By Jean Clark
Four years ago, Boy Scouts of America Troop 170 in Pleasant Hill was on the brink of extinction. After Steve Gilpin successfully shepherded nine members of the troop to Eagle rank, many of them went on to college, work or other activities. It seemed that there was dwindling interest in scouting. Thanks to Mike Cooper and Norman Cunningham, who had earned Eagle rank in 1989, and Jeff Strain, also a former Eagle Scout, Troop 170 was revived with a regular attendance of six boys in 2010.
Mike Cooper is the scoutmaster and Andria Cunningham is the assistant scoutmaster. Norman Cunningham represents the Pleasant Hill Area Citizens Scouting Association. Jeff Strain is a member of the Catoosa district committee of the Great Smoky Mountain Council. Troop 170 has grown to 17 young men. The January Court of Honor recognized their receipt of 45 different awards — a very impressive record.
Kendall Cooper earned five badges. Ethan Cunningham earned seven badges. Chase Mullen, Joshua Northern and Dalton Smith were promoted to Second Class, and Dalton earned a First Aid badge. Patrick Grove, Sean Miller, Andrew Scholl and Zechariah Willier all attained Tenderfoot status in addition to earning a First Aid badge. Isaac Willier, Ezekiel Willier and Jody Marshall earned three badges each; and Ronald Miller attained four badges. Nathan Lee and Jonathan Ford received the Boy Scout rank.
Ethan Cunningham has completed Eagle requirements and will be honored at a special Eagle Court of Honor. Several others are well on their way to becoming Eagles. Those Boy Scouts who attended the National Camporee commented on summer temperatures of over 100 degrees while several noted that the Fall Camporee was 25 degrees or lower, which left them freezing. Favorite activities were archery, BB guns and rifle practice — they do like to shoot. A first for Troop 170 was being awarded the Spirit Stick at the Fall Camporee, held proudly by Andrew Scholl in the photograph. Troop members credited Andrew with his spirited participation for the win.
Activities by members of Troop 170 this year included cleaning the Scout campground, a churchyard, weeding and restoring the Pleasant Hill amphitheater, placing flags on the graves of veterans in the Pleasant Hill cemeteries and picking up trash along their section of Hwy. 70 W. Looking ahead, the Troop plans on participating in the Klondike Derby, hiking, camping, going to summer Boy Scout Camp and hosting the Fall Camporee. Anyone who thinks that today’s young people are lazy has not been around this spirited and industrious group of young men.
The Rural Health Clinic in Pleasant Hill is holding a benefit, Queen of Hearts Gala, on Saturday, Feb. 15, at 6 p.m. at the Crossville Armory. Advance tickets of $12 or $15 at the door, entitles participants to an Italian dinner and dancing to the melodious tunes of the Memory Road Band. There will also be a silent auction. Call the clinic at 277-5992 or Ruth Ann Mckay at 287-0237 for advance tickets.