Tuesday, November 3, 2015

'Trail to Eagle' concludes with walk down memory lane for new Eagle Scout Andrew

On Sunday, Nov. 1, Troop 50 Scouts and leaders gathered at Auburn United Methodist Church with family and friends of Andrew Stanford to celebrate his attainment of the rank of Eagle Scout. Andrew's ceremony celebrated not only his completion of Scouting's highest rank, but the many friendships he has made through Scouting, as well as his active involvement in Auburn United Methodist Church's youth and choir programs and the Auburn High School marching band program.

Andrew — a founding member of Troop 50, a two-time senior patrol leader, and inaugural recipient of the troop's James J. Baird Jr. Honor Scout Award — passed his Eagle Scout Board of Review on September 15. He is one of the troop's three Scouts to earn the Eagle Scout rank in 2015, and among the eight to earn Eagle since the troop's founding in 2012. Andrew is also a second-generation Eagle Scout. His father, Rob, who serves the troop as a founding member himself and its troop committee chair, earned the Eagle Scout rank in 1993.

Louie narrates the ceremonial candle lighting, which was performed by Troop 50 Scouts
(left to right) Nicky, Rusty, and Creighton

The court of honor began with a welcome from Troop 50 Senior Patrol Leader Louie, a prayer by AUMC Director of Youth Ministry Marc Baugh, and ceremonial candle lighting by Troop 50 Scouts Louie, Rusty, Nicky, and Creighton. Scoutmaster Andrew Baird offered official greetings on behalf of the troop, and Julie Hoff, newly elected chair of the Saugahatchee District's District Committee, offered greetings and congratulations on the district's behalf.

A large crowd of family, friends, fellow Scouts, and leaders attended the court of honor to celebrate Andrew's success.

Assistant Scoutmaster Wes Williams
shares of the significance of the eagle.
The next portion of the program included several narrative readings relevant to Scouting and the Eagle Scout rank — each read by someone of significance to Andrew's personal and Scouting development. The first of those, Significance of the Eagle, read by Troop 50 Assistant Scoutmaster Wes Williams, recounted the eagle's role in symbolizing royalty, power, victory, authority, and valor, as well as its revered status by Native Americans, Christians, Americans, and Boy Scouts. Michelle Stearns, director of AUMC's Elevate Youth Choir, read the poem An Eagle Scout. And finally, Seth Almond, an Eagle Scout in Troop 11 and fellow member of the AHS marching band, recited 100 Scouts, which outlines how Scouting influences any given group of 100 boys who become Scouts. Ultimately, only four of those 100 will earn the rank of Eagle Scout.

Andrew receives from Chartered Organization Representative and Assistant Scoutmaster
Michael Tullier "lost and found" items from his Scouting experiences leading up to the First Class rank.

Fellow Troop 50 founder and
Eagle Scout William recounts memories
of his and Andrew's trip to Philmont.
While Alabama State Representative Mike Hubbard, who serves as the speaker of the house, narrated The Trail to Eagle as the "Voice of the Eagle," Andrew's friends, fellow Scouts, and leaders challenged Andrew to remember Scouting's influence on his life by sharing memories from his Scouting experiences. Assistant Scoutmaster JP Pendleton, who was Andrew's Pack 29 den leader, shared of Andrew's days as a Cub Scout. George, a member of Troop 15, told stories of his and Andrew's summer camp experiences at Camp Daniel Boone. Longtime friend, Eagle Scout, and member of Troop 15 Joe Farrow, who because of a U.S. Naval Academy commitment shared by video how much Andrew's friendship had meant to him and how Andrew inspired him to stay involved in Scouting. Chartered Organization Representative Michael Tullier, who in addition to knowing Andrew since his Cub Scouting days also coached Andrew's soccer team and worked with him through AUMC's youth programs, shared of Andrew's Scouting experiences by "returning" to Andrew "lost and found" items collected from Andrew's Scouting adventures. Longtime Scouting friend Kyle shared memories of their mutual Scouting experiences, especially those that followed their co-founding of Troop 50. Finally, Will, another fellow Troop 50 founder and Eagle Scout, shared memories from his and Andrew's 2013 trip to Philmont as part of Expedition 617-R.

Scoutmaster Andrew Baird administers the Eagle Scout Promise.

Proud mom Lysha Stanford pins on her son his Eagle Scout medal.
Scoutmaster Baird began the presentation of the rank of Eagle Scout by issuing the Eagle Charge and Promise to Andrew, who was joined by other Eagle Scouts in attendance. Andrew presented Eagle Scout parent pins to his parents, Rob (who also serves as the troop's committee chair and previously served as cubmaster for Andrew's Cub Scout pack) and Lysha. His mom pinned on him the Eagle Scout medal, and his father exchanged his regular neckerchief slide with a new Eagle Scout one. Mr. Tullier presented Andrew with, on behalf of the troop, membership in the National Eagle Scout Association.

Andrew proudly shows off his Eagle Scout certificate.

Andrew presents his father, Rob Stanford, with an Eagle Scout mentor pin.
The honoree then shared his appreciation with everyone for attending the court of honor, as well as to those who assisted with his Eagle Scout leadership service project at Pick Elementary School. His remarks also included the presentation of mentor pins to those adults who who shaped his Scouting experience and mentored him along the way to earning the Eagle Scout rank. Andrew presented mentor pins to Assistant Scoutmaster JP Pendleton, Chartered Organization Representative and Assistant Scoutmaster Michael Tullier, Scoutmaster Andrew Baird, and his father and Troop Committee Chair Rob Stanford. AUMC Associate Minister Charles Cummings concluded the court of honor with a closing prayer.

For additional photos from Andrew's Eagle Scout Court of Honor, visit the troop's online photo album. You also can read more about Andrew's Eagle Scout leadership service project benefiting the student and teachers of Pick Elementary School.