01/23/04 — Boy Scout awards given

View Archive

Boy Scout awards given

By Bonnie Edwards
Published in News on January 23, 2004 2:03 PM

The Tuscarora Council of the Boy Scouts has grown so much it's received national recognition.

It also reported having its largest number of Eagle Scouts and presented four top adult volunteer awards during Tuscarora Council's 81st Scouter Recognition Banquet. About 170 people attended the event on Thursday at the Goldsboro Country Club.

Tom Turnage presented the Silver Beaver Award to four Scout volunteers: Melanie Hopkins, Henry Herndon, Pam Rooks and Bruce Malpass.

"This is Scouting's highest honor to a volunteer," said Turnage. The Silver Beaver volunteers work with the scouts at least five years and are chosen by a 10-member committee.

All three districts in the Wayne County area -- Coharie, Neusiok and Torhunta -- were again named National Quality Districts. This was the first time in five years all three had made that designation.

Dr. Scott Turik presented the 52 Scouts who had earned the Eagle award, which is the highest rank in Boy Scouts. "This is one of the largest groups of Eagles I've ever seen," said Scout Executive Bill Lappin.

Tuscarora has made the National Quality Council two years in a row now under the watch of the outgoing council president, Bob Logan. Jim Daniels is the new president.

Lappin says it doesn't happen often that all three districts make it the same year. The group applauded the chairman, commissioner and district executive from each district. They all received plagues.

Joe Morgan presented the Silver Beaver Award to Melanie Hopkins, who has been volunteering 14 years. She started as a Cub Scout den leader, coordinated the Pinewood Derby a couple of years and then graduated to Scouts when her two sons grew older.

She saw them through to earn their Eagle badges. Now, she is with Pack 92 at Brogden United Methodist Church.

"She's a beautiful person inside as well as on the outside," said Morgan. "She is a true patriot."

Barbara Byers presented the Silver Beaver to Henry Herndon, the council's district advancement chairman who has served in many capacities for Order of the Arrow over the past 10 years. He also has been a merit badge instructor for 10 years.

"We started out in Pack 5 in Pikeville together," said Ms. Byers.

Mac McClain presented the Silver Beaver to Pam Rooks, who has held many positions in the past 10 years. She has volunteered with Pack 62 for six years and has been district training chairman. She is an active member of the Order of the Arrow program.

"There's not many things she doesn't do," said McClain. "And then she rests in her community -- as a school bus driver, substitute teacher, and since 1998, she's been assistant coach at her school's football team. Not anything comes along you can ask her to do that she doesn't do. She doesn't know what the word 'no' means."

Wes Seegars presented the Silver Beaver to Bruce Malpass, who has hiked the Appalachian Trail, and as a boy, went on a pilgrimage to Bath in 1968. He is a member of the First Presbyterian Church and works closely with Troop 3. He has been on the Tuscarora Council board since 1991.

Ben Daniels, who presented the Wood Badges, presented a plaque to the council's secretary, Lana Tadlock, for helping him with the record-keeping required for the Wood Badge course.

Six people made it to the Wood Badge Court of Honor. They were Jeff Lee, Steve Moore, Ann Hardy, Carl Fussell, Dough Bradshaw and Keith Bland.

The William Earl Holloman Award, the council's outstanding commissioner award, went to Craig Hansen of Troop 34, North Carolina's oldest unit.

The Order of the Arrow Founder's Award for outstanding service went to Rick Pridgen, who received a plaque and a medallion.

Lappin said 2003 was a landmark year for the Order of the Arrow. Hogan Moore received an Indian statue from Lappin on behalf of Kenny Minshew, who could not attend the banquet.

Commander George Vrbetic of the American Legion Post 11 presented a $700 High Adventure Award to David Sullivan, who chose to use the money to go sailing around the Florida Keys. The American

Legion will also give out a Scout of the Year Award later this year. The first prize will be a $10,000 college scholarship.

Also during the banquet John Hine received a framed picture of himself and people who had contributed to the council's fund-raising campaign, called "It's Time."

Under his watch as the campaign chairman, the council raised $2.2 million, which will come in over five years.

"No one has worked harder for a full year for Tuscarora Council," said Lappin. "He's the best friend Tuscarora Council has."

Lappin said Tuscarora is one of two councils in North Carolina and Virginia that won two district plaques for membership growth.

The plaques went to Coharie, which had a 9.2 percent increase in membership in the traditional youth programs, and Neusiok, which had a 12.2 percent increase.

Lappin also thanked the Torhunta District for its excellent work with the Learning for Life program. He also said this is the second year that all three districts have had a gain in Cub Scouting.

The master of ceremonies, Billy Byrd, said Tuscarora was also one of only four councils in North Carolina and Virginia that experienced growth in all of its programs.