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Eagle Scout Court of Honor Ceremony held for local youth

On November 18, 2006, Boy Scout Troop 300 helped celebrate an achievement that only two percent of all boys that join Boy Scouts ever achieve.
Christopher Scott Kirkpatrick had joined the ranks of Eagle Scout. An Eagle Scout Court of Honor Ceremony was held for this event at Harkins Hall on the grounds of Saint Matthew’s Catholic Church. Christopher is the son of Tim and Lisa Kirkpatrick of Tyrone. Chris became a Boy Scout in 2002.
Committee chairperson, Theresa Harper called the Court of Honor to order and welcomed all in attendance to this occasion. Father Joseph Orr, pastor of Saint Matthew’s Church, gave the invocation by leading all in attendance in opening prayer. Boy Scout Troop 300 Scoutmaster, Peter Kreckel welcomed everyone to the ceremony by stating, “This is a scoutmaster’s finest moment.” Philip Kreckel, who also obtained the rank of Eagle Scout two years ago, was called upon to order the color guard to present the colors. Caleb Dillon posted the American Flag, Logan Harper posted the Pope Flag, Wes Young posted the State Flag, and Sean Woleslagle posted the Troop Flag. Senior Patrol Leader Daniel Isenberg led the group in the Pledge of Allegiance, Assistant scoutmaster Kim Patterson made the introduction of honored guests.
Guest speaker Mark Raffetto, Sr., addressed the group by making remarks of Christopher’s achievements. He stated, “When I first met Chris, when he joined Cub Scouts in my son’s Cub Scout Pack in the fifth grade, most of the Webelos (fourth and fifth grade cub scouts) already were working on earning the Arrow of Light – the highest award in Cub Scouting. Chris decided to work for this award, knowing that the other Webelos had been working on this award for one year. Chris earned this award within one year. He was only one of two other boys in my 23 years as an adult scouter to do this.” Mr. Raffetto remarked, “In earning Eagle Scout, you have received training in areas of citizenship, character development, personal fitness, leadership skills, service to others, and outdoor skills. You now have the obligation and responsibility to share with others your knowledge, especially younger scouts.”
Scoutmaster Pete Kreckel then called upon the other assistant scoutmasters in Troop 300 to read several letters of recognition received by Chris. They include letters from Mayor Jim Kilmartin from Tyrone, President George W. Bush, and vice-president Dick Cheney, various U.S. Senators and House of Representatives, Pennsylvania Senators and House of Representatives, and other organizations.
After a short break in the program for a buffet style meal and refreshments, Scoutmaster Pete Kreckel presented Christopher the rank of Eagle Scout by calling Chris’ parents and Chris to the podium. Scoutmaster Kreckel advised the group, “The Eagle Scout badge is recognition of the Nation Court of Honor, presented through the local council and the local court of honor. A scout has many qualifications to earn the rank of Eagle Scout by (1) the physical requirements in earning the required merit badges set forth in the program, (2) the mental requirements to earn the merit badges can be overwhelming, but the scout has to be mentally set to keep going, even though obstacles can occur, and (3) the most difficult requirement is of the personal character of the scout. Chris’ Eagle Scout project was a landscaping project to benefit the Joshua House in Tyrone. He built two raised beds and planted many plants as well as two dogwood trees. Chris also built a raised mulch bed and planted Rose of Sharon bushes as well as many plants. I am happy to report that our review reveals that Christopher Scott Kirkpatrick has qualified in the requirements of personal character and good citizenship, in addition to the technical requirements for the Eagle Badge of rank. I congratulate you Chris on obtaining the rank of Eagle Scout.” He had Chris pin the Eagle Scout mother’s pin on his mother, Lisa and pin of the Eagle Scout father’s pin on his dad, Tim, who is also an assistant scoutmaster in his son’s troop. He then instructed Christopher’s mom to pin the elite rank on Eagle Scout on her son’s uniform.
Eagle Scout Christopher Scott Kirkpatrick then said a few remarks to those in attendance. Chris thanked all those in attendance as well as his parents. He stated, “The road to Eagle begins at tenderfoot and the parents have to help support their child because if you don’t help the child, he won’t get Eagle. I didn’t get this award by myself; I had a lot of help along the way.” Chris then remarked on the mentor pin to which is given to an individual who has been an influence in a scout’s journey to becoming an Eagle Scout. He stated, “Making the decision on whom to give the Eagle Scout mentor pin was a very hard task and it took me months to narrow it down to one person. Besides my parents, there are three people who have helped me by getting me to where I am today, Mark Raffetto, Jr., Philip Kreckel, and my scoutmaster Peter Kreckel.” After explaining how each person had influenced his life, Eagle Scout Christopher Scott Kirkpatrick first presented to Mark Raffetto, Jr. and Philip Kreckel an engraved plaque in appreciation for their guidance in his trail to Eagle. He then presented the Eagle Scout mentor pin to his scoutmaster, Peter Kreckel.
Scoutmaster Pete Kreckel instructed Philip Kreckel to order the color guard to retreat the colors to close the Court of Honor ceremony. Father Joseph Orr closed the ceremony by giving the benediction. Overall, 84 people attended this ceremony to extend congratulation to one of Tyrone’s finest youth programs.