94 newly minted Eagle Scouts honored at annual banquet Saturday
By From staff reports
Published in News on February 12, 2014 1:46 PM
Some of the 94 Eagle Scouts are recognized Saturday at the annual Tuscarora Council banquet the University of Mount Olive.
Maj. Gen. Al Aycock
On Saturday night, more than 250 local Scouts, volunteer Scout leaders, families, and friends gathered to honor 94 local young men who earned the Eagle Scout award in 2013. The event was held in the Lois Murphy Regional Center at the University of Mount Olive.
One of the highlights of the evening was the naming of the 2013 Eagle Class for Maj. Gen. Al Aycock, who himself earned the Eagle Scout award in Goldsboro. Aycock joined a list of local leaders who have all been honored by the Council as namesakes for past Eagle Classes. They include Bill Kemp, Louis Maxwell, Dr. Ralph Bland, Icky Peacock, Dr. Hervy Kornegay, J.M. "Mike" Pate and Henry Campbell of Duplin County.
A graduate of Goldsboro High School, Gen. Aycock earned the Eagle Scout rank in 1974 as a member of Troop 11. He gave Scouting credit for his accomplishments.
"I am here tonight as a Major General in your United States Army. I started as a Tenderfoot Scout right here in Tuscarora Council," he said. "The bedrock of any success or achievement that I've been part of was from those who encouraged me and said congratulations when their help made a difference.
"When I heard the list of the names of the previous speakers at this event, I realized that all of them were my heroes as I grew up. They were the one who encouraged me and said congratulations. I am deeply humbled to follow in their footsteps.
"All of us reach crossroads in our lives and the road you take makes a big difference in your destination. Being part of Scouting makes a difference. Being an Eagle Scout makes a difference as you set an example for others. Being an adult leader and supporter of Scouting makes a difference in our community for all of us. I am here tonight because Tuscarora Council made a real difference in my life."
Gen. Aycock gave much credit to his successes to several of his Scout leaders, singling out Kemp, who was a local Scouting supporter and who helped Aycock during his time as a wrestler at Goldsboro High School. He also recognized two of his former Scoutmasters who were in attendance, Dick Grady and Buck Tate.
Also during the banquet, three local volunteer Scout leaders were recognized with the highest honor that a local council can award -- the Silver Beaver.
Recognized with the Silver Beaver were Darret Ezzell, Scoutmaster of Troop 35, chartered to the Wallace Lions Club in Wallace; Chris Henson, who is an assistant district commissioner for the Torhunta District; and Gregg Womack, who is an assistant Scoutmaster with Troop 258 chartered to the Pine Forest United Methodist in Goldsboro.
Council President, John Lewis made closing comments that covered some of the successes of the Tuscarora Council during 2013. Lewis noted that the Council for four consecutive years has achieved the Gold Status in the National Boy Scouts of America council measurement, Journey to Excellence. He also discussed that the Council has achieved 24 consecutive months of membership growth and was one of only 15 councils in the Southern Region, which consists of 90 local councils, to achieve this mark. He also noted the building of the long overdue new shower and bathroom facilities at Camp Tuscarora.