01/30/12 — Ceremony recognizes Tuscarora Council's newest Eagle Scouts

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Ceremony recognizes Tuscarora Council's newest Eagle Scouts

By Ty Johnson
Published in News on January 30, 2012 1:46 PM

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Tanner Guthrie looks on with the rest of the 2011 Eagle Class as the Tuscarora Council honors its Silver Beaver Award recipients Sunday at Southern Bank Auditorium on Mount Olive College's campus. Sixty-nine Scouts were recognized for earning the rank of Eagle from the four-county council, while Sheila Bryant, Steve Moore and Tom Yarboro each received the Silver Beaver Award.

Nearly 70 young men gathered at the Southern Bank Auditorium on Mount Olive College's campus Sunday to be recognized for earning the rank of Eagle Scout during the Tuscarora Council's annual recognition event.

The four-county council also honored three recipients of the Silver Beaver Award, while recognizing J.M. "Mike" Pate of Goldsboro for his lifetime of contributions to the Boy Scouts of America as the 2011 Eagle Class Honoree.

The ceremony also ushered in the 100th year of the Eagle Scout, and while much has changed since the first Eagle was honored in 1912 in New York, the recurring theme from those who spoke was the rank's timelessness in distinguishing Eagles as leaders in society.

"I can attest that this accomplishment will follow you throughout your life and continue to benefit you," said Danny Jackson, president of the Tuscarora Council.

Pate, 80, who earned his Eagle in 1947, said although the America this class of Eagle Scouts enters is vastly different from the one he knew as a youth, the new Eagles need only to look to Scouting's long-held precepts as a guide to follow in order to achieve success in life.

"If they'll live by the Scout Code, they'll do well," he said following the ceremony.

Pate, who has served on numerous boards in the community and serves as chairman of the Pate Dawson Co. board of directors, said earning his Eagle 65 years ago still stands out in his memory.

"It means as much to me as anything I've ever done," he said with his wife, Anne, by his side.

Pate said it benefited him greatly when he enlisted with the U.S. Navy in 1951.

"In the service I was recognized as a leader from the start. It means something to everyone," he said of his Eagle rank, noting that the newest class of Eagles will forever be known as leaders among their peers.

That sentiment was shared by the Silver Beaver award recipients.

"I believe the foundation they've achieved has given them the tools to contribute to the community," Tom Yarboro said.

Sheila Bryant said receiving the Silver Beaver award meant she would continue to work to be a role model for Scouts. She added she was particularly honored to be a part of the 2011 class of Silver Beavers, noting that she was in pretty good company on the stage beside Moore and Yarboro.

Steve Moore, another Silver Beaver, said he hoped the Scouts recognized the Eagle rank as another part of the journey, not the destination.

"Their challenge is to give back," he said.

He also pointed out that the new Eagle Scouts hadn't achieved their rank all on their own, noting that there were many factors throughout their lives, from parents to Scout volunteers, who had contributed, just as they had contributed to his earning of the Eagle rank years before.

"It really takes a community to raise a child," he said after the ceremony. "I am that child."

Moore also spoke highly of the Tuscarora Council as a whole, saying the small council, which received word at the ceremony that it had received the national council's highest award -- gold -- in recognition of its performance through the Journey to Excellence program, was the envy of larger councils throughout the state and nation.

"It's a small council and I am very proud of what we can do," he said.