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Erik Riess achieves Eagle Scout rank

June 16, 2009

MERCERSBURG, Pa - Troop 7 in Mercersburg and Crew 2, Hagerstown, honored Erik M. Riess with the highest award in Scouting - the Eagle rank - April 19 at Whitetail Resort.

The ceremonies team of Guneukitschik Lodge 317, Order of the Arrow (Scouting's honor society), conducted the Four Winds Eagle Court of Honor.

Ben Troupe, senior patrol leader of Troop 7, led the Pledge of Allegiance and the Scout Oath and Law. Pastor Matthew Robinson from Mercersburg Church of God, gave the invocation. Lain Mowen, Scoutmaster of Troop 7, vouched that Erik completed all requirements necessary to receive his Eagle rank.

Mason-Dixon Council's Assistant Scout Executive Bob Holsinger administered the Eagle Scout Promise.

Gary Hill, adviser of Crew 2, presided over special presentations. State Rep. Todd Rock addressed the gathering with a brief message and presented Erik with a proclamation from the Pennsylvania House of Representatives.

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Don Aines, representing State Sen. Rich Alloway, presented Erik with a proclamation from the Pennsylvania Senate.

Erik received several other proclamations from numerous sources.

Fred Young presented Erik a certificate of appreciation and a Lion Paw medal for his outstanding volunteer service to Penn State Mont Alto and the Franklin County Chapter of the Alumni Association as its Nittany Lion mascot.

Richard Gilbert presented Erik with a certificate of achievement and a check for $100 from the Association of Professional Firefighters, Hagerstown Local 1605.

Erik was then presented with a Bronze Eagle Palm for additional merit badges earned above what is required for the Eagle rank.

Erik started in Scouting in 1992 as a Tiger Cub with Pack 28 of Mercersburg. He earned all of the ranks in Cub Scouting, all 20 Webelos activity badges and the highest rank of Cub Scouting, the Arrow of Light.

In 2003, he crossed over into Boy Scouting with Troop 05 in Hagerstown. He also became a member of the Potamac Indian Dancers, Venture Crew 2, of Hagerstown.

He transferred to Troop 28 of Mercersburg in 2005.

In 2009, he transferred to Troop 7 of Mercersburg.

He is the lead dancer with the Potamac Indian Dancers.

Erik has earned a total of 35 merit badges, of which 21 were required for Eagle.

He is a Brotherhood member of the Order of the Arrow with Guneukitschik Lodge 317.

He is also a member of the contingent that will represent the lodge at the National Order of the Arrow Conference at Indiana University in Indiana.

Erik's Eagle project was building four poly-lumber benches for the Charles Brightbill Environmental Center in Mercersburg. The benches were secured to the ground and the area around each was mulched. Additionally, Erik and his helpers weeded and mulched the areas around the building and the pond area. The benches are dedicated to the memory of Charles Brightbill and Douglas Keefer.

Erik is the son of Shar and Jack Riess Jr. of Mercersburg.

He is the grandson of Jack Riess of Waynesboro, Pa., Marlene Koch of Chambersburg, Pa., and John Mullen of Greencastle, Pa.

Erik is a member of the class of 2010 at James Buchanan High School in Mercersburg. He also attends the Franklin Country Career and Technology Center, where he is studying graphic design.

He is a member of the art club, environmental club and the student council.

He is a member of First United Methodist Church in Mercersburg.

He works at Whitetail Resort during the winter season.

He plans to attend Penn State University to major in graphic design.

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