenance stations and other city-like items for the children to use to pretend they were driving around a town.

Mr. Parr has continued with scouting for all these years because it has helped him develop leadership.

“It will show managers that you have good leadership capabilities,” Mr. Parr said.

Mr. Parr and his fellow troop member Parker Bryant DeWitt both have had encouragement from their fathers to make it to the ranking of Eagle. “My dad really wanted me to get my Eagle,” Mr. DeWitt said.

His project was a clean-up day at Old Cahawba to remove the overgrown plants from a barbed wire fence with 12 of his friends and family.

“I was trying to find something to do,” Mr. DeWitt said. “My dad told me to go out to Old Cahawba because they work with scouts.”

The members have not had their Eagle Court of Honor ceremonies yet, although these should be scheduled within 4 to 6 weeks. Each scout has his own ceremony with friends and family present.

This year is the 100th anniversary of the Boy Scouts of America. As part of the celebration, nominations for the National Hall of Leadership will be accepted until Feb. 8.

Any scout can be nominated who made a positive impact on the lives of others, although the only requirement is that the nominee still be alive.