Boy Scout banquet celebrates service
The Shepherdstown Fire Department hosted Cub Scout Pack 33 on Friday evening for the Pack’s Blue and Gold Banquet to recognize the boys earning their ranks.
The event was a celebration of the scouts’ achievements. The boys have worked since September to earn merit badges so they could move up in rank. The scouts’ families were invited to witness them receiving their ranks.
Amanda White and her husband, James, attended the banquet to see their son, Jared Wilberger, move up from the rank of Wolf to Bear.
Cub Scouts and their families enjoyed a buffet-style dinner provided by Shepherd University Dining at the Shepherdstown Fire Department during Friday’s Blue and Gold Banquet.
White described some of the many activities Jared has taken part in to earn his badges and move up.
“He’s had to do an interview with an older person, so he talked to his grandfather, he’s done some rubbings before over at the library, he built a birdhouse and the Pinewood Derby is probably his favorite,” White said.
She said she is proud of Jared’s promotion to Bear and said Scouting has made him more active in his community.
“I really do think they’re more in the community,” White said. “(The troop) does parades and is really a part of the community. It keeps him out of trouble.”
Aaron Ruhland, a den leader for the Tiger Scouts, was at the banquet with his son, Hayden, who is in his first year as a Tiger. He received his Wolf Cub rank during the awards ceremony.
Ruhland, who said he was a Scout when he was younger, said he likes to relive his scouting days doing activities with Hayden.
“Spending time with him and showing him I can be a leader and teaching him to lead is rewarding for both of us,” Ruhland said. “Reliving some of the things I did as a child with him really brings it full circle for me. I want to see how far both of us can go; these are goals we both set.”
Ruhland said he thinks Scouting helps shape more responsible boys.
“I think in school anymore, it seems as though they concentrate more on academics and the manners and teaching them responsibility are left up to the parents. This is a great way to pursue that,” Ruhland said.
General James Amos, Commandant of the United States Marine Corps, came to see his grandchildren earn their ranks. He gave a speech to the Scouts and parents after the awards ceremony.
Amos said he was a Scout when he was younger, but stopped in high school before earning his Eagle rank.
“(Being a Scout) taught me how to work as a team, and it taught me the value of character and to help one another,” Amos said. “It taught me to value my country and have a belief in my country. Now, I’m in charge of the big Boy Scouts in the sky, the Marines.”
Amos said the lessons he learned in scouting have “stayed with him all his life,” and said that Scouting is a good precursor to entering the military because it teaches service.
“I think being a Cub Scout or a Boy Scout, even a Girl Scout, is a good precursor to serving your nation. I think we get an awful lot of young men and women (in the Marine Corps) who have been Scouts. There’s a natural propensity to serve.”