In these troubling times with stories of young people's alcoholism and drug abuse, drive-by shootings and teen gangs, how refreshing it is to hear about a young man from Kershaw County who became an Eagle Scout in his Boy Scout troop # 78 located in Ridgeway, South Carolina.
Stephen Lloyd Shumway is a young man of eighteen years of age who lives in Centerville with his step-parent Mark Luke and his mother Bonnie Luke. He has six siblings, two of whom live in the home, a brother Eric and a sister Cassie. His other siblings Marisa, Amy, Bryan and Cameron live with their father in Utah. Stephen was born in Logan, Utah on October 15, 1989.
Before moving to South Carolina in 2005 he attended Garland Elementary and Bear River Junior High School in Utah and is now at Lugoff-Elgin High School where he will graduate this month with an 'A' average. He currently works at Arby's after school and on weekends. After a two year mission trip for his church, he plans to attend the University of South Carolina to study law and then hopes to attend Harvard University for a Law Degree. The Eagle Award will certainly be an asset on his resumes.
The family attends the Ridgeway Ward, a branch of the Mormon Church, located on Highway 34 in Ridgeway.
Stephen joined the Boy Scouts of America when he was twelve years old. The requirements for the Eagle Award are for a first class Scout to earn 21 merit badges out of the 120 available and demonstrate leadership and service abilities. Stephen did this in a period of six years. A flooded basement and the move from Utah put him a little behind on his goal, which must be accomplished before the age of eighteen, so he had to work hard near the end.
Twelve of the merit badges are required while the other nine are electives. Shumway's badges include First Aid, Emergency Preparation, Citizenship-Community, Citizenship-Nation and Citizenship-World. Also Wilderness Survival, Indian Lore, Archery, Family Life, Mammal Studies, Space Exploration, Canoeing, Communications, Personal Management, Wood Carving, Leather Working, Finger Printing, Camping, Swimming, Personal Fitness, Environmental Science, Basketry and Public Speaking.
When he finished, he went before the Board of Review on October 26 of this year.
The Eagle Award is a prestigious award, the highest rank attainable in the Boy Scout program.
The award was originally to be called the Wolf Badge based on the Silver Wolf Badge in Great Britain, but was never awarded under that name. Several leaders thought that the highest award should recognize the American Eagle and so was given its current name of Eagle Award.
Not every boy who joins the scouting program earns the Eagle Scout Award, only about five percent of all Scouts do so, but this represents more than 1.7 million Boy Scouts who have earned this rank since 1912.
The first award went to a 17 year old named Arthur Rose Eldred in 1912, whose son and grandson also hold this rank. A thirteen year old boy was the one millionth Scout to be presented this award. This title is held for life. Stephen has been sent an application from the National Eagle Scout Association, an organization that awards scholarships to Eagle Scouts.
The goals of scouting, citizenship training, character development and personal fitness remain important to all Scouts whether or not they attain the Eagle Badge.
Any young man that does earn this rank is expected to set an example for other Scouts and become leaders in life. Some of our country's leaders who were Eagle Scouts are: Bill Bradley and Sam Nunn, both former U.S. Senators, Willie Banks, Olympian, Thomas Foley, Speaker of the House, Astronaut James Lovell Jr., Ross Perot, Donald Rumsfeld, Secretary of Defense and President Gerald Ford to name a few.
The badge itself has not changed much over the years, the bar has the Scout motto of 'Be Prepared' on it with the red, white and blue colors below. The color red stands for courage, the white for honor and the blue is for loyalty. The bar above the colors is in the shape of a smile for cheerfullness and the knot below is a reminder to do a good turn daily. The Eagle with wings spread and the letters BSA appears below that.
On December 12 in a ceremony held at the Ward, Shumway was presented an American flag by Post Commander John Spencer Watts of the Veterans of Foreign Wars post # 8346 of Lake Wateree.
Watts was accompanied by Comrade Jud Pardue. Watts and Pardue stressed to Stephen the importance of the Code of Honor, a salute between Comrades and the American flag.
Even though Stephen has been kept busy with the Boy Scout program and maintaining an 'A' average in his school work, he still finds time to enjoy such hobbies as archery, reading and drawing.
How nice it was to meet this Eagle Scout. Stephen Shumway is a handsome young man with a firm handshake and an irresistible smile. His South Carolina family and his family in Utah I am sure are very proud of him, and rightly so. Congratulations Stephen.