Eagle Scout defined by few words, many actions

Published 6:04 pm Saturday, August 8, 2009

“Whatever you do, or dream to do, begin it. Boldness has genius and power and magic in it.”-Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, a German writer.

I made it just in time to Eric Worrell’s Eagle Court of Honor Ceremony at Colerain United Methodist Church last Friday.

It was a busy day at the Roanoke-Chowan News-Herald office By the time I made it to the Eagle Scout’s ceremony I was tired and I knew I’d be logging in some major overtime on the time card. But I kept on telling myself, “This one is worth it.”

I first met Eric in January at Transit Parts in Rich Square. He was there along with a few of his fellow scouts and supervisors with Colerain Boy Scout Troop 135.

Eric was being presented with 24 smoke detectors by Transit Parts and Kidde Safety Products representatives for his Eagle Scout service project, one of the several requirements that need to be met by a candidate for the highest honor in scouting.

His service project was unique. Inspired by his willingness to help others (as shown with his involvement with Colerain Fire Department and EMS), Eric decided to educate senior citizens and low income families about fire safety and provide each of them with that important life saving device—the smoke detector.

About a month ago, Almarie McCrery contacted me about Eric.

“He’s made it,” she said, referring to Eric becoming an Eagle Scout. Almarie then invited me to cover the Eagle Court of Honor ceremony.

So there I was last Friday watching Eric become the first Eagle Scout in Bertie County in 33 years. Eric donned a big smile as he was presented his Eagle medal and Eagle patch and presented his parents, Rhonda and William (who is Troop 135’s Scoutmaster), as well as his mentor for the Eagle process, Troop 135 Junior Scoutmaster John Hedges, with their respective pins.

Rev. Walter Johnston, minister for Colerain United Methodist Church, noted during the ceremony how Eric is joining the ranks of very successful men. Many Eagle Scouts have gone on to be astronauts, presidents and entrepreneurs.

There’s no doubt in my mind Eric will be successful in his own way. He has a passion to be involved in emergency services. As he told me after the ceremony, working in emergency medical services, fire and rescue and law enforcement are all goals of his. And I’m sure any of those agencies around here providing those services would love to have Eric in their departments.

Eric is among a rare breed now days, a young man who has learned his values from not only his parents and community, but from Boy Scouts. He is a testament as to what the scouting program can do for a young person’s character and he has paved the path for others in his community to walk upon.

Eric is a very humble young man and, as you can imagine, he was a little lost for words when speaking to me after the ceremony. But that doesn’t matter because Eric, as he has already proven, will not be defined by what he says. Rather, like any honest person, he will be defined by his actions.

Bertie County, Colerain and the Roanoke-Chowan area should be proud of Eagle Scout Eric Worrell.

Amanda VanDerBroek is a Staff Writer for the Roanoke-Chowan News-Herald. For comments and column suggestions email: amanda.vanderbroek@r-cnews.com or call (252) 332-7209.