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Troop 17's Thomas earns Eagle Scout rank

November 16, 2006

Russell Eugene Thomas, of Troop 17 in Williamsport, was presented with the Eagle Scout rank, the highest award in Scouting, on Sept. 30 at the Williamsport United Methodist Church.

He is the son of Melvin and Vanessa Thomas.

District Advancement Chair-man Chris South called the Court of Honor to order. Scoutmaster Jay Nase was the Master of Ceremonies. Members of Troop 17, under the leadership of Scout Jason Camarano, conducted the Opening Ceremony.

Assistant Scoutmaster Ralph Young led the candle ceremony. Assistant Scoutmaster Brent Bailey and Scout Russell Thomas read "What the Scout Oath Means".

Assistant Scoutmaster Jay Lauver served as the Voice of the Eagle and Committee member Dwayne Lunsford read the Eagle rank requirements.

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Lauver gave the Eagle Charge. Scoutmaster Nase presented the Eagle badge to Russell, who presented his mother with a miniature Eagle pin and his father a miniature Eagle tie tac.

State Senator Don Munson presented a State Resolution and Delegate Robert McKee presented a House Resolution. Ralph Young presented the Americanism Award from the Hagerstown Elks Lodge 378.

Russell received many letters of congratulations including the Governor's Citation, letters from Presidents Bush, Carter and Ford.

Jeff Cline, representing the mayor of Williamsport, presented a Community Service certificate and Phillip Panelli, from the United Methodist Men, presented a Certificate of Accomplishment. Russell also received a Cross Eagle pen and pencil set from the leadership of Troop 17.

Pastor Marcia Mayor of the Williamsport United Methodist Church gave the invocation and benediction.

The church sponsors the troop.

Russell began in Scouting when he joined Pack 36, Halfway. He advanced in ranks, earning the highest award in Cub Scouting - the Arrow of Light. In February 1998, he crossed into Boy Scouts, joining Troop 17.

In the troop, Russell has served as Senior Patrol Leader, Patrol Leader, Historian, Scribe and Quartermaster. He has gone to many campouts and camporees, and summer camps at Sinoquipe Scout Reservation. He traveled to the High Adventure Philmont Scout Ranch in New Mexico in 2002.

He is a Brotherhood member of the Order of the Arrow, Guneukitschik Lodge, has earned Paul Bunyan Award and 37 merit badges.

For his Eagle Project, Russell planned to lead a team in repairing 360 cages around new apple trees at Piper's Orchard at the Antietam National Battlefield near Sharpsburg.

This work was needed to help prevent the trees from being destroyed by wildlife.

Russell supervised the inspection as well as the work, in which he was joined by family and friends as well as other members of Troop 17.

A 2006 graduate of South Hagerstown High School, he is attending Hagerstown Community College, Russell Eugene Thomas is a new Eagle Scout.

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