Scoutmaster Paul Lampton has been a scout leader for over 20 years and has provided leadership training and outdoor opportunities for many young scouts during that time. Lampton’s latest scout to earn the highest rank in scouting is Justin Giles. Lampton and Neal Grogan recently held an awards ceremony at Oak Hill Baptist Church in honor of Giles’ achievement.

“Only two per cent of the youngsters that start out in scouting reach the rank of Eagle,” related Lampton. He went on to explain that the rank of Eagle is not something that’s given to you, it’s something that is earned through hard work, discipline, with a mixture of fun and lots of time spent in the outdoors added in for good measure.

During his quest to become an Eagle Scout, Giles was helped by many adults in the scouting realm. Of course Lampton and Grogan both provided guidance and opportunities for Giles to progress and achieve his goals. And of course a little prodding, motivation and encouragement from his mother and father, Joe and Cindy Giles, helped out quite a bit as well.

In order to achieve the rank of Eagle, youngsters must be challenged, and provided with opportunities to further their knowledge while also being able to have fun.

A Good Fit

Scouting fit right into the youngster’s outdoors interests and lifestyle. Campouts, jamborees, and many outdoor events spurred Justin’s love for scouting and the outdoors. Lampton, Justin’s dad, Joe, and others provided many opportunities for Justin and others to experience the outdoor sports first hand.

Along with those opportunities, Bobby Wilder, Gary Barber and other NWTF members helped pique his interest by holding J.A.K.E.S. events in conjunction with the scouting weekends. In fact, his participation in Boy Scouts was born when his Uncle Mike told him about an upcoming J.A.K.E.S. event that would be held near Chunky

For several years these events were held at the Barber farm in Chunky. Those weekends provided Justin and others with opportunities to learn about wildlife in the field, and provided the fun and excitement of participating in the shooting sports. Although Justin has participated in the outdoors with his dad and family since he was a young child, scouting events such as this gave him opportunities to shoot skeet, .22 rifles, shotguns, archery and enjoy fishing.

Yes, in addition to having fun in the outdoors, scouting provides many youngsters with discipline and leadership training that they might not get otherwise. While scouting is beneficial to all who participate and embrace the scouting program, those that achieve the rank of Eagle stand out among all others.

Before attaining the rank of Eagle Scout, every scout must earn a minimum of 21 merit badges with 11 particular merit badges required. The merit badges must be earned through study, participation and achievement and are designed to help the scouts learn skills that they will utilize the rest of their lives.

Another Award

Giles has now earned 29 merit badges and was also awarded the prestigious Hornady award for distinguished service to natural resource conservation. Only a select few receive this award each year over the whole country, and only after having completed several merit badges as well as outdoor conservation projects.

While many think of the Wild West and frontier exploration when hearing the word scout, modern day scouting combines some of that along with leadership and discipline skills honed to achieve and succeed not only in our modern day world, but in the outdoors as well.

Though many people think of scouting as being separate from the outdoors and hunting, it was intertwined with Justin’s life and became a part of everything that he participates in. Skills learned through scouting helped him sharpen his hunting and fishing outdoorsman abilities as well.

“I’ve been around Justin for four years and watched him grow as a person,” related Lampton. “I think he’s one of the finest young men that I’ve ever dealt with. He’s a joy to be around and I believe he’s a person that will stay true to his beliefs and always uphold what he is! I’m sure that he’ll find some outdoors related career and continue to live by the high ideals of scouting. Once an Eagle, always an Eagle!”

React to this story:


Recommended for you