Brock Montgomery and Mark Schmidt took part in a ceremony honoring their top scouting achievements.
A pair of scouts from Troop 201 in Pratt received the highest honor in scouting during an “Eagle Court of Honor” ceremony on Aug. 10 when they were bestowed the rank of Eagle Scout.
Mark Schmidt and Brock Montgomery received Eagle Scout pins and kerchiefs in a ceremony featuring their parents, scout masters, other scouts from Troop 201 and friends.
It takes years to reach the Eagle Scout rank. Schmidt and Montgomery joined the cub scouts together at age 7, and 11 years later they were able to go through the Eagle Scout ceremony together in the First United Methodist Church that sponsors Troop 201.
To reach the Eagle Scout level each had to develop and complete a project. Schmidt’s project was to make a fire pit used to properly retire United States flags when they are worn out. The pit was constructed at the Green Sports Complex and Troop 201 has used the pit several times in flag burning ceremonies, Schmidt said.
Montgomery is heavily involved with 4-H and for his project he chose to construct new benches for the Pratt County Fair. The new benches were used at the fair this year and were appreciated by the visitors and the fair board.
Schmidt said all his training in scouts will help him prepare for the future because he has learned skills that he will use for the rest of his life. His favorite activities included camping and survival training.
One of the biggest challenges he faced during his years in the scouts was coming up with a project for his Eagle Scout project.
With that project complete, he feels relieved and glad that he was able to complete his Eagle Scout requirements before his 18th birthday.
“It’s one of the biggest goals of my life,” said Schmidt whose father, David Schmidt, is Scout Master for the troop, an Eagle Scout and has been a big influence on his life.
On his way to becoming an Eagle Scout, Schmidt earned 31 merit badges.
Montgomery also gained valuable life experience out of his scouting career. Among his favorite projects for merit badges included first aid, welding, animal science and personal management. Camping was his favorite activity. He also liked cooking for the younger scouts and one of his favorite dishes was peach cobbler that he made in a Dutch oven.
Of all his projects, he gained the most valuable life experience out of personal management.
“Its something I can use for the rest of my life,” Montgomery said.
Montgomery said the late Ted Loomis, who was an assistant scout master and an Eagle Scout, had a very positive impact on his life.
Like Schmidt, one of the hardest parts of the Eagle requirements for Montgomery was coming up with a project. There was a lot of paperwork that had to be approved along with the project and that took up a lot of time and effort. The benches were a way he could pay back all the people that helped him along the way.
“It was something that was really part of my life,” Montgomery said.
Completing the Eagle project and receiving the rank took a big weight off his shoulders and was a highlight in his scouting career.
“I accomplished one of the biggest goals of my life,” Montgomery said. “I stuck with it. It has been quite a journey. It’s one thing I will never forget.”
On his way to the rank of Eagle Scout, Montgomery earned 32 badges.
Earning the rank of Eagle Scout is difficult. On the average, only four out of 100 scouts ever complete the process. There were 28 in the group when Schmidt and Montgomery joined scouting, said David Schmidt.
The ceremony featured a Troop 201 color guard. Scout adult volunteer and Eagle Scout Brett Houdyshell gave a history of the path the boys took to get to the Eagle level including 12 traits the scouts are expected to maintain: Trustworthy, loyal, helpful, friendly courteous, kind, obedient, cheerful, thrifty, brave, clean and reverent. Houdyshell said Eagle Scouts had a duty to God and Country, to others and to themselves.
Darryl Schmidt, an Eagle Scout and Mark’s mentor, presented the Eagle Charge and led the candidates in the Scout Oath.
Several other Eagle Scouts were present at the ceremony: Clinton Skaggs- who presented the voice of the Eagle Scout, Joseph Loomis, Ty Montgomery and Nathan Ryan-brother-in-law of Dave Schmidt.