After years of effort, there are two new Eagles in town

Alexis Kihm
Tyler Sheets, left, and Chris Darger, along with their families at Saturday’s Eagle’s Court of Honor.

Two of Troop 97’s Boy Scouts took flight Saturday, Nov. 16, at the Crater Lake Council’s first Eagle Court of Honor in two years. Tyler Sheets, age 16, and Chris Darger, 17, became Mount Shasta’s newest Eagle Scouts at the ceremony, which took place at Summit Church.

Dave Affleck, Troop 97 Committee Chair, introduced the Scouts and shed light on their experiences in the troop, commending their journey to this milestone in both their Scouting career and their lives as a whole. Of the millions of Scouts who go through the Scouting program, only about four percent attain the Eagle rank. Sheets and Darger are now both officially recognized as a part of that group, an accomplishment that opens up many doors for their futures in the realm of both college and career.

When asked his thoughts on becoming an Eagle Scout, Darger said, “It’s a great honor and I’m glad I was able to achieve it, and I’d like to thank everybody who has helped me achieve it.” When asked the same question, Sheets quoted an adage that has stuck with him through the process: “No matter what you do and no matter what wall you face, always push to break through it.”

Their Court of Honor boasted a strong turnout of friends and family members. Several prominent county individuals were also present, including Siskiyou County Sheriff Jon Lopey, who spoke on the importance of Scouting in the world today. “Scouting as an organization has made our nation stronger and contributes to our communities and the families that these young men and women come from,” he explained. “It reinforces values that make our country great.” Also present was Siskiyou County Supervisor Michael Kobseff, who spoke on the qualifications of the two Scouts. “This is a great event for the Mount Shasta community,” he said. “The two Eagle Scouts are great young men that are going to be providing leadership for our country, state, and nation.”

Scouting as a program is designed to equip youths with the right knowledge and skills to turn them into well-rounded individuals with proper leadership experience, moral values, confidence, and honor among other qualities that will serve to send them forth into the world prepared to take on the next step into their young adulthood. This is especially true for those who make the leap to reach Eagle.

Achieving the rank is no simple feat, as Scouts who aspire to it must earn a minimum of 21 merit badges, demonstrate leadership within the Troop in several positions, as well as create what is known as the Eagle Project – a community service project that has personal significance as well as a benefit to the local area – which is then planned and executed almost solely by the Scout. For their respective Eagle Projects, Sheets revamped the snack shack at the Little League baseball field, while Darger built a fire danger sign for the Lake Shastina community.

Having completed this rite of passage, both Scouts will move forward into the next phase of their lives equipped with the advanced knowledge they need to be highly successful adults in each of their respective careers. Their example will be followed next year by the current Life Scouts of Troop 97.