Summit County Boy Scout Cole Currier earns his Eagle Scout Award at age 16
Cole Currier couldn’t have asked for a better location for his Eagle Scout court of honor ceremony Monday. Seasonally rare sunshine bathed the Spruce Valley Ranch picnic area as family members, friends and fellow Scouts gathered to celebrate Currier’s accomplishment and see him receive his Eagle Scout pin. Snowy mountain peaks loomed in the distance and an occasional wind snapped the Summit County Troop 187 and American flags where they stood flanking the ceremonial table.
Eagle Scout is the highest rank in Boy Scouting. The award entails demonstrating proficiency in leadership, service and outdoor skills at multiple levels. Scouts must complete two main achievements to qualify for the award — earning at least 21 merit badges and designing, organizing and completing a community service project, usually involving a minimum of 75 hours of work. Only about 4 percent of Boy Scouts become Eagle Scouts.
By these guidelines, Currier not only met the requirements, but exceeded them. Currently he has 32 merit badges to his name and estimates that he put in around 290 hours on his service project.
Currier’s project incorporated another important organization in his life, 4-H. Seeing that the rodeo arena needed repairs, Currier jumped to the challenge. He recruited a crew of volunteers and together they scraped rust off of rails, reclaimed weed-infested land and worked to beautify the area.
One of the challenges of the project was the sheer amount of space that needed work.
“The rodeo arena is probably the size of a football field, and having that much fencing to paint is quite a lot,” Currier said. “I’m lucky I had more volunteers than I thought would be coming and that was just a major relief because I needed each and every one of those. But we got done on time.”
He was also impressed with the help he found in the community, he said.
“What I liked the most is working together, seeing how readily people would volunteer and help and (provide) donations. I mean, there were pizzas coming from restaurants locally, hardware stores would donate paintbrushes, paint companies would have leftover supplies.”
Currier doesn’t credit himself for getting the community’s assistance; rather, he said, it was the organization he represents.
“People know that an Eagle Scout project means something.”
Light at the end of the tunnel
Currier joined the Boy Scouts in 2004 at 7 years old. Since then, he’s remained active and involved and kept his eye on the prize, so to speak.
“This was always the light at the end of the tunnel, and getting this far I saw no reason why I shouldn’t (work to earn it),” he said of the Eagle Scout Award. “It’s something that deserves respect — and I don’t want to say that I’m necessarily immediately deserving of it — but I feel like it’s something that was definitely worthwhile. It taught me something about myself. Just the entire journey was way more worth it than the award. I saw it through to the end and I thought that was very important.”
He’s not the only one. Upwards of 20 people gathered at Currier’s ceremony, including friends from out of state. At the end, Currier’s mother affixed the Eagle Scout pin to his uniform. She smiled through teary eyes and gave her son a hug. Currier’s father presented him with his Eagle Scout certificate. His parents were then awarded special Eagle Scout Mom and Dad pins. Currier also handed out Mentor Pins as thanks for those who had helped him achieve his rank.
“Thank you all so much for this,” he said, addressing the crowd. “It means the world to me.”
“The troop is very proud of Cole and his family for receiving the highest rank in Boy Scouting,” said Troop 187 scoutmaster Arthur Albin.
When receiving his mentor pin, Albin grasped Currier’s hand and congratulated him, saying, “Eagle Scout looks good on you.”
Ev Thomas, who has been involved in scouting for most of his life and is on the troop committee, was also a mentor of Currier’s. He described Currier as intelligent, enthusiastic, self-driven and dependable.
“I was in the Army for 30 years,” Thomas said, “and if I was going to depend on a soldier, someone to depend my life on in combat, I’d choose someone like Cole.”
While Boy Scouts have until they are 18 years old to earn their Eagle Scout, Currier has earned his at age 16.
“He’s a junior in high school,” said his mother, Diane Currier. “I think it’s only the beginning of where he’s going to go from here.”
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