Boy Scout Troop #33 was honored at a sash ceremony Sunday at the Marlinton United Methodist Church. Front row, from left: Caleb Ritter, Dillon Dunz, Zac Miller, and cub scouts Will McLaughlin and Aiden Bartley. Second row, from left: R.J. Mayle, Benjamin Dunz, Michael Hardesty, Alan Gibson, Ty Cochran and Braeden Hayhurst. Back row, from left: Brad Dunz, Chris Bartley and Devin Adams. S. Stewart photo

Suzanne Stewart
Staff Writer

Sunday, on National Boy Scouts Day, Boy Scout Troop #33 met at the Marlinton United Methodist Church for an award ceremony in which the members received the ranks and merit badges earned in the past year.

Scout leader Chris Bartley led the ceremony and explained what the troop has done to earn merit badges and how the rank system works.

“Over the past couple of years, we’ve done a lot of trips,” Bartley said. “We’ve done a lot of camping – done a lot of camping. We’ve eaten a lot, too, haven’t we? One thing these guys will tell you, when we go on a camping trip, we eat well.”

Usually a camping trip menu would consist of easy to make meals like peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, hot dogs and hamburgers, but with Troop 33, the bar was raised for menus for their camping trips.

“These guys are not the most simple of kids,” Bartley said. “Breakfasts can consist of anything – scrambled eggs, bacon, french toast, sausage biscuits and gravy, cinnamon rolls. Lunches – hamburgers, hot dogs, chili and cornbread, pizza – the list can go on from there. Then suppers, that’s when we go out a little more with pork chops, lasagna – just about anything and everything.

“The thing is with these guys, we don’t do any of that cooking with a propane stove,” he continued. “We don’t do that cooking any other way than over an open fire.”

There was a lot of trial and error for the scouts while learning to cook in a dutch oven over an open fire. Bartley recalled one time in particular when scout Alan Gibson learned a valuable lesson when making cinnamon rolls.

“If they fix the food right, they will eat well,” Bartley said. “If they don’t fix it right, they will learn from their mistakes, and they will learn to fix it right the next time. The reason I point out Alan is because he forgot to check his cinnamon rolls and we had charcoal.”

Along with camping trips, the troop also took a week-long trip to Washington, D.C. a few years ago, and, on that trip, the scouts weren’t the only ones learning a lesson.

“I vowed after that I would never take them on a week-long trip, on a bus, to a big city like that ever again,” Bartley joked. “It was a good trip for the most part, just a couple of little incidences along the way, but I think, overall, the boys that went had a good time.”

Bartley has been with the troop for eight years now and said he has seen the boys grow by leaps and bounds into fine young scouts who are serving their community well.

“We started with a handful of scouts,” he said. “One of them is here with us today. He’s no longer a youth member of this group, but he now serves as an assistant scout master. It shows, this program does a lot of work with the youth in this community – not just in helping them become good young stewards, good young men, but it helps make them role models for this community, as well. Devin [Adams], we thank you for what you have done for us in this troop.”

Before presenting their sashes to the boys, Bartley asked the scouts to show their appreciation to the people in the crowd who have supported them in their efforts.

“I think you all need to realize that without their support of this program, you all would not be here today,” he said.

In Scouting, the scouts go through the ranks of scout, tenderfoot, second class, first class, star, life and Eagle. As they rise through the ranks, the scouts earn merit badges, with green and silver borders. The silver bordered badges are required to become an Eagle scout and the green bordered badges are electives. In order to become an Eagle scout, a scout must earn a minimum of 21 badges, 13 of which are required.

In October, Troop #33 had its first scout in three decades to earn the rank of Eagle Scout – Jacob Hise. Bartley said Hise was unable to attend the ceremony because he is attending school at West Virginia University.

Along with Hise, three more scouts – Alan Gibson, Michael Hardesty and Ty Cochran – will also earn their Eagle rank this year.

