A well-known traditional Scouting event, the Court of Honor provides a platform for each scout to be personally recognized for the merit badges, rank advancements, and other individual accomplishments they have earned and then be presented with corresponding awards.

Twenty-two members of the Mount Shasta Boy Scout Troop 97 were recognized for recent achievements during the Court of Honor celebration last Wednesday, Sept. 25.

A well-known traditional Scouting event, the Court of Honor provides a platform for each scout to be personally recognized for the merit badges, rank advancements, and other individual accomplishments they have earned and then be presented with corresponding awards.

The event’s opening rites began at 7 p.m. and closed with refreshments at 8:15 p.m., hosted by the Summit Church in Mount Shasta. There were many friends and family members in attendance.

Of the 24 scouts in Troop 97, 22 were recognized, many with merit badges. The merit badge system requires Scouts to complete a certain amount of tasks under one branch of skill, which can take the form of projects, community service events, courses, or individual experiences.

Scout leaders may assist the boys in completing these tasks, but independence is also encouraged and fostered within the troop.

Most of the merit badges are earned over the course of the summer on troop-organized camps. This year, the majority of scouts in Troop 97 attended a week long summer camp at Camp Fleischmann in Chester, where they were able to learn new skills and fulfill requirements for their merit badges.

The Scouts each earned between one and 15 merit badges, making for a total of 88 badges earned by the entire troop, along with 18 total recognized rank advancements. Two scouts were also noted to have reached the rank of Eagle – the highest possible rank in the Boy Scout system – though they will be officially recognized within their own separate Court of Honor, scheduled for Nov. 15.

Only about three in every 100 scouts will make it to Eagle, which requires earning at least 21 merit badges and climbing through six ranks. It is a multi-year effort.

One of the two new Eagles, Chris Darger, spoke on the accomplishment: “In my opinion, it’s a great honor to become an Eagle Scout because of how difficult it is to achieve,” he said Wednesday night after the ceremony’s conclusion. “You have to work hard to prove yourself to be a good, thrifty person. The process really shapes you.”

Chris has been working hard to achieve his Eagle rank, having recently completed his Eagle project in Lake Shastina: a fire danger sign near the main entrance to the community.

Not only is it an impressive achievement, becoming an Eagle Scout can also pave the way to a successful future, as there are scholarships available for those who reach the rank and it makes a strong addition to a resume or college application.