STEVENSVILLE — Eagle Scout Ryan Conway, 19, of Queenstown, a student at the University of Maryland, College Park, completed the first-ever Venture Scouting “Summit Project” in Queen Anne’s County, this past December, building a outdoor stone fire pit at the Kent Island Elks, Lodge 2576, in Stevensville. Along with the fire pit, Conway also constructed two metal benches that can easily be converted into multi-use tables with seats.

As a member of Boy Scout Troop 278, sponsored by the Kent Island American Legion, Post 278, Conway earned his Eagle Scout rank in 2017, building a fire pit behind the Legion, dedicating it to Vietnam War veterans. One of numerous requirements a Scout must complete to earn the Eagle.

When Conway learned the KI Elks had requested a fire pit to be built for their Turkey shoot range, where during winter months, every Sunday afternoon, beginning at noon, Turkey shoot competitors gather to compete outdoors behind the lodge building, he volunteered to construct this one. Having a fire pit would provide necessary warmth for those participating during cold weather.

In doing the project, Conway made himself available to earn the Venture Scouting program’s “Summit Award”, which in the Venture program is the equivalent to the Eagle Scout rank award. Like in BSA, a Venture Scout must plan and have a pre-approved service project completed that benefits the community in some way.

Venture Scouting is an appendage of the national Boy Scouts of America program, for young people, both males and females, ages 14 — 21. Venture, means emphasis on “high adventure” events and activities that require more maturity among its members, thus, the older ages of young people. Boy Scout troops run the ages, beginning at 11 up through 17 years old. For example, and Eagle Scout project must be completed before a Scout turns 18, otherwise, the Scout cannot earn the Eagle rank/award.

Two years ago, Conway helped found the Venture Scouting Unit, #278, at the American Legion in Stevensville. He served as the unit’s first president. He is still a member there.

When he returns home from school this coming May, he plans to complete the remaining requirements to receive the Summit Award. In so doing, he will receive a medal which has a red, white and blue American bald eagle in flight on it reading “Summit Award”.

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