“I’m proud to say that this troop is going in the right direction,” Bartley said.

R.J. Mayle earned the rank of scout and merit badges for personal fitness, music, dog care and pets.

Zac Miller earned the rank of scout and merit badges for personal fitness, athletics, sports, dog care and pets.

Caleb Ritter earned the rank of scout and merit badges for personal fitness, archery, athletics, sports, dog care and pets.

Dillon Dunz earned the rank of scout and merit badges for gardening, personal fitness, snow sports, athletics, dog care, sports and pets.

Braeden Hayhurst earned the rank of first class and merit badges for reading, scholarship, model design and building, robotics, fly fishing, fishing, citizenship in the community, cooking, pioneering, wilderness survival, first aid, safety, archery, golf, art, personal management, bird study, fish and wildlife management, forestry, insect study, nature, reptile and amphibian study, canoeing, kayaking, automotive maintenance, citizenship of the world, camping, athletics, sports, snow sports, dog care, pets, water sports, gardening, salesmanship, personal fitness and music.

Benjamin Dunz earned the rank of life and merit badges for music, athletics, sports, snow sports, skating, digital technology, citizenship of the nation, dog care, pets, reading, scholarship, model design and building, robotics, electronics, citizenship of the community, coding, camping, pioneering, wilderness survival, salesmanship, orienteering, first aid, safety, nature, personal management, water sports, fishing, citizenship of the world, chess, American cultures, American heritage, art, fly fishing, scuba diving, canoeing, gardening, kayaking, golf and personal fitness.

Ty Cochran earned the rank of life and merit badges for American cultures, American heritage, archeology, architecture, astronomy, aviation, Indian lure, journalism, photography, scholarship, space exploration, art, dog care, pets, snow sports, digital technology, gardening, citizenship in the nation, music, reading, electronics, citizenship in the community, salesmanship, cooking, model design and building, robotics, weather, archery, camping, pioneering, wilderness survival, orienteering, first aid, safety, chemistry, nature, fishing, personal management, horsemanship, citizenship in the world, chess, athletics, sports, electricity, home repairs, painting, welding, canoeing, kayaking, disability awareness, collections, car mechanics and personal fitness.

Michael Hardesty earned the rank of life and merit badges for electricity, salesmanship, swimming, athletics, sports, art, sculpture, citizenship of the nation, snow sports, camping, cooking, citizenship of the community, canoeing, kayaking, American cultures, American heritage, archeology, architecture, astronomy, aviation, Indian lore, journalism, photography, reading, scholarship, space exploration, chess, first aid, safety, fish and wildlife management, forestry, gardening, mammal studies, nature, reptile and amphibian studies, soil and water conservation, rifle shooting, shotgun shooting, fishing, archery, electronics, model design and building, robotics, personal management, weather, pioneering, wilderness survival, dog care, pets, orienteering, woodwork, drafting, geology, home repairs, painting, horsemanship, citizenship of the world, traffic safety, disability awareness, automotive maintenance, water sports, metal work, welding, personal fitness and chemistry.

Alan Gibson earned the rank of life and merit badges for fire safety, archery, music, snow sports, geocaching, athletics, sports, digital technology, graphic arts, citizenship of the community, game design, American cultures, American heritage, archeology, architecture, astronomy, aviation, Indian lure, journalism, photography, reading, scholarship, space exploration, chess, entrepreneurship, salesmanship, rifle shooting, shotgun shooting, citizenship of the nation, art, dog care, pets, energy, electronics, inventing, model design and building, robotics, fly fishing, animal science, theater, gardening, cooking, weather, camping, pioneering, wilderness survival, orienteering, first aid, safety, chemistry, environmental science, personal management, white water, fishing, home repairs, plumbing, horsemanship, citizenship of the world, family life, sculpture, canoeing, kayaking, communications, public speaking, radio, disability awareness, collections, geology, personal fitness and traffic safety.

A reception was held following the ceremony.