The ‘Eagle’ has landed

Published 11:01 am Monday, December 28, 2009

COLERAIN — Boy Scout Troop 135 of Colerain has another reason to celebrate and his name is Brandon Turner.

This past weekend, Turner became the second Eagle Scout in Bertie County in more than three decades. In July, Eric Worrell of Troop 135 became the first to earn the rank in 33 years.

Turner was bestowed the honor during an Eagle Scout Court of Honor ceremony at Colerain United Methodist Church on December 19, two days before his 18th birthday.

“They are the first Eagle Scouts in 33 years and they have set a precedence,” Rev. Walter Johnston said of the two young men during the ceremony.

Despite a snowy evening, the church was filled with Turner’s family members and Boy Scout supporters, among them former Eagle Scout Dr. Randy Perry.

“I’m very proud,” said Turner’s mom, Paula. “It’s a lot of hard work and a lot of years in getting here.”

The newest Eagle Scout began Scouts at age 11 in 2002, the same year the program was resurrected in Colerain. Paula said she, along with her husband, Jeff, decided to involve their son—who was an only child at the time—with Boy Scouts so he could be around other children.

Turner said the program has taught him many things the basic skills from tying a knot to camping and to qualities that build good character like being a leader.

With his June graduation from Bertie High School under his belt, Turner is already working at Freeman Metal Products, Inc. and is involved with both the Colerain and Trap fire departments.

Turner said he grew up around emergency services—his dad is the Assistant Chief of the Colerain Fire Department—and would some day like to become a fireman or a state trooper.

“I’m just glad to be through it,” said Turner of what it took to become an Eagle Scout.

He added his reasons for achieving the lofty goal was his parents encouraging him to become an Eagle Scout and that “he just wanted to do it.”

The Eagle Scout rank may be earned by a Boy Scout or Varsity Scout who has been a Life Scout for at least six months, earns a minimum of 21 merit badges, demonstrates Scout Spirit, and demonstrates leadership in the troop. The scout must also plan with fine detail, develop and lead a service project that shows both leadership and a commitment to duty.

For his project, Turner coordinated a bicycle rodeo to teach children in Colerain about bike safety and hand signals. The children were also provided with bicycle helmets provided by the North Carolina Highway Patrol. The extra helmets that were not given out were donated to Toys for Tots.

Participation in a Scoutmaster conference is also a requirement. After all prerequisites are met, he must then complete an Eagle Scout board of review. The process must be finished before the scout’s 18th birthday.

“I think it’s outstanding,” said Troop 135 Scoutmaster William Worrell about another of his scouts obtaining Eagle Scout rank.

With two young men earning the rank of Eagle Scout, Worrell said a wave of interest had overcome his other scouts.

Daniel Casey, 15, Andre Bass, 15 and Kyle Hedges, 16, are currently working on Life Scout ranks, the step before Eagle Scout. All three scouts have expressed interest in earning that ultimate rank.

For those going for the Eagle Scout “gold,” Turner offered words of support.

“You can go all the way with it and don’t stop in the middle,” Turner encouraged. “It’s worth it in the end.”

For more information about Boy Scout Troop 135 or the Scouting program, contact William Worrell at (252) 356-2147